Episode 20 Helicopter Heroes


Episode 20

Watching the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. A sun-seeker falls into Whitby Harbour, Steve flies into his favourite football team's ground and a farmer's wife needs treatment.


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Transcript


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If you're critically ill or 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 highly-trained team will fly to your rescue at 4.5 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:

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-A man is drowning and the helimed team help the local lifeboat.

-There's a man gone in.

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-A pilot's in trouble:

-Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!

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Can helimed 98 save him?

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Total engine failure. About to crash.

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

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It doesn't hit home till you need it.

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And this won't hurt a bit.

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-He said, "Have you got burning tackle?"

-The team improvise to rescue a farmer's wife.

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Yorkshire's scenery helps drive one of its biggest industries - tourism.

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Everywhere you look, there's a view that could sell a postcard. Nowhere is more beautiful than Whitby.

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The whole town is built around its historic harbour.

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Captain Cook lived here and this is where many people still earn their living.

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No wonder the local lifeboat is never short of volunteers,

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but tonight there's a real emergency for the inshore lifeboat crew.

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A man's fallen 20 foot from the harbour wall.

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The accident's happened within sight of the lifeboat house,

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but 50 miles away at Leeds Bradford Airport, helimed 99 is being scrambled to join the rescue.

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Clear to lift.

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Hundreds of holidaymakers are watching the rescue.

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Paramedic Lee Davison knows hot weather and cool water is often a dangerous combination there.

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We've dispatched ourselves over to Whitby,

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just on the east coast, a nice seaside town that's very popular. At this time of year,

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people feel it's quite hot, but the water's cold.

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Patients can suffer with hypothermia.

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Whitby's lifeboat house is among the busiest in the UK.

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They've been saving lives at sea for 200 years and they know this fall can cause serious injury.

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It'll be about 18 minutes to the scene. Do you have any further update?

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'Yeah. The patient's been recovered from the water. He's currently being checked out.

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'I don't have a patient update yet. As soon as I do, I'll update you.'

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The helimed team know this is not a town built with helicopter landings in mind.

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'Helimed 99, thank you. I've just had an update from the scene.

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'Your presence is required. They've made a space for you to land on the beach by the station.'

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It's not somewhere I've done a lot of rescues from, the beach, or recovered patients from.

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You can end up going anywhere!

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Whitby's mariners have kept an eye out for each other for centuries

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and today their proud tradition of lifesaving has been upheld.

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The man's been rescued by an eyewitness who climbed down into the water

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to keep him afloat.

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Pilot Craig Redman knows beach landings are a high-risk option,

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but in the middle of Whitby he has no choice.

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It all depends what time of day it is. If the tide has just gone out, there's lots of moisture in the sand.

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The problem with putting skids down is that you sink into it.

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Most pilots refuse to shut down their engines.

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A technical failure on the sand means £3 million of chopper swamped by the incoming tide.

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But it's a risk he'll have to take.

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I can see a lifeboat. Down left, ten o'clock there.

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But the tide is out just far enough for pilot Craig to land helimed 99

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right outside the lifeboat station.

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Bring it down on your left.

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Yeah, you're secure there, mate. That's fine.

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Can one of you take me to where they are?

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Attracting a crowd is part of the job for flying paramedics.

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A mixture of daytrippers and locals have come to see what's happened.

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-Hi, hi.

-This is Stuart.

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When Stuart Sloane fell 20 feet into the harbour, it was filled with fishing trawlers and sailing boats.

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-He's gone backwards...

-And he falls.

-Yeah.

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-No witnesses seen him hit the wall?

-No. Witnesses seen him tumble off but nobody seen him hit the wall.

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No one knows if he hit anything on the way down, but the bruising to his chest is a bad sign.

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Are you all right? You OK?

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-My chest...

-I know. Is your chest hurting? Yeah, OK.

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Stuart's lucky he didn't drown. As he fell in, he was spotted by Steve Crowe, who works nearby.

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I thought, "What on Earth happened?"

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He's fallen in t'water.

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Steve immediately went in after Stuart and kept his head above water for 10 minutes until the lifeboat.

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-Slowly warming up?

-Getting there, ish.

-Warm and dry now?

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-You can get changed?

-Yeah. I just want to get rid of this.

-OK.

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Stuart may be on dry land, but he's not out of danger.

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He's still in his wet clothes and is dangerously cold.

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If his ribs are broken, he could have a punctured lung.

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All his rescuer Steve can do is watch and hope that his efforts are not in vain.

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Coming up: the tide's coming in and their patient needs urgent hospital treatment.

