Episode 5 Helicopter Heroes


Episode 5

Rav Wilding looks at the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. A jockey falls from her horse, a walker is injured and a man severs his fingers in a leaf blower accident.


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Transcript


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

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

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It doesn't matter where you are.

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This helicopter with its trained team of pilots and paramedics

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will fly to your rescue at 2.5 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 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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Coming up on Helicopter Heroes,

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a walker slips on an icy ravine and starts a major rescue operation.

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Coming down here wasn't such a good idea.

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There's a race to save a golf club greenkeeper's badly injured hand.

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This gentleman's puts his fingers into what looks like a strimmer.

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-The team hit the language barrier after a French jockey falls from her horse.

-La-bas ou non?

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I think his dialect's all wrong.

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And winter puts the skids under Yorkshire's motorists with painful results.

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There's something about scenery like this that makes you want to put your walking boots on.

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But the weather can turn a beautiful landscape into a dangerous place as one rambler found out last winter.

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Sutton Bank is one of Yorkshire's most stunning sights,

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a huge limestone cliff decorated by a white horse that can be seen 50 miles away on a clear day.

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It's also one of the UK's most picturesque airfields.

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Glider pilots love to soar in the up-draughts from its slopes.

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On a summer's day, this is a rambler's paradise, but winter makes it lethal.

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Jane Johnstone has fallen heavily on an icy path

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and is in so much pain, she doesn't want to get off the freezing ground.

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Helimed 99 won't have any problem finding their location today.

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Jane and her husband Jim were walking down the steep path towards the Kilburn White Horse.

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The limestone landmark covers one and a half acres.

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This is one of the coldest winters I can remember.

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We're going for a lady who's got some leg injuries.

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If she can't walk, her temperature will plummet.

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We as crew have to be prepared as well with multiple layers on.

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For pilot Steve Cobb, the white horse might be easy to spot, but it could be a hazardous landing site.

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-I wonder if it's on that path that goes round?

-Yeah, cos it goes down to the actual horse, doesn't it?

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-Yeah.

-I don't know how... I've got someone on the floor halfway down.

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-We're not gonna get there, are we?

-No chance.

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There's no way pilot Steve can land the helicopter close to Jane and Jim. The ground's just too steep.

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But he needs to get paramedics Sammy Wills and Pat Greaken as close to the path as possible.

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We've had a visual with the walker, so we know she's conscious and breathing. She's sat down.

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She's a good quarter of a mile down a footpath that's on a slope,

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so rather than going down and having to come back and get kit, we're doing it all at the same time.

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It's becoming clear that this isn't going to be a straightforward job.

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-Really slippy.

-Jane is lying halfway down a steep slope and after days of freezing temperatures,

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the path resembles a bobsleigh run. Despite wearing all the right kit,

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Sammy and Pat know that carrying a patient back up the icy path will be very difficult

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and potentially dangerous.

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-Hello.

-Hello.

-What can you tell me?

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It's left leg. Upper left leg. And her left wrist as well, I think.

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-CRIES OF PAIN

-What's hurting...? Pat, don't push me any further.

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-I'm sliding down to you. Let me come back up. The top of your left leg?

-Yes.

-Anywhere else?

-My wrist.

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-When you fell, did you bang your head?

-No.

-Not at all.

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It was such a beautiful day, we decided we'd go for a walk.

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We live in Brafferton near Boroughbridge.

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We decided to come to the top of Sutton Bank and enjoy the views, but coming down here wasn't a good idea.

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I'm just not safe. I daren't get close to you. I'm gonna fall into you.

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While Sammy struggles to examine Jane, more resources and equipment arrive

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and one ambulanceman highlights the dilemma facing the rescuers.

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Were you going uphill or downhill?

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-We were coming down.

-Did you hear anything pop or crack?

-No.

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-You've not tried to get up?

-Yes.

-You have and you weren't able.

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Jane is lying precariously across the path

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and even small movements are causing her to slide further down the hill.

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-Don't you all slip as well.

-Don't go backwards either.

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-Because we're walking on it, it's making it slippy.

-I know.

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Below them is a 200-foot drop.

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One slip could be fatal.

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Your pain is my big challenge, all right? I need to make you as comfortable as I can.

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As pain goes, it's not like giving birth.

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That's why you're scoring five out of ten, rather than ten out of ten!

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-Where is all the pain? In the hip?

-No, it's my left side.

-It's her left.

-My left side.

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-Further down and then round.

-Is it more into your groin, my love?

-Yes.

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-I think you might have damaged your hip.

-My hip?

-Yeah.

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-With it being right at the top, it's either your hip or the top of your...

-Femur.

-Yeah, your femur.

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This is bad news for Jane and her rescuers.

