Nick Knowles and Louise Minchin follow the work of the emergency services. Paramedics fight to save the life of a baby choking on food, while two young sisters save their mother.
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Today, minutes to save a baby's life.
Seven month old Jayden is choking on food and turning blue.
Help is on its way.
And it's Tiny Ron to the rescue.
The air ambulance crew take to the water to get an injured sailor ashore.
Let's just recap. We've done land, air and sea today.
Absolutely! Just don't make a habit of it, John.
No, not again!
Hello and welcome to Real Rescues
from the South Western Ambulance control room.
As well as taking 999 calls,
the team in this room look after all types of medical needs.
Yes, and we've got Joe Crowley with us today.
He's been finding out about this special area of the control room.
-What do they do here?
-This is the out-of-hours GP desk.
A little bit quiet at the moment.
But come 6:00-6:30 in the evening, it comes alive.
We'll see all about that a little later.
Now to a rescue where an emergency really does mean just that.
A mother has dialled 999. Her seven month old baby is choking.
He's inhaled food and he can't get enough breath.
When the first paramedic arrives, she knows she has just minutes to save Jayden's life.
The emergency begins with this call.
As call taker Dee Burchill keeps the baby's mother calm,
the Rapid Response Vehicle is nearing the house.
Following closely behind is the ambulance.
This is one of the most serious calls ambulance crew Sarah Brewster
and Rebecca Attwater have ever attended.
That road up there, by the traffic lights.
As they arrive, they can see Jayden's distraught mother.
Off camera, on the pavement, the rapid response paramedic, Hannah Hunter, is doing chest compressions.
In the last few minutes, Jayden's condition has got far more serious.
The crew have just minutes to save this baby's life.
Hannah here was in the Rapid Response Vehicle.
And you got to Jayden first, didn't you?
It was pretty clear right away that he was in trouble, wasn't it?
Yeah. It was. The minute I turned him over,
-it was really super clear that he was in trouble.
His eyes were really wide,
his mouth was hanging open with drool coming out of it
and his skin was blue.
Was he just virtually taking his last breaths? What was going on?
Yeah, he was getting some air in.
Hut the noise he was making and the way he was breathing was showing
that he was really struggling to get every last bit of air in.
You're obviously trained to deal with this. What did you do?
I took over the back slaps.
So turned him upside down and whacked him on the back.
When that didn't work and the oxygen wasn't enough to pick him up,
and he started to deteriorate, we moved to chest thrusts.
-And he stopped breathing, and then I did CPR.
Let's see what happened next.
They've got Jayden in the ambulance.
The monitors are telling Hannah and Sarah that he's taking just eight breaths per minute.
He needs to take 40 every minute to keep him alive.
Sarah pats him on the back in another attempt to dislodge the food.
To everyone's relief, he starts to vomit.
As the ambulance heads off, the sight of food on Jayden's blanket is a welcome sign.
Jayden's mum travels up-front with Rebecca.
She can hear everything that's going on in the back of the ambulance.
Although Jayden's breathing is improving, they urgently need to get his blood oxygen level up.
Low levels can lead to brain damage. Sarah holds a nebuliser over his face.
This will help the air flow more freely into his lungs.
His airway's clear, it maintains. Breathing's good, a bit congested. Got some beats running through...
Hannah starts to check all Jayden's vital signs.
He's now breathing for himself, but after all he's been through,
his condition could still deteriorate at any time.
All this is happening whilst the ambulance is racing to Poole Hospital.
Pulse rate's 163.
-And he's maintaining.
-Breaths are great.
Rest rate, still maintaining 40 breaths per minute.
Nice and pink, well profuse.
-A lot better, Jayden.
-A lot better.
Jayden's been brought back from the brink, but he has to be monitored very closely.
Just checking to see how reactive he is.
He's getting quite cold, so there's a blanket behind you. Do you want to wrap him up?
Obviously babies lose loads of glucose when they're quite poorly.
We've got to make sure he doesn't use up his glucose and make sure he doesn't get hypothermic,
because we've stripped him of all his clothes.
There's a huge feeling of relief in the ambulance, as Jayden appears to be getting stronger and stronger.
All right, darling. That's it. You curl those toes, mate!
-You curl them away.
-And when he opens his eyes, he looks so much better.
-One, two three. Hello, darling!
-Hello, sweetie pie?
-Airway's good. Jayden's looking around at me now. Aren't you, Jayden?
