Episode 19 Helicopter Heroes


Episode 19

A look at the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. A quad biker falls 60 feet, a teenager is feared paralysed and a motorist is forced to swerve off the M1 at 70mph.


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Transcript


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If you're critically ill or seriously injured in a place like this

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there's only one thing that can save you, and that's speed.

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It doesn't matter where you are,

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this helicopter with its team of pilots and paramedics

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will fly to your rescue at two and a half miles a minute.

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These are Yorkshire's Helicopter Heroes.

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When the people of Britain's biggest county dial 999,

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there's a good chance help will come from the skies.

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The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is ready to scramble 365 days a year

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and each one brings a new life or death emergency.

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Today on Helicopter Heroes the team fly to the rescue of a man

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who's fallen 60 feet and then been crushed by his own quad bike.

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We can't get his legs straight.

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A teenager's back is broken. Will he walk again?

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My dad says I were just saying to him "I'm gonna die".

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This motorist shouldn't be moved but her car could be about to catch fire.

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High in the hills, a mountain biker's banged his head but he's not lost his sense of humour.

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I feel like a new man. So does the wife.

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You can have an awful lot of fun for just a few grand if you buy a quad bike.

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It's the popular new way to get off the beaten track

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and to explore the countryside. But be warned, it can be a risky hobby.

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Quad bikes are designed for driving across rough terrain.

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They're robust, heavy, and powerful.

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Argh... aaaargh.

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Keep it nice and steady, mate.

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Stuart Robinson, or Swampy, as he's known to his friends,

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lives for quad biking, but today it could've cost him his life.

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Go on, mate.

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He tried to drive up an almost vertical bank near his home in Macclesfield,

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but gravity had other ideas.

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His injuries from the fall have left him in agony, and in danger.

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Can you straighten your leg for me?

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Just relax. Just relax as much as you can, mate.

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Helimed 98 is on its way across the Pennines and into Cheshire.

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We're heading out through the Manchester area, first call Macclesfield.

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We've got a report of a gentleman who's come off a quad bike,

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not sure of his injuries at the moment. We'll see when we get there

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and decide which hospital he's going to go to.

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A message from the air desk spells out the seriousness of the accident.

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RADIO BUZZER

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Air, Rodger. This gentleman has fallen six zero, 60, feet, and the quad bike's landed on top of him.

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Paramedic Paul Bradbury's first to spot the hi-vis colours of the ambulance crew.

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They're in the park there.

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Crack the door, mate, there might be a flat bit here.

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The hilly ground below was too much for a quad bike - it's certainly no place for a helicopter.

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Look at that for a helipad.

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Yeah, I'll keep left... we need to get it there.

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Go on keep your eyes out, mate, for a landing.

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Paramedic Colin Jones is the first to catch up with the ambulance crew.

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-He's 25, he's been on a quad, got halfway up.

-OK.

-It's tipped up, he's rolled back

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-and eventually the quad's landed on him.

-Right, OK.

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Most of the pain's in his hips, we can't get his legs straight.

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Stuart "Swampy" Robinson has life-threatening injuries.

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His pelvis and femur - or thighbone - are badly damaged.

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There are vital arteries in both areas and if one is severed

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the loss of blood could kill him.

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-Stuart?

-Yeah.

-Can you straighten your left leg for me?

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Just gently, go from under his knee.

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-Pull it, pull it, pull it.

-Argh!

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OK, mate, nice steady breaths.

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The paramedics have to work carefully and slowly.

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One wrong move and they could cause an artery to burst.

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What we're doing, chief, is putting something round your hip area, all right?

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OK.

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The pelvis injury will be the worst. He can bleed into his cavities from a pelvis injury

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so we're trying to stabilise the pelvis, which we have to before we move any further.

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What we don't want is to move and his pelvis split open completely

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because you can lose all your blood volume pretty quickly.

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The pain relief is kicking in and it can make you say some strange things.

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-I'm flying.

-You're flying? You will be in a minute.

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Keep hold of his right leg at the end.

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Swampy's going nowhere for now. His pelvis is secured

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but he remains in danger.

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The paramedics still have to deal with that broken thighbone.

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It's triggered internal bleeding that's made his leg swell.

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Now you're all trussed up, Stuart, aren't you?

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Sorry, mate. Keep going on that.

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The crew of Helimed 98 have to fix the injury fast

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or Swampy will struggle to survive the massive loss of blood.

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Coming up: Swampy's condition takes a turn for the worse.

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We're gonna have to straighten your leg out.

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The lorry driver who rushed to help a motorist who careered off the M1.

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Car's nothing.

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We can replace the car, can't we?

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And the motorcyclist whose body did this to a car needs a flight to hospital.

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The flying paramedics have to know their human anatomy,

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and they know that any injury to the spine is about as serious as it gets,

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which is why a call to treat the victim of a scooter accident in a South Yorkshire street

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is a top priority.

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There aren't many parts of Yorkshire

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where the Helimed team's highly skilled pilots struggle to find somewhere they can land,

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but in some of South Yorkshire's ex-mining communities,

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thousands of terrace houses are built back to back and there's little open space.

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Today it's critical Helimed 98 finds somewhere to land in the centre of Hoyland near Barnsley.

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A teenager riding a scooter has hit a car and been thrown into a wall.

