Episode 6 Helicopter Heroes


Episode 6

A top jockey is thrown by her horse, a young builder is trapped beneath his dumper truck and a hospital visitor ends up travelling to A&E herself.


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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, this helicopter with its highly trained team of pilots and

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paramedics 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 there's a

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good chance help will come from the skies.

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

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each one brings a new life or death emergency.

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Today on Helicopter Heroes, a jockey falls at 40 miles an hour.

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COMMENTATOR: Ras Laffan has fallen.

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Paramedic Lee is worried for his unconscious patient.

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She had a fit after she's landed.

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The team are scrambled to save a driver who's been lucky to survive a smash with a milk tanker.

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Argh! My leg, my leg!

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A builder is trapped under his upturned truck.

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We believe he's got an open fracture which means the bone is sticking out through the leg.

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There's a helicopter crash high in the Pennines.

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Now horse racing is a sport where women can compete with men on equal terms.

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For once size really is on their side

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and there's a growing band of female jockeys showing men just how to win.

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But up in North Yorkshire one top woman rider's career has come to a crashing halt.

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In North Yorkshire's racing country they're under starter's orders for the 2:10pm at Catterick.

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COMMENTATOR: And they're off.

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Cuccinello has jumped off quite some way behind the other runners.

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One of today's runners isn't going to make it to the finishing line.

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Ras Laffan is the favourite and amateur jockey Jacqueline Coward is looking good for a win.

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They're being followed by the market leader Ras Laffan.

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Until this happens.

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In the home straight, where Ras Laffan has fallen.

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The favourite's on the floor.

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22-year-old Jacqueline badly needs an air ambulance.

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The fall has knocked her unconscious and it may have broken her neck.

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Helicopter from Leeds Bradford, en route to the Catterick races.

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Request you provide information en route to Catterick. Out.

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Jacqueline's family run an annual point to point to raise money for the Helimed team.

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They're about to be very grateful they do.

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It's quite unusual in my time with the air ambulance,

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I've never actually been to a racecourse to collect a patient,

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especially a jockey.

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I like the races. I've been brought up with the races because my

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dad is a big race goer, so I've been to Catterick races myself before.

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The Jockey Club pay for ambulance paramedics to be at the racecourse

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for the duration of the full meeting.

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The meeting can't go ahead without our services there.

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I know there will be a doctor there and jockeys are at speed as well, quite high speed.

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40 miles an hour they'll be running at, some of them.

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No horse I back has ever run at 40 miles an hour!

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Before he became an air ambulance pilot,

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Steve spent years flying wealthy businessmen around the country and saw his fair share of racecourses.

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He knows today's mission may not be straightforward.

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It depends where the fall is,

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if they decided to carry on with the racing.

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If he's fallen on the track, at the side, it could be difficult and

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if it's close to the ring or the stables or any other place where the horses are,

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it could be awkward as well because we all know race horses are highly strung, aren't they.

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COMMENTATOR: Running up towards the line, it's Alloro

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under an enterprising Lucy Horner, who will get home in front.

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But there's good news for Steve.

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The stewards have stopped further racing until Jacqueline's rescuers have left the track.

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I don't know if they're in the med centre.

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-No, they're still on the track at the course.

-Are they?

-Yeah.

-Oh, right.

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There's no horses knocking around.

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-We've got a yellow flag, mate.

-Yeah, cheers.

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OK, we've got a camera platform, Steve, which is raised.

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Steve's landing is being watched by a crowd of racegoers

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and by thousands more at home on the punters' TV channel, Racing UK.

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Jacqueline hasn't moved since she fell. She's deeply unconscious.

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-Hi, mate.

-22 year-old female landed right side of her head, fitted on landing.

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She's had a litre and a half of fluid.

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-GCS has come up from three to five or six.

-Yeah.

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Consciousness is measured by the Glasgow Coma Scale or GCS.

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Jacqueline's level is still worryingly low.

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She hit the ground at 40 miles an hour and without her description of

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her symptoms the medical team don't know if she's injured her neck

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or spine or even suffered brain damage.