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We'll get him to hospital ASAP.

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Pilot Steve drops in on his favourite football team.

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I usually go by road. This is a lot quicker!

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And a teenager copies his favourite film with painful results.

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Don't do this at home!

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If you think the weather is changeable, spare a thought for these guys. At 150mph,

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the helimed team experience the four seasons in one flight,

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especially when they head up into the hills.

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With radar covering most of Yorkshire, helimed pilots know they can get help from the control tower.

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The air traffic controllers at Leeds Bradford Airport are the guardians of the local skies,

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but today an unexpected emergency makes airliners take a back seat.

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Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!

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Total engine failure! About to crash.

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20 miles away in the foothills of the Pennines, a pilot is in danger of crashing his microlight.

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His engine's failed and he's going down.

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Leeds Bradford Airport rang me. They've got a distress call from a microlight.

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They expect the area where he's come down is north of Emley Moor. Police helicopter is en route.

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Paramedic Sammy Wills knows what the pilot may be going through.

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She recently flew in the same type of plane from the same airfield.

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It's a fantastic feeling,

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but I can't imagine the panic of having to make a distress call.

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The pilot was passing the huge TV transmitter on Emley Moor when the emergency started.

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Since his mayday call, there's been silence. They're looking for two men and a few square metres of fabric

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in several square miles.

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We're at Emley Moor mast and we've not got a visual. If you've got further details, let us know.

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-The local police chopper has beaten them to it.

-We're got police aircraft and the microlight.

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Good morning to you.

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Pilot Andrew Dixon is lucky to be alive. He's just pulled off a textbook emergency landing

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after losing a blade from his propeller.

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All of a sudden there was a bang and no engine. Started gliding in.

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Mayday. It wasn't until we came down we realised we'd lost the prop.

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They gave me a hand out. The fuel system's hanging off the plane and in danger of fire.

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The impact has left Andrew in agony. It's aggravated an old back injury.

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-You had a hard landing and felt it go.

-Correct.

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He's managed to stay within the cockpit, but he's got a chronic history of back problems.

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-I tried standing up at one point, but...

-Don't look sideways. Keep looking straight ahead.

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Sammy and Glen know they can't take any chances.

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Andrew could have damaged his spine. They must protect his neck, too.

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-This jacket has so many layers!

-It's cold up there!

-I know! I've had a go.

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-Have you?

-I have. It was fantastic.

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Andrew's reason for taking up flying is unusual.

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-I had a fear of flying.

-Uh-huh. This is the right way to overcome it, I'll tell you!

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Well, I worked for the United Nations and I came down in an aircraft into a field.

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-You did?

-So a proper fear of flying.

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Yeah. I tell you what, if you can overcome it, fancy flying in our helicopter?

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The microlight looks undamaged, but it's taken a major impact, landing on rough ground.

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Bit of a hairy landing, but we actually did really well considering how rough this field is.

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The team fear the impact that bent the plane's undercarriage has further damaged Andrew's back.

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His days at the controls could be numbered.

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Coming up: pilot Andrew reaches hospital, but there's bad news.

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There's a good chance of a spinal injury.

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In Whitby, the man who narrowly escaped drowning takes off.

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The ribs could puncture a lung, so we keep that in mind.

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And the team rescue a trapped farmhand.

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He needs surgery straight away.

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Seeing the world from 2,000 feet doesn't half make it look small.

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That's Sheffield, home to 500,000 people and on an average day about 100 need to make a 999 call.

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But only a lucky few get these guys coming to help.

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Despite that, there's no shortage of people down there willing to donate time or money

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to keep the air ambulance flying.

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And today Chief Pilot Steve Cobb is doing his bit by coming in on his day off to visit his other passion -

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Huddersfield Town Football Club.

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I usually go by road. This is a lot quicker, a lot less crowds.

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It'd be tight landing on a match day, but we'll be OK today.

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It's the launch of an unusual fundraising venture.

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It's the first time a football team has supported an air ambulance charity rather than have a sponsor.

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The Yorkshire Air Ambulance are extremely proud to be here today.

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I think our various teams, and my own team at the YAA, have worked extremely hard

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in pulling this together, this sponsorship deal,

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a partnership deal such as this today to raise our funds.

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Tonight Huddersfield are holding their own against former Premiership giants Newcastle United.

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The salary of one of their internationals would pay for the air ambulance for a year,

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but football is doing its bit thanks to Huddersfield Town.

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And it's not just the professionals who are doing what they can to help.