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He can't feel his legs.

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98. All received, thanks, ETA approximately two minutes.

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98, over.

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The team are flying north from their Sheffield base.

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It only takes a few minutes to get there but it may take longer to find somewhere to land.

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What about the back of this yard - there seems to be a single blue car in that car park type thing?

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Yeah, got it.

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Into there?

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Yeah, we can get out there.

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Maybe we can come up as you turn left on the main road.

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Yeah, got it, right.

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Back of the club.

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Yeah.

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OK, mate.

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Obviously the Victorian streets of Yorkshire's pit villages were built without a thought for helicopters,

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but the miners loved their football so there's usually a pitch to put down on.

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Paramedics don't do a lot of running but this case is serious.

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James Vine knows the faster he finds the ground paramedics treating the patient,

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the faster they can get him to the chopper.

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Get the kids back.

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Jason Kirby is 18.

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He was riding his scooter with some mates when the crash happened.

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The lady in the car in front were actually indicating to turn right

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but the bike obviously didn't see that cos he just come straight round me and she turned.

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He slammed straight into the car.

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He shot straight off and hit the fence.

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Keep walking or go back up there.

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Many of the locals have turned out to see what's happened and who's been injured,

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including Jason's shocked mum and girlfriend.

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We've got to bend down. On three, one... two... three.

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We're going up here.

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Bring his helmet, just one helmet, whichever one he were wearing.

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Where's the other helmet wearer?

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The Helimed team and their ground colleagues do not see many cases as bad as this one.

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Every year only a thousand people suffer a spinal cord injury

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but most of those are suffered in accidents on our roads.

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There's a large laceration on his forehead.

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Although Jason has no sensation in his legs,

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the team are not telling him how serious this injury could be.

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Keeping a patient relaxed is vital but James is ensuring

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any back injury isn't made worse by the walk to the waiting chopper.

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We're going in feet first at 90 degrees.

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-How old is Jason?

-19. 18 or 19, Jason? 18.

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Paramedic Pete Valance wants the hospital to be prepared for Jason. Orthopaedic surgeons are on standby.

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Yeah, we've got an 18-year-old male motorcyclist off his bike into a wall.

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Total loss of sensation from about low thoracic.

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Every time Pete and James move Jason, they know they could be making his injury worse

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but a smooth flight in Helimed 98 is Jason's best chance of avoiding permanent paralysis

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and the prospect of spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

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Coming up: Jason's on his way to hospital

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but how badly injured is his spine?

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My dad says I were just saying to him, "I'm gonna die".

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A quad biker faces an agonising medical procedure to save his badly broken leg.

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Try and get the blood supply back to the lower part of his leg.

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And the team search for an injured cyclist in one of Yorkshire's most remote landscapes.

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Imagine driving along the motorway at 70 mph and finding debris in your lane -

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do you try and swerve or brake?

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Both have their dangers, but it's a dilemma faced by hundreds of motorists every day.

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The M1 is the UK's oldest long-distance motorway

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and despite the traffic, you can still drive from Leeds to London in around four hours.

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But one businesswoman isn't going to make it today.

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Her car has left the road and careered down an embankment.

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A lorry driver saw it happen.

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It were a piece of debris and the lady swerved.

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As you can see, she come straight off.

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I just stopped and just gave a bit of assistance, didn't want anything else happening to her.

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Just after this fence here.

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Paramedics Pat Greaken and Lee Davison are on board Helipad 98 today,

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and it's taken them just five minutes to get here from their Sheffield base.

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We don't know exactly what we're gonna find when we get there but

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it's only a couple of minutes up the road here.

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So we've just got airborne and we'll see what we can when we get there.

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98, are you now coming up to it?

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No, there's no ambulance there so...

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There's only a response car there.

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Divia Patel was on her way from her home in Leeds to a business meeting when the accident happened.

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Her Lexus smashed through a tree, punching a hole in the windscreen,

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and then rolled over.

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She's got a bit of a head injury on the right side of her temple.

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Her consciousness has been OK.

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She's just complaining of pain in her right shoulder.

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-She can move her legs, I'm just checking her arms.

-OK.

-Everything seems OK.

-Ow.

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Despite her seatbelt, Divia's suffered the full force of several impacts.

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She has a head wound and she could have hurt her neck.

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-Were you avoiding somebody else?

-It was something in the road.

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-Oh, right, and you've swerved to miss it?

-Yeah.

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Lean your head forward slightly, that's it. There doesn't seem to be any major injuries.

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There is some blood on her face and that

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but we're just gonna give her a good check over,

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make sure everything's OK.

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I don't think there's any serious injuries but you never know with these things.

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The driver's lucky to be alive but the police are concerned.

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Smoke's been seen coming from the engine.

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If fire breaks out, this could be serious.

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They've got risk of fire with the car here.

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So with the patient still in the car,

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there'll just be a quick rapid extrication if we can, quickly just get her clear of the car.

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You haven't got any spanners or owt in your car, have you?

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Pilot Tim's not taking any chances - fire and helicopters don't mix.

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We've landed closer than what we ought to,

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I'm contemplating whether to move the aircraft a bit further away.

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Right, that's fine now. You're doing really, really well now.

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Paramedic Lee thinks Divia's injuries may be largely superficial

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but he preferred not to rush the operation to remove her from the car.

