Series following the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Pilot Steve lands in the middle of an army camp and darkness threatens to ground a transplant patient's lifesaving flight.
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If you're critically ill or injured in a place like this,
there's only one thing that can save you, and that's speed.
Wherever you are, this helicopter with a team of pilots and paramedics
will fly to your rescue at two and a half miles a minute.
These are Yorkshire's helicopter heroes.
'When the people of Britain's biggest county dial 999,
'there's a good chance help will come from the skies.
'The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is ready to scramble 365 days a year
'and each one brings a new life-or-death emergency.
'On Helicopter Heroes, a child's knocked down in an army town.
'Helimed 99 swoops to the rescue.'
You must not go any further left.
'A 120-mile mercy mission is a dying transplant patient's only hope of survival.
'The team are called to a Scout camp after an accident on a rope swing.
'And an off-duty paramedic becomes the hero of a nasty bike accident.'
I just stopped to see what was going on.
This is Catterick, the biggest garrison town in the British army.
When I was a soldier I used to live here.
It's used to getting bad news, often from Iraq or Afghanistan.
But one day, a terrible accident here
shocked the whole town.
'Most of the 10,000 soldiers based here have combat medical skills,
'to save lives on the battlefield.
'But this afternoon, that knowledge is used on a ten-year-old boy
'knocked down on his way home from school.
'Two off-duty soldiers are working on Nial Ryan. He's badly hurt.
'Now, Helimed 99 is on the case.'
We're going to divert and go up to Catterick,
see if we can get him on board and get him up to James Cook.
We'll be about... Ten minutes, we'll be there.
'The crew's updated by the ambulance control room. The news isn't good.
'Nial has a broken leg, but that could be the most obvious injury.
'Head injuries, internal bleeding and spinal damage
'are all possibilities that the paramedics need to think about.'
With open fractures, they're prone to infection.
The last thing that you want is any infections getting into that area,
where the bone is coming through.
All of us in the ambulance service
find it difficult dealing with children and trauma.
We've got kids of our own.
You only have to see the distressed family.
Down and left, at the crossroads.
Can you see the roadblock?
You've got a school. That's looking to be adjacent.
'With the barracks 500 feet below, the team spot a big problem.
'Nial's in the main road through the town. There's nowhere to land.'
Can you not drop me in this army compound directly...?
But there's a big fence up.
But there's a guard room where them yellow bollards are.
They'll just let me through.
'Security is tight at one of Europe's largest army bases.
'Every landing site seems to be surrounded by barbed wire and locked gates.'
Not happy about landing in MoD property.
Well, if you don't, mate. Don't.
-I'm committed now, mate.
Still clear right.
'Pilot Steve Cobb has no choice but to land in the compound
'used to store vehicles for Catterick's three military brigades.
'As feared, the compound is protected by a ten-foot high fence.
'Although a few squaddies have come to help, no-one's got a key.'
-I don't think I'd have looked too gracious!
'Having a head for heights comes with the job for Lee.
'But he's rarely had to overcome an obstacle this high.
'Lee won't thank me for saying this, but he's a granddad.
'This is no easy climb, but with no other suitable landing site,
'he has no choice but to scale the fence.
'Paramedics and an off-duty doctor have been treating Nial.
'They're so concerned about him, they've prepared him for a flight in Helimed 99.'
The doctor from the Great North Air Ambulance is here on scene.
They're packaging him now and we're going to fly him to James Cook.
'But with the helicopter still stuck behind the locked fence,
'the team won't be able to help their young patient
'unless Lee can find somewhere for Helimed 99 to land.'
'Coming up, Steve must get as close to Nial as possible,
'but that means touching down in the centre of town.
'Camp's over for a Scout who fell off a rope swing.
'And the off-duty paramedic who found himself a patient, thanks to the wildlife.'
Possibly a deer!
The Helimed team fight the clock.
Saving time helps them save lives,
but there's one race they can't win.
This helicopter is not equipped to fly in the dark. When the sun sets, it must be on the ground.
Your sunset time is one minute to seven...
'At Helimed HQ,
'the crew are coordinating an emergency operation that none of them have dealt with before.'