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It's a sunny Sunday in Kippax near Leeds. Under 11s are playing Yorkshire's sport - rugby league.

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You've got to be tough to go into these tackles. There's always a risk of injury.

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Today, 10-year-old Adam Taylor is hit by a high tackle round his head.

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He's on the ground and not moving.

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We've got a nine or ten-year-old young lad playing rugby.

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Apparently severe neck pain, scoring 9 out of 10.

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A woman on the scene said they'd clear the field as much as they can.

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There are some wires across that behind the goalposts.

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And you've got them gazebos. Two to the rear of the ice cream van and one in front of it.

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An ambulance has already arrived. The crew are checking out Adam.

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He has a neck injury and that's always a cause for concern.

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They came down here to score and went into a rugby tackle.

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Referee gave a high tackle and he jarred his neck. To be safe, we sent for an air ambulance.

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He suffers from asthma. No allergies that we know.

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Everyone in the crowd is worried for Adam, but no one is more anxious than the First Aider who helped -

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Adam's mum Kerry.

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He just got a high tackle. His head jarred back and he ended up on t'floor.

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I'm a bit nervous, a bit shaky. I was more of a support, but we have a few First Aiders who could help.

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If you've got a neck injury, there's potential that the spinal cord could be damaged

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or, at worst, severed, so it's important we don't move him and aggravate any injuries.

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Adam's starting to come round and looking forward to his flight.

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Sadly, the head restraint means he'll only see the sky and a few rotor blades on this trip.

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-Will you get me in there?

-Yeah!

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Wow!

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-Can you see the helicopter now?

-Yeah.

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With Adam safely on his way to hospital,

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you'd think the club's relationship with the air ambulance was over, but it's just begun.

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Adam's coach and the organisers make the spontaneous decision to have a collection.

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Until you actually realise what this great service is doing for Yorkshire,

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it doesn't hit home until it comes to a place like this. We've got to do summat back.

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It costs more than £7,000 a day to keep the helimed choppers in the air.

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But by the time the cash has been counted, the collection has paid for Adam's short flight to hospital.

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£300 in small change. It's a real result.

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We are absolutely pleased to have raised that much in such a short space of time.

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It shows the generosity of the people around here.

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Coming up: the unlikely cause of a plane crash is revealed.

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Somebody's waiting for a pigeon to come home! From the bang, I thought it was an ostrich!

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And a farmer's wife needs urgent treatment after a bizarre accident with a rake.

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The rake's become embedded with two prongs.

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Now let's go back to Whitby, where the helimed team are helping the victim of a nasty accident

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in the town's harbour.

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Amongst the sandcastles and seaweed, helimed 99 has landed on the beach in Whitby in North Yorkshire

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to help a man who has fallen 20 feet off the harbour wall and into the chilly North Sea.

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Whitby local Stuart Sloane nearly drowned after struggling in the water for over 10 minutes

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before being rescued by Steven Crowe.

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We went down onto the boat to see if we could get him out.

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We chucked him a life ring and he couldn't move. He had tight hold of a rope.

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The only thing to do was go in and get him across to the ladder and wait for the ambulance.

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Stuart's been taken to Whitby's lifeboat station, the scene of many dramatic sea rescues

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and where helimed 99 paramedics Lee and Kate can start treating him.

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All right. We need to get these wet clothes off.

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Keep going, Stuart. Put your hand on your chest there.

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-I'm in real pain.

-I know you are, mate.

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Stuart was obviously enjoying himself before he fell.

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-What's he got on down below?

-A kilt.

-Right.

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Has he got his undies on?

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But still in his wet clothes, he's in danger of becoming hypothermic.

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That's when the body temperature falls below 35 degrees.

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If it falls any lower, it could be life threatening.

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What I'd like to do, if possible, is lay the sleeping bag out. OK?

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And then we'll lay it on the floor, put him onto the board, OK?

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And then we'll put the board in and wrap him all in it.

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Lee needs to work quickly and not just to get to hospital.

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It's now half past eight in the evening and due to strict aviation rules

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helimed 99 needs to be back at base before it gets too dark.

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But the height of Stuart's fall means Lee can take no chances and must protect his neck and spine.

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One, two, three, lift.

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Hold on, hold on! That's it.

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-Make sure that board's underneath.

-Aaah!

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And down. Superb. That's perfect.

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'We've got this chap on a longboard,'

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taken off his wet clothes to get him as warm as we can.

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We've wrapped him up with a blanket and in a sleeping bag. We'll get him on the aircraft as soon as we can.

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We need to get him to hospital ASAP.