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-I can't find any other major injuries.

-Hi, guys.

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Hi, hello. Hello. Hi, hello.

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Ready when you are whenever you want to go, OK?

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What she needs now is a speedy flight to hospital and that's where the Helimed team come in.

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But Lee has just found out another worrying sign.

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Jacqueline's injuries may be more serious than they seem.

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She's had a fit after she's landed

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which is significant of some head trauma.

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A fit may indicate a brain injury.

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The race to get the jockey to hospital just became even more urgent.

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Coming up, Jacqueline is flown to hospital but her condition doesn't look good.

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You can see in her eyes she's not with us very well at all.

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There's an accident in one of Yorkshire's most beautiful dales.

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He's got a nasty open femur, quite a lot of blood trapped in there.

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On the ground, leave it here.

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And there's an emergency landing after Helimed 99 springs a leak.

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I can't see any fire or anything.

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The Helimed team know if you're in a road accident the chances of recovery

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depend on what vehicles are involved and if it's a lorry the odds are already stacked against you.

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Dispatchers don't send a helicopter to every emergency,

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but when a driver is trapped in a wrecked car there's no question.

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It's a lorry and a car gone off the road.

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I've spoken to the RRV on scene and there's someone trapped in a car

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that they can't get to.

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Today, Helimed 98 is heading north to a road just off the A1.

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There's been numerous calls

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come in for road accidents there,

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some of which are stating a lorry, an oil tanker,

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has left the road

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and also there's a car overturned.

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We've tried to get further information and the crews on scene are stating there are casualties.

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One casualty is still trapped in a car upside down and they're unable to get access to them.

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The potential hazards from road accidents are quite numerous anyway but if you've got a tanker

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involved in that, then obviously any cargo that's in there,

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the fire brigade will have to ascertain whether it's a risk to the rescuers and

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whether we can get anywhere near the scene at this time.

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The driver was lucky to survive when her car cartwheeled down the

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road after a collision involving a heavy lorry.

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Now she's trapped in the wreckage.

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Her leg is badly injured and until she's freed

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her life is in real danger from internal bleeding or fire.

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She was still in her seatbelt when I got here.

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She undid that herself because she was complaining she was hanging upside down

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and went crunch on the floor and that made it even worse.

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We've just got one female who's been trapped in the car for quite a while.

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Fire brigade have managed to get access and

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the crew are getting a bit closer.

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It's difficult to find out exactly what injuries she's got.

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She's got numerous lacerations.

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She must have been thrown about quite a lot from the wreckage of the car.

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Once we get her out we can have a better look and find out if she's got any life-threatening injuries.

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The emergency services know there's no risk from the contents of the tanker at least.

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It's a milk tanker from one of the local dairies. It's very local to here.

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There's no chemicals on board and at the moment the milk

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has not been wasted, it's being pumped away to another tanker.

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Rescuing the driver isn't going to be straightforward.

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-What's that hurting there, Jean?

-Yeah.

-Me, there?

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Motorist Jean Trevelyan is trapped in the twisted interior of her estate car.

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I can't breathe, can't breathe!

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You can, sweetheart.

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Moving her could worsen her condition.

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-Aargh!

-Well done, Jean. Well done, well done.

-My leg, my leg!

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It's OK. It's all right, it's OK.

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That's it, well done.

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Well done, Jean.

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In this part of North Yorkshire most of the firefighters are

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part-timers who respond to emergencies from their day jobs.

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But they're trained to the same standards as full-time colleagues

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and today their skills are being tested to the limit.

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The vehicle's on its roof. It's a very tight situation inside the vehicle.

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The crews have made access to the side of the vehicle

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for the paramedics and the ambulance technicians and then reassured and offered first aid to the casualty.

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But until she's released, diagnosing her injuries is little more than guesswork.

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-The femur's gone. Lower leg's gone.

-All right.

-Are we all clear?

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Jean is trapped by her ankle, but at last a fireman manages to release her.

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-We need to go a bit further.

-Do you want to go a bit further?