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Fractures to the hip or thigh bone are serious injuries and will be very painful.

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Sammy and Pat had hoped to escort Jane back up the path, but they must now reassess the whole situation.

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We risk hurting it even more...

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-It doesn't matter. You've got to get me out of here.

-We will, we will.

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And they need to think fast. If they don't move Jane soon, she'll quickly become hypothermic.

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Jane needs to be in hospital. Sammy and Pat's options are running out.

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Coming up, the Helimed team call in the military as the cold gets to their patient.

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They're gonna pick you up. I'll have to take it away.

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In racing country, the rider of a race horse is thrown on the morning gallop.

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And the driver of a sports car is caught out by an icy road.

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Quite a small car, so they're difficult to get out.

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Most of us rely on machinery at work, even if it's just a photocopier.

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But for some people, a vital tool of the trade can inflict serious injuries.

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And all it takes is one simple mistake.

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To get a round of golf, you've got to get up early on popular courses.

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And enthusiastic golfers demand high standards on the green -

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well-trimmed turf and no leaves.

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But today in North Yorkshire, a greenkeeper is in trouble.

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It's a golf course in my patch at Harrogate.

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Somebody has amputated a hand.

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The crew know they can help.

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We might be able to take him direct to the LGI who specialise in that sort of thing.

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Let him know that the Air Ambulance is on its way.

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Lee and Tony are met by an ambulanceman who has collected the missing fingers.

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This gentleman's put his fingers into what looks like a strimmer. They look pretty badly chewed up.

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Inside the ambulance is 30-year-old greenkeeper Keith Emery. He can't bring himself to look at his hand.

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It is Luke Skywalker, innit? It's proper chopped off, yeah?

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Yeah, you've lost a few fingers.

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It looks like four fingers.

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So we definitely need to be at Leeds if we can.

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Keith was clearing leaves from the golf course when the accident happened.

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He put his hand into a leaf blower.

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We'll give you some to start you off and we'll give you some more as and when you need it.

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Tony gives Keith morphine to kill the pain.

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OK, let's get the story straight. You put your hand into what?

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It's the back of a machine. It's picking up leaves, but it's basically a lawn mower.

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Lee speaks directly to the hand surgeon at Leeds General Infirmary.

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We've got the digits bagged. We've got the hand dressed, so we'll fly him straight to you from Harrogate.

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It'll only be painful for a while. That'll kick in soon.

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The digits are completely missing and the less time spent between them being off and being back on

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is better for the patient.

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-I can't

-BLEEP

-believe I've done this!

-It's too late to be concerned about that.

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OK?

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Nice and steady.

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Leg in. Let's just get you settled properly.

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The trauma of what's happened is beginning to hit Keith hard.

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BREATHES DEEPLY

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We've got him bandaged up and everything. We've got him on the aircraft and we'll come to you now.

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It's seven minutes on to the helipad up top.

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Will they know I'm going to Leeds for getting my wife to see me?

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I told the lad who brought us on the buggy.

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All the crew are doing their best to make Keith comfortable.

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How is your pain now? Has it eased down from 10?

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-About an 8.

-About an 8. So it's still quite painful.

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What I'll do, Lee, when we land, I'll very quickly give him some more morphine.

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-Yeah, OK.

-He's scoring 8 out of 10, so I'll give him a bit more.

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-Want the heating up a bit?

-I think we're all right. Cheers.

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You're doing well there, Keith. In a couple of seconds, we'll get you down.

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-OK, first crane is at 12 o'clock on this big, high building. Can you see it?

-OK.

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Within minutes, the crew are over Leeds city centre,

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dodging the tower cranes on the way to the hospital's rooftop helipad.

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The tail's over the pad at the back.

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That's where we like to be.

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We'll get you some more morphine on board, then we'll get you down to Casualty. OK?

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-I'll give him morphine before we move.

-Yeah, all right, OK.

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Keith has done really well, but the pain is kicking in hard

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and the crew suspect it's more than just physical pain.

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The paramedics have done their bit.

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Now it's up to surgeons to see if they can save Keith's hand.

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Coming up, surgeons have a few minutes to make a decision that will affect Keith for life.

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The important thing is getting the wounds covered and closed without infection.

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-A rambler's temperature is falling and her rescuers make the situation worse.

-Agh!

-Sorry.

-That's enough.

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And the big freeze brings fun for some, but agony for others.

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Aagh!

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The paramedics rely on their patients to help them do their job.

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Just asking them where it hurts can often result in the diagnosis.

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But what happens when the patient doesn't speak any English?

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In North Yorkshire's racing country, the Helimed team will find out.

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The market town of Middleham is famous for its castle, once the home of Richard III.