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Living by the sea might be many people's dream, but Whitby is used to dealing with tragedy.

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Two years ago, three people drowned when their boat capsized here.

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And the Whitby lifeboat has nearly 50 awards for outstanding bravery.

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Good man, that's it. Just keep nice and still.

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-I've broken some ribs...

-Yeah, well, you've done something. You're in a lot of pain.

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Say to these lads down here as well. I want them all out of the way.

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Whitby is a small town and news travels fast. Dozens of people have come out

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to see helimed 99 take off from its seaside helipad. It can't come a moment too soon for pilot Craig.

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-Guys, am I clear to start?

-Yeah.

-We need to get a move on.

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All right, Stuart. It will be very noisy while we take you to hospital.

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Stuart lives in Whitby and loves its remote and tranquil setting,

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but the nearest major casualty department is at the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough

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and that's over 25 miles away.

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He's complaining of a neck and right-sided chest injury or pain.

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He's got significant bruising on the right side of his chest.

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When you've got significant trauma like that to the chest, it can impair the breathing.

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He's maybe fractured a few ribs on his right side which are giving him the discomfort,

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but the ribs could puncture the lung so we've got to keep that in mind.

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Coming up, their patient reaches hospital, but he's not out of trouble yet.

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He still was very cold, despite the blankets that we put on him.

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And a teenage farm worker is run over by a five-tonne tractor.

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As he's jumped out, another tractor has rolled over him.

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The Helimed crew are all dedicated professionals.

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They never stop training and it's rare for a month to go by without a new drug or technique introduced

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to help them do their job better.

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But the hazards of flying rarely change

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and paramedics Sammy and Glen are about to come face to face with one of them - a bird strike.

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-This horrible pheasant...

-BLEEP

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Yeah, that went through us. That hit the disc.

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This pheasant hit the chopper's rotors.

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There's no visible damage, but the pheasant is beyond even their life-saving skills.

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But accidents like this can and do down aircraft.

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Ask pilot Andrew Dixon. Sammy and Glen have just been finding out what could have happened to them.

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A passing pigeon hit the blade of his microlight plane's propeller, leading to a painful forced landing.

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He's had a bird strike. They've had a semi-hard landing.

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Because of his previous back injury, he's got back pain, so we're treating him as worst case scenario.

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Ready, steady, lift.

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Excellent.

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Andrew is on his way to hospital, but his previous back injury wasn't just any old slipped disc.

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And start easing him in.

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-Was this 12th vertebrae as a result of some kind of trauma in the past then?

-I got shot.

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-I had a backpack on and the bullet...

-Cut that.

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..hit the backpack and, obviously, it were like a shockwave from the bullet.

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Andrew was dressed for his open cockpit.

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-You couldn't do us a favour, could you?

-I will do. Go on.

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-Get your scissors and do t'other arm. I'm sweating like a pig.

-Of course I will.

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-It's all this microfleece to keep you warm...

-While you're up there.

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-You're a star.

-I've never been told I'm a star for cutting clothes off another fella before!

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'Lifting at 10.45...'

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Andrew is airborne again, this time for hospital.

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20 minutes ago, his coolness saved the lives of himself and his passenger.

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Are you panicking a little? You're all right.

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Now the shock of a life-threatening, in-flight emergency is beginning to hit him.

0:24:180:24:23

In the next hour, Andrew will find out if he's likely to fly again

0:24:240:24:29

or whether his back injury will ground him for good.

0:24:290:24:33

We do a brief neurological assessment

0:24:330:24:35

which found that he was numb in the top part of his legs,

0:24:350:24:39

so there's a good chance of spinal injury.

0:24:390:24:42

Now they're doing a more thorough neurological assessment in the hospital.

0:24:420:24:47

Altitude 2,000 feet...

0:24:470:24:49

For the Helimed team, it's been a textbook search and rescue mission,

0:24:490:24:53

thanks to the reassuring voice that helps them do their jobs every day.

0:24:530:24:57

It was all dealt with very swiftly, great teamwork from all involved.

0:24:570:25:02

The aviation community, whenever "Mayday" is heard on a radio,

0:25:020:25:06

no matter where you are,

0:25:060:25:08

whether you're flying for British Airways, Ryanair, Jet2,

0:25:080:25:12

we're all part of the community that says an emergency is going on

0:25:120:25:16

and everybody offers their assistance as quickly as possible.

0:25:160:25:20

And at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield,

0:25:200:25:23

Andrew is grateful for the fellow aviators who flew to his rescue.

