Episode 3 Helicopter Heroes


Episode 3

Rav Wilding looks at the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. A police pursuit ends with an injured suspect, and the chopper is scrambled to save an injured pilot.


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Transcript


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If you're critically ill or seriously injured

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in a place like this, there's only one thing that can save you

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and that's speed.

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It doesn't matter where you are, this helicopter

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with its highly trained 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 England's biggest county dial 999,

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there's a 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, there's an air crash.

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Helimed 99 flies to the rescue.

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-How does your breathing feel?

-Hard.

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A young driver's in trouble in an upturned car.

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Please be careful! Don't let it fall!

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Police, camera, traction - a car chase ends with an injured suspect.

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He's come from that field, through this field, taking out a tree.

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And an unhappy landing for the bird man who touched down in a tree.

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The skies of Yorkshire are among the busiest in the UK.

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Not to mention two international airports and three busy RAF bases,

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it's also home to hundreds of weekend fliers.

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And sometimes the Helimed team find themselves scrambling to the rescue of a fellow aviator.

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Helimed 99 is on its way to a car crash.

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Ambulance control have a more urgent call for paramedics, Darren and Sammy.

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'Air control, Helimed 99, we're diverting you to another emergency.

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'40-year-old male,

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'crashed a motorised trike into a fence.'

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There's a quad bike down there, about 9 o'clock.

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A Microlight plane has crashed on take-off from a farm landing strip.

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-Is that something that's crashed?

-Yes, something's crashed I think. Right, OK. Somebody's waving at us.

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He's probably fallen down a ditch.

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That's a crumpled mess.

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Mark Badminton is an experienced flying instructor.

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His plane suffered engine failure and crashed into a hedgerow.

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The paramedics fear he has damaged his spine. He's certainly in pain.

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On a scale of one to ten, if ten is the worst pain and a zero is none.

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-This is ten.

-This is ten and which bit is it that hurts the most?

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Sammy's ambition is to fly in a Microlight,

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but this is a reminder of how little protection there is for pilot and passenger.

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-Can you remember what happened?

-Yeah.

-Any idea what sort of height you were at?

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We just hit the hedge. We were going level.

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How an accident happened can help the paramedics work out

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how serious the patient's injuries may be.

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All Mark knows is that it hurts. But Dr Tom Hurst suspects he may have a spinal injury.

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-Just down the middle of your back here.

-Ow! Ow!

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We need another crew as well.

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-Ambulance ETA five minutes.

-Excellent.

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Mark's breathing is laboured.

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He's clearly sustained a serious chest injury as well.

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Which side of your chest feels worst?

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-PATIENT GROANS

-Pardon?

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-Central.

-Central.

-Sternum.

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How does your breathing feel?

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-Hard.

-Hard.

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I'm going to put a needle in your arm, all right, and then we can give you some pain relief with that, OK?

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His passenger was also hurt as the plane came down in a stubble field.

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He's in the care of Holly, an off-duty member of the ambulance service

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who dashed to the scene from her home.

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-It feels bruised.

-It just feels bruised, all right.

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-I can't feel anything on that side.

-We're going to bob a collar on you.

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-Yeah.

-We're going to play it as if you've hurt your back, all right?

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Then we'll bob you on a spine board when the ambulance gets here.

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Microlights aren't built to crash and this one had a full tank of fuel. Gallons have spilled out.

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And with her patient and only yards away, Sammy is worried about fire.

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Is there a fuel cut-off switch?

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She needn't be.

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Despite his injuries, pilot Mark remembered his safety drill.

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-You did it?

-Yeah.

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Simon Melton wasn't expecting this flight to end like this and he wants to tell his wife.

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Sadly, there's no signal, so a friend has to break the bad news.

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He's just had a bit of an accident in the Microlight.

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He's all right but he's just going to York Hospital.

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Don't worry, he's all right. He's fine, conscious and everything. He's all right.

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He's about to get in the ambulance.

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Mark's just beaten the odds by surviving an air crash

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that could have easily killed him and his passenger outright.

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But concern over his medical condition is growing.

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We're putting this collar round your neck...

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Coming up, Helimed 99 takes off with the downed flier.

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Will his injuries ground him for good?

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He probably has bilateral rib fractures.

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He may have a small amount of collapse of the lung underneath.

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You're nicked. The traffic cop hitches a lift with his suspect.

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And a big walker takes on a big challenge and lands the medics with a big problem.

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I got to the top and that was it.

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Young drivers pay more for their insurance for good reason.

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They have more accidents, but it's not always their fault.

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Sometimes the road conditions or the weather catch out an inexperienced motorist.

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On a miserable day near Sheffield, the weather has played its part in a serious accident.

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A car has left the M18 after aquaplaning on water and plunged down a wooded embankment.

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Its driver is trapped.

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Helimed 98 is on the way.

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Helimed 98 to Yorkshire air desk cover.

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Yeah, roger. The crew are showing 11 minutes away, over.

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The downpour may have made the roads tricky

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but flying in low cloud and rain is potentially just as dangerous as being out and about down there.

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I can't see much up the hill, can you, slowing down?

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You've got the wires running on the ridge.

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An unseen power line can bring down a helicopter, but at least paramedics,

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Pete Vallance and Paul Bradbury, haven't got far to go this morning.

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On the radar, look where the guy is,

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the right hand side.

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You can see stripes leading off the road.

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Tim has to touch down on a steeply sloping field.