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It's several hundred years since he moved out, but the sport of kings is still part of the community here.

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Hundreds of race horses are in training around the town

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and every morning they ride through the market square to the gallops.

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But up in the hills, there's been an accident.

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A jockey exercising a horse has come off and Helimed 99 is being sent to help.

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-She just fell straight down?

-Yeah.

-She didn't get dragged?

-No.

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The trouble is the gallops include miles of track through the hills above the town.

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Finding the incident isn't gonna be easy.

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OK, let's print that off.

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30 miles away at Leeds Bradford Airport, today's crew includes Dr Ben Wyatt

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who is able to prescribe stronger painkillers than the paramedics.

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We have lots of riding stables

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in and around Yorkshire.

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A lot of the best training stables

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are based in God's own county.

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There are occasions when the horse actually falls on to the rider.

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These can be quite serious. We've had a number of patients that have been crushed by their own animal

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at the time of their accident and these are serious, serious injuries.

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With dozens of highly-strung race horses training below, pilot Andy Figg will have to be careful.

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An ill-timed landing could create more patients.

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All right, lots of horses on the gallops. I'll hold the height till we see where we're going.

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-Yeah.

-About half a dozen race horses over there.

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The team's patient is lying where she fell.

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It's miles from the nearest road and the land ambulance has done well to beat the chopper to the scene.

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Paramedic Darren Axe is about to come across a problem he rarely sees in his home town of Castleford -

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the language barrier.

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She's French. You have to speak to this lady.

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Today's patient is Camille Mayeux, a French jockey who has just arrived in the UK.

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Her English is as good as Darren's French.

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Ask her if she can feel this.

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Dr Ben knows a few words of French.

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-La-bas ou non?

-Just not the right ones.

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Ask her if she can feel me touching her legs. I think his dialect's all wrong.

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-Wiggle her toes.

-Est-ce que tu peux bouger tes orteils?

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Luckily, one of Camille's French colleagues can translate.

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-T'as mal en fait quand t'as bouge?

-Leg...

-Leg. Yeah, we understand leg.

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Local trainer Mark Johnston attracts ambitious riders from all over Europe.

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Camille's just 18, but they start them young in the racing business and she's an experienced jockey.

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She's got quite a large bruise on one leg.

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As far as we can tell, it's not broken, but it could be

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cos she has fallen quite a height off a big horse.

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She's in severe pain.

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-When she breathes in...

-Yes.

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Really deep. Let it go out.

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-Yes.

-In really deep. She's got to suck quite hard on that cos it's a demand valve.

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As soon as she stops taking this, the effects will go.

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Darren and his colleagues are concerned that Camille was kicked by her horse as she hit the ground.

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In a moment, we want her to roll that way,

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but keep breathing the gas. OK?

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It's cold on top of the Yorkshire Dales and Camille was dressed for it

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which isn't helping Darren.

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She's got three coats on!

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This is the Dales. Sensible, that, yeah.

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Then we're gonna put her on to a stretcher, keep her warm, put her into the aircraft

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and we're gonna take her to Harrogate Royal Infirmary.

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She needs to be checked out.

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Vas-y, doucement.

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Paramedics have their own styles of beside manner and Darren likes to keep his patients smiling,

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even if it does lose a little in translation.

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I bet she wishes she put her make-up on now!

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Which way are we going, guys?

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Race horses can travel at up to 40 miles an hour.

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Jockeys can sustain an impact similar to someone falling from a motorbike,

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but they don't wear the same protective clothing.

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Without a proper conversation with their patient, the team still have to use guesswork

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about how badly she's been hurt.

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Sometimes it can be a problem if people don't speak the language.

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If you've got a risk of neck and back pain, any spinal injury,

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the patient needs to fully understand what you're asking of them.

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Hello. Are you warm enough? A little cold? OK.

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In any language, Camille is now just 10 minutes from hospital, but now communication gets even harder -

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there's no room for the translator.

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My French... I could probably order a McDonalds!

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That's clear. Just check over our shoulder.

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Camille's still breathing painkilling gas, but it's not having as big an effect as the crew hoped.

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She's in a lot of pain and obviously upset. we don't suspect it's fractured, but she took a nasty bang

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to that area of her leg and it is painful. Hopefully, at hospital, we'll have another French speaker

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who will be able to translate what she needs to say.

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Other than that, her friends I'm sure will be making their way down to Harrogate to speak to her.

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The NHS recruits staff from all over Europe and the chances are Camille will find a French-speaking doctor

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on duty at Harrogate District Hospital. She may be a long way from home, but she's in good hands.

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The young lady is in quite a lot of pain, with pressure on her leg.

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Travelling in by ambulance would have caused a great deal of discomfort.