0:25:230:25:27

Literally, within a minute,

0:25:270:25:29

I take my headphones off

0:25:290:25:31

and I could hear the police helicopter circling above.

0:25:310:25:34

Another minute after that, we saw the Air Ambulance coming in to land as well.

0:25:340:25:40

Fortunately, it's just a bit of bruising now on the spinal cord.

0:25:400:25:45

But hopefully, in a few more weeks, I'll be back up flying.

0:25:450:25:50

Making a Mayday call was a memorable experience for all the wrong reasons.

0:25:500:25:55

'Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!'

0:25:550:25:58

It's a call you never really want to make.

0:25:580:26:01

The aircraft were being thrown about quite violently for the first 10 or 15 seconds.

0:26:010:26:07

But after that, I managed to gain control and land safely in the field.

0:26:070:26:12

Somebody's waiting for the pigeon to come home.

0:26:120:26:16

Although by the sound of the bang, I thought it were an ostrich, but ostriches can't fly.

0:26:160:26:22

Coming up, the man rescued from drowning in Whitby harbour reaches hospital. Will he recover?

0:26:260:26:32

They'll want to warm him back up to a normal temperature.

0:26:320:26:35

Some of this scenery may look familiar.

0:26:400:26:43

This is what's now known as Herriot Country after James Herriot,

0:26:430:26:48

the local vet who turned life down here on the farm into best-selling books and a TV series.

0:26:480:26:54

But the Helimed team know their way around the fields and barns of this area for a different reason.

0:26:540:27:00

Even the most idyllic landscape can be the backdrop to a nasty accident.

0:27:000:27:05

The Helimed team are called to farms twice a week on average, more than 100 times a year.

0:27:060:27:12

Cattle moving off to the left, horses as well. Beware of horses.

0:27:120:27:16

Today in North Yorkshire, the early harvest is over for one farm worker.

0:27:160:27:21

-Hiya, lads. How are we doing?

-Hiya.

-How's the pain?

-Bearable.

0:27:210:27:27

27-year-old Matt Rodgers has been trapped by a combine harvester. His leg is crushed.

0:27:270:27:32

-What injuries has he got?

-It looks like just tissue damage.

0:27:320:27:37

It's just all muscle.

0:27:370:27:40

Is it muscle?

0:27:400:27:42

-We strapped that across him.

-Oh, right, I see.

0:27:420:27:46

-Can you feel the oxygen, Matt?

-All down this side?

-It all opened up inside, yeah. Right up to there.

0:27:460:27:53

Fire-fighters have spent 45 minutes cutting him free.

0:27:530:27:57

Now he's about to get a 150 mile-an-hour flight to surgery.

0:27:570:28:03

We'll go straight north and over the hill to James Cook where they've got the specialist trauma centre.

0:28:030:28:09

He needs some surgery straight away probably.

0:28:090:28:12

Matt's leg is badly broken. He'll need reconstructive surgery if he's to walk normally again.

0:28:120:28:19

Combine harvesters are heavy, powerful and hard to steer as Matt's found out.

0:28:190:28:25

OK, you're normally fit and well. No asthma, no diabetes...?

0:28:250:28:29

Matt's been freed, but the medics are concerned.

0:28:290:28:32

His crush injuries are serious and he could be bleeding internally.

0:28:320:28:36

He had a bit of metal protruding out his right lower buttock, but it didn't penetrate his skin.

0:28:360:28:42

-He's got quite bit of bruising on this other femur.

-We'll get him all tied up, lads, then we can...

0:28:420:28:48

-Is my phone still there?

-Yeah, it's in your pocket.

0:28:480:28:51

He's an hour's drive from the nearest major trauma unit at the other side of the North York Moors.

0:28:510:28:57

But thanks to Helimed 99, he'll be touching down in A&E in Middlesbrough

0:28:570:29:02

in less than 15 minutes.

0:29:020:29:04

OK, feet first, nice and high.

0:29:040:29:07

That'll be grand. Keep him as high as we can. That's great. Keep coming, keep coming.

0:29:070:29:12

No wonder farmers in North Yorkshire are among the Air Ambulance's biggest fundraisers.

0:29:120:29:18

They know they're more likely to need help than most city dwellers.

0:29:180:29:23

After extensive surgery at the James Cook Hospital, Matt was released,

0:29:230:29:27

but it will be some time before he is fit to return to work.

0:29:270:29:32

You don't have to be working out in the fields to hurt yourself on a farm.

0:29:320:29:37

This is a workplace the whole family has to share.

0:29:370:29:41

In a farmyard in West Yorkshire, there's been a bizarre accident.