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That may have to change.

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We're ready that if we need to extricate her before the crew get here, she's ready to do that,

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just in case there's a problem with the engine cos we don't want to bring her out onto the mud

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and her getting cold and that type of thing.

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So at the moment we're just monitoring it and we can get her out if we need to.

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The thick mud in the field has stopped Divia's car very quickly. Now it's hampering her rescuers.

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The lady's not trapped.

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We do have complete access to the lady but we do need the fire brigade to isolate the car.

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We've got plenty of police on scene.

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Motorways are difficult places for the emergency services.

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They often find themselves driving past an incident on the wrong carriageway

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and then fighting their way through the traffic back to the accident.

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At last, the fire brigade arrive to make the car safe.

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For the police, the description of the accident is familiar.

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Every day, heavy lorries and trailers leave a dangerous legacy on the motorway.

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She's swerved round something red in colour on the carriageway,

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and unfortunately come down the embankment.

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Divia's accident has happened a few miles from Barnsley Hospital, which doesn't have a helipad.

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She'll travel for treatment by road, but first the team have to gently lift her out of her car.

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Somebody gonna have to take her neck for me a sec. I've got the neck.

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Everything's just a precaution.

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Don't grab out, sweetheart. Just let them...

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Can we just get this board underneath a bit so that it doesn't drop off the seat?

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OK, my love. Just relax a little bit, you're doing really, really well.

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It's a relief for lorry driver Derek Davies

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who stopped his truck and ran down the embankment to look after Divia until help arrived.

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It's just nice that she's all right, you know. Nothing serious.

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Car's nothing. We can replace the car, can't we?

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Carrying Divia back up the route she took at 70 mph in her Lexus

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is a much slower process.

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Despite the impact, Divia's mobile phone is still working

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and she's managed to call relatives who've rushed to the scene to help.

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Quite shaken up by it all

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but quite unusual for them to get to the scene this quick.

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Divia will be in hospital in less than five minutes.

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OK. You all right?

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OK, you go careful, all right?

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The rescuers must now clean up.

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Pilot Tim's allergic to cleaning boots after a career in the army.

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If only my sergeant major could see me now.

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But the team know they could easily get another 999 call right now.

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Anything that keeps the chopper clean is a good idea.

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Disengage?

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-Disengaged. All clear and normal.

-Confirm.

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It's back to base for Helimed 98,

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and the crew know their patient has had fortune on her side.

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She was quite minor injuries really for the speed that she left the road, she's cleaned a tree out.

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Divia was soon recovering at home from cuts and whiplash

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and not surprisingly, her car was a write-off.

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Coming up: a scooter rider waits for news as doctors carry out tests on his damaged spine,

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and an injured walker faces a 2,000 foot ride on a sledge.

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The Pennines are famous for their steep inclines and unforgiving rocks.

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They're certainly not the place to have a serious fall

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but that's exactly what happened to one quad biker called Swampy.

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He was on the quad bike over there and trying to get up the hill behind you.

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He got halfway up the hill, the wheels started to spin,

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the quad bike turned on its side and it started to roll.

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He jumped off, ran down the hill,

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and the bike caught up with him and sort of fell on top of him, and that's how he ended up down there.

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The number of quad bike accidents is increasing every year to more than 4,000 at the last count.

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High-profile casualties Ozzy Osbourne and Rik Mayall have shown the dangers of quad biking.

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Swampy and his mates know what can happen and are willing to take the risk.

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It is a dangerous thing to do but you've just got to know your capabilities,

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what the bike's capable of really.

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Over a ten-year period 23 people have been killed. Most of them weren't wearing crash helmets.

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Put your hands across your chest for me.

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But today Swampy had his lid on and that helped save his life,

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but he's not completely out of trouble.

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Try and just relax.

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That's it, yeah.

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-Just relax, mate, relax your legs down.

-If we get the weight belt on him...

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The swelling at the top of Swampy's leg

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tells Helimed 98 medics Colin and Paul that his thigh bone has snapped.

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-Stuart?

-Yeah.

-We're gonna have to straighten your leg out now. Sorry, but it's gonna hurt a bit.

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They've got to get the thigh bone back in line using a traction splint.

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It's another delicate procedure. They have to be quick

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because the break is putting pressure on the blood supply to the rest of his leg,

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but they also have to be careful to avoid further damage to his shattered pelvis.

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We're going to Wythenshawe Hospital.

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From my point of view, it's a bit of a drama

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because we're the wrong side of Manchester International Airport,

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which is quite busy today,

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so I've just phoned them to give them our intentions

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and they're waiting for our call once we're airborne

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and they'll give us priority clearance across the runways to get him to hospital.

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-You can lower it if you want.

-OK, going down.

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We're locked off.

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Swampy's leg and pelvis have been successfully braced. There's no more the paramedics can do at the scene.

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-Second time you've flown today, well this one's for the right reason.

-I know, not quite as far next time.

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After more than half an hour of treatment, Swampy's ready for his ride in Helimed 98,

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but first he's got short but bumpy journey to the helicopter.

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It's going to take a team effort.

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That's all boggy. You're all right here, this is all right.

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And there's even time for some trans-Pennine banter.

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-It's Yorkshire Ambulance so you're gonna have to put a couple of 20p in.

-Oh, aye, 50p meter.