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-That's steeper than it looks.

-It is.

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It means the whirling rotor blades are only feet from the ground.

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It could be a risky exit for Pete and Paul.

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We're on the limit. Watch yourself when you get out.

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24-year-old, Kelly Gannon, was driving to work as a shop manager at the giant Meadowhall Shopping Centre

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when her morning commute ended in a terrifying crash.

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Hi, it's ambulance again. I'm going to try and open this door, my love.

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-Be careful, don't let it fall!

-Don't worry.

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Now she's pinned in her seat and only a few tree branches

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are preventing her car from plunging further down the embankment.

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Do you remember what happened prior to it?

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I hit a big... I think there must have been a puddle just where I've come off the motorway.

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-You've aquaplaned off?

-Pardon?

-You've aquaplaned, have you? Skidded on the water.

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It just went like that and I lost control, I couldn't keep hold of the steering wheel.

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-It just turned and I went flying.

-OK.

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She's still in her seat belt so she's suspended upside down.

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What we're going to do is ease her out gently,

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place her on a long board and do a further examination in the back of the vehicle.

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Kelly's car is a soft-top and she's been very lucky the trees didn't tear off the roof,

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but she's not out of danger yet.

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Right, Kelly, can I feel your legs, darling?

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Kelly's terrified.

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She can feel the car moving.

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It's going to move! It's going to move!

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Kelly, it's the door moving, the door's banging on my leg.

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-That leg all right?

-Yeah.

-Fantastic.

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-Have you still got the seat belt on at the moment?

-Yeah.

-All right.

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Paul's not saying so but he's concerned, too.

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He wants Kelly out, fast.

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I'm trying to think of the best way.

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If I get in, stabilise her. As soon as we release the belt she's going to drop straight down.

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Paul and Pete know cars can easily tip over.

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Get to the side of her, do you think? Yeah?

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Paul's taking no chances.

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Kelly's seat belt has done its job but dozens of dazed motorists are seriously injured each year

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when they unfasten their belts after an impact and fall on to their heads.

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What I'm going to do, I'm going to come and put myself here, all right?

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Hold your waist and I'm going to take the seat belt off and I'm going to ease you on to this side.

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-Which side?

-This side, where the door is, all right?

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They're about to move Kelly and with the car still held by a single sapling that's a risky operation.

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Coming up, the rescue operation begins.

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Paul becomes a human safety net for his patient.

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-I've got your weight. Does that hurt when I'm pressing?

-Just my waist.

-Just your waist.

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A Microlight pilot's medical condition gives cause for concern.

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He's breathing shallow because of the pain.

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And an electrician is blown off scaffolding when he tries to fix a light in a gale.

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Giving hospital doctors the full story on a patient's accident or illness

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is a vital part of a paramedic's job, but sometimes finding out the truth can be tricky.

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In North Lincolnshire, there's been a police chase and the suspect is injured.

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-Straight through, Donny.

-Yeah.

-Sandtoft, along, right on the border with Humberside.

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-OK.

-ATZ.

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Paramedics, Pat Greaken and Lee Davison, don't know what their patient has done

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but it sounds like he needs their skills.

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-'Yorkshire air desk, Helimed 98 receiving.'

-Helimed 98 receiving now.

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'Apparently the injuries, this 30-year-old male, are life threatening.

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'The patient approximately left the road at 100 miles an hour,

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'so I think you're going to need a police officer on scene to travel with you to hospital, over.'

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Pilot, Tim Taylor, has flown police helicopters

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but this will be the first time he's carried a passenger who's actually under arrest.

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I don't think you'll want to try and jump out at 1,000 feet!

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He's not that desperate to escape!

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Would you want to stay in a helicopter with grumpy Lee sat in the front seat? I wouldn't!

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A high-speed pursuit involving the elite Humberside Police vehicle crime unit,

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stars of the hit TV series, Traffic Cops, has ended in a major accident.

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In the middle of the field there, 4 o'clock.

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-You see?

-Aye.

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-Yeah.

-He's done a good job of that.

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Afternoon, gents.

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He's a big fellow. 24 stone.

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How do?

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-Hello.

-He's been pursued by the police.

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He's come from that field, through this field, taking out a tree.

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Significant damage to the car,

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airbags have all gone off, seat's actually collapsed.

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-Steering column's collapsed

-Onto his pelvis, yeah.

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Whenever a police car is in an accident, there's a major investigation.

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And because there was a chase, it already involves the Independent Police Complaints Authority,

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but the Helimed team know that getting their patient to hospital as fast as possible

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takes priority over everything else.

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He's come from that junction.

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Basically he didn't make the S-bend and he came straight across...

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-And continued.

-And continued.

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We're concerned about his injuries because the vehicle is badly damaged.

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We've immediately taken him from the vehicle. It started to smoke so we're concerned about safety issues.

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Taken him from the vehicle, straight to the recovery position and he's complaining of back pain, etc.

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We're going to go to Hull Royal, estimate Hull Royal at 1335.

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It's feared the driver may have injured his spine when the car landed in the field.

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We're going to fly him to Hull Royal

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with a police officer on board because he's under arrest.

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The team know this is exactly the sort of impact that can lead to serious internal injuries.

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The body and the car came to an abrupt stop,

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the organs can carry on moving inside the body,

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so you can get bruising and things like that,

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so we need to keep him monitored and Pat's just sorting that out and then we'll be off.