0:29:410:29:47

Helimed 98's patient is a woman who has become impaled on a rake.

0:29:480:29:52

To get a rake through your leg, it could be they've stood on a rake and it's gone through the foot

0:29:530:29:58

or it could be that a rake has splintered

0:29:580:30:01

and become impaled into the leg,

0:30:010:30:04

but as with any injury where it's pierced the skin, you're looking at damage to underlying structures.

0:30:040:30:10

Ground medics have moved Mary Schofield into their ambulance. The rake is still embedded in her leg.

0:30:100:30:17

Negative at the moment, because she's in the ambulance, so we'll be able to transport her closer.

0:30:170:30:23

She must have fallen on to the rake

0:30:230:30:25

and the rake's actually become embedded with two prongs around her knee area.

0:30:250:30:31

Paramedics see all sorts of injuries, but this one is a first for everyone and it's serious.

0:30:310:30:37

Mary has lost a lot of blood and the pain is unbearable.

0:30:370:30:41

We gave her some pain relief. We cut down the rake with a steel saw.

0:30:410:30:46

Whether we'll be able to get her in the helicopter, I don't know.

0:30:460:30:51

Peter now had a dilemma. The handle of the rake is too long to fit into Helimed 98.

0:30:510:30:56

But they can't risk moving the rake in case it's ruptured blood vessels or an artery.

0:30:560:31:03

The options are cutting it down, so we can get this into the aircraft -

0:31:030:31:07

the guys have already cut the post to get into the vehicle - or cutting the metal fork itself.

0:31:070:31:12

If Mary thought her ordeal couldn't get any worse, she could be in for a surprise.

0:31:120:31:18

They said, "Have you got any burning tackle?" They'll cut the steel off,

0:31:180:31:23

so there isn't a handle on it and it travels better.

0:31:230:31:26

That should mean the paramedics can remove the wooden handle,

0:31:260:31:30

but blowtorches can reach temperatures of over 2,000 degrees Celsius

0:31:300:31:35

and the team risk making Mary's injuries a lot worse.

0:31:350:31:39

-Get that wet stuff over.

-Get them wet rags over her.

0:31:390:31:42

Paramedics have to be resourceful sometimes and with the aid of a few useful objects from the farmyard,

0:31:420:31:48

the team start to remove the end of the rake.

0:31:480:31:52

Just as close to that as we can.

0:31:520:31:54

The fierce flame is just a few inches away from Mary's leg, but it's worked.

0:32:000:32:05

She's been very brave. I don't think I could have been as brave.

0:32:050:32:09

She's been marvellous. She's done really well.

0:32:090:32:12

-Am I going to Pinderfields still?

-Yeah, I think so.

-In the ambulance?

-In the helicopter.

-Oh, dear.

0:32:120:32:18

If it's hurting too much, let us know and we'll stop.

0:32:180:32:22

Now minus a long wooden pole, Mary easily fits into Helimed 98.

0:32:230:32:28

And Pinderfields Hospital is only a few minutes away.

0:32:280:32:32

Husband David is flying too, but with a dirty metal rake still stuck in her knee,

0:32:330:32:38

infection is a real risk and one which could complicate Mary's recovery.

0:32:380:32:44

Working on a farm is among the most dangerous jobs you can do.

0:32:440:32:48

From frisky livestock to toxic chemicals, there are endless ways you can hurt yourself.

0:32:480:32:54

But even your trusty tractor can be a killer.

0:32:540:32:59

Did they say this guy was actually in a field?

0:32:590:33:02

It's Crosper Farm. I'm wondering if it's a family business?

0:33:020:33:06

On the outskirts of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, a young farm hand has been run over by his own tractor

0:33:060:33:12

that weighs over five tonnes.

0:33:120:33:15

Got some wires down just before the building.

0:33:150:33:19

He's waving away, or someone in the crew. I can't make out his hand signals, to be honest.

0:33:190:33:25

It's going to be a dusty landing,

0:33:250:33:28

particularly for a ground paramedic who probably wishes he hadn't decided to marshal in Helimed 99.

0:33:280:33:34

Peter Wass appears to have had a miraculous escape.

0:33:340:33:38

He was emptying freshly cut grass on to a silage heap when the accident happened.

0:33:380:33:43

And the tractor has squashed Peter into the soft mound.

0:33:430:33:47

This is the driver of the tractor.

0:33:470:33:50

And as he's jumped out, another tractor has rolled over him.

0:33:500:33:54

There's no doubt 16-year-old Peter has been lucky.