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As it were, we lifted in less than 10 minutes and she's on her hospital trolley

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going through to be assessed and to receive any treatment she requires.

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Camille's injury turned out not to be serious

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and she returned home to recover for a month before resuming her riding career on the Yorkshire Dales.

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Finding out what it's like to fall off a horse the hard way hasn't put her off her chosen career.

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I'm OK now.

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I don't have a problem. My leg is very good.

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And, as you can hear, Camille's stay in hospital did at least improve her English.

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Coming up: a greenkeeper finds out if he's lost his hand in a freak accident

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-or if surgeons can save it.

-We need to do that fairly soon.

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And a car skids on an icy road and the driver needs help.

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Nearly 1,000 feet up on the edge of the North York Moors,

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a rambler is the centre of a complicated rescue that's about to get even more complex.

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in North Yorkshire, the Helimed team are trying to help an injured walker near a famous landmark -

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the Kilburn White Horse.

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Jane Johnstone slipped on the icy path and Paramedic Sammy Wells thinks she's broken her leg

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where it joins the hip.

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We're going to go towards your back. I'd love to leave you until we got some pain management.

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-Are you absolutely sure you want to try?

-Yes.

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-Please, please, do tell us.

-If I start saying rude words... Ah!

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-I just...

-Yeah.

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It's not just Jane's condition they need to worry about. She fell a quarter of a mile down a steep path

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and after weeks of freezing temperatures, the ground is too treacherous to carry her back up.

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-Can I check your temperature?

-Pat's called for a mountain rescue team, but they're nearly an hour away.

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With the temperature dropping to minus five, they need a solution before Jane turns hypothermic.

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What we're going to do - walking you out will be too slippery -

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is we hope to get the Sea King search and rescue aircraft that has a rope attached to it...

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-Flippin' hell!

-I know. It's because of the predicament you're in.

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It's the last resort, but they need the specialist skills of the RAF, who can winch Jane off the hill.

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I'm really grateful. It's at times like this you appreciate how valuable they are.

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Sammy's attention now turns to getting Jane's pain under control

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-and preparing her for a frightening experience.

-Jane, we're preparing to move you.

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I need you to take some more. Open your eyes again, Jane.

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Jane's deteriorated. The cold is making her sleepy. This isn't good.

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Sammy and Pat need to move Jane before the RAF arrive, but it's going to be very painful.

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It's clear that she's done some pretty serious damage to her leg.

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Lift your head up, Jane. We'll put that behind your head.

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Take deep breaths.

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'She's in a lot of pain. We're giving her pain relief and waiting for the RAF to turn up

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'so we can winch her to the top. When the RAF get here, with the downdraft,'

0:21:360:21:42

it's going to be very slippy, so we'll have to be very careful.

0:21:420:21:47

You're a lot kinder than the midwives were when I gave birth.

0:21:470:21:52

They just said, "Pu-u-ush!"

0:21:530:21:56

Finally, to everyone's relief, the Sea King helicopter arrives.

0:21:570:22:01

There are six search and rescue teams in the UK. When they're not responding to 1,000 calls a year,

0:22:010:22:08

they spend three hours training every day for missions like this.

0:22:080:22:13

They're bringing the stretcher down. You just stay nice and still.

0:22:130:22:17

Winds of over 80 miles per hour, caused by the Sea King's huge rotors,

0:22:170:22:22

batter Jane and her rescuers, causing the temperature to drop to below -10.

0:22:220:22:29

Have some air now. When they pick you up, I have to take it away.

0:22:290:22:33

They've made their patient as safe and warm as possible,

0:22:330:22:37

but Sammy, Pat and the ground crew are now struggling to stand up.

0:22:370:22:42

Eventually Jane's ready for the terrifying journey towards an eight-ton helicopter

0:22:420:22:47

hovering over 50 foot above ground.

0:22:470:22:50

There are trees just metres from the rotors and the pilot must keep the aircraft as steady as possible.

0:22:500:22:56

As anyone who's been winched into a helicopter will tell you, it's an experience you'll never forget.

0:22:560:23:02

Jane's just glad to be off the hill.

0:23:020:23:05

Very, very windy and very icy.

0:23:050:23:08

I felt the cold blast on my face.

0:23:080:23:11

As the team make their way back up, it's clear they made the right decision.

0:23:110:23:16

-It is just like an ice rink down there.

-It's taken well over an hour to rescue Jane.

0:23:160:23:23

The whole team is exhausted, but the job's not finished for Sally.

0:23:230:23:28

Jane's body temperature has dropped so much, hypothermia's a danger.

0:23:280:23:32

Sammy will travel in the Sea King to monitor Jane's condition

0:23:320:23:36

on the way to the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough.