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The driver may not have escaped but he's been lucky.

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This accident could easily have been fatal.

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The empty roads of rural Lincolnshire frequently top the UK's road death statistics.

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Helimed 98 is fully laden.

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Deep breaths, everyone. Let's hope we have a good take-off.

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Hull's big city hospital is less than five minutes away.

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Depending on the outcome of the driver's examination

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it's also just down the road from Humberside Police headquarters.

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But first, they've got to cross the mighty Humber estuary, all two miles of it.

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-25 metre pressure day.

-Yeah.

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Swimming with your pyjamas on or something.

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But there's a problem. The landing pad is half-a-mile from the A&E department.

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The ambulance sent to pick up their patient hasn't arrived.

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There has been a communication breakdown,

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probably because the accident happened in the area covered by another ambulance service.

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There we go.

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-Security aren't even here, are they?

-No.

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Did control say if they'd had any difficulty getting a crew?

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We've landed and there's no security here and no vehicle.

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We're just waiting for a vehicle to come round.

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We've called control and our control and we're just having a word with them

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to see if there's a problem getting a vehicle here. Hopefully a couple of minutes we should be ready.

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Finally, the people needed to move the driver turn up.

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It's been an unusual emergency

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but paramedics are trained to give all patients the same care regardless of how they were hurt.

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You don't judge people on what they've done or who they are,

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it's just treating their medical condition

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and the primary concern for us as medics is to look after them and make sure he's OK medically.

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What he's done outside of that the police will deal with.

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And obviously they've travelled with us because he remains under arrest.

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We don't let that get in the way of what we have to do, they understand that,

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that if we need to do any clinical intervention they allow us to do that.

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The driver was charged with several offences

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and convicted by a local court in connection with a deception charge.

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He didn't receive a jail sentence and fully recovered.

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Coming up, the operation to free a trapped motorist begins.

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Will the sapling supporting her car hold?

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Plus, paramedic Pat gets caught up in his own emergency - with a barbed-wire fence!

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Don't you be filming this!

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When you're a flyer, the worst time to have engine failure is just after take-off.

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The ground is very close, you've got no time to work out what has gone wrong,

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and a crash is just seconds away.

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One lucky pilot survived this, but the team are still worried about his condition.

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At an isolated airstrip in North Yorkshire, a Microlight has crashed.

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The pilot, flying instructor Mark Badminton, is badly hurt.

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He's taken the full force of the 45mph impact on his chest,

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and he's struggling to breathe.

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Let's put a collar on him.

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The crew of Helimed 99, fear he may also have a spinal injury.

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What we're going to do is we're going to put this collar round your neck, keep your head still for me.

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Is it the back of your head that hurts?

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Keep still for me. Keep still.

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The accident has happened more than a mile from the nearest country lane.

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North Yorkshire's ground ambulance crews are used to off-road driving.

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Today, flying paramedic, Simon Cavanagh is at the wheel,

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doing his regular stint on the ground.

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We got it as a trike, somebody had driven a trike into a hedge.

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We didn't know it was a Microlight till we got here.

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We've got a gentleman with back pain.

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But he's conscious and breathing, so we're not overly worried about him.

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Obviously, you guys have got the serious one.

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The team are ready to move, but Mark's in agony and he must have pain relief,

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or he could go into shock.

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-You want to give something?

-I'm thinking morphine, but if you want to go straight...

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Flying doctor, Tom Hurst, knows Mark's lucky.

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It's harvest time, when the fields are usually baked hard.

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But there has been heavy rain, and mud has softened the plane's landing.

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-OW!

-Which bit's hurting there?

-There's a guy pressing on me.

-Sorry, mate.

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Mark is in a lot of discomfort.

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A lot of it's caused by the rigid collar the team have put around his neck.

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But if he does have a spinal injury, it could prevent paralysis.

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We're going to take this gentleman to York.

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It's only about four minutes away.

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Simon Milton will go to hospital by road.

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His injuries aren't as serious as his pilot's.

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Paramedics, Darren and Sammy, don't see many air crashes,

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and considering the way Mark's travelling to hospital, it's just as well.

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OK, Mark?

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Half an hour ago, Mark was lining up for take-off in his flexed wing Ultralight,

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and now it's a twisted heap of tubular metal and nylon.

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And he's about to take to the skies again, in a three-ton helicopter.

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Heart rate's low, it's 66.

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-I feel all right.

-You do?

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Fantastic. Bit of a sportsman, eh?

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Great, OK then.

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Sammy's always fancied Microlight flying, so she could be forgiven for having second thoughts now.

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It's a short flight to York, and thanks to the magnificent medieval minster, navigation is no problem.

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Mark is already booked into an X-ray machine.

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His back pain and numbness are worrying symptoms.

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He may have bilateral rib fractures.

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He may have a small amount of collapse of the lung underneath.

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At the moment, his oxygen levels are fine and his breathing pattern is OK.

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He's breathing very shallow, because of the pain.

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There's not a lot to see, but I can feel it.

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Whether he'll return to the cockpit's a question that doctors have yet to answer.

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How's that pain in your chest now?

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-It's down to a seven.

-A seven, good. That's good news.

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I'm alive, it's a nice day.

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That's a good attitude.

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All that the crew of Helimed 99 know is that few aviators are as fortunate when they crash.

0:19:560:20:02

They have been extremely lucky. They've only come from about 20 feet,

0:20:020:20:05

but they were still travelling at 45mph across the ground.