-Hello, mister. Hello.
But the fear is Jayden inhaled food into his lungs.
His chest sounds far from normal.
Yeah, it's not really a wheeze we've got in there anymore. It's more just coarse. It's horrible.
And Sarah's also concerned about his oxygen level.
It should be close to 100%.
He was 82 on oxygen.
He's gone down to 75. He's swapped over.
-Heart rate's 147.
An emergency team is waiting for them when we reach the hospital.
Hannah briefs Emergency Department Consultant, Simon Bell.
It's improving and he's OK, but he's still not great.
Mum Amy is feeling very shocked.
Because Jayden must stay on the oxygen, Sarah rides on the trolley with him, to keep the mask in place.
The ambulance team have done their bit.
They've saved Jayden's life, but there are still fears
of complications caused by the food he breathed into his lungs.
And we saw you, Sarah, as well in that ambulance.
How does this rate as an emergency call?
You deal with them all the time.
It's very high up there. It is life and death.
Jayden was very poorly and it's a very serious-natured call.
-What about you, Hannah?
-Yeah. The most serious one I've been to, I think.
Is it? In the ambulance as well, watching it, it's very distressing
anyway, but he was fluctuating all the time, wasn't he?
You were dealing with lots of different things.
Our main priority is clearing the airway once we knew we had the blockage.
But also he was quite blue, wasn't breathing, so we had to breathe for him, using the bag, then the mask.
As soon as we cleared the airway, everything was improving all the time.
And when was the turning point? When that spaghetti bolognese came up?
Was that when you knew that you were probably going to be OK?
Yeah. When I was doing the breathing for him on the street, waiting for the ambulance,
immediately I felt his chest rise and fall. So I knew air was going in straight away.
At that point, I thought, "We're in with a chance here, it's not completely blocked, there is hope."
So when he brought up that spaghetti and everything cleared, then I thought, "Actually, result."
And that made the difference. Did you feel the relief at that point?
We both looked at each other at one point and just a huge sigh of relief.
-Yeah. "We're OK now."
As a mum as well, it's got to be quite difficult dealing with that sort of situation?
Yeah, it is. I'd never want to take away from any paramedic that went to
something like that - whether you have kids or not, it's horrendous -
just being a mum,
Amy sort of screaming at me, I could then feel myself imagining what it would be like if that was my baby.
And I just had to wipe all that aside, and just focus on what I was doing.
-Are you sure you feel a bit better?
-Come on. Here's Jayden, look. Hello, Jayden and Amy.
-He's absolutely fine now, isn't he?
-Yeah. Thank God.
-You were a carer, so you'd done the right things, hadn't you?
-When he started choking, what did you do?
Um, I fished out the food that I could actually see in his mouth,
and that didn't work, so I put him over
my knees and started doing the back blows.
And that didn't work, and that's when I ran to get help.
Because I was in the house on my own with these two.
Were you panicking? What were you feeling?
I felt I was hysterical.
Hannah said that I was completely...
well, as calm as what I could be.
You were giving her things to do, Hannah?
Yeah, half of it because being on my own in the car,
an extra pair of hands is always useful, but also whilst Amy was distracted and had other things
to focus on, she wasn't just looking at Jayden and panicking.
OK. And how is he now? He's got a little twin brother who's down here.
-Hello! How's he doing?
-Yeah, he's a million times better.
-He's like a completely different baby now.
And you were grateful, obviously, for their help
-because there was no way you could get out of this situation on your own, was there?
-No way at all.
Absolutely lovely. Thank you very much, Jayden. You take care with that spaghetti.
Thank you, Amy. A bit later in the programme, we'll be talking to the Emergency Consultant
who actually treated Jayden when he got to the hospital about how to help someone who is choking.
Terrifying that, isn't it? OK, on this programme we bring you rescues from the land, the air and the sea.
But today we have one that includes all three.
John has fallen into the cabin of his boat.
He's badly injured his leg and needs a doctor.
The Air Ambulance has been called.
-Thames Valley Air Ambulance has got a call
to go and treat a man who's badly injured his leg at a marina.
RADIO: 'We've now airlifted. En-route to Caversham, over.'
On-board are air paramedics Lisa Brown, Mark Beglee and MJ, the doctor.
It's taken the pilot, Alf Gasparo, just under five minutes to get them the 12 miles to Caversham Marina.
