Categories: Tech

UK could soon have jet suit paramedics

 The FINANCIAL —  A collaboration between Gravity Industries, which has developed and patented a 1050 brake horsepower Jet Suit, and the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), has resulted in a test flight in the heart of the Lakes. Director of operations at Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) said that exercise had demonstrated the huge potential of using jet suits to deliver critical care services. At the minute, the jet suit is covered under general aviation within the CAA so there is no requirement for a formal license to fly it. The jet suit can be used and remain stable in mist and wind. 

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Could jetpacks be used to help save lives in emergency situations? A UK company, Gravity Industries, has been testing the tech with the help of paramedics in the mountains of the Lake District to see if it could help emergency services cut response times in rural and hard-to-reach places. In one simulation, a paramedic wearing the “jet suit” was dispatched to aid a 10-year-old girl who had fallen from cliffs and sustained a serious leg injury. After receiving the coordinates, the paramedic was able to reach the girl in only 90 seconds. Responders on foot would have taken 25 minutes to make the same journey, France 24 reported.

After a year of talks between Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) and Gravity Industries, a first test flight was carried out in the Lake District. Andy Mawson, director of operations at GNAAS, came up with the idea and described seeing it as “awesome”.  The test flight was carried out by Richard Browning, founder of Gravity Industries. He said the suits had two mini engines on each arm and one on the back allowing the paramedic to control their movement just by moving their hands. “The biggest advantage is its speed,” Mr Mawson said, according to BBC.

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Gravity Industries, founded in 2017 has grown from its humble beginnings into a multi million dollar organisation whose influence spans the globe.

GNAAS is a charity which provides air ambulance coverage across North-East England, Cumbria and North Yorkshire from bases at Langwathby, near Penrith, Eaglescliffe, near Stockton-on-Tees and Newcastle International Airport. It responds to more than 1,500 callouts a year and relies on donations to fund its operations, which last year cost £5.3 million.  GNAAS and Gravity Industries said they wanted to thank Langdale Mountain Rescue Team, the National Trust, Stool End Farm and Cumbria Police for helping make the test possible, Metro wrote. 

Andy Mawson, director of operations and paramedic at GNAAS, identified the Lakes as a possible location for a Jet Suit paramedic after hearing of Mr. Browning’s work and then studying the charity’s own call-out data. He said: “It showed dozens of patients every month within the complex but relatively small geographical footprint of the Lakes.

The jet suit will takes to put on a minute and a half to two minutes. The jet suit would be strapped into the boot of the response vehicle. All that would be needed is to sit back into the suit, put two leg straps a waist strap and two shoulder straps. A paramedic would be in the suit in about 30-45 seconds. The mark 3 suit which is the one Gravity envisages working in this environment is a single button start which takes about 10 seconds.

Talking about technologies helping to save lives, it should be noted that Apple announced Apple Watch Series 6, introducing a revolutionary Blood Oxygen feature that offers users even more insight into their overall wellness. Apple is joining forces with researchers to conduct three health studies that include using Apple Watch to explore how blood oxygen levels can be used in future health applications. This year, Apple will collaborate with the University of California, Irvine, and Anthem, the second-largest insurer in the U.S, to examine how longitudinal measurements of blood oxygen and other physiological signals can help manage and control asthma. Read more.

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The FINANCIAL

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