0:20:050:20:08

Had they been coming from 40 feet off the ground, things could be entirely different.

0:20:080:20:14

Things like this always have an element of luck involved.

0:20:140:20:18

The team are sure that Mark's broken ribs on both sides of his chest,

0:20:180:20:23

among the most painful injuries you can endure.

0:20:230:20:26

Has the crash damaged his back?

0:20:260:20:28

That could be far more serious.

0:20:280:20:31

Coming up, Sammy has just seen what can happen when a Microlight crashes.

0:20:380:20:42

Can she beat her fears and fulfil an ambition to fly one?

0:20:420:20:45

-Pull it down like so...

-It's starting to turn. That's good.

0:20:450:20:49

Whoa!

0:20:490:20:50

And the patient suffering from embarrassment, why this man needed hospital treatment.

0:20:520:20:57

-He said he felt a little foolish.

-I can imagine.

0:20:570:21:00

Let's return to the case of the teenager who found herself trapped in her upturned car

0:21:050:21:11

after losing control on a South Yorkshire motorway.

0:21:110:21:14

On a miserable day near Sheffield, a car has aquaplaned and careered down a wooded embankment.

0:21:140:21:21

It's balanced precariously against a sapling, and one movement

0:21:210:21:25

could send it crashing further down the steep slope.

0:21:250:21:29

Motorist, Kelly Gannon is pinned in her seat upside down.

0:21:290:21:33

The crew of Helimed 98 are about to move her.

0:21:330:21:36

It's a risky procedure.

0:21:360:21:38

Paul will unfasten her seat belt, and catch her if she falls free.

0:21:380:21:43

I'm going to release this belt.

0:21:430:21:45

Does that hurt, when I'm pressing?

0:21:480:21:50

-Just my waist.

-Where the belt is.

0:21:500:21:53

The team have been unable to carry out a detailed examination in the car.

0:21:530:21:56

They've treated Kelly as if she's a serious spinal injury,

0:21:560:22:01

strapping her on to a rigid stretcher to keep her back straight.

0:22:010:22:05

I know it's not very comfortable, but just hang on.

0:22:050:22:09

And she's out. It's a big relief for Kelly, and her rescuers.

0:22:090:22:12

What we'll do, we'll slide you up nice and gently and we'll get you strapped on this board.

0:22:120:22:17

The car is still in danger of toppling.

0:22:170:22:20

Kelly managed to call for help on her mobile phone, and some of her family have turned up.

0:22:200:22:26

-Hiya. Are you Kelly's mum?

-Cousin.

0:22:260:22:30

She's fine, she's all right.

0:22:300:22:32

I'm from air ambulance. We just got her out. She's more shook up than anything else.

0:22:320:22:36

They needn't have worried.

0:22:360:22:38

It looks like Kelly has had a remarkable escape.

0:22:380:22:41

She's been a very lucky girl. She's left the road, I don't know what sort of speed she were doing.

0:22:410:22:46

Certainly on this slip road, I'd imagine she'd be doing about 70mph.

0:22:460:22:50

The vehicle has gone into the trees.

0:22:500:22:53

As it's a soft top,

0:22:530:22:54

it would only have taken one branch to come through the roof

0:22:540:22:57

and it could have been a different story.

0:22:570:22:59

Have you got any tightness in your chest? Do you feel short of breath at all?

0:23:000:23:04

She's off by road for a full check-up in hospital.

0:23:040:23:07

She doesn't seem seriously injured so the ambulance are going to take her.

0:23:070:23:10

It's only 10 minutes' drive to the local hospital.

0:23:100:23:14

Given the weather,

0:23:140:23:15

there's a fair chance there will be some more accidents.

0:23:150:23:18

So it'll leave us clear to work on anything else.

0:23:180:23:21

Younger drivers involved in accidents often have serious psychological consequences.

0:23:210:23:27

Will Kelly be happy to drive on wet roads again?

0:23:270:23:30

It's three months since her crash.

0:23:340:23:36

Kelly is back on the road, in an identical car.

0:23:360:23:39

-Hello. How are you doing?

-Fine, thank you.

0:23:400:23:43

The accident has made her nervous.

0:23:430:23:45

Today, she's booked into a course to learn how to tackle conditions like those which almost killed her.

0:23:450:23:51

This time, she'll be aquaplaning safely,

0:23:510:23:53

on a disused airfield, with a crash helmet and an instructor beside her.

0:23:530:23:58

Right then, Kelly. It's your turn now.

0:23:580:24:01

You'll see that you can control the car quite well.

0:24:010:24:03

This is the sort of training I had to do before they let me loose in a patrol car.

0:24:030:24:08

It certainly me made me a better driver.

0:24:080:24:10

Motorists like Kelly can make mistakes here safely.

0:24:100:24:15

Turn the steering, turn more. Off the throttle, off.

0:24:170:24:20

What's happening there, is that you're keeping the throttle on and it's pushing the front end away.

0:24:200:24:26

So when I start skidding, I need to take my foot off the gas, yeah?

0:24:260:24:29

When the front of the car slides, you need to come off the gas.

0:24:290:24:32

When the back of the car slides, you need to go on to it.

0:24:320:24:37

After half an hour, she reckons she's got much better grip of driving in the wet.

0:24:370:24:42

I feel a lot more confident in that if it did ever happen again,

0:24:420:24:45

I'd be able to drive out of it safely.