It's immediately clear that getting the man to a hospital quickly will be a big problem.
He's on a boat a long, long way down the jetty.
A land crew are already present and have asked for a doctor to be brought in, in case the man's
condition deteriorates, as they try to remove him.
John's fallen down the hatch of his boat, The Weekend Escape.
He landed painfully on the floor and MJ can see his ankle is in a bad way.
A broken or dislocated ankle can seriously disrupt blood supply and endanger the rest of the foot.
We know that dislocated ankles
have a stretch on the arteries and the nerves and the veins.
So the ideal is we want the ankles to be like this, and his ankle is like that.
So, ideally, what we want to do is give him procedural sedation
and just reduce it into a nice, normal anatomical position.
But where we are at, in the middle of his boat, we have to think
a little bit laterally about how to get him up there first.
To prepare John for the big heave ho, they stabilise his leg in a vacuum splint.
And to ease his pain, they give him morphine and Entonox, laughing gas, which noticeably cheers him up.
I can't say I'm legless now, can I?
Half legless! Half cut!
We're going to move him on to his buttocks essentially
and just go backwards, onto the stairs, and then we'll make our second plan from there.
Then on to the main boat!
-We're going to support you. Yeah. You use your good leg.
-Do you mean for the rest of my life?
Time to start the difficult task of getting a man with a very painful injury out of a tight spot.
Get your sea legs, and then what we'll do, without the music,
you're going to spin round a little bit.
You're going to go backwards onto the step.
-If you sit yourself down, how's that?
Mark keeps John's leg supported while he leaves the boat by the seat of his pants!
-Keep coming, you're going to come outside.
Boat environments are always quite interesting to work on, getting people out of sticky situations.
-Just sit there, all right?
-MJ is worried that John's foot is starting to turn an unhealthy colour.
I think when we get down there, we might still give you the sedation
and see if we can get the position
-a bit better. Your foot looks a little bit blue to me.
You can feel me touching your foot?
Yeah, yeah, I can feel that, yeah.
It looks quite blue from the bottom.
-How are we doing, guys?
-One last big hop, and John will get a chance for a breather.
OK, on three. One, two, three.
John's finally off deck, but far from being on dry land.
To try and carry him the 300-metre-long distance on a narrow,
wobbly jetty would be an arduous and risky venture.
Luckily, a seafaring friend has volunteered the use of his boat.
How's the best way of getting him in, Sir?
But just as they're planning how to get John aboard, it looks like there could be problem.
Down here, head first...
OK, might be plan B.
-Plan B, hang on.
-It looks like the water taxi could be a non-starter.
MJ's still concerned about the colour of John's foot.
Body tissue can die fast without adequate blood supply.
That foot looks a little bit dusky.
All we'll do is give him a little bit of the strong stuff and then we just gently pull his ankle straight.
Just get it into the right position.
MJ may be forced to take the drastic step of trying to correct
the ankle here and now, which could be agonising for John.
As we'll see, there's a long way to go in this rescue.
I wanted to talk to you about a call that came in, that turned out to be not what you thought it was.
Back in September, I was the control manager and a 999 call came in.
It was a head-on RTA in Verwood, so being the control manager,
you have to make sure you've got all the right resources sent to the job.
So, we were getting on with that and then my mobile phone rang and it was my son.
I said I'm sorry, Brad, I can't talk at the moment, I've got
a nasty RTA come in in Verwood and he said, "Mum, it's me".
-In the RTA?
Your blood must run cold.
I didn't know whether I was supposed to be a mum or a control manager.
So, which did you plump for in the end?
I had to go for a bit of both.
Luckily, my assistant backed me up on what I was doing so it was all right.
We're hearing buzzing again. I should ask what that is,
cos people will think we're interrupting.
That's a crew that wants to speak to one of us, so we're OK.
And your son, he's been in Afghanistan. He's a soldier?
He'd not been back long, yeah.
-He's got some time out and was heading off into Verwood to see his friends when it happened.
So, he survived Afghanistan but didn't quite make it through Bournemouth?
-Is he all right now?
Yeah, he's fine now. He had a fractured sternum but he's all right now. Yeah, he's good.
Congratulations on doing so well.
I'd have probably frozen, but obviously you guys are very well trained. Thank you.
That's OK, thank you very much.
Still to come on real rescues, the little girl who saved her mother's life.
That's the air ambulance landing.
One is called every 10 minutes in the UK.