0:23:360:23:40

It's really impressive to see the RAF, how they control the aircraft so close to the hills.

0:23:420:23:48

I've seen them in the Lakes hovering feet from the mountains.

0:23:480:23:53

It's incredible to watch. Luckily, we don't have to do that.

0:23:530:23:57

After two hours on an exposed hillside, Jane's giving cause for concern. Her temperature's plunged.

0:23:570:24:03

Hypothermia is dangerous enough when you're fit and healthy. Her life could be at stake.

0:24:030:24:09

Coming up: Jane arrives at hospital and the medical team begins the fight to raise her temperature.

0:24:170:24:23

Her temperature is 33 degrees, which is hypothermic.

0:24:230:24:27

And a local council's gritting team is a little late to prevent a nasty accident on an icy road.

0:24:270:24:34

Now imagine losing your hand. It's an awful prospect,

0:24:390:24:44

but one that's terribly real for one man after an accident with a leaf-blowing machine

0:24:440:24:50

-on a golf course in North Yorkshire.

-This gentleman's put his fingers in a strimmer.

0:24:500:24:55

30-year-old groundsman Keith Emery has chopped all the fingers off his left hand.

0:24:550:25:00

He put his hand into a leaf blower.

0:25:000:25:03

It's barely half an hour later, but he's now on six floors from the operating theatre.

0:25:030:25:10

Yes, we've got the digits.

0:25:100:25:13

Leeds General Infirmary is a specialist centre for microsurgery. A surgical team is standing by.

0:25:130:25:20

Once there would have been no chance of reattaching Keith's fingers, but now they can be grafted back,

0:25:240:25:31

but only in some circumstances and time is crucial.

0:25:310:25:35

They've given Keith the best chance they could.

0:25:350:25:39

Look at the times we've done We're in A&E at LGI.

0:25:400:25:44

We've taken off at 13.16 from Leeds Bradford to go and bring him back.

0:25:440:25:50

And we've arrived at 13.52. So I mean... Time is crucial with things like this.

0:25:500:25:56

The surgical team know that losing a hand or limb causes psychological injuries as well as physical.

0:25:560:26:02

Some patients say it's like enduring a bereavement. At least doctors have ways of killing pain.

0:26:020:26:09

The risk is that it's bleeding a lot so we have to get control of that.

0:26:090:26:13

Then give everything a good clean as there's risk of infection.

0:26:130:26:17

We'll get a good assessment to have an idea of what we're doing in the theatre.

0:26:170:26:23

We'll have to crack on and do that.

0:26:230:26:25

Keith's in pain and unable to take in the critical examination that's going on.

0:26:270:26:33

Doctors are deciding if his fingers are fit to reattach.

0:26:330:26:37

They've got to weigh the chances of success against the risks of infection and additional damage.

0:26:370:26:43

There's a lot of mud on the fingers.

0:26:440:26:48

So we'll need to clean them up and see whether they're viable to be reattached or not.

0:26:480:26:54

Given the injury, it's unlikely, but we need to have a look.

0:26:540:26:59

Surgery is part art, part science, but the doctors don't like the look of what they've seen.

0:26:590:27:05

I've had a look at the bits that came off

0:27:050:27:09

and none of those are going to survive any reattachment.

0:27:090:27:13

If fingers come off with a clean cut from a guillotine or a knife, they can sometimes be reattached,

0:27:130:27:20

but looking at those, there's lots of contamination and crushed elements,

0:27:200:27:24

so it's unlikely they'll be reattached.

0:27:240:27:28

The important thing is getting the wounds covered and closed,

0:27:280:27:32

so that at a later stage we can reconstruct things for him.

0:27:320:27:37

Reattaching Keith's fingers is too risky.

0:27:370:27:40

An unsuccessful attempt could lead to their patient losing more of his hand

0:27:400:27:46

or developing a lethal infection.

0:27:460:27:49

The accident at the golf course has cost Keith his hand.

0:27:500:27:54

From now on, he will have to relearn how to carry out the simplest tasks.

0:27:540:27:59

It will be a long road to recovery, but he knows the Helimed team gave the best treatment possible.

0:27:590:28:05

Coming up: the crew recover from two hours in sub-zero temperatures,

0:28:120:28:16

but there's still no news about the rescued rambler.

0:28:160:28:20

We all live with the weather and most winters have to put up with icy roads or pavements,

0:28:240:28:30

but every year an unlucky few motorists are caught out by the big chill.

0:28:300:28:37

They may not be Torvill and Dean, but there's nothing more fun than slipping across the ice.

0:28:370:28:43

Apart from a few bumps and bruises, they won't trouble the local A&E,

0:28:430:28:48

but when it's a few tons of metal, that's a completely different story.