0:24:450:24:47

Brilliant. Which is exactly why you're here.

0:24:470:24:50

What you were saying happened is completely normal, hitting puddles. It could happen to anyone of us.

0:24:500:24:55

Definitely. I just think if you're taught a little bit like this when you start learning to drive,

0:24:550:25:01

you're taught the basics of how to manage a gearstick etc,

0:25:010:25:04

and you're not really taught what happens if you ever get into an accident.

0:25:040:25:08

I think if something like this was introduced to people,

0:25:080:25:12

it could prevent a lot of accidents on the road.

0:25:120:25:15

-That's power!

-Coming up, paramedic Sammy takes on a flight over one of the UK's most beautiful cities.

0:25:240:25:31

Is that you or me?

0:25:310:25:33

Most of the people who fly in this helicopter don't deserve to be hurt.

0:25:380:25:42

Often, sheer bad luck lads them on a stretcher.

0:25:420:25:45

Every week, the Helimed team meet people who could have spared themselves the pain and discomfort

0:25:450:25:50

with a little thought, or common sense.

0:25:500:25:54

Yorkshire's flying paramedics spent their lives in red suits.

0:25:560:26:00

Sometimes, they end up with red faces as well.

0:26:000:26:02

Pat Greaken knows the feeling.

0:26:020:26:05

All it took was an ambitious attempt to scale a barbed-wire fence,

0:26:050:26:09

and Pat is the talk of the Air Ambulance Unit.

0:26:090:26:12

Don't you be filming this!

0:26:140:26:16

He knows as well as his colleagues that it could have been worse.

0:26:160:26:20

An awful lot of patients end up in hospital

0:26:200:26:23

with an injury, and a severe case of personal embarrassment!

0:26:230:26:27

Ever since the Wright brothers, people have been looking for a cheap way to fly.

0:26:270:26:31

I don't mind forking out 99p plus taxes for a no-frills flight,

0:26:310:26:36

but I'd draw the line at taking off with our next patient.

0:26:360:26:39

Imagine strapping an engine and a large fan on your back,

0:26:390:26:43

and with the help of a parachute, climbing thousands of feet into the air. This is paramotoring.

0:26:430:26:50

This guy is an expert.

0:26:500:26:54

Today, the Helimed team are on the way to a pilot who has found out the downside of this sport.

0:26:540:27:00

This must be one of the shortest flights ever.

0:27:000:27:03

The unfortunate pilot has crashed into a tree on take-off, and he's broken his thigh bone.

0:27:030:27:08

He may be in pain, but the remains of his canopy show he's lucky to be alive.

0:27:080:27:13

The pilot's in agony.

0:27:130:27:16

Paramedic Sammy knows only one drug can help him.

0:27:160:27:20

And he needs more than she'd normally prescribe.

0:27:200:27:22

Chris, I'd like to have you contact a doctor,

0:27:220:27:26

to request to give 10 additional milligrams of morphine.

0:27:260:27:32

With a relatively small amount of training, anyone can fly a paramotor.

0:27:320:27:38

The inexpensive gear folds up into the boot of a car, and if you're brave enough,

0:27:380:27:42

you can reach speeds of over 40mph and heights of 10,000 feet.

0:27:420:27:46

This pilot barely made it off the ground.

0:27:460:27:49

With their injured birdman safely on board, it's time for pilot JJ, to show him how it's done.

0:27:490:27:57

The pilot made a full recovery, but his bruised pride may take longer to heal.

0:27:570:28:02

It's amazing how many people forget that something that was child's play as a kid

0:28:020:28:08

isn't quite that simple when you're the wrong side of 35.

0:28:080:28:11

Young legs, that once took you anywhere you like,

0:28:110:28:15

can easily run out of steam when you've left short trousers behind and put on a few pounds.

0:28:150:28:20

Out here, that matters.

0:28:200:28:21

Everything about the landscape of the Yorkshire Dales is outsized.

0:28:240:28:27

You need to be fit if you want to enjoy this place properly.

0:28:270:28:30

Nowhere demands more of a sightseer than Gordale Scar.

0:28:300:28:34

It's a vast limestone gorge, formed from a collapsed prehistoric cave.

0:28:340:28:41

-Let's just see if those two guys are still sat there.

-Yes.

0:28:410:28:44

Today, Helimed 99 has been scrambled to one of the few level patches of ground here, to rescue a tourist.

0:28:440:28:49

It means a difficult climb down a treacherous path for paramedic Sammy.

0:28:490:28:57

A man has collapsed halfway down the tricky route from the bottom of the gorge to the top.

0:28:570:29:01

This is an outing for hardcore walkers.

0:29:030:29:06

Are you the gentlemen that have asked for some assistance? Excellent.

0:29:060:29:10

Sit tight, I'll be with you in a second.

0:29:100:29:13

Magney Furamolmon, Mass to his mates, is out with his brother.

0:29:130:29:17

They had just climbed 250ft up a waterfall, when Mass keeled over.

0:29:170:29:22

-I got to the top of the waterfall, and that was it.

-Well done. Have a seat. Get your breath back.

0:29:240:29:30

This gentleman has been under quite an extreme effort up this hillside.

0:29:300:29:35

He felt unwell, recognised that, decided to come to a stop.

0:29:350:29:40

Sammy suspects 39-year-old Mass is simply exhausted.

0:29:400:29:43

He could have a mild heart attack, but there's no sign of it.