A transfer from Sheffield to Newcastle.
We're doing the calculations -
the flying times, re-fuel times, the loading of the patient.
We'll run out of daylight to get back on the ground.
'In South Yorkshire, a woman is in desperate need of a lung transplant.
'Only Helimed 98 can save her life,
'but time isn't on her side.'
Hello, it's Dave on the air desk...
'The problem is the donor lung is in Newcastle.
'The patient is 120 miles away in South Yorkshire.'
Because of sunset times, we haven't got enough time to get to Newcastle.
Potentially leaving Sheffield airport 6 o'clock.
You've an hour and a half.
Where can we get in 45 minutes from Sheffield airport?
'The patient's on her way to the airport,
'where Helimed 98 will begin a relay race north.
'The flying paramedics are used to doing things in a hurry.
'Today, they've got to get to their patient as fast as they can.
'In fading light, the first leg is Leeds to Sheffield.
'That's 12 minutes in Helimed 98.'
We're trying to cut corners off
so we can get the patient up to hospital.
'Even at 1,000 feet up and 150 miles an hour,
'the planning process doesn't stop.'
So where can we be in 40 minutes?
-Yeah, it's going to be Ripon.
'It's not just the setting sun that's forcing the pace.'
The organ will be taken out of the deceased.
You've got limited time when you can put the organ into the recipient.
'Lung transplants were first carried out over 20 years ago.
'Today, more patients survive for longer after receiving new lungs.'
'Their patient is Diane Wakefield.
'She's been waiting for 18 months for this day.'
We're going to get you comfortable.
As soon as they finish refuelling we can be off.
She thought it wasn't long before she couldn't have the transplant
and she might not have long to live.
'Diane's had nine false alarms,
'where the donor organ has not been compatible.
'Finally, doctors at the Freeman Hospital 70 miles away in Newcastle,
'think they've found her some new lungs.'
Just lay your head back.
'As Diane's lungs are not working properly,
'she needs a constant supply of oxygen to help her breathe.
'As paramedics Paul and Pete load her in Helimed 98,
'her oxygen supply stops working.'
For some reason...
'Helimed 98 has its own built-in supply of oxygen.'
'If they don't reattach it soon, Diane will stop breathing.'
-RUSH OF AIR
-There we go.
'They've done it. Diane is ready for take-off.'
The emotions are strange, thinking she's going to have a transplant.
'"Am I going to be here tomorrow?"'
'Any transplant operation carries huge risks and there's no guarantee surgery will work.
'With darkness descending,
'all the team can do is give the doctors the best chance
'of giving Diane a quality of life
'that she's only been able to dream about.
'Coming up, Diane's airborne,
'but will Helimed 98 win its relay race with the setting sun?
'Paramedic Lee marshals Steve into a town-centre touchdown.'
You must not go further left.
'And passers-by make sure a crash that injured a motorist
'doesn't also hurt his wallet.'
There's cash everywhere!
For many teenagers, Scout camp is the highlight of summer,
but getting some fresh air and adventure can also be risky
when there's a rope swing around.
'Helimed 99 has been scrambled to Scammonden reservoir,
'a manmade lake in the Pennines.
'Thanks to the speed of the M62,
'this is a popular area for adventure courses.
'A Scout on camp has fallen from a rope swing.
'He could have serious injuries.'
A ten-year-old boy has fallen off a swing.
A queried fractured arm and a leg injury.
'It may be next to the M62, but no land ambulance could make it here.'
-We've got some people down here.
-Could be them.
Looks like there's somebody lying down.
'Pilot Steve is forced to land with a steep slope on one side.
-'There's no room for error.'
-You're quite close.
'They're feet from the water's edge but they make it down safely.
'What started as a bit of fun,
'has ended in agony for ten-year-old James.
'He's been lying on the floor for an hour. Everyone's worried.'
-Does that hurt there? Down here?
'We're a Cub Scout group.'
We've come up for an adventures week. Came across the rope swing.
Unfortunately, James let go while he was swinging.
'There's no time to waste.