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It's gone up, has that. It's a bit more than that.

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Swampy's quad bike gets left behind.

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It's designed to take heavy knocks

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and is in far better shape than its rider.

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By the side of the helicopter, a paramedic colleague gets out

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a third bottle of gas and air to ensure Swampy's flight is as pain-free as possible.

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Right, industrial strength now.

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-This is South Yorkshire gas.

-This is proper stuff, is this.

0:20:170:20:20

Now pilot Tim Taylor has to navigate a treacherous take-off

0:20:200:20:24

and a testing flight to get Swampy to the nearest trauma hospital.

0:20:240:20:28

It looks like he's doing well but he still faces serious surgery and a fight for his life.

0:20:300:20:35

Coming up:

0:20:420:20:43

Swampy takes off for hospital but pilot Tim has his hands full...

0:20:430:20:47

Out there at two o'clock.

0:20:470:20:50

And a female biker's badly hurt after an accident her husband missed.

0:20:500:20:55

I were about a mile down the road and realised she wasn't in my mirror.

0:20:550:20:59

Now let's catch up on the story of the teenager who suffered serious injuries

0:21:040:21:08

in a scooter accident near his home in Barnsley.

0:21:080:21:12

In the ex-mining town of Hoyland,

0:21:120:21:15

the crew of Helimed 98 are helping a teenager who's been flung off his scooter after hitting a car.

0:21:150:21:20

Jason Kirby is covered in blood

0:21:200:21:22

but the team are more worried about an injury which could change his life forever.

0:21:220:21:28

Jason can't move his legs.

0:21:280:21:30

Ready for take-off.

0:21:300:21:31

OK, doors please.

0:21:310:21:33

Jason is receiving the best possible care.

0:21:330:21:36

Helimed 98 will provide him with a smooth ride to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield,

0:21:360:21:43

which has one of the largest specialist spinal units in the country,

0:21:430:21:46

just as soon as pilot Andy Figg navigates the chopper out of the town centre football pitch.

0:21:470:21:52

Helimed 98, we have lifted en route to Northern General, two minutes the ETA till landing.

0:21:540:21:59

Helimed 98, over.

0:21:590:22:00

He was stable into the flight. He got quite sick once we arrived at Northern General,

0:22:030:22:07

we ended up having to decompress his chest, he's got quite a severe chest injury

0:22:070:22:11

as well as what looks like quite a severe spinal injury.

0:22:110:22:16

He's got no sensation below his belly button at present,

0:22:160:22:20

fingers crossed for him at the moment.

0:22:200:22:22

Wait and see how the next 24, 48 hours goes.

0:22:220:22:24

As doctors begin to assess Jason in A&E

0:22:240:22:27

his condition quickly deteriorates and he's rushed into Intensive Care.

0:22:270:22:33

He suffered head and chest injuries in the impact which are far more severe than anyone imagined,

0:22:330:22:40

but Jason pulls through and two weeks later he's making good progress.

0:22:400:22:46

I nearly died because me rib went straight into me lung, so I were lucky really to survive.

0:22:460:22:53

My dad says I were just saying to him "I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die."

0:22:530:22:57

But I weren't feeling a lot of pain

0:22:590:23:01

but me legs have always been numb all the way through so obviously I haven't felt them.

0:23:010:23:08

Jason has fought a hard battle to survive life-threatening injuries but he now faces another tough test,

0:23:080:23:15

coming to terms with the fact he may never walk again.

0:23:150:23:20

50/50 they've told me at the minute,

0:23:200:23:23

but I'm still alive.

0:23:230:23:25

And then they've told me in about six weeks

0:23:250:23:29

me nerves should start growing back together,

0:23:290:23:32

in about six weeks I should start getting a bit of feeling back to me legs.

0:23:320:23:37

But if I don't, then I don't.

0:23:390:23:43

He hit a wall and in doing so the bone bent almost double

0:23:430:23:46

and there was a fracture to the lower thoracic spine, which is about the middle of your back.

0:23:460:23:52

It is a significant fracture.

0:23:520:23:55

With any spinal cord injury

0:23:550:23:57

what happens is the spinal cord shuts down for a period of time,

0:23:570:24:00

what we technically refer to as a spinal shock,

0:24:000:24:03

and then it begins to recover over a period of time, usually about six to eight weeks.

0:24:030:24:07

It's wait and see for the moment.

0:24:070:24:11

Sadly, there's been little sign of improvement in Jason's case

0:24:110:24:14

and he and his family have been told there's a possibility he may not walk again.

0:24:140:24:19

Coming up: Swampy, the injured quad biker, goes off his high-risk hobby.

0:24:250:24:30

Now that I've had this accident, I'm not gonna do it any more.

0:24:300:24:35

Yorkshiremen like to remind you that everything about their county

0:24:390:24:43

is outsized, but high in the Pennines there's an area that really lives up to the hype.

0:24:430:24:50

This is hard-core countryside, a landscape built on limestone.

0:24:500:24:53

The Three Peaks are Yorkshire's highest landmarks,

0:24:530:24:57

soaring more than 2,000 feet above the valleys below.

0:24:570:25:02

To scale all three in a day means 25 miles of hard hiking and a total climb of more than 7,000 feet.

0:25:050:25:10

You have to be mad to do it but many can't resist.

