Arriving as quickly as possible to the site of a medical emergency is a critical goal for any paramedic. It may be easy enough in urban and even rural areas, but when someone is stuck high up a mountain there are often no expedient options. Drones may offer help in certain cases, such as delivering external defibrillators for bystanders to use, but nothing can replace having a professional medic onsite.
England’s Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), which operates in areas where people go hiking through remote terrains, is now testing a jet suit as a way to get paramedics quickly to just about anywhere. The regions covered by GNAAS are very hilly, rocky, and mostly lacking trees. Helicopters can fly around but landing is often a big challenge because of the uneven surfaces.
The organization partnered with Gravity Industries, a company that develops jet suits, to test out the technology for emergency medical applications and as seen in the following video, there’s clearly a great deal of potential.
In the experiment, “stricken” individuals were located about a 25 minute hike up a hill. Using the jet suit, a paramedic was able to reach them in less than two minutes, easily landing nearby on a rocky surface.
The jet suit used has five turbines that generate more than 1,000 horsepower. It can reach 85 miles per hour and can be powered using either jet fuel or diesel.
Here’s a video showing how a jet suit paramedic would assist a medical emergency:
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