0:28:480:28:53

We're going to this road accident where somebody's hurt their arm. Multiple fracture.

0:28:530:28:59

It might need surgery, so we can take them to LGI,

0:28:590:29:03

which has got surgeons standing by.

0:29:030:29:05

It's the middle of one of the coldest winters people remember

0:29:050:29:10

and that's putting huge pressure on Yorkshire's emergency services.

0:29:100:29:15

Helimed 99 is on its way to one of many smashes caused by the icy conditions.

0:29:150:29:21

Two cars have collided head on and one driver has nasty injuries.

0:29:210:29:25

This is Robert, a 40-year-old gentleman, who's been involved in a head-on collision.

0:29:250:29:31

-This is the position I found him in.

-What's the matter, mate?

-Oh, my God. My knee.

-That knee?

0:29:310:29:37

Robert isn't trapped inside his car, but he's broken his leg and his arm. They're serious injuries.

0:29:400:29:46

The Helimed team are taking no chances.

0:29:460:29:49

The roads here are quite icy. Quite treacherous for all vehicles.

0:29:490:29:54

Two vehicles have collided head-on on a reasonably fast stretch of road

0:29:540:30:00

and caused quite a bit of damage to both.

0:30:000:30:03

-What's cracked your knee, then?

-The dashboard's all destroyed.

0:30:030:30:08

The plan is we'll get a board, stand you up, put the board behind you and lie you down. OK?

0:30:080:30:14

All right.

0:30:140:30:16

The gritters arrive half an hour too late. This is a back road used by commuters to avoid congestion.

0:30:160:30:23

With the councils running low on salt, it has remained untreated.

0:30:230:30:28

Without the Fire Service on hand, Paramedic Paul has to improvise.

0:30:280:30:33

One, two, three.

0:30:330:30:35

-Right, Robert, can we try and stand up?

-Ah!

-Head forward and stand.

0:30:360:30:42

-One, two, three. Up. Push, Robert, push.

-Push, mate.

0:30:420:30:46

With no sign of a spinal injury, they're happy to help Robert out of the car,

0:30:480:30:54

but that means moving his broken limbs and that's proving painful.

0:30:540:30:59

-Aah!

-Icy weather usually reduces the speed at which accidents happen.

0:30:590:31:03

Robert's been lucky. Higher speeds could have made these injuries much worse.

0:31:030:31:09

The bright yellow rigid spinal board is a welcome sight for Robert

0:31:090:31:14

-and the team can finally keep his legs straight and start to give him more pain relief.

-Aah!

0:31:140:31:20

Aah!

0:31:220:31:23

Well done, everyone.

0:31:230:31:26

Give them a heads up to be ready on the helipad for about five to.

0:31:260:31:31

The gritters should help prevent another accident here, but it's little consolation for Robert.

0:31:310:31:37

He's on his way to Leeds General Infirmary and a specialist team of orthopaedic surgeons.

0:31:370:31:43

After a lengthy stay in hospital, Robert made a full recovery,

0:31:430:31:48

but he still hasn't forgiven the council for running out of grit.

0:31:480:31:52

The helicopter gives the Helimed team one big advantage over colleagues on the ground.

0:31:520:31:58

With the roads 500 feet below them freezing over again,

0:31:580:32:03

Helimed 99 is called in to help another victim of the ice.

0:32:030:32:07

A dry stone wall isn't the only casualty in this smash. The driver of an MG sports car is badly injured

0:32:070:32:13

and trapped inside the wreckage.

0:32:130:32:15

Quite a cold morning here again. Speed is of the essence, really.

0:32:150:32:20

-People could get cold very quickly.

-The crew know this road well.

0:32:200:32:24

-They travel on it every day to work.

-Just getting it at 12 o'clock.

0:32:240:32:29

Here next to the fire engine.

0:32:310:32:34

Today Lee's wearing a new, improved flight suit. This job could be the perfect test.

0:32:360:32:43

There's debris everywhere and it's sub-zero temperatures.

0:32:430:32:47

-She just spun off?

-I think so. Complaining of left-sided neck pain.

0:32:470:32:51

Got some pain above her left knee. And she's got some abdominal pain and tenderness on her left side.

0:32:510:32:58

It's obviously been a big impact.

0:32:590:33:01

Claire Harrington's beloved MG is now just a lump of mangled metal.

0:33:010:33:06

I don't think the back is the easiest option. Just put the board at the side.

0:33:060:33:12

If you had to score that pain out of 10, where zero is no pain and 10 is the worst ever.

0:33:120:33:18

I've got a very high pain threshold. I'm a chef and burn myself a lot.

