Flying Heroes Get There Faster Using Jet Packs!

New trailblazing pilot program soars.

Jul 20, 2022
Flying Heroes Get There Faster Using Jet Packs! | New trailblazing pilot program soars.

Summer is the time when people take to the trails. Whether you are hiking on  a forest mountain trail in the wilderness. This is the perfect time of year to do it while the days are warm and long.

But what happens if you lose your footing and fall? Even if you can use your cell phone to call for help when you are injured, you may still be afraid that it will take time for someone to find and assist you. But now, help can come to you a lot faster.

That’s because a program trialing in the UK has jetpacking paramedics coming to the rescue, according to the BBC. Instead of taking minutes or hours to reach an injured hiker, medics can get there in mere seconds.

The service is provided by the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) a UK charity that provides helicopter rescue. Trials originally began in September 2020 but had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now they are back on track.

Futuristic rescues
The jetpack is essentially a flying suit with two engines for the arms and a larger one on the back of the pilot, according to Interesting Engineering. All the movements are controlled by the wearer. The jet pack can provide up to 144  kilograms of thrust which allows the pilot paramedic to quickly climb. The packs have been verified to be safe in 35 mile-per-hour winds.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Great North Air Ambulance (@gnairambulance)

“We think the Jet Suit paramedic will speed up the response to some hard to access patients in the Lake District [National Park] and allow us to reach more patients. But to know for sure, we are putting it to the test,” said Andy Mawson, the director of operations of GNAAS and the person in charge of the new program, told Interesting Engineering.

While a helicopter can take between 25 and 35 minutes – if there is a place to land – to reach an injured patient in the Lake District National Park, a paramedic using a jetpack can fly up in 90 seconds.

The paramedics fly with a heavy medical kit including a defibrillator and patient-monitoring devices that are strapped to the pilot’s legs and chest. “It's a machine attached to your body, you have to find your balance point and we're in a job where we challenge ourselves,” Mawson told the BBC.

Awestruck users
While using jetpacks is something in the science fiction realm,  Mawson who completed the training is still very grounded.  “We're still awestruck by it, everyone looks at the wow factor and the fact we are the world's first jet suit paramedics, but for us, it's about delivering patient care,” he said.

He explained that when he started as a paramedic, he never expected to be working with a helicopter. Jet packs were not on his radar screen.

The team is busy training and getting ready for medical emergencies this summer. So the next time you are out hiking and see something unusual in the sky, take another look, because it could be a paramedic hero flying to the rescue.

The Ambulance of the Future Will Be Able to Fly
Good Samaritan App Alerts Nearby Users to Medical Emergencies
For the First Time Ever Drones Delivered Meds to Remote Islands

Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.