0:33:550:33:59

But he's sustained a notoriously painful injury.

0:33:590:34:03

He's been run over by a tractor over his right upper leg.

0:34:030:34:07

Query - dislocated right hip.

0:34:070:34:10

I think we'll be about ten minutes getting him on board.

0:34:100:34:14

So I think we'll have an ETA of about 10.40. Over.

0:34:140:34:18

That'll start working, but it'll be about 10 or 15 minutes.

0:34:180:34:22

I'm just loading you up, so take your time, nice and steady.

0:34:220:34:26

We'll get you some gas and air, so we can get you on this flat board cos that's gonna be a bit painful.

0:34:260:34:32

The main thing is transferring him with as little pain as possible.

0:34:320:34:36

He'll have some gas and air to supplement the morphine.

0:34:360:34:40

-Are we going straight over on to the board?

-Yes.

0:34:400:34:43

-When you're ready...

-Ready, steady, move.

0:34:430:34:47

Do you want some more of that gas?

0:34:480:34:51

I know you're not so keen on it, but just try and relax that leg again for us. All right?

0:34:510:34:57

Take some nice, deep breaths.

0:34:570:34:59

According to the Health and Safety Executive,

0:34:590:35:02

agriculture is now officially the most dangerous job in Britain.

0:35:020:35:06

OK, that's it. Let go.

0:35:070:35:09

Peter's farming career has only just started.

0:35:090:35:12

Now he's likely to be laid up for months recovering from the accident that could have killed him.

0:35:120:35:18

Harrogate Hospital and more pain relief is thankfully only a few minutes away.

0:35:180:35:23

-Were it the front or back wheel? Can you remember?

-Back wheel. It went over my leg, then stopped.

0:35:230:35:30

But you were on all that silage, so it were soft underneath you.

0:35:300:35:34

All right. It's no consolation, is it?

0:35:340:35:37

This is Helimed 99, just lifted from a site near Spofforth and bound to Harrogate Hospital.

0:35:370:35:44

Thanks to Helimed 99 and the silage heap,

0:35:440:35:47

Peter spent just a few days in hospital and was soon back home.

0:35:470:35:52

But farming is a physical job and it'll be some time before he is back on the farm.

0:35:520:35:59

Growing up on a farm sounds like a dream for a city kid like me -

0:36:000:36:05

loads of fresh air, freedom and lots of things to mess about with,

0:36:050:36:09

but the countryside can be a dangerous place.

0:36:090:36:12

Take this wheelbarrow - hardly the most dangerous object in the world!

0:36:120:36:17

But in the skies over the Yorkshire Dales, paramedics Pete Vallance and Al Day are about to deal

0:36:170:36:23

with the result of a bizarre accident.

0:36:230:36:26

Somebody's apparently fallen. We don't know too much about the job.

0:36:260:36:30

It's come from another ambulance service.

0:36:300:36:33

We'll see what's going on when we get there.

0:36:330:36:36

Looks like cattle to the right-hand side and horses.

0:36:360:36:40

Farmers have to be smart businessmen to survive up in the Dales.

0:36:400:36:44

Some have branched out in unusual directions.

0:36:440:36:47

-You've got llamas in that field.

-Is that what they are?

0:36:470:36:50

Pilot JJ Smith hasn't had to deal with llamas before.

0:36:500:36:54

The team's patient today is Daniel Hall. He's one of three brothers who love Jackass,

0:36:540:37:00

the American TV series in which crazy stunts often result in painful injuries.

0:37:000:37:05

They've certainly managed that bit. His leg is broken.

0:37:050:37:08

His injury is the result of a high-speed wheelbarrow ride down a steep hill

0:37:080:37:13

on the farm where his mum keeps horses.

0:37:130:37:17

-He was wheelbarrowing down the hill, then he let go and he started rolling and spinning.

-And he heard a crack.

0:37:170:37:23

His brothers are remarkably unsympathetic.

0:37:230:37:27

-Daniel actually did it with me first, then Joshua.

-Great.

-Then Daniel did it with me later.

0:37:270:37:33

And then I did it, but I didn't break anything.

0:37:330:37:38

-Don't watch it.

-Don't watch it? Don't do it.

0:37:380:37:41

If you push up with your good leg, if I support this, can you manage up there?

0:37:410:37:46

Paramedic Pete is used to bizarre accidents, but not those inspired by TV.

0:37:460:37:51

I've watched a few episodes, but it gets a bit severe at times with some of the stunts they get up to.

0:37:510:37:58

-I bet you don't watch it, do you?