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-Hold your arms in for us, duck.

-There we go.

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It's now clear Jean's injuries are serious.

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She has a fractured arm and a badly broken leg.

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Jean needs emergency surgery but there's a problem.

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Her broken leg is bent.

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If it's left as it is

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she'll never fit in the cramped cabin of Helimed 98,

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but straightening it will mean a complicated procedure

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that will leave her in even more pain.

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Coming up, the team begin to straighten Jean's leg, but it's not going to be easy for them or her.

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To get your leg into the splint I need to put pressure on it and just pull it.

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Jacqueline, the injured jockey, reaches hospital,

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but she's still unconscious.

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And the team are scrambled to a downed helicopter.

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We're concerned about him with the nature of the accident obviously.

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These guys make safety a top priority at work.

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They wear helmets, harnesses and high-vis almost all of the time,

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but they aren't alone in having hazardous jobs.

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Building workers are especially vulnerable to accidents at work.

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Addresses don't get more remote than some of the hamlets high in the North York Moors.

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For most of the time the beauty of these dales makes up for the isolation.

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But when someone's seriously hurt, speedy help can only come from the air.

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At the Helimed base the team are on the case of a builder badly injured in remote Farndale.

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Any further north and paramedic Pat would be touching the ceiling.

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-That's it.

-So it's there.

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The team know their patient will be enduring a long wait for help.

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We're off to Farndale. A 19-year-old

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has for whatever reason got his legs trapped underneath a dumper truck.

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We believe he's got an open fracture,

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which means the bone is sticking out through the leg,

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and that's where we're going to go and assist.

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19-year-old builder's labourer Aaron Jeffries was driving a dumper truck when it overturned.

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His leg is trapped and badly broken.

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He was working on the most remote house in the dale when the accident happened.

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We believe he's got a compounded broken leg. The bone is broken and it's broken through the skin.

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Part-time firefighters from the nearby market town 14 miles away

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have done a good job to beat Helimed 99 on its 20 minute flight.

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Hello.

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We haven't even got him out yet.

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This is Aaron, 19.

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This dumper's come over on him.

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Aaron's in a bad way.

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He's in serious pain.

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But his thigh bone is shattered and paramedic Sammy knows this is a potentially fatal injury.

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Patients can bleed to death internally after accidents like this.

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He's got a nasty open femur. Quite a lot of blood trapped in there, bleeding quite badly,

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so we had a litre of fluid up, we've given him some pain relief.

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Aaron, you're going to feel the weight coming off of your leg

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and then we're going to slide the board underneath you.

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-Right.

-Stay still, stay still.

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Guys, are you ready? Who am I talking to?

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Firefighters have bought an airbag which will slowly ease the truck off the teenager's leg.

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There, nice and steady.

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That's it. You're just going to feel your ankle moving a little bit.

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That's it, mate, that's it. It's just coming out of the mud.

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We're just trying to get this off.

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-Get it off me, take it off.

-Aaron...

-Take it off.

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-It'll come off.

-It'll come off.

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Yeah, that's it, Aaron.

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We're now ready to move.

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After half-an-hour pinned to the ground in freezing temperatures Aaron is free at last.

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My leg just clicked again.

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On your call, Sammy.

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Injuries involving builders are among the most common industrial

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accidents and this one is bound to result in an inquiry by the police and the Health and Safety Executive.

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One, two, three.

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For now all Aaron's shocked colleagues are concerned about is their injured workmate.

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He needs hospital treatment urgently,

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but despite the remoteness of the dale it won't be long thanks to Helimed 99.

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We are not too far from hospital here.

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Maybe about seven minutes for us to James Cook,

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but it's a very remote area to go by road.

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You must be looking 25-30 minutes

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at least over the moors so it's a good air ambulance job for us, this one.

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Sammy and Pat know how to keep patients calm, but under the cheerful chat, they're worried.

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I want this arm, mate.

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Aaron's blood pressure is dropping. It could be a sign of internal bleeding.

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Not a very nice fractured femur with the displacement.