0:25:100:25:15

Today, Helimed 99 is heading for the top of Whernside, 2,500 feet up.

0:25:150:25:21

A walker's fallen and it's feared he's fractured his ankle.

0:25:210:25:25

This is one of the Three Peaks where we're heading to now,

0:25:250:25:29

a gentleman has fallen down. We're not sure of his injuries,

0:25:290:25:33

they have deployed crews from around the area

0:25:350:25:37

but this request has initially been passed on to us

0:25:370:25:40

by North Yorkshire Police.

0:25:400:25:41

The bad news is that today there's a sponsored walk.

0:25:410:25:45

Hundreds of walkers are scaling Whernside's slopes

0:25:450:25:49

and to make life harder for the crew, paragliders are soaring over their landing site.

0:25:490:25:54

It's possible that it's a paraglider that's fallen.

0:25:540:25:57

Anybody looking like a mountain rescue guy yet?

0:25:570:26:01

Nobody looking closely like they're stressed in any way.

0:26:010:26:06

-Looking sort of 30 yards at two o'clock there in front of you?

-Yeah, looks good.

0:26:060:26:10

-OK.

-Doors.

0:26:100:26:14

Secure front.

0:26:140:26:15

There's no alternative - they'll have to land and ask if anyone's seen a casualty.

0:26:150:26:22

Somewhere about, we'll see how we do.

0:26:220:26:27

It's hard to identify the patient but paramedic Darren Axe thinks he's spotted him.

0:26:270:26:32

Richard Tate has fallen 200 feet from the summit.

0:26:320:26:35

He's in pain but there's no shortage of company.

0:26:350:26:40

I was just walking down there

0:26:400:26:43

and I just buckled over on my ankle and it clicked, and it doesn't work any more.

0:26:430:26:47

I'm supposed to be walking the Alps in three weeks for a week.

0:26:470:26:51

Chris, they're gonna be better off relocating to the bottom of this hill.

0:26:510:26:56

With Helimed 99 parked at the top of Whernside,

0:26:560:26:59

Darren would like to take Richard up the hill

0:26:590:27:02

but the Mountain Rescue team on their way to his aid say that's too dangerous.

0:27:040:27:08

I think it's easier to walk downhill, isn't it?

0:27:080:27:11

So the chopper will have to relocate further down the peak, and that's easier said than done.

0:27:110:27:18

Tuck the nose right into there, gonna be not bad, isn't it?

0:27:180:27:22

Helimed 99's struggling to deal with Whernside's steep slopes.

0:27:220:27:27

Whoo, that's deceiving.

0:27:280:27:30

Not gonna happen.

0:27:300:27:31

Level ground's in short supply here and finding a helipad is hard.

0:27:310:27:38

-Putting up with these, that's bad, I hate that.

-It's not worth it, he's a big bloke as well.

0:27:380:27:43

He is.

0:27:430:27:45

Landing site number two is no better than the first.

0:27:470:27:53

It's no good, Mountain Rescue are going to have to carry Richard 2,000 feet down to the bottom of the hill.

0:27:530:27:59

Luckily they've brought their rescue sledge,

0:27:590:28:02

which means gravity can help.

0:28:020:28:04

-Can you walk at all?

-I can stand on one leg.

-That'll do.

0:28:040:28:08

Richard was in training for an alpine walking holiday and his rucksack was heavily laden.

0:28:080:28:14

I've got 30lb of weight in it, there's crampons and harness and God knows what in there,

0:28:140:28:18

and several changes of clothes and stuff.

0:28:180:28:21

We were living in the huts. I don't think that'll be happening.

0:28:210:28:24

Richard's descent down one side will be faster than walking.

0:28:240:28:28

The rescue sled is the simplest and safest way to get a casualty to safety.

0:28:280:28:32

We're just gonna stretcher him down to the helicopter, he's gonna hop off that and on the helicopter.

0:28:320:28:38

Helimed 99 is still searching for a landing site

0:28:380:28:41

and the crew are running out of options.

0:28:410:28:43

I'm definitely leaning back on my chair.

0:28:430:28:47

It's actually... It's not that bad but I don't fancy loading anybody into it, to be honest.

0:28:470:28:53

The weight will just shift.

0:28:530:28:55

Everybody ready, one... two... three... lift.

0:28:550:28:59

My, you are a heavy guy.

0:28:590:29:01

Mountain Rescue have brought plenty of manpower, which is just as well -

0:29:010:29:06

Richard weighs in at 16 stone.

0:29:060:29:10

Whernside's rocky slopes are hard work even for super-fit fell runners,

0:29:100:29:14

and you can't use a style when you're carrying a stretcher.

0:29:140:29:18

And again.

0:29:180:29:20

And again.

0:29:200:29:23

Richard's ride takes him 2,000 feet, almost to the bottom.

0:29:230:29:29

It's time for paramedic Sammy Wills to take a closer look at Richard's broken ankle.

0:29:290:29:34

-Just tell me, does it hurt there?

-Yo!

0:29:350:29:39

It's a bad break but for her colleague, Darren Axe, laughter's always good medicine.

0:29:390:29:44

-You know what they say about a man with big boots, don't you?

-It's a lie.

0:29:440:29:48

Big feet.

0:29:480:29:50

Watch your head.

0:29:510:29:53

Use my shoulder.