We'll be talking to them later.
Presuming, that is, they don't get a call-out.
Here at South Western Ambulance Control, the team are not just answering 999 calls.
Joe Crowley's been a regular on Real Rescues and he's over
by a desk where they do something a bit different.
Yes, thanks, Nick. This is the out-of-hours GP's desk,
here to give help and advice to people who need to speak to a GP
or nurse when the surgeries are closed.
I spent a busy Friday night with them to find out exactly how it works.
It's Friday night, the doctor's surgeries are closed,
but people can still get hold of a GP, should they need one.
These guys are the nerve centre for the Dorset and Somerset out-of-hours service.
They cover a population of up to 1.3 million and they could receive as many as 400 calls tonight alone.
Here's how it works.
First, a person who rings the number given on their GP's answer phone
will come through to one of several call takers, who make an immediate assessment of the situation.
Next, patients are put through to GPs and nurse practitioners, who provide medical advice and reassurance.
They can also write prescriptions and fax them to pharmacies
so that medication can be collected the very next day.
With children, it's Friday night, the doctors are shut, your kid's got a temperature, and you're worried,
phoning this number and being able to talk to a doctor is a godsend.
It really does help make you feel much better.
I've got a little boy, so I used it before and it does work. It's a really good system.
And tonight, the calls are coming in thick and fast.
-How do you feel about that?
-Her breathing's much better?
-And has she been before?
-Anaphylactic shock? Oh, dear.
And is it itchy?
And have you had a rash like this before?
40% of all cases are solved over the phone, but some callers need a higher level of care.
Do you think you can come and see one of us at the treatment centre?
If your problem can't be dealt with over the phone, then you can come to a treatment centre like this.
There are 14 of these in Dorset and Somerset alone and this is where
you can actually see a doctor or a nurse in person, late into the night.
Mark was referred here after phoning up and describing his stomach pain.
And Jonathan, the doctor on duty, has decided his symptoms will need further investigation in hospital.
Mark was able to get himself to a doctor under his own steam, but others aren't so fortunate.
Faye's one of the GPs, one of the doctors, on call.
She's just got a call, sounds like an 87-year-old man who's having some abdominal pain.
She is now assessing it, seeing how serious it is, whether he can get to
a treatment centre or whether she might have to go out and see him.
All right, OK, so he sounds like he's quite unwell at the moment.
All right. We'll come out and have a little look at him shortly.
Dr Faye is off to see Bernard, an elderly man in a Bournemouth care home.
How typical is this for you, of the sort of thing you have to deal with?
This is a very typical case.
We tend to go out and see elderly people or the disabled or palliative patients, people who really can't
come to treatment centres, and we often go to assess them in their own home.
Deep breaths in and out through your mouth, OK?
Bernard has been feeling sick and unable to eat for several hours.
Dr Faye has just examined the patient.
She thinks it's a water infection.
This is the whole point of the service.
She can diagnose that, she can also prescribe drugs for it.
It saves this gentleman the stress of having to go into hospital.
-Nice to meet you, hope you're feeling better soon.
Bernard's now sorted with the medication he needs.
Meanwhile, back at the control room, voices will chatter
and keyboards clatter until 8am, as the out-of-hours service rolls on.
It's interesting, isn't it?
The thing that struck me throughout the different stories we've heard today is that
the children don't come with a handbook and that's pretty much
-what the out of hours thing is about.
-Absolutely, It's all about assurance.
If you have a child with a temperature and you're a new parent, maybe your parents
don't live near by, where do you get that reassurance from? What do you do? You don't know.
You can ring here and there'll be a nurse practitioner or GP on the phone.
They can tell you what they think it is.
They can prescribe medicine and I think that reassurance really helps people not to panic.
We talked about this being out-of-hours and this desk normally being empty.
We noticed people behind you now, so what's going on here?
There are computers here, so it's a resource, so other people are using the computers during the day.
Come 6.00-6.30 tonight, there will only be GPs and nurses here.
So if you're confused about something that's happening to your child and you call,
there'll be people here to give you advice?
Absolutely, and the number you'll find on your GP's answer phone.
As soon as they go off business at 6.00-6.30, the number on that
-will come through to a desk like this.
-Thanks very much.
Now, we have some very special girls to introduce to you here.
They are Savannah and Chanelle.
-Hi, there. You all right?
In this call, Savannah and Chanelle's mum, Donna, starts to struggle for breath.