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Because we are unable to put traction on it cos of possible pelvis,

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it's still an irregular shape and it doesn't look very nice.

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So, for him, pain management is sorted, but visually, it's still quite disconcerting for him.

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Farndale is famous for its daffodils and they're just coming into bloom.

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Pilot Steve is more concerned about an invisible feature of the dale.

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Valleys like this are notorious for turbulence and strong downdrops.

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'Helimed 99, good morning.

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'No traffic to affect you. Reply on approaching James Cook.'

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Clear, direct. Will go ahead.

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Steve is making sure he has enough height to stay safe.

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But, in the back, Pat has his own concerns.

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Monitoring Aaron's falling blood pressure and pain level is one of them.

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As he's rolled and trapped his leg,

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he's broke his upper femur.

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He's very badly deformed,

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which can cause excessive amounts of bleeding into the femur.

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So we are keeping an eye on his obs and his blood pressure and giving him

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fluids and he's had a lot of pain relief to help with the pain.

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What I suspect at the moment is every time he gets a jolt,

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the bones are rubbing together, which is causing the pain.

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We have to try and ease that pain while moving him in and out of the aircraft.

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Middlesbrough's James Cook hospital is named after the famous explorer,

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but today's flight doesn't need a great feat of navigation.

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As soon as Helimed 99 clears the hills at the end of the valley, Teesside is right in front of it.

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Helimed 99 approaching James Cook.

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A medical team is already waiting inside A&E for Aaron's arrival.

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How is the pain at the moment?

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-What's score would you put it at now out of one to ten?

-It's all right.

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One being no pain, ten being...

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-About five or six.

-About five or six. OK, Aaron.

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They know injuries like this can be very serious.

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But everything, including his age, is on Aaron's side.

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Within days of having his leg reset, he was back home with a new respect for safety at work.

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Coming up, the motorist involved in a head-on smash with a milk tanker is finally airborne.

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Blood pressure at the moment is round about the minimum we would want it to be.

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And the team are too late to save a trainee pilot after a flying lesson goes tragically wrong.

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This looks pretty terminal. Just one casualty.

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Now, let's get back to the racetrack where a top female jockey

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is still unconscious after a 40 mile an hour fall.

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Top amateur jockey, Jacqueline Coward, was knocked unconscious

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since she fell from her horse on a jump at Catterick races.

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COMMENTATOR: Ras Laffan has fallen.

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The favourite is on the floor.

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She hit the ground at 40 miles an hour and, without a description of her symptoms,

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the medical team don't know if she's injured her neck or spine,

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or even suffered brain damage.

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The course doctor and medics have been with Jacqueline since her fall.

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They are used to jockeys who have fallen, but most recover consciousness within minutes.

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20 minutes ago, Jacqueline was riding the favourite.

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Now a trauma team is awaiting her arrival at a hospital in Middlesbrough.

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Hello.

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Her name's Jackie.

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The method of landing was with her head tucked underneath her.

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She's tucked in, yes.

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Jockeys have a fatalistic attitude to injury.

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And Jacqueline would understand the track's keenness to get on with the racing.

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Let me know about two or three minutes before you take off,

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-cos they want to saddle the horses for the next race.

-Yeah.

-That would be great.

-OK.

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Part of a paramedic's job is cutting through the confusion

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in a dazed patient's mind, encouraging them to come round.

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It's not working.

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Jackie, hello, hi. We are from the air ambulance, all right?

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We will be going off shortly.

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She fleetingly opens her eyes but she's clearly not taking in his words.

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The patient is loaded and stable and the crew expect to be taking off

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within the next three to five minutes.

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At least Steve doesn't have much to worry about.

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The horses are all down the other end so there's no problem there.

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They stopped the race until we'd finished

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so it's been easy so far.

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Jacqueline's flight to James Cook hospital will take less than 15 minutes.

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Racegoers will be kept up-to-date with her condition through the track's PA system.

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The doctor described that she'd come off and tucked under.

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They were on the scene within 30 seconds.

0:19:540:19:57

Her neck was tucked under and she has had a fit, post the event.