0:29:530:29:55

But Richard's not the only casualty on the Peaks today. The heat has got the better of one charity walker.

0:29:590:30:05

We have a second casualty, he's being now walked off the hill.

0:30:050:30:09

Another case for Mountain Rescue.

0:30:090:30:12

The locals say many walkers don't prepare properly for the Peaks.

0:30:150:30:19

Paramedic Sammy Wills prescribes cold water and something to eat.

0:30:190:30:23

He'll soon be OK.

0:30:230:30:26

That's more than you can say for Richard. He'll spend the next three weeks in plaster,

0:30:260:30:30

and his wife knows their holiday plans are gonna have to change.

0:30:300:30:35

I've said if he's faking it, I'm divorcing him.

0:30:350:30:39

Now you have to put on a pair of boots to really appreciate the Peaks,

0:30:390:30:44

but some sightseers like to take in the scenery the easy way.

0:30:440:30:48

Even that has its dangers. Close to the famous 300-foot high Ribblehead Railway Viaduct,

0:30:480:30:55

there's been an accident.

0:30:550:30:56

Motorcyclist Gillian Doherty has collided with a car.

0:30:560:30:59

Her arm was broken and she could have more serious injuries.

0:30:590:31:04

It's another case for Helimed 99.

0:31:040:31:08

We're en route towards Ingleton and we're gonna go past the beautiful Three Peaks.

0:31:080:31:12

We're going for a motorcyclist with reported injuries that we're requested to assist.

0:31:120:31:18

Gillian and her husband own his-and-hers bikes.

0:31:180:31:22

He didn't notice she'd had an accident.

0:31:220:31:25

The car just started to pull out so I swerved round the car,

0:31:250:31:29

Gill was right behind me, and then Gill must have...

0:31:290:31:32

I got about a mile down the road and realised she wasn't in my mirror.

0:31:320:31:36

The car must have pulled further out and she's gone right in the side of it.

0:31:360:31:41

The accident has blocked one of the Peaks' busiest roads.

0:31:410:31:46

At the moment it's just in your right shoulder and that lower leg, no pain anywhere else?

0:31:460:31:50

No, it's my left arm, my wrist.

0:31:500:31:52

-Did you manage to get up after the accident?

-No.

-You've stayed in the same position?

-Yeah.

0:31:520:31:57

This is why paramedic James is worried - her body caused this damage.

0:31:570:32:03

Her bike's come off remarkably well.

0:32:030:32:07

-Gill?

-Yeah.

-Just open your eyes for us, my love. That's it.

0:32:070:32:10

Sorry, I'm one of the doctors on the air ambulance.

0:32:100:32:12

-I'm just giving you a bit of oxygen to breathe while we lift you up to the helicopter.

-OK.

0:32:120:32:18

This young lady's got pain in her shoulder and her knee,

0:32:180:32:21

her airway breathing seems fine

0:32:210:32:23

so we're just going to take a run into Lancaster

0:32:230:32:25

to get her checked over, make sure her back and neck are OK.

0:32:250:32:28

Ready, steady, lift.

0:32:280:32:31

Well done, guys.

0:32:310:32:33

Gillian's being flown home to Lancaster, the nearest hospital to the scene of the crash.

0:32:330:32:38

Her arm was set and she was soon released.

0:32:380:32:41

She's determined to ride her bike again.

0:32:410:32:44

Just finding someone in an area like the Three Peaks is a challenge for the Helimed team,

0:32:460:32:51

and a birds-eye view is no guarantee they'll find the patient.

0:32:510:32:55

If you don't fancy the challenge of hiking up Penyghent, Ingleborough, and Whernside,

0:32:550:33:01

you can do it on two wheels and join the growing hordes of mountain bikers

0:33:010:33:04

who attempt to ride up the Three Peaks very slowly, and down them a bit quicker.

0:33:040:33:10

That's what novice biker Kevin Gilmore wants to do. But on his very first trek into the Dales,

0:33:100:33:16

the bumpy, steep terrain has catapulted him off his bike.

0:33:160:33:22

He's got a head injury but he's also queried fractures of ribs.

0:33:220:33:25

The challenge we have is not only is he on a small footpath,

0:33:250:33:29

the visibility isn't very good, so we're actually using the valleys to fly up.

0:33:290:33:34

30 miles away from the Dales,

0:33:340:33:37

the suburbs of Leeds are shrouded in mist.

0:33:370:33:39

Helimed 99 is struggling to navigate its way through it.

0:33:390:33:43

Navigation in this kind of weather's really difficult because

0:33:430:33:46

you're looking for gross error checks really on your navigation,

0:33:460:33:51

which means objects that are large and in the distance that you can aim at.

0:33:510:33:55

Obviously when you can't see more than 3,000 metres in any direction

0:33:550:34:01

it makes it difficult to pick those objects out.

0:34:010:34:04

This isn't looking good for the Helimed team or their injured patient.

0:34:040:34:08

With the Three Peaks measuring well over 2,000 feet above sea level,

0:34:080:34:12

pilot Mat Tacken's gonna have to climb much higher,

0:34:120:34:15

and if there's low cloud around like this, there's no way they'll be able to get there.

0:34:150:34:21

We're having to fly a circuitous route because the clouds on the top of the hills.