She has the most severe type of asthma.
It suddenly worsens and it's up to Savannah here,
whose voice you hear on this 999 call, to get emergency help.
Well, it was Helen that took that call from Savannah. Quite a call.
-Yeah, it was.
-Did you know it wasn't a prank straight away?
After a second or two, yeah.
Because it was the school holidays as well,
so I'd been getting a lot of prank calls.
But as soon she came on, I knew it was serious.
And she was only five at the time,
but she was able to give you some really key information.
Yeah, she told me her mum had gone blue, and she told me she couldn't breathe.
And then she got a letter, to get her address.
-She did really well.
And really key to this as well, you diagnosed that she had asthma,
how did you find that out?
Just by asking her the questions.
Asking her what her mum was doing,
because she was going blue round the mouth.
So we knew she was struggling breathing. But she did really well.
And she stayed really calm throughout.
Yeah, I've never known a little girl, or a kid that young, stay so calm.
Let's see what happened next.
Well, Donna, Savannah and Chanel's mum, has had severe brittle asthma since she was born,
and these children watch over their mum all the time.
She is too ill to come today, but we've got Nana - I'm not allowed to call you Granny, am I!
-They really take a lot of responsibility.
Tell us a little bit about what they do day-to-day.
Savannah is the main one that has a 6th sense and wakes up,
and usually gets her sister up if there's a problem.
Between them, they usually get the oxygen out, her medication,
and they usually ring me, but that day, cos Mum was already blue, she knew there wouldn't be time.
So Savannah, just tell me,
if you can remember that day, how did you know that Mummy was ill?
Is it because her breathing was funny? Yeah?
So what did you do when you saw her breathing strangely?
Did you get her mobile?
-And you helped as well, what were you doing?
-I got her oxygen and I got her tablets.
You've been brilliant for your mum. Donna couldn't make it here today,
but we showed her that call you made that day and this was her reaction.
If they hadn't phoned, I probably would have died.
That was it, I would have ended up in intensive care straightaway.
So she did good. Really good, yeah.
They both know what to do all the time.
They know how to give me oxygen, my nebulisers, they know how to do all of that,
what medication I need. Everything, really.
The only thing they can't do is give me injections.
Savannah has a sixth sense, she just wakes up in the middle of the night
and just comes in the room, if I'm not breathing, and she just knows.
Both the girls, they are dead brave, I'm really proud of them both.
Chanel and Savannah. Great. I don't know what I'd do without them!
Quite a lot of responsibility for them, isn't it?
It is difficult, having to work
and knowing I'm leaving the children in charge of someone who's terminally ill.
Obviously I do have to work.
-What's that say?
-"I phoned the ambulance."
Is that what you want to be when you grow up? An ambulance lady?
On the phone or in the ambulance?
-In the ambulance.
-Do you? Helping people?
It's difficult talking about it, but seeing that message from their mum...
It is emotional - every time I hear it, I get quite upset.
It is day-to-day life for us - they don't know different, they've seen us resuscitate lots of times.
Savannah's tried to resuscitate before, when she was quite a lot younger.
And really clear that you work as a team.
-Who's team leader?
-Are you team leader, Savannah?
She barks instructions, don't you? "Get the oxygen, get the tablets."
She's usually the one that does all the instructions.
All the talking. And do you like bossing your big sister about?
You do. Well, it's brilliant that you do.
Thank you very much for coming to talk to us. Thank you.
Remember sailor John Gilbert?
He's fallen down the hatch of a boat and it's proving to be a hard job to get him to safety.
He's badly injured his ankle, and there's a worry the blood supply to his foot has been cut off.
John is stranded on a jetty that's 300 metres away from the shore.
-You OK there?
-Is that a bit better?
It will be extremely difficult to carry him the distance.
Even so, the doctor has decided against manually manipulating the ankle back into shape.
It's a painful process and John would need to be heavily sedated,
something she feels is too risky in their present location.
Giving any sort of sedation and things, everything has side effects,
so you have to weigh up the risks and the benefits.
That's why we have to keep reassessing. At the moment, there isn't immediate compromise,
but we have to keep a watch over it.
It would be much safer for John if his ankle is corrected in hospital.
Paramedics Mark and Lisa are hoping that Ron, an old seafaring buddy,
can get his boat working so they can use it as a ferry.
It looks like the Tiny Ron will be a big help to John.