0:19:570:20:03

She's had some type of head trauma going on there.

0:20:030:20:07

This specialist area up at James Cook...

0:20:070:20:12

The doctor spoke to James Cook A&E and they know that she's coming.

0:20:120:20:16

She responded to me flicking her mask, but you can see in her eyes that she's

0:20:160:20:20

not with us very well at all.

0:20:200:20:23

But Lee's priority is monitoring Jacqueline's condition.

0:20:230:20:28

If he can get her to come round, diagnosing any injuries will be much easier.

0:20:280:20:33

But she remains deeply unconscious.

0:20:330:20:36

Even bright light fails to rouse her.

0:20:360:20:39

I'm just checking her pupils. They are a bit sluggish.

0:20:390:20:42

Two minutes, Lee.

0:20:420:20:43

OK, thanks.

0:20:430:20:45

Doctors at the James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough are used to seeing jockeys who have taken a tumble.

0:20:450:20:50

Nearby North Yorkshire is home to some of the UK's top trainers.

0:20:500:20:54

Jacqueline knew she was a member of one of sport's riskiest professions

0:20:570:21:01

but she probably didn't count on ending today's race like this.

0:21:010:21:05

We're just going to go down to A&E with the girl now.

0:21:050:21:08

I'll just handover to the doctor and let him look after her from there.

0:21:080:21:12

The next hour will be critical as doctors scan her unconscious body for other injuries.

0:21:120:21:18

Coming up, back on the gallops, Jacqueline's colleagues wait for news from the hospital.

0:21:240:21:30

And flying paramedic Lee is scrambled to an air crash too close to home for comfort.

0:21:310:21:36

It could be one of the machines I've flown recently.

0:21:360:21:39

Remember the motorist injured in a collision with a milk tanker?

0:21:440:21:48

The Helimed team won't forget this case in a hurry because it's about to get a lot more complicated.

0:21:480:21:53

On a country road in North Yorkshire,

0:21:550:21:57

emergency services have spent the last half hour

0:21:570:22:00

freeing motorist Jean Trevelyan from her wrecked car.

0:22:000:22:03

She was trapped after a collision with a milk tanker

0:22:030:22:06

that blocked the road near the market town of Boroughbridge.

0:22:060:22:09

Now she's free, but there's a problem.

0:22:090:22:12

Her badly broken leg is bent and paramedics Pete Vallance and Paul Bradbury

0:22:120:22:16

must straighten it so they can slide her into Helimed 98's cramped cabin.

0:22:160:22:21

They are using a traction splint.

0:22:210:22:22

It will put the shattered bones in Jean's leg back in line.

0:22:220:22:27

Yes, cheers. Jean?

0:22:270:22:28

-Yes.

-What we're going to do is we're going to give you something to ease the pain.

0:22:280:22:32

You've broken your leg so we are going to need to straighten it.

0:22:320:22:35

I'm not going to say it's going to be pain-free,

0:22:350:22:37

-but it will be better for you once we can get it into the position it should be in.

-OK.

0:22:370:22:42

She's already been given pain relief, but this will still be an agonising process.

0:22:420:22:48

Just nice and steady. You might feel a few twinges.

0:22:480:22:50

It's OK. Yeah?

0:22:500:22:52

If you want to scream, you scream. It doesn't matter.

0:22:520:22:55

To get your leg into this splint, I need to put pressure on it and just pull it.

0:22:550:22:59

You'll get that sensation of it being pulled. All right?

0:22:590:23:03

You keep talking to me, Jeanie, all right?

0:23:030:23:08

The impact shortened her leg by three inches.

0:23:080:23:11

Without pain relief, Jean would be in agony, but she's getting by by gritting her teeth.

0:23:110:23:17

But it's not over yet. To make sure a broken bone is not

0:23:180:23:22

closing off veins or arteries, they need to stretch Jean's leg too.

0:23:220:23:27

Her bone is actually protruding from her leg.