0:34:210:34:24

That ETA I've given, plus or minus ten to be honest.

0:34:240:34:27

Yeah, fine, not a problem.

0:34:270:34:29

But Yorkshire's weather is renowned for being unpredictable

0:34:290:34:33

and much to everyone's surprise, the Dales are bathed in sunshine.

0:34:330:34:37

-This is quite pleasant weather really, not bad at all.

-Not too bad is it now.

0:34:370:34:41

Good news you might think

0:34:410:34:42

but the fine weather has persuaded hundreds of walkers and bikers to venture up into Ribblesdale

0:34:420:34:48

and it's not going to be easy for the crew to spot their patient.

0:34:480:34:52

-He's just on top of that hill somewhere, is he?

-No, he's beyond that.

0:34:520:34:56

One skill you can't do without in this job is good eyesight,

0:34:580:35:03

and paramedic Darren thinks he's seen someone in trouble.

0:35:030:35:06

Come around to your nine o'clock.

0:35:060:35:08

I also had a group of people at the three o'clock.

0:35:080:35:11

Stationary people here at nine o'clock, on this edge. Keep coming round.

0:35:110:35:16

This helicopter can land on a gradual incline but nothing steeper,

0:35:160:35:20

and in the rocky foothills of Penyghent there's few spots to choose from.

0:35:200:35:26

-Looks a bit flatter to my side, mate.

-Yeah, just gonna come up here.

0:35:260:35:29

-Rocket's gone.

-Not going anywhere, that, mate.

-Feels good my side.

0:35:290:35:34

That's good.

0:35:340:35:35

The mountain cyclist, yeah, we've got a guy, he's come off on his right-hand side

0:35:360:35:42

and he's bashed his head.

0:35:420:35:44

It's a pretty long walk to where Kevin's lying,

0:35:440:35:47

but a lot closer than any other emergency service can manage.

0:35:470:35:50

Sammy's the first medic to arrive

0:35:500:35:53

and must quickly find out what's happened.

0:35:530:35:55

Kev, don't move at all, just stay still.

0:35:550:35:58

Right, so what's been happening to you?

0:35:580:36:00

I came off the bike coming down the hill there,

0:36:000:36:03

-leaned toward my right-hand side.

-Yeah.

-I put my hand out,

0:36:030:36:07

that's broken my fall a tad.

0:36:070:36:09

-I remember my head bouncing about a couple of times.

-Yeah.

0:36:090:36:13

My upper body's carried through and I've got a bit of damage to the top of my ribs on each side of my arm.

0:36:130:36:18

OK.

0:36:180:36:19

Kevin's head has hit the floor so hard his helmet is cracked, and that's a worrying sign for Sammy.

0:36:190:36:24

But he appears to have come round remarkably quickly.

0:36:240:36:28

It's come off, and although we don't believe he's been KO'd

0:36:280:36:32

they were concerned cos he wasn't his normal self for about ten minutes.

0:36:320:36:35

-So he's got his sense of humour back. You stay still, mate.

-No, I never had one before.

0:36:350:36:40

Are we saying you've got a changed sense of humour, a changed personality?

0:36:400:36:47

I feel like a new man, and so does the wife.

0:36:470:36:50

Reducing the amount of workload on him.

0:36:500:36:52

Kevin clearly hasn't lost his sense of humour

0:36:520:36:55

but head injuries are impossible to diagnose out of hospital and along with a couple of broken ribs,

0:36:550:37:01

he's feeling pretty sore.

0:37:010:37:03

-Two... three... and roll.

-Urgh!

0:37:030:37:07

Sorry, mate. I've got you.

0:37:070:37:09

-Hang fire!

-Hang fire, don't go anywhere else.

0:37:090:37:12

He's a long 'un isn't he?

0:37:140:37:16

With the Three Peaks in their patch,

0:37:160:37:18

this Mountain Rescue team is one of the busiest,

0:37:180:37:21

and Sammy and Darren are relieved to see more helping hands arrive.

0:37:210:37:25

He was a bit dazed when he's hit the ground, and looking at the dent in his cycling helmet

0:37:250:37:30

that looks like it's saved him a lot of pain and suffering really.

0:37:300:37:35

All too often we come across cyclists of all types who haven't worn a helmet

0:37:350:37:42

and the outcome is not always favourable for them.

0:37:420:37:47

One... two... three.

0:37:470:37:49

How's the head?

0:37:530:37:54

-Fingers clear.

-Can we go further up your way, Andy?

0:37:540:37:58

The rabbit holes and uneven ground has caught out many a walker on the paths around here,

0:37:580:38:03

so the team take no chances and load Kevin onto Mountain Rescue's specialist stretcher.

0:38:030:38:09

A 41-year-old male been involved in a mountain bike accident.

0:38:090:38:15

He's fallen from his bike and struck his head -

0:38:150:38:19

fortunately he was wearing a helmet.

0:38:190:38:23

He's not been knocked out but has an altered level of consciousness for a period of time afterwards,

0:38:230:38:30

his colleagues are saying for at least ten minutes.

0:38:300:38:34

Kevin was cycling on the Pennine Way,

0:38:340:38:37

a popular trail with hikers and bikers alike that runs for 250 miles from Derbyshire to Scotland.

0:38:370:38:45

Kevin was hoping to end the day with a pint and a pat on the back from his fellow bikers.