-Do you watch Jackass?

-No, I don't.

0:37:580:38:03

Good answer.

0:38:030:38:05

Don't do this at home.

0:38:050:38:07

He should have listened to his brother.

0:38:070:38:11

Daniel's injury is painful, but not serious enough to earn him a flight to hospital.

0:38:110:38:16

He's soon on his way back up the hill on four wheels. He'll be in plaster for a month.

0:38:160:38:22

His next attempt at wheelbarrow racing will have to wait.

0:38:220:38:26

I'm pleased to say all our patients are on the road to recovery.

0:38:260:38:30

Let's find out what happened to the man who was lucky to survive a fall off the harbour wall at Whitby.

0:38:300:38:37

On a summer's Sunday evening,

0:38:370:38:39

the holidaymakers in Whitby have witnessed a dramatic rescue in the town's historic harbour.

0:38:390:38:45

The inshore lifeboat was launched and plucked local man Stuart Sloane out of the cold water.

0:38:450:38:51

Now the Helimed team are racing the setting sun to get Stuart to the trauma centre

0:38:510:38:56

of the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough.

0:38:560:39:00

It seems that he's maybe fractured quite a few ribs on his right side.

0:39:000:39:05

With the chopper not able to fly at night,

0:39:050:39:08

Middlesbrough and the James Cook Hospital helipad is a welcome sight for the crew and patient.

0:39:080:39:13

We're going into the hospital. OK, arm across your tummy like that.

0:39:130:39:18

There's another worry. As well as Stuart's injuries from his fall,

0:39:180:39:22

swallowing a lot of salt water can be deadly.

0:39:220:39:25

It can bring on what's called secondary drowning

0:39:250:39:29

where excess salt dehydrates the body to such an extent,

0:39:290:39:33

it can go into cardiac arrest up to 24 hours after the incident.

0:39:330:39:37

We're quite concerned about this rib pain that he's got.

0:39:370:39:40

We're quite worried about his ribs.

0:39:400:39:43

They're just in there now giving him some more painkiller,

0:39:430:39:47

then Lee's handing over and letting them know what's happened.

0:39:470:39:51

While Lee is in Resus dealing with his patient, pilot Craig is speeding things along,

0:39:510:39:57

clearing up the paramedics' medical kit. He needs a quick getaway from Teesside.

0:39:570:40:02

They're probably gonna want to warm him back up to a normal temperature.

0:40:030:40:07

He still was very cold, despite the blankets that we put on him.

0:40:070:40:11

It's a week since the accident

0:40:120:40:15

and Stuart is now recovering back home in Whitby.

0:40:150:40:19

For Steve Crowe, the hero of this rescue, it's just another day at work,

0:40:220:40:27

persuading tourists to take a speedboat ride around the bay.

0:40:270:40:31

I was just packing up for the night,

0:40:310:40:34

getting everything on the boat, then go home.

0:40:340:40:36

And somebody shouted down that he fell in.

0:40:360:40:40

It's a fair old fall, to be honest with you.

0:40:400:40:44

It's about a 20-foot fall, something like that?

0:40:440:40:47

First I was looking for a way to get him out without having to go in there cos it's very cold.

0:40:470:40:53

There wasn't a way, so I climbed down the ladder and walked up to him.

0:40:530:40:57

If he'd calmed down, he could've walked over to the ladder himself,

0:40:570:41:00

then waited for the inshore lifeboat to show up.

0:41:000:41:03

The RNLI inshore rescue crew train for incidents like this.

0:41:030:41:07

These volunteers are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

0:41:070:41:13

When we got on the scene, a police officer and a member of the public were holding him.

0:41:130:41:18

We realised he was badly injured.

0:41:180:41:20

That's the first time I've worked with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

0:41:200:41:24

It's good that they're there to assist with what we've got to do.

0:41:240:41:28

And as for our reluctant hero Steve Crowe,

0:41:280:41:32

every day at work is a reminder of what could have been.

0:41:320:41:36

Since that day, whenever people are up close to the edge, it makes you a bit nervous.

0:41:360:41:41

Yeah.

0:41:440:41:46

And that is all from Helicopter Heroes for now.

0:41:460:41:50

Thanks for watching. And remember, if you're ever in trouble, help might just come from the skies.

0:41:500:41:56

Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2009

0:42:080:42:12

Email [email protected]

0:42:120:42:15

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

Helimed 99 touches down on the beach after a sun-seeker falls into Whitby Harbour, football fan Steve flies into his favourite team's ground and a farmer's wife needs urgent medical treatment.


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