0:23:270:23:30

She's got no pulse below it, so what we've had to do is

0:23:300:23:33

put traction on the leg in order to maintain the blood supply to her foot

0:23:330:23:38

which we've managed to do now.

0:23:380:23:40

And, all being well, they are just moving her now

0:23:400:23:43

so we'll be off to the hospital.

0:23:430:23:45

A broken right leg is among the most common injuries

0:23:450:23:49

following a serious road crash.

0:23:490:23:51

A driver's right foot is normally on the brake pedal

0:23:510:23:54

and when an impact comes, it suddenly takes the full

0:23:540:23:57

weight of the body, multiplied many times over as car and motorist stop in the space of a few feet.

0:23:570:24:03

How bad's your pain at the moment still?

0:24:030:24:06

-Eight.

-Eight, OK.

0:24:060:24:08

I'll give you some oxygen here.

0:24:080:24:10

Ten of morphine.

0:24:100:24:13

Jean was driving from her home in Northumberland to Leeds to visit

0:24:130:24:16

her son, who is recovering after hospital treatment.

0:24:160:24:19

Now, she too needs a doctor.

0:24:190:24:21

Your blood pressure is a bit on the low side, which is

0:24:210:24:24

understandable, bearing in mind what you've just been through. OK.

0:24:240:24:28

My right ankle hurts.

0:24:280:24:31

Yeah, it will do.

0:24:310:24:32

Jean, in flight, you're not going to be able to hear much.

0:24:320:24:35

-All right.

-All right, it's going to be noisy.

0:24:350:24:37

It's going to be about 12 minutes and we'll be back up your neck of the woods. All right?

0:24:370:24:44

Jean may be badly hurt, but at least she has a sense of humour when it comes to the thought of NHS cuisine.

0:24:440:24:50

-Any in-flight meals?

-We'll serve you one later.

0:24:500:24:53

Caviar and chips.

0:24:530:24:56

Broken bones can lead to internal bleeding and Peter has noticed some worrying signs.

0:25:000:25:06

Her blood pressure at the moment is around about the minimum

0:25:060:25:10

we would want it to be.

0:25:100:25:11

We've set some fluids up to try and compensate for that,

0:25:110:25:15

but it may indicate that she has some bleeding

0:25:150:25:18

that's hidden from us, that's causing her blood pressure to drop.

0:25:180:25:22

Jean's on her way to the trauma unit at the James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough.

0:25:220:25:26

Doctors there are experts at treating car-crash injuries.

0:25:260:25:29

There's really only one winner when you come up against a car.

0:25:310:25:35

And it's not the car.

0:25:350:25:37

The fact that Jean is still with us is a bonus.

0:25:370:25:41

Within minutes of her arrival, Jean is under the care of a surgeon.

0:25:410:25:46

She spent several months in a wheelchair but eventually she got back on her feet

0:25:460:25:50

and her son ended up visiting her hospital bedside rather than the other way around.

0:25:500:25:56

Coming up, the jockey injured on live TV finally gets to see her spectacular accident.

0:26:020:26:09

I watched it and thought, "Silly horse, why didn't it land?"

0:26:090:26:12

A helicopter has become a status symbol for the successful businessman.

0:26:160:26:21

Somewhere after the yacht, and just before the corporate jet.

0:26:210:26:25

But, no matter how good the pilot, or how well maintained the chopper,

0:26:250:26:29

flying them will never be completely risk-free.

0:26:290:26:33

Flying in helicopters is a dangerous business,

0:26:350:26:38

but every day the Helimed team put their own lives on the line to help their patients.

0:26:380:26:42

The pilots are some of the most experienced and skilled around.

0:26:420:26:47

And the paramedics must complete an intensive training course,

0:26:470:26:50

because if something goes wrong up here, it's a long way down.

0:26:500:26:53

Helicopters are not inherently dangerous machines.

0:26:530:26:57

If they were, we would not be allowed to fly them.

0:26:570:26:59

But they are very unforgiving. If something goes wrong, you don't have a lot time to react.