0:29:430:29:47

She can certainly rule out a shortage of energy.

0:29:470:29:50

Have you had some breakfast today?

0:29:500:29:52

Yes, I have. But I have also just had a

0:29:530:29:57

-Kit Kat, a Wagon Wheel, I've had a...

-You gutsy thing!

-I know!

0:29:570:30:03

Concerned passers-by have been feeding Mass.

0:30:030:30:07

It's two hours since he passed out but he still hasn't had the energy to complete the climb.

0:30:070:30:12

Luckily, the local mountain rescue team have turned out to help.

0:30:120:30:17

The plan is to walk the patient up the hill with a stretcher as a standby.

0:30:170:30:22

This patient has loss of consciousness and could have passed out for two minutes.

0:30:220:30:27

His obs appear well and normal at this time.

0:30:270:30:30

Mass's brother had a premonition their ambitious outing was going to go wrong.

0:30:300:30:36

Sat down and passed out. That was it.

0:30:360:30:38

It sounds daft, this but I had a funny feeling something was going to happen today.

0:30:380:30:43

It's a view mountain rescue seemed to share.

0:30:430:30:45

They say too many walkers aren't fit enough to for the routes they choose and fail to take basic precautions,

0:30:450:30:51

like taking food and water with them.

0:30:510:30:55

We've got a mountain rescue stretcher coming up with more personnel,

0:30:550:30:59

a couple of ropes and basically a big sleeping-bag, a casualty bag.

0:30:590:31:02

Mountain rescue are going to lead Mass up the path to the top.

0:31:020:31:07

He's a big fella and they're in no hurry to use their stretcher.

0:31:070:31:11

But it'll follow on behind just in case.

0:31:110:31:13

He still hasn't lost his sweet tooth.

0:31:130:31:16

If we wait here a bit longer I might get some Mars Bars or Snicker Bars or some Twixes.

0:31:160:31:23

Mass's brother would like to share a flight out of the scar,

0:31:230:31:26

but the Helimed choppers are for real emergencies.

0:31:260:31:30

Mass will enjoy the short flight to the ground ambulance parked at the end of the gorge.

0:31:300:31:35

His brother is going to have to walk.

0:31:350:31:38

Mass was checked out by the ambulance crew and found to be well, if a bit tired by his ordeal.

0:31:380:31:44

His flight cost the air ambulance charity around £2,000.

0:31:440:31:50

We all have to think about health and safety at work.

0:31:530:31:56

Someone even had to fill in a form before I could even stand here.

0:31:560:32:00

Sometimes the risks seem obvious, especially when it's blowing a gale

0:32:000:32:05

and you're off to climb some scaffolding.

0:32:050:32:07

Yorkshire's weather is well-known for being unpredictable.

0:32:070:32:11

Today, gusts of over 50mph are battering the county.

0:32:110:32:15

That hasn't stopped a hardy electrician from scaling a platform over 50 ft high.

0:32:150:32:21

Coming down didn't take as long as going up.

0:32:210:32:24

It is a very, very windy day today,

0:32:240:32:27

the wind might have blown him off.

0:32:270:32:28

Unfortunately it's the wind that's hampering our assistance.

0:32:280:32:31

The land crew have they described the wind as not an issue.

0:32:310:32:34

No disrespect, but if they're not aviators and there's gusts and there's just regular winds.

0:32:340:32:41

We're attempting and if we make it that will be great.

0:32:410:32:45

Obviously trying to mix it with a little bit of urgency and safeness.

0:32:450:32:49

-If you could err on the side of safety...

-Any time. Exactly.

0:32:490:32:52

As you get older, the yellow streaks get bigger, don't they?

0:32:520:32:55

But the wind is also giving Helimed 99 a few headaches.

0:32:550:32:59

That's what they call blustery, isn't it?

0:32:590:33:04

Just struggling to turn it round with the power available, that's all.

0:33:040:33:09

-Disconnect.

-OK.

0:33:110:33:12

Retired sparky, Ian Haig, was helping out at the local bowls club

0:33:150:33:18

by installing some new floodlights.

0:33:180:33:21

When the scaffolding started rocking in the wind,

0:33:210:33:25

rather than waiting for it to collapse, Ian decided to jump off.

0:33:250:33:29

Despite falling over 30 feet, he's had a relatively soft landing on the bowling green below

0:33:290:33:35

and broken his arm and leg.

0:33:350:33:38

OK then, sir! I tell you what,

0:33:380:33:39

we're in a bit of a precarious position, aren't we? We need to get you up off that floor.

0:33:390:33:44

You've been here an hour, is that right?

0:33:440:33:46

If you've tried to climb a ladder when it's windy, you'll know how risky it can be.

0:33:460:33:51

Last year dozens of people were injured after falling from scaffolding.

0:33:510:33:54

-Are you cold?

-No, I'm fine.

0:33:540:33:56

Try not to nod or shake your head.

0:33:560:33:58

-Just say yes or no. OK?

-OK.

0:33:580:34:01

Yorkshire's bad weather takes another turn for the worse as the wind is replaced by hailstones.

0:34:010:34:09

-This is nice, isn't it?

-Yes, beautiful.

0:34:090:34:12

There's now no time to waste.

0:34:120:34:14

The wind may have caused Ian's accident,

0:34:140:34:17

but plummeting temperatures are now putting him at risk from hypothermia.