0:33:180:33:22

Claire may have a high pain threshold but when they move her,

0:33:220:33:27

the pain could become unbearable very quickly. Lee wants to make sure she's ready for the rescue

0:33:270:33:33

-that lies ahead.

-She's got some hip pain which I need to give her some pain relief for.

0:33:330:33:39

Just before we try to move her. It's quite a small car.

0:33:390:33:43

It's difficult to get out. I need to get her as pain-free as possible.

0:33:430:33:48

I'll do that, then liaise with the Fire Service and we'll have her out.

0:33:480:33:53

OK...

0:33:530:33:56

Modern cars and tyres are designed to cope with the worst weather,

0:33:560:34:00

but nothing will prevent your car from skidding on black ice.

0:34:000:34:04

The plan is to get the long board under her bum to slide her out,

0:34:040:34:09

causing the least amount of movement.

0:34:090:34:12

She has a bit of tenderness in her spine, so we don't want to move her too much.

0:34:120:34:18

Removing patients from the wreckage is never easy,

0:34:180:34:23

but the cramped cockpit of the MG is causing Lee and the others more problems than normal.

0:34:230:34:29

-You know what's happening, Claire?

-Yeah.

-One, two, three.

0:34:340:34:39

As Claire has found out, sports cars with wide tyres and powerful engines

0:34:390:34:44

are among the hardest vehicles to drive on ice.

0:34:440:34:49

Across the country, hundreds of unsuspecting motorists skid and slide to work in the wintry weather.

0:34:510:34:57

Chef Claire's customers are going to go hungry this morning as she heads to Harrogate Hospital.

0:34:570:35:04

It's years since Britain saw a winter like this.

0:35:060:35:10

Despite gritters dumping hundreds of thousands of tons of salt onto Yorkshire's road network,

0:35:100:35:15

with temperatures dropping to minus 10 commuters are feeling the big freeze the most.

0:35:150:35:22

Well, it just says, "Car on roof. One trapped."

0:35:220:35:26

Then it says on the bypass and another in the town centre.

0:35:260:35:30

The rush hour's barely begun and Helimed 99 is to help a driver

0:35:300:35:35

who's crashed just a few miles from their base.

0:35:350:35:38

Nice sunrise there. It is a nice sunrise.

0:35:380:35:41

Despite the beautiful sunrise, it is, in fact, minus 5 outside

0:35:410:35:46

and this driver lost it on black ice. It's another soft top sports car. That can mean serious injuries.

0:35:460:35:53

'It's a gentle slope as it goes away from us now.'

0:35:530:35:57

-We'll go down and have a look.

-He may not have to worry about black ice,

0:35:570:36:02

but pilot Steve has problems above and below.

0:36:020:36:06

The accident's happened next to a housing estate. There's little space

0:36:060:36:11

and they're so close to the airport, other aircraft circle overhead.

0:36:110:36:16

-Still OK?

-Yeah.

0:36:160:36:19

There's nothing wrong with Steve's parking, allowing Pat and Sammy to quickly assess the situation.

0:36:190:36:25

It's slipped on black ice

0:36:260:36:28

and she's gone up the embankment. The car's at 90 degrees.

0:36:280:36:33

There's no sign of the driver. In fact, a passing motorist bravely prised her out

0:36:330:36:40

and she's now keeping warm in the back of the Good Samaritan's car.

0:36:400:36:45

-Guys, what can you tell me?

-I didn't hit the lamp-post!

-Well done.

-Got a red mark here,

0:36:450:36:51

where the seatbelt's been.

0:36:510:36:53

The lady's walked to this car.

0:36:530:36:56

-We'll see what's going on.

-Valerie Smyth had a remarkable escape.

0:36:560:37:01

The car's flipped, but the lamp-post prevented it from rolling over.

0:37:010:37:06

With only fabric for a roof, this could have been a lot worse.

0:37:060:37:10

-Do you know what made you crash?

-Ice.

-You didn't feel dizzy or unwell?

-Absolutely not.

0:37:100:37:16

It went that way and I went into the hedge.

0:37:160:37:20

-Well done.

-'She's been very lucky'

0:37:200:37:23

that it hasn't been more serious.

0:37:230:37:26

The car's been on its side. You have to suspect spinal injuries.

0:37:260:37:31

I felt my car going that way... and then it veered that way. I just tried to steer it.

0:37:310:37:37

-You had your seatbelt on?

-I did.

-Val may have been able to clamber out,

0:37:370:37:42

but Sammy knows that back and neck injuries can take time to appear.

0:37:420:37:47

-She wants to fully immobilise her patient before moving her again.

-I'll hold the back of your skirt

0:37:470:37:53

and raise you forward. Ready, guys?