0:26:590:27:04

There's a lot of rotating machinery

0:27:040:27:06

which has a lot of inertia and we spent a lot of time

0:27:060:27:08

quite close to the ground so if anything goes wrong,

0:27:080:27:10

it goes wrong quickly and you don't have much time to recover from that.

0:27:100:27:14

The crew don't need a reminder of the dangers they face, but today they are going to get one.

0:27:140:27:19

A frantic 999 call has come in saying a helicopter's crashed on the

0:27:190:27:23

outskirts of Doncaster in South Yorkshire.

0:27:230:27:26

Our vehicle is en route,

0:27:260:27:27

but no-one is on the scene as yet.

0:27:270:27:29

Apparently a witness has actually called in

0:27:290:27:32

and can actually see the aircraft

0:27:320:27:34

from where they are on the M18.

0:27:340:27:38

So we are just going to go to see what

0:27:380:27:41

we can see and hopefully direct the land crews to where we are.

0:27:410:27:44

As far as injuries are concerned, number of persons,

0:27:440:27:46

what type of crash it's been, we are not aware of, as yet.

0:27:460:27:49

Despite advances in aircraft safety, few people survive the huge impact involved in an air crash.

0:27:500:27:57

In the UK, there were over 20 accidents like this one last year.

0:27:570:28:01

'We've got two patients on the ground seriously injured. Over.'

0:28:010:28:05

-Would it be worth an early call to Sandtoft to see if they know the location?

-It might be.

0:28:050:28:11

Paramedic Lee Davison often swaps his syringe for a joystick.

0:28:110:28:16

He's a qualified commercial helicopter pilot, but this job is a little too close to home.

0:28:160:28:21

Only a few weeks ago, he was flying the same helicopter that crashed.

0:28:210:28:25

Yeah, I've recently done a lot of flying out of Sandtoft

0:28:250:28:29

for my commercial helicopter pilot's qualification.

0:28:290:28:34

I did all my training there just before Christmas.

0:28:340:28:37

So it could well be one of the machines I have flown very recently.

0:28:370:28:41

I will be interested myself to see what's happened.

0:28:410:28:44

This could be a major incident and Helimed 98 is not the only chopper racing towards the scene.

0:28:440:28:51

The Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance Helimed 29

0:28:510:28:55

is also heading for the crash site, a small airfield called Sandtoft.

0:28:550:28:59

29 Alpha. We're four minutes to the south of Sandtoft,

0:28:590:29:03

if you're coming to the same incident.

0:29:030:29:06

There is a Robinson R22 in the overhead as well.

0:29:060:29:10

Roger, thanks, mate.

0:29:100:29:12

Two and a half miles northwest of Sandtoft? Confirm.

0:29:120:29:16

See you down there.

0:29:160:29:19

The wreckage of the small Robinson R22 helicopter confirms everyone's worst fears.

0:29:190:29:24

'Just wondering how far you are from Sandtoft. It looks pretty terminal.

0:29:240:29:29

'Just one casualty.'

0:29:290:29:32

Trainee pilot Kim Carter had just dropped off his instructor

0:29:320:29:37

and was completing a solo training run when the accident happened.

0:29:370:29:41

The father of three was killed instantly.

0:29:410:29:43

It was a type of aircraft that I trained in and did 500 hours'

0:29:430:29:47

flying in when I was working towards my commercial licence.

0:29:470:29:51

So it's always a little bit... It brings you up a little bit to see what can happen to people.

0:29:510:29:56

Luckily, it didn't happen to me.

0:29:560:29:58

I survived and obviously got more experience, and hopefully that'll keep me out of trouble in the future.

0:29:580:30:03

But not everybody is that lucky, unfortunately.

0:30:030:30:05

The Helimed team work their aircraft hard.

0:30:070:30:10

Today, the chopper's barely out of the hangar and they're off to a road accident.

0:30:100:30:15

Helimed 99 cost £3 million and comes equipped with the latest technology.

0:30:160:30:21

But unfortunately for paramedic Lee Davison and doctor Andy Pountney, that doesn't include heated windows.