'Paramedics decide to get James to hospital as soon as they can.'
'The main problems are logistical. We're down at the bottom there.'
Difficult access for the land crew. So we just package him best we can.
He's doing quite well. He's in a bit of discomfort but not too bad.
We want to get him off the hillside, somewhere warm.
'James's mum has arrived.
'She's well aware of what an awkward place this is - especially with the wrong footwear.'
I drove with an orienteering map.
I thought I was going to end up in Rochdale but I saw Church Lane.
I thought, "I'm here!" But had to run down here in my high heels!
'The paramedics know that children aren't as good as adults detailing their symptoms.
'Until he's been to hospital, James has to wear a rigid collar.
'But another item of the team's kit will make him more comfortable.
'He's been lying in the cold.
'Thanks to a thermal cocoon they call the pizza bag, he's beginning to warm up.'
FEMALE: You're doing well, James.
'It's the second time James has been airborne today.
'This flight will last longer, but not much.
'In three minutes, he's on his way to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary,
'where he was found to have no major injuries and was back at Scout camp the following day.
'Coming up, surgeons race to get organs to the operating theatre.
'Will their patient make it?'
Fingers crossed, Diane.
'The couple on a break from the fire brigade
'went to work on their camping holiday.'
We're used to dealing with emergency services.
When a ten-year-old was knocked down in this street,
some off-duty soldiers used combat medical skills to save his life.
Until their patient's in surgery, he's not out of danger.
'In one of Europe's largest army barracks at Catterick Garrison,
'ten-year-old Nial was hit by a car and sustained serious injuries.
'The accident happened right in the centre of town.
'With nowhere to land, Helimed 99 is behind a locked gate,
'in a secure army compound.
'Nial needs to be in hospital but his flight won't happen
'unless paramedic Lee can find somewhere for pilot Steve to land near the scene.'
Ten-year-old male with an open fractured right tib and fib.
He's also got a fractured dislocated right shoulder.
'As well as being a paramedic, Lee is a trained helicopter pilot.
'He knows exactly what size site is safe for Steve to land on.'
You're clear to reposition the aircraft onto the crossroads.
'Lee doesn't have much choice.
'Town centres aren't designed for a three-ton helicopter.
'Lee thinks a crossroads 100 yards from Nial is big enough.'
Watch that traffic mate, there, will you for me?
'The police have closed the road
'but there are buildings, traffic lights and road signs yards from where Steve will try to land.
'Dozens of schoolchildren have come out to watch the dramatic events.
'Private pilots are not allowed to land here.
'Few would want to. It's too dangerous.
'But Steve has over 5,000 hours' flying time and is vastly experienced.'
-Big lamppost here.
-You've got that one on the left.
The only visual I've got now is the left one.
'With traffic lights and lampposts metres from rotorblades spinning 400 times a minute,
'Steve must precisely manoeuvre the helicopter towards the crossroads, with help from Lee.'
Traffic still holding.
You look a little bit low to me but I can't confirm, Steve.
I have no visual. You must not go any further left.
You're clear of the lamppost, clear of the tree.
'They've done it.'
Brilliant, Steve. Super.
Well done, you.
'Lee and fellow paramedic Lee Gray
'must now change from aviators to medics,
'and begin preparing Nial for his flight to hospital.'
We're packaging him now and we'll fly him to James Cook.
That's quite a tight landing - trees, lampposts, telegraph wires,
traffic lights and children.
Fortunately, the police secured the scene and Lee guided me in.
Couldn't have got much tighter.
Block that corner for me.
'Nial has lived in Catterick Garrison all his life.
'His dad is an ex-soldier and mum Fran an army nurse.'
-Feet first, guys, if you can.
'Ground medics and an off-duty doctor have stabilised Nial.
'He's definitely broken some bones
'but the team's worried he might have suffered internal injuries.
'Over 10,000 children are killed or injured on our roads every year.
'Nial's mum has been campaigning for safety improvements to this road.
'Just last week, another youngster was hit by a bus nearby.'
GROANING Nial, I'm here!
All right, Mum. Do you want to come up?