All right, John? If you want to keep on with the gas and air, how's the pain at the moment?
It's OK, it's the ankle that I can feel.
OK, legs coming first down here.
The team carefully shimmy along the narrow jetty,
as nobody, least of all John, wants to end up in the drink.
John and skipper Ron worked as sailors together and have been out on the high seas many times,
but nothing's ended up quite like this.
You're doing really well.
-OK, lower down.
With its unlikely crew of helicopter paramedics,
the makeshift medical launch disembarks for the mainland.
This is rare, that we get to travel on a boat!
-Let's just recap. We've done land, air and sea today.
-Just don't make a habit of it, John!
-No, not again.
MJ's seamanship is about to be called into question.
-Do you want me to do it?
-Not a bad effort.
I'd say, for my first time ever...
It's been a bit of a palaver, getting John this far, but with just one more awkward transfer...
There we go.
..and one more awkward obstacle to overcome...
..John is finally on dry land.
-Thank you for all your help.
-You're welcome, no problem at all.
Despite a painful injury, he's remained in good spirits throughout.
I'll release the pressure now, sweetheart, OK?
MJ wants to absolutely make sure
she doesn't need to manipulate John's ankle before he leaves for hospital.
-Can you feel me touching your foot?
-Does it feel the same as the other foot?
-If I touch over there? If I touch over there? Yep. Same?
-Over that side, yeah?
The air medics can now bid farewell to John.
Excellent. We're going to leave you in the hands of this lovely crew.
-Thank you very much indeed.
-Emma's doing a great job.
-Lovely, thank you.
-And all the best.
-Speedy recovery, John.
Ron has also said a quick goodbye after helping out his old shipmate.
We used to work on the Lord Nelson together, and we were known as the Old Gits!
-He's a good guy.
While John is taken to the nearby hospital in Reading, it's anchors away for the air ambulance crew
as they take a more familiar mode of transport back to base.
Glad to see John kept his good humour there.
Although he ended up in a land ambulance,
the doctor was brought to him courtesy of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance.
This helicopter covers Dorset and Somerset,
but South Western Ambulance is the only trust which has the use of four helicopters in all.
Today they're offering the fastest response to emergencies.
I thought we'd have a chat with the crew.
We'll start with Jon, shall we? Jon's a paramedic.
-Yes, that's right.
-So how does it work?
Where does the patient go, and what have you got on board here?
The patient goes on board this stretcher.
When we go to a job, all this comes off and goes with us.
That's the initial response, what we'll need.
The patient is loaded on there and slide in through that door.
How much kit have you got on board, compared to an ambulance?
You've got a much smaller space, so presumably you've got less kit?
We carry exactly the same as a normal ambulance does and some additional bits of kit.
Let's see some of the bits that are a bit different.
-This is fascinating.
-This is a drill, basically.
-It looks like a hand drill, but you use it over the old...
-Yeah, that's exactly right.
When the paramedics on scene try to get access -
maybe someone's in cardiac arrest - it's very difficult to do,
and we come along with this bit of equipment and assist very quickly.
A large needle goes on the end of the drill, and I drill that straight into the bone.
-Into the bone?
If you're trying to get into a vein to give medication, you can do it in the bone instead?
In the bone. It's been proven it's just as quick,
and this operation takes me about 20 seconds to do,
whereas the guys on the ground who haven't got this equipment
have probably tried for some time and not succeeded, we can just drill straight in, and we're done.
Can you show us how it slides in?
It's such a small space, I don't exactly see where the patient's going to go.
It's just a clip there, and I just literally lift that
and push it in.
-And that's where the patient sits.
-That's interesting - it goes into the boot. Can we have a look?
Come back here and have a look at this. It's amazing.
There is actually a whole boot section that opens up here.
You've got a whole load of other kit in there, as well.
Yeah, we don't take that initially. If we need that, we're in radio contact with the pilot
and we give him a shout, and he'll bring it to us.
Lovely. Come through with me, cos I want you to meet the pilot as well.
And the pilot is Phil. Here he is.
Nice to meet you.
How does this compare in terms of speed,
getting to and from accidents, by comparison to a land ambulance?
The aircraft cruises at about 100 - 135 knots,
which is about 150 miles an hour, in a straight line.
You don't have to worry about traffic or anything like that.
What sort of area can you land on?
The smallest we're allowed to is a 25 metre square,
-so that's about the length of a tennis court.
-It's not a great deal, is it?