0:38:460:38:51

Instead, he'll be facing an array of tests and scans at Lancaster Hospital's Casualty Department.

0:38:510:38:57

It takes some people all day to climb to the top of these peaks,

0:38:570:39:02

but Kevin is over 1,000 feet up in just a few seconds.

0:39:020:39:07

Yeah, got the old chimney at the hospital now, mate.

0:39:070:39:09

Despite breaking a couple of ribs and a period of enforced rest and recuperation,

0:39:120:39:16

Kevin's back on his bike

0:39:160:39:18

and aiming to head back up into the Dales to face the Three Peaks once more.

0:39:180:39:22

And I'm pleased to say all our patients from the Three Peaks recovered.

0:39:250:39:29

Now let's find out what happened to the off-road rider who fell 60 feet

0:39:290:39:35

before being crushed by his own quad bike.

0:39:350:39:38

The crew of Helimed 98 have crossed the border into Cheshire

0:39:380:39:42

to help save Stuart "Swampy" Robinson's life.

0:39:420:39:45

Paramedics Colin and Paul have treated life-threatening injuries to his thigh and pelvis.

0:39:450:39:50

They've done all they can and now the pressure's on pilot Tim Taylor.

0:39:500:39:54

-All clear left?

-Clear left.

-Clear right rear.

0:39:540:39:57

The tail of Helimed 98

0:39:570:39:59

hangs over a 30-foot drop with cars passing below.

0:39:590:40:04

Tim gets Swampy and the crew safely into the air.

0:40:040:40:07

All is calm and quiet for the quad biker,

0:40:070:40:09

not least because he's on his third bottle of gas and air.

0:40:090:40:14

But the fastest route to Wythenshawe Hospital

0:40:140:40:17

crosses the runway of the busiest airport in the UK outside of London.

0:40:170:40:22

20 million passengers a year fly from Manchester.

0:40:220:40:25

These are crowded skies.

0:40:270:40:30

Out there, two o'clock.

0:40:310:40:34

That'll be for Manchester Airport.

0:40:370:40:39

Pilot Tim's troubles are over for now, but Swampy's continue.

0:40:460:40:50

His name's Stuart,

0:40:500:40:51

his main complaint really is his pain in his right femur.

0:40:510:40:55

He couldn't move his legs, he couldn't actually straighten his legs.

0:40:550:40:59

The guy's got quite a severe pelvis injury

0:40:590:41:01

and obviously his femur's either fractured or popped out of the joint at the top of his leg.

0:41:010:41:06

Either way, he's gonna be off his feet for quite a while.

0:41:060:41:10

The pelvis injury is the worse of the two

0:41:100:41:12

and they'll probably have to pin the pelvis back together again,

0:41:120:41:16

but it's all the underlying tissue that's underneath the pelvis

0:41:160:41:20

or inside of the pelvis that he's got to worry about.

0:41:200:41:23

Later that day, Swampy has the first of two operations.

0:41:230:41:27

It takes a total of six hours of surgery to fix his broken body,

0:41:270:41:30

but just three days later he's sitting up in his hospital bed.

0:41:300:41:37

As he looks at photos of his accident on the internet,

0:41:370:41:39

it brings back memories and makes the quad biker realise that this time he got lucky.

0:41:390:41:45

I thought I would have been at least paralysed, or passed away really, I mean, quite a way.

0:41:450:41:52

To actually be able to be talking a few days after the accident

0:41:520:41:57

is pretty good really.

0:41:570:41:59

The accident has changed Swampy's life.

0:41:590:42:02

Quad biking meant everything, but now it's something he feels he has to give up.

0:42:020:42:07

I've had a few offs but none of them have been this bad so it kind of didn't really bother me at all.

0:42:070:42:14

It's only now that I've had this accident that I'm not gonna do it any more.

0:42:140:42:20

Swampy's right leg had multiple breaks and is now held together by metal bolts and pins.

0:42:200:42:27

He faces a six-week stay in hospital and could be forgiven for feeling sorry for himself.

0:42:270:42:33

But he's just grateful it wasn't worse and thankful to the Helimed 98 crew who saved him.

0:42:330:42:39

They all did a really, really good job, I'm really grateful for them.

0:42:390:42:43

When Helicopter Heroes comes back:

0:42:430:42:46

a man's drowning and the Helimed team are called in to help the local lifeboat.

0:42:460:42:51

Somebody's shouting "He's gone in."

0:42:510:42:53

A pilot's in trouble...

0:42:530:42:55

Mayday. Mayday. Mayday.

0:42:550:42:58

Can Helimed 98 save him?

0:42:580:43:00

Total engine failure, about to crash.

0:43:000:43:04

There's a whip-round at the rugby to pay for a player's rescue.

0:43:040:43:09

It probably doesn't hit home till you need it.

0:43:090:43:12

And this won't hurt a bit.

0:43:120:43:14

Somebody said you've got a burning tackle.

0:43:140:43:16

The team improvise to rescue a farmer's wife.

0:43:160:43:20

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:240:43:28

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:280:43:31

Rav Wilding presents a series looking at the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The team are called to save a quad biker who has fallen 60 feet, a teenager is feared paralysed after a scooter accident and a knight of the road looks after a motorist who has been forced to swerve off the M1 at 70mph.


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