'The Helimed team rarely let young patients fly on their own. Children need a parent's reassurance.
'This flight won't faze mum Fran.
'She's flown in helicopters in the past.'
I know it's painful but we're going up in a second, off to the hospital.
'Steve's done really well landing.'
We want to get the child away as soon as we possibly can.
It's got to be safe for Steve to take off.
'Word has spread and there's a big crowd to watch Helimed 99 depart.
'Taking off is the most dangerous part of any flight.
'In a site littered with obstacles,
'a mechanical fault at this stage could be disastrous.
'Coming up, doctors operate, but can they save Nial's shattered leg?
'And husband-and-wife bikers find themselves treated side-by-side.'
Let's catch up on the race to save transplant patient Diane Wakefield
on her tenth trip to hospital for new lungs.
'The crew of Helimed 98 are in a race against failing daylight
'to get a seriously ill patient to hospital to have a lung transplant.
'Diane Wakefield has been waiting for this day for 18 months.
'A donor organ has become available and it could be compatible.
'The problem is, she's in Sheffield and all the surgeons are over 70 miles away in Newcastle.'
Sheffield Airport, Helimed 98 departing to the north.
'As the helicopter takes off,
'the transplant team at the Freeman Hospital are starting to get ready for Diane.'
-I've got a good feeling about this.
-Fingers crossed, Diane.
'As Helimed 98 races the setting sun,
'another dash is under way 1,000 feet below.
'A surgical team is also heading for Newcastle with the donor lungs Diane desperately needs.'
-When were you last up here, Diane?
-Were you not compatible?
It's Dave on the air desk...
'Despatcher Dave Gardner has been trying to organise a Newcastle helicopter
'to pick Diane up and fly her the last leg of her relay to hospital.'
Any luck with the support unit from Teesside?
ON RADIO: 'Negative, he doesn't want to pull them out of area
'unless there's a problem with the land transfer.
'I think we've got a crew waiting at Ripon now. Over.'
Diane, it'll be an ambulance ride from Ripon, I'm afraid.
That's all right.
You should be there for about half past seven.
'The truth is, someone has already died to provide the donor organ.
'The shortest possible delay
'will give Diane the best chance of survival.'
It's crucial that the timing is simultaneous in assessing the organ
and getting the recipient, Diane, into our hospital for preparation.
We need to minimise the period where the lung is explanted from the donor, has no blood supply
and is stored in an ice box.
-Going into land now, Diane.
-OK, my love.
Best landing of the day! Managed to get it down without crashing!
'They're trying to keep Diane smiling by teasing pilot Tim.
'They know this is deadly serious.
'If she doesn't get there on time, there isn't going to be another opportunity.'
SURGEON: I'm sure she felt it within herself some extra sense
that this was THE day.
Critically, the ambulance got her here in time
for us to proceed with the transplant.
'The operation went well and, despite some setbacks,
'Diane was soon breathing her own air for the first time in years.'
I was desperate for a new lung.
You do think, "It's never going to happen.
"I'm one of the unlucky ones
"that dies while I'm waiting."
But I was proved wrong!
Much to our delight.
Hopefully, this is a start of a whole new life.
'She'll never forget those 18 months confined to her home.
'Or the nine trips for a transplant that never happened
'because the organs were unsuitable or given to someone else.'
It's like you've been run over by a steamroller.
But then again, you're so happy for them,
because they've got what you want.
And you're so pleased that someone's given a chance to live again,
to be able to breathe again.
You are actually pleased for them,
even though you're devastated for yourself.
'Coming up, Nial's survived a serious road accident, but will he walk again?'
I know from experience, if you're a member of the emergency services,
you may take your uniform off, but you can never escape your job.
I once collared a shop-lifter when I was just walking out of the gym.
If you're medically trained, there's no such thing as a day off.
Duty can call at the most inconvenient of times.
His obs, everything's stable...
'That's what's happened today to Dave Butterfield,
'an ambulance officer and keen biker.
'He was riding across the moors when he came across three injured bikers,
'victims of a nasty smash.'
I've seen all the people stopped here in the distance.
I knew something had happened so I stopped to see what was going on.