0:34:170:34:22

The weather has closed in from the north,

0:34:220:34:24

so we're really wanting to be going south.

0:34:240:34:27

We're going to reassess the hospital landing site options.

0:34:270:34:31

So we might be going down to Harrogate, maybe.

0:34:310:34:33

Ready, steady, roll.

0:34:340:34:36

Ian's usually very sensible.

0:34:390:34:40

In over 30 years as an electrician, he's never had an accident.

0:34:400:34:45

Despite the weather forecast, he thought he'd be all right,

0:34:450:34:47

but the Helimed team have seen accidents like this all too often.

0:34:470:34:51

His obs are within normal range.

0:34:510:34:54

-Although he was only scoring pain two out of ten, he obviously was in a lot of pain.

-Yes.

0:34:540:35:01

I've got to say, you're a bit silly doing that sort of work on a day like this.

0:35:010:35:05

Yes, he said he felt a little foolish.

0:35:050:35:08

I can imagine.

0:35:080:35:10

Ian spent nearly a week in hospital before being sent home with a new respect for high winds.

0:35:100:35:16

It doesn't come much more embarrassing than being injured when you're an uninvited guest.

0:35:200:35:25

That's what's happened today.

0:35:250:35:27

He's fallen from a loft through two floors before ending up,

0:35:280:35:31

we believe, down in the basement.

0:35:310:35:33

The guy has then, we believe, been knocked out.

0:35:330:35:36

When he's come round,

0:35:360:35:38

he's managed to crawl out to the side of the road where someone has eventually found him.

0:35:380:35:42

-Ah. There, Steve.

-OK. Great, cheers.

0:35:420:35:46

The accident has happened in an abandoned pub.

0:35:460:35:49

Nobody seems to know why the patient was in the building.

0:35:490:35:53

Whatever the reason, he's badly hurt.

0:35:530:35:55

He has bruising to the left side of his chest.

0:35:550:35:59

He's got air entry into the left-hand side but it's diminished

0:35:590:36:03

and he's complaining of pain in his lower left leg.

0:36:030:36:05

There's a suspicion the accident could be linked to scrap-metal theft from the building.

0:36:050:36:11

Whatever the reason for the accident, police are already taking an interest.

0:36:110:36:15

But paramedic Pete has got his own problems.

0:36:150:36:17

He's alert at the moment. He's just in pain.

0:36:170:36:20

Unfortunately we've not been able to get access to him,

0:36:200:36:25

because he's an ex-drug user and all his veins are sharp.

0:36:250:36:31

At the moment we'll just fly in.

0:36:320:36:35

The man was released from hospital after treatment.

0:36:350:36:37

The pub's owners have tightened security.

0:36:370:36:42

I'm glad to say all our patients have recovered with little more than bruising to their egos.

0:36:420:36:48

Paramedic, Sammy Wills loves flying, but she's never got her hands on the controls.

0:36:480:36:53

She's got good reason to be afraid of flying a Microlight,

0:36:530:36:56

but Sammy's not the sort of person to let a crash put her off.

0:36:560:37:00

The outcome for pilots and passengers involved in air crashes is rarely positive.

0:37:020:37:07

Thanks to the Helimed team, Microlight instructor,

0:37:080:37:10

Mark Badminton, and his friend, Simon Melton,

0:37:100:37:12

both recovered well after crashing into a field in North Yorkshire.

0:37:120:37:17

I'm going to put this collar around your neck.

0:37:170:37:19

For flying paramedic, Sammy Wills, it's another job well done.

0:37:190:37:24

Despite witnessing at first hand the risks involved,

0:37:240:37:27

she's decided to find out why so many people head for the skies when the dangers appear to be so great.

0:37:270:37:34

-Morning, Sammy.

-Good morning.

0:37:340:37:37

-How are you?

-A little bit anxious.

0:37:370:37:39

So, here it is. Are you nervous?

0:37:390:37:42

A little bit nervous, but more excited.

0:37:420:37:45

Obviously your job is flying. That's what you do for a living.

0:37:450:37:49

Is it always something you wanted to do outside of work?

0:37:490:37:52

I've loved all things aviation since being a kid.

0:37:520:37:55

So to get the opportunity to fly in a Microlight is a definite big tick in the box.

0:37:550:37:59

In your line of work, you've unfortunately seen the bad effects of when microlighting goes wrong.

0:37:590:38:07

-Tell us about that.

-The only time I've ever seen a Microlight up close,

0:38:070:38:11

I was kneeling on the wing upside down in a muddy field.

0:38:110:38:14

It hasn't put me off at all.

0:38:140:38:18

I do have faith in all their safety checks and the pilot that's gonna be flying me.

0:38:180:38:22

Today, Sammy will be flying a Microlight.

0:38:220:38:24

But that means she'll have to put the memories of helping Mark and Simon into the back of her mind.

0:38:240:38:29

Microlights are as simple as they look.

0:38:290:38:32

All that's keeping Sammy in the sky is a fibreglass fuselage,

0:38:320:38:37

one small engine and a fabric canopy.

0:38:370:38:39

For as little as a couple of grand and a few hours' instruction,

0:38:390:38:44

anyone can soar thousands of feet up, reaching speeds of over 80mph.

0:38:440:38:49

But Sammy is in good hands.

0:38:490:38:51

Pilot, John Teesdale, has been flying Microlights for over 20 years

0:38:510:38:56

and now makes his living teaching others how to fly them.