No, but we create quite a lot of downdraft, so we have to be very cautious.
Is that why they close both sides of a motorway when you land, because of the downdraft?
Yes, and people watching us and rubbernecking as they go past.
-It must be distracting!
-Do they clear the air
like a road ambulance, so you can get through fast, with other air traffic?
It can do, if we need it. We have a priority call-sign
and air traffic will clear aircraft out of the way,
get them to overshoot to allow us through.
And Heathrow particularly are efficient and very, very good at doing that.
Thank you very much. OK.
I thought, last of all, we'd have a little chat with Simon here, who's also an air crew paramedic.
-What makes someone want to join air ambulance? You saw an accident, didn't you?
Something very memorable for me.
I was only on the road as a paramedic for three weeks.
I was called to a light aircraft crash
and there were two patients presented to us when we got there,
both with 60% - 70% burns and airway compromised,
so both recognised as critically ill patients.
We were able to call in the air ambulance within about 15 minutes,
and very shortly after, the police helicopter,
and we were able to utilise both of those aircraft
to fly both patients to definitive care.
And you went, "I want to be part of that."
Yeah, it was very important to me that day.
My first ever trip in a helicopter, and I'd just recently qualified, so it was very special
-and it gave me the ambition to want to join the air ambulance.
-Best job in the world?
It is, yeah. It's a privilege to be able to fly poorly people.
We're very pleased you guys are about and I'm pleased to say I haven't used you as a customer,
-but it's nice to know you're around.
Earlier in the programme, we heard about the remarkable rescue of seven-month-old baby Jayden.
He was moments from death after choking on pasta.
Emergency consultant Simon Bell treated Jayden when he arrived at hospital, and he joins us now.
It was really clear that he was in terrible trouble.
What do you do if your baby's choking?
The first priority is to clear the airway,
to allow oxygen to get in the lungs.
And you heard one of the paramedic instructions
when mum was on the phone, to lay the baby down, and have a look inside the mouth,
to see if there was anything that could be removed.
Often there is, and that can be the problem solved.
If that's not the case, then what you need to do is deliver some blows to the back.
-You've got a little assistant?
-We've got Resus Annie here.
You lie the baby on your lap
and you deliver five blows, quite hard, quite sharp,
to between the shoulder blades.
They are hard, but this is life-saving, isn't it?
-Very much so, yes.
-And the idea is to shift whatever's is choking.
It helps to dislodge it up from the upper airway and, hopefully, out onto the floor.
OK, if that doesn't work?
Then you need to go and get more specialist help.
Certainly dial 999 and then, when the pre-hospital people get there,
they'll start to deliver some oxygen.
OK, and with the call as well, you do any of this before you think of going to the phone, don't you?
-Yes, always try that first.
-It's really important to dislodge it.
If you can clear the airways, you can divert the emergency.
-Very clear. Thank you very much.
-No problem. Thank you.
Life-changing advice there, if you listened carefully.
Earlier on, we got to meet the air ambulance crew,
and I said, come and have a chat after the show.
They got as far as the doorway and disappeared, and it might be to do with Sharon, who can explain.
Why aren't they having a cup of coffee?
-Well, I've sent them out on a job.
-OK, so what have they been called out to?
They've gone out to the Purbecks.
-Lovely coastal area.
-That's a lovely cliff walk, isn't it?
Very nice out there for cliff walking.
And a lady has unfortunately fallen this morning and hurt her ankle.
You've had to choose between two jobs?
I have, I had to choose between two and ask the coastguard for assistance on a second one
that's only a mile or so down the coast from the first incident.
-Somebody who's fallen and hurt their leg?
How extraordinary. Thank you very much.
It's like the old joke, isn't it?
"Doctor, I've broken my leg in two places."
"Well, don't go to those two places."
Two at the same time - that's how busy they are.
I couldn't believe they're gone already.
Absolutely. Did you fancy a trip? If you're ill enough, you don't care, do you?
-I don't like helicopters.
-Did you see that drill for drilling into the bone?
-I didn't like that either.
-Do you not?
But if you're ill, you've got to have it, haven't you?
They do just an amazing job.
Great to look around a bit of kit like that, it's a real boy's toy.
-That's all for today. Join us next time for more Real Rescues.
-See you then. Bye-bye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd.
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Paramedics fight to save the life of a baby choking on food, while two young sisters step in to bring emergency help to their mother.