'Christine Lock was riding pillion behind husband Steve when another rider crashed and hit their bike.
'Christine has a broken arm, leg and cuts. Steve's also hurt.'
A motorcyclist was overtaking one of the cars
when he's been in collision with a vehicle in the opposing direction.
He's flipped off his machine and hit another motorcyclist, causing him to lose control.
'Dave's not off duty any more.
'He's coordinating a major rescue operation
'including Helimed 99.'
We've got 30 miles to run, so 15 minutes...
'In the skies above North Yorkshire,
'pilot Craig Redmond wishes he'd taken the day off.
'It's full of amateur pilots.'
We're coming across the A1. We've got Linton.
Further south, Rawcliffe and the area of York.
Very, very busy with gliders.
I've got three or four visual over Linton.
Ahead, even busier. It needs to be a good lookout from all the crew.
'Craig and paramedic Lee Grey know there's no-one to help them avoid a mid-air collision.
'It's up to them to see and avoid other planes.'
The weather's perfect for biking.
It's a lovely sunny day and a Sunday as well. It gets them all out.
A fast straight road, it's going to involve multiple vehicles, usually.
'Back on the A171, the main road to the seaside resort of Whitby,
'Dave's prepared a landing site for the chopper.'
-I've got a stump on my side. Should be OK.
-Clear to your right.
Visual with the road on the left...
'And he's there to give paramedic Tony a briefing on his patients.'
I've got a lady and a husband off the red bike.
I've got a gentleman off another bike at the far side.
Obs, everything is stable.
The lady, possibly left leg, left arm injury, query fractures.
Man in blue shirt, her husband, pain on lefthand side.
Gentleman being treated by my other crew, injuries to his right foot.
A bad cut, I believe. That's where we are.
'All three bikers were thrown on the grass verge by the impact.
'Christine's the most seriously hurt.
'Steve is more worried about her than his own injuries.'
-So there's no pain in this hand at all?
'The police have their own concerns.
'They are determined to reduce injuries and deaths among bikers
'and this incident is already under investigation.'
-Is that pain in your arm?
-In your wrist.
Are you all right, Christine? > Yeah. Yeah.
We're just taking her watch off.
Just hold your hand there.
'Like the riders in the accident,
'most of the eye-witnesses were on their way to the coast.'
It's the innocent bikers have got hit for no reason.
'Dave's still busy.'
I chose the wrong route on the wrong day.
'The biker who was the first to crash will go to hospital by road.
'His sports bike is badly damaged.'
'Because her injuries are more serious, Chris will be flying,
'and leaving Steve behind.'
We're about five minutes from take-off.
'With the first casualty heading for hospital,
'the police thank Dave for his help.'
He's made my job a lot easier, assessing the casualties and administering first aid.
'Chris was flown to Scarborough hospital,
'where she and Steve were allowed to share a ward.
'Their bike needs major repairs but they plan to ride again next year.'
It's tough when duty ruins your day off.
It's harder when you're the user of your own emergency service.
It never happened to me, but one paramedic's trip to the coast
ended up in meeting some workmates he'd rather not have bumped into.
'The Kilburn White Horse, a landmark overlooking the Vale of York.
'It's a tourist attraction carved in the side of the North York Moors.
'Today, it's a navigational aid for the crew of Helimed 98.'
There's the white horse.
'They've been called to a road smash by colleague Dave Gardner,
'who alternates shifts as their despatcher with duties on a road ambulance.'
This 4x4's been on its side.
The driver's one of our lads from Harrogate.
He thinks something came out of the woods, possibly a deer.
He swerved to avoid it. He's been trapped for about 45 minutes.
He thinks his pelvis has gone, from the pain in his back.
'But Dave's not the only familiar face today.'
This is Steve, a paramedic at Harrogate.
We think he's hit a tree.
Complaining of a lot of pain in his hip.
'Steve was driving his girlfriend and kids back from a day by the sea when he lost control of his 4x4,
'which rolled several times.'
We'd been to Whitby. We were coming along there. I was asleep.
He thought he saw something which made him swerve.