0:38:560:39:00

Naturally people are concerned that it's safe. Our safety record is as good as anyone in aviation.

0:39:000:39:05

You've got Sammy flying with you today.

0:39:050:39:07

What's she going to be in for?

0:39:070:39:11

We're gonna take her flying around York to seek the views

0:39:110:39:13

and we're going to get her flying the aeroplane.

0:39:130:39:15

You're going to get Sammy flying the aeroplane?

0:39:150:39:18

Yes. This is what I did for a living, so it's nothing new.

0:39:180:39:21

She'll be sitting in the front seat and she'll be steering the aeroplane.

0:39:210:39:25

Sammy's big moment has arrived.

0:39:280:39:30

But I'm keeping my feet firmly on the ground.

0:39:300:39:33

This is one of Sammy's biggest ambitions but she's also seen what can happen when it goes wrong.

0:39:330:39:39

Rather her than me.

0:39:390:39:40

-OK. All set?

-Yes.

0:39:400:39:42

I'm set. This is totally different to anything I've ever done before.

0:39:420:39:45

The take-off will take your breath away. We'll leave the ground before you'd expect.

0:39:450:39:49

That's power!

0:39:520:39:54

-Relax.

-Giddy Aunt.

-Relax.

-Yes, relaxed.

0:39:540:39:59

I don't feel vulnerable at all.

0:40:010:40:03

I feel open to the elements, but

0:40:030:40:07

it's just an amazing feeling and now I understand why we're wearing all the extra clothing.

0:40:070:40:13

Sammy's day job might involve flying thousands of feet above the ground

0:40:140:40:18

but that's where the comparison ends.

0:40:180:40:21

Sammy is in an open cockpit with only one engine and if anything goes wrong now,

0:40:210:40:26

they'll face the frightening prospect of gliding back down to Earth.

0:40:260:40:30

What a beautiful day.

0:40:320:40:35

I can definitely understand why people take this up.

0:40:350:40:40

-It's great, isn't it?

-100%, yes.

0:40:400:40:43

I have total respect for you, John.

0:40:430:40:46

Microlights are surprisingly easy to fly.

0:40:460:40:49

At nearly 3,000ft above the ground, it's Sammy's turn to take the controls.

0:40:490:40:55

We're in some smooth air now, so we'll look at how it flies.

0:40:550:40:58

Take your hands out the things for a moment.

0:40:580:41:01

-Hands out.

-Watch it fly itself.

0:41:010:41:04

Hey, your hands are out!

0:41:040:41:06

Yes. How about that?

0:41:060:41:08

Just push gently on the bar, push forwards a little bit.

0:41:100:41:12

Push forwards a little bit.

0:41:120:41:14

-Can you feel it pushing back at you?

-Wow! Yes.

0:41:140:41:16

-If you look at the speed, the speed is slowing down a bit.

-OK.

-Push a bit harder.

0:41:160:41:21

-Can you feel it pushing hard back at you now?

-Yes. That's really forceful.

0:41:210:41:26

OK, we're going to do a turn now.

0:41:260:41:29

Move the weight to the right a little bit.

0:41:290:41:31

Pull the right wing down, so sideways to pull the right wing down.

0:41:310:41:35

-Pull it down?

-Yes. It's starting to turn, that's good.

0:41:350:41:40

-Wow!

-OK?

0:41:400:41:42

Hold that, that's good.

0:41:430:41:46

Flying in Helimed 99 must feel like a limousine compared to this.

0:41:460:41:51

-Woo.

-Woo. Is that you or me?

0:41:510:41:54

-Bit of a thermal.

-In a Microlight, you feel every gust of wind and bump of turbulent air.

0:41:540:42:01

It's a privilege to fly, no matter what it is that you're in.

0:42:010:42:04

Reluctantly, it's time for Sammy to leave York's historic views behind and head back home.

0:42:060:42:12

It feels fast.

0:42:120:42:13

She's witnessed the worst part of microlighting, but now she's experienced the best.

0:42:130:42:20

-Hi, Sammy, What was it like?

-It was better than I thought it was gonna be.

-Really?

0:42:200:42:24

It truly, truly was awesome.

0:42:240:42:27

It feels like you are a bird.

0:42:270:42:29

There was nothing in front of you.

0:42:290:42:31

I absolutely loved flying the Microlight.

0:42:310:42:34

If my aviation days in the helicopter ever come to an end, I definitely need to keep the view.

0:42:340:42:39

-So any excuse to get back up in the air....

-Really?

0:42:390:42:42

When Helicopter Heroes comes back...

0:42:420:42:44

There's a rescue operation after a climber is badly injured in the Peak District.

0:42:440:42:50

Left ankle just above the joint.

0:42:500:42:52

Tip and fib poking out.

0:42:520:42:53

The golfer collapses on the green and only his son's first aid skills can save him.

0:42:530:42:59

Come on, Dad.

0:42:590:43:01

It's all stationary on the way down now.

0:43:010:43:03

The Helimed team have scrambled to a major road crash.

0:43:030:43:07

And the helicopters come into their own as snow puts the skids under their colleagues on the roads.

0:43:070:43:14

I've had to dig myself out about four times.

0:43:140:43:17

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:210:43:24

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:240:43:27

A police pursuit ends with an injured suspect, the chopper is scrambled to save an injured pilot, and a driver is suspended upside down from her seatbelt after an accident on the motorway.


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