0:37:530:37:56

Some kind motorists have lived to regret allowing injured people to sit in their cars.

0:37:560:38:02

More than once, fire fighters have cut the roof off an undamaged car

0:38:020:38:06

to get at a patient with a suspected neck injury. Not today, thankfully.

0:38:060:38:12

There we are.

0:38:120:38:15

With Val successfully out of the car, Pam and Sammy are confident her injuries are not serious enough

0:38:150:38:21

to warrant a flight in Helimed 99.

0:38:210:38:24

Their colleagues on the ground will navigate the icy roads to A&E.

0:38:240:38:29

That lady was driving a lovely soft top car that she managed to roll.

0:38:290:38:34

It's hit a tree and just stopped short of the lamp-post.

0:38:340:38:38

That's been the saving grace. She could've had serious head injuries.

0:38:380:38:43

Well done to the ladies that stopped and offered assistance. Good teamwork. Good Samaritan.

0:38:430:38:49

I'm pleased to say all patients have recovered and are back on the road,

0:38:490:38:54

with the only damage to their No Claims bonuses.

0:38:540:38:58

Now let's catch up with the rescue of a rambler.

0:38:580:39:03

On a moorland airfield, Paramedic Pat and pilot Steve recover from two hours in freezing temperatures

0:39:050:39:12

waiting for news of their patient.

0:39:120:39:15

Jane Johnstone fell on a hillside path and suffered a suspected broken hip.

0:39:150:39:21

The Helimed team had to call in an RAF chopper to rescue Jane

0:39:210:39:25

but by then her body temperature had plunged.

0:39:250:39:29

We've decided to go with the lady in the aircraft to Middlesbrough.

0:39:290:39:33

By land, she'd be in a lot of pain.

0:39:330:39:36

Her temperature is 33 degrees, which is hypothermic.

0:39:360:39:40

Despite our best efforts, she's still become very, very cold.

0:39:400:39:45

She's got a thermal warmer over her, it brings nice warm air.

0:39:450:39:49

She's broken her hip or her femur and possibly her wrist.

0:39:490:39:54

She'll possibly need surgery for it.

0:39:540:39:57

Before they could deal with her injuries, doctors in Middlesbrough must slowly raise her temperature.

0:39:570:40:03

Only then will they be able to operate on her broken bones.

0:40:030:40:07

But, just a month later, Jane's back on her feet.

0:40:090:40:14

It was a beautiful day. Blue skies, sunshine. Just the day for a nice walk.

0:40:150:40:21

The views were just fantastic.

0:40:210:40:23

We decided we'd go along the top.

0:40:230:40:27

It was rough and there was a bit of snow, but we just automatically assumed it would be all right.

0:40:270:40:35

And Jim was in front of me.

0:40:350:40:38

And then, all of a sudden, I was on the floor.

0:40:380:40:42

It was a very narrow path, so we walked one behind the other.

0:40:430:40:48

I just heard this sort of yelp.

0:40:480:40:50

My feet just went.

0:40:500:40:53

And I went down with a bang.

0:40:540:40:57

-I think you've damaged your hip.

-My hip?!

-Yeah.

0:40:570:41:01

I just remember suddenly being in the worst pain I've ever been in.

0:41:010:41:06

I kept on thinking it was my leg. I kept saying it was my leg.

0:41:090:41:13

That's where it hurt, but it was my hip.

0:41:130:41:17

If they hadn't been able to get to me, I wouldn't be here, would I?

0:41:170:41:22

How on earth we'd have got off that path I've no idea. They were all absolutely amazing.

0:41:220:41:28

I was so embarrassed that I needed so many people

0:41:280:41:32

in just a... a second of my life. I slipped.

0:41:320:41:38

I'm just so grateful that people like the air ambulance and all the others are there.

0:41:380:41:44

You never know when you'll need them. If it wasn't for them, I don't think I'd be here.

0:41:440:41:50

When Helicopter Heroes comes back:

0:41:500:41:52

a jockey falls at 40mph.

0:41:520:41:55

-He's fallen.

-And Paramedic Lee is worried for his unconscious patient.

0:41:550:42:01

She's had a fit.

0:42:010:42:03

The team is scrambled to save a driver who is lucky to survive a smash with a milk tanker.

0:42:030:42:09

A builder is trapped under his upturned dumper truck.

0:42:100:42:14

The bone's sticking out of the leg.

0:42:140:42:17

And there's a helicopter crash high in the Pennines.

0:42:170:42:22

Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2009

0:42:300:42:34

Email [email protected]

0:42:350:42:37

The team hits the language barrier when a French jockey falls from her horse, there is a major rescue operation to save an injured walker on a moorland path and a man severs his fingers in an accident with a leaf blower.


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