'It took firefighters half an hour to free him.
'Steve diagnosed his own injury.'
ALL TALK AT ONCE
'He fears his pelvis is broken.
'There's no shortage of woodland around here.
'The cause of the accident is hiding.
'Steve swerved to avoid a deer.'
You do see quite a lot coming onto the road.
It's one of those natural phenomenons, isn't it?
Make sure they let me know. Be sure somebody gets you home.
'Steve's girlfriend was dozing.
'Her shocked mother and kids have been taken in by a local farmer.'
It could have been worse. We'll just thank our lucky stars.
'The family's been very lucky.
'Steve's injured his arm, but the air bag prevented further injury,
'apart from his broken pelvis.
'The two children were showered in glass.
'Steve's answering the questions he normally asks.'
Can you feel me touching you?
-Can you feel me touching you there?
Have a deep breath for me again.
-Just in that...
-Just in that side?
It's probably nicer for him, people that you know.
It's a lot better for him. He'll be fine.
Right? One, two, three, go.
'Treating a fellow paramedic
'is an unusual experience for the Helimed team, too.'
In 23 years, I've been to two for a paramedic or technician.
It must be even stranger for Steve receiving it from the other end.
He knows what's happening.
'Steve's 4x4 is a write-off.
'At least he's repairable.
'In a few minutes, he'll be a patient in Harrogate hospital, a place he knows well.'
'The cause of the accident is as unusual as the patient.'
It is quite rare for a wild animal to be involved in incidents.
Certainly, up in the Dales,
they are a factor that motorists should consider when driving.
If a large animal comes out in front of you,
it's almost like, if not worse than, hitting a human.
They cause a lot of damage to the vehicle and to the person.
It's worse if it's a motorcycle.
Drop a little when we come off. That's it. And down.
'Steve spent more than a week in hospital.
'And he's never been short of visitors.
'Most of his workmates drop in three or more times a day.'
When you're on holiday, it's hard to leave work behind when you're a member of the emergency services.
Imagine driving down a country lane and you come across a car smash.
Do you drive on? Or do you stop and try and help?
If you're a fire officer, it's an easy decision.
'Paramedic Lee Davison has touched down at a single-vehicle shunt in the Yorkshire Dales,
'to find he has a helping hand.
'Or two, to be precise.
'Fire officer John Scott has been holding the driver's head for 15 minutes.'
How did you get in the back, mate? Through this door?
I'll pass that to you. OK?
'John knew he could have a broken neck.
'So he climbed in the back to help.'
There was a passer-by that's been keeping the guy's head still
in case he had any neck injuries.
They've done all the right things.
Waited for us to get here. We've taken over now.
I was dealing with him primarily.
It'll be us that'll fly him off to Harrogate.
Going to pop a tube into the back of your hand.
'The driver's got a deep gash in his scalp.'
I'm going to have to move this. It's a bit of lamb.
'He's been hit by a cash register and a leg of lamb he was carrying on the back seat.
'Now money's blowing around!
'John's partner Lisa is doing her best to collect it.'
There's cash everywhere. He's been coming back from work.
There's a cash till in the back.
Because my husband's a fire officer,
he offered to give advice and first aid.
He stabilised him, and we just provided towels and septic wipes.
Collected a load of money to put it back in the car for him, bless him.
'They were in their mobile home when they came across the accident.
'They were well qualified to help.'
We're both in the fire service so we're used to it!
I'm in the control room so we're used to dealing with emergency services.
'Thanks to their 999 call, the emergency services are arriving in force.
'Lee knows that he also needs John's local colleagues.
'Without the fire brigade's cutters, they'll never free their patient.'
Dave, can you activate the fire service? We're going to need them to get him out.
'Now reinforcements have arrived,
'someone can take over the head holding.
'And off-duty hero John can resume his holiday.'
Just finished doing the washing-up so I had my Marigolds to hand.
'They had just left a local campsite when they saw the accident.'
The vehicle rolled three times so there's a risk of spinal injuries.
Keeping his head nice and still, making sure he doesn't go anywhere.
'Cutting the driver free is not going to be easy.
'But the firefighters around here
'are as well equipped as John's team back in Nottinghamshire.
'And the roof is soon off the car,
'allowing the Helimed team to extract their patient.'
Keep nice and still for me. Keep still.
'The driver was flown to hospital in Harrogate,
'where his head was stitched up.
'He later failed a breath test.'
And I'm pleased to say, all our patients recovered.
Here in Catterick Garrison, everyone's mind is on ten-year-old Nial Ryan,
knocked down here on his way home from school.
Big lamppost here.
'There's no doubt, Helimed 99 pilot Steve Cobb was the hero,
'squeezing his helicopter into a town-centre crossroads.'
You're all clear front left. Clear of the lamppost, clear of the tree.
'The rotorblades feet from street lamps, traffic lights and trees.
'Thanks to his flying, ten-year-old Nial, who was critically injured when he was knocked down by a car,
'is now on his way to hospital.'
And blades are clear of lamppost.
'The crash team at James Cook in Middlesbrough are on stand-by.'
From Catterick to James Cook.
'It's ten minutes since Steve lifted off from Catterick.
'Now, he's on final approach to the hospital helipad.'
-Pilot safe lock.
-Safe lock rear door.
-Safe lock front left.
'The crew know patients don't get much more critical than Nial.
'The next 24 hours will be crucial.
'Inside James Cook Hospital, doctors operate on their young patient for much of the evening.
'Just 48 hours later, Nial's well enough to be transferred to the children's ward.
'He's from an army family. Mum Fran's now in civvy street.
'And she was just around the corner when the accident happened.'
< I was stuck in the traffic
that had started to build up.
So I had stopped, and my phone rang.
A taxi driver got my number and told me that he'd been in an accident.
I went up the road the wrong way, round the corner.
And it was just opposite the bus stop.
My knees just went beneath me.
'Nial's arm and leg were badly broken and he lost a lot of blood.
'His mum knows she has the Helimed team to thank for his rapid surgery.'
The air crew were fantastic.
I remember the helicopter flying overhead.
Then one of the military police saying
they were going to land it in the middle of the crossroads.
You don't think it's that big.
The way they did it, I mean, that's one hell of a pilot that did that.
'Army families are used to facing adversity on almost a daily basis.
'So it's no surprise that, a few weeks later, Nial is back
'at one of the four primary schools in Catterick Garrison.'
-CHILDREN: Good morning!
'Nial's accident has been the talk of the playground,
'a welcome change for families waiting for news from Afghanistan and Iraq.
'And first lesson is to show what Nial should have been doing when he crossed the road.'
-What things help us cross a road?
-< Traffic lights.
Are they all stopped?
-Is it safe to cross? Keep looking as you cross the road.
Excellent. Off to school.
Perfect. Give them a round of applause.
'North Yorkshire County Council's road safety guru Neil Strickland
'sees youngsters injured on our roads all too often.
'Now he's got the perfect tool - the frame holding Nial's leg together.'
-What do you think was your first mistake?
-Running across the road the first time.
-What should you have done?
-Used the traffic lights.
If the car had been going faster it would have been a lot worse.
At least you're still here.
I never heard about any of my friends getting hurt that much.
It really scared me.
We've got a long time left in our lives and we can't go around being scared but you have to be careful.
'Catterick lives with the reality of war in Afghanistan.
'Barely a week goes by without a family seeing a friend or colleague on the casualty list.
'But the accident affected the whole town.
'Without the medical skills of some soldiers, Nial may not have lived to reach hospital.'
When Helicopter Heroes comes back,
'paramedic Sammy meets a difficult patient.'
'The team fight to save a farm worker trapped in a baling machine.'
We have to amputate your left arm.
'It's a tight squeeze as paramedic Tony leads the operation to rescue
'the victim of a bizarre accident.
'And a holiday on the coast ends in a serious crash.'
A nasty open skull fracture.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Pilot Steve touches down in the middle of an army camp after a 10-year-old boy is knocked down, darkness threatens to ground a transplant patient's life-saving flight and an off duty medic becomes a patient.
Rav Wilding presents.