0:30:210:30:28

See anything?

0:30:290:30:30

OK, just coming back down again. We're misting up on the front.

0:30:310:30:34

That's not a good thing to do when there's

0:30:340:30:36

snow about. Open your vents up, we're breathing too heavy.

0:30:360:30:40

-Can you see the aircraft?

-Got it, thank you.

0:30:400:30:44

Nothing that flies is foolproof, and this morning, the captain

0:30:440:30:48

is about to find that out.

0:30:480:30:51

On the control panel, a warning light is flashing.

0:30:510:30:53

Helimed 98. Aborting our take-off. We're coming in to land.

0:30:530:30:58

We've got a low in the transmission.

0:30:580:31:00

Helimed 98 would now like to return back to 125 Central.

0:31:000:31:05

The gearbox oil pressure is low.

0:31:050:31:07

It's probably a false alarm, but Ian hasn't survived 30 years

0:31:070:31:10

in the pilot's seat by not taking warnings seriously.

0:31:100:31:13

Sorry, guys, I can't let it flash twice.

0:31:130:31:15

It's transmission low pressure.

0:31:150:31:18

What was the numbers that flashed up then, did you see it?

0:31:180:31:20

-53.

-OK, going on the ground.

0:31:200:31:23

Leave it here.

0:31:230:31:24

Helimed 99 isn't going any further than the airport taxiway.

0:31:240:31:29

And the tell-tale stream of oil leaking from the engines

0:31:290:31:32

is proof that Ian's decision to abandon the flight was a smart move.

0:31:320:31:37

Shall we go out that door?

0:31:370:31:40

Can't see any fire or anything.

0:31:400:31:41

We've had to put down on the taxiway.

0:31:450:31:47

We were just going to take off on a job and we've had a red caution light on in the front here which

0:31:470:31:53

Ian, the pilot, spotted, and Tony.

0:31:530:31:55

We've had to just turn around, but we were losing oil pressure in the transmission.

0:31:550:32:00

So we've had to just put on the ground on the taxiway here.

0:32:000:32:03

If you go around the other side, there's all oil down the side of the aircraft. We'll have a look.

0:32:030:32:08

This is the vital lubrication that keeps the chopper's rotors turning.

0:32:080:32:12

An oil line has broken and Helimed 99's life blood is draining away.

0:32:120:32:17

I tell you, I'm glad we weren't 2,000 feet up.

0:32:180:32:23

Continuing to fly could have meant an in-flight emergency over the suburbs of Leeds.

0:32:230:32:29

You're always disappointed if you go off to a job and there's patients

0:32:290:32:34

that are waiting for us and we can't get there.

0:32:340:32:36

But safety has to come first, and it's a good job it was winter so we were waiting for it to demist

0:32:360:32:42

and gave a chance for this to become apparent.

0:32:420:32:45

I'm glad we weren't 2,000 feet up and a long way from home.

0:32:450:32:49

Repairs will take a few hours' work, but Ian's quick thinking has saved them tens of thousands of pounds.

0:32:490:32:57

That's how much a new gearbox would have cost.

0:32:570:33:00

The other good news is that the emergency hasn't delayed the patient's treatment.

0:33:010:33:05

The responder called up on the radio and said that the patient

0:33:050:33:09

wasn't in a life threatening at that moment

0:33:090:33:14

and that she was still trapped in an awkward position, but her ankle would suffice.

0:33:140:33:18

So we can stand the helicopter down. No harm done.

0:33:180:33:20

Playing it safe is every professional pilot's rule,

0:33:200:33:24

but the skies are now busy with a new breed of aviator - the enthusiastic amateur.

0:33:240:33:29

They're taking up flying in increasing numbers

0:33:290:33:32

thanks to a new generation of recreational helicopters.

0:33:320:33:36

The biggest problem early on is that people get over-confident.

0:33:360:33:40

When they get to about 100 hours or so they think they have actually learnt how to master the helicopter.

0:33:400:33:45

That's not the case. It's almost a living thing. You can't take your hands off the controls for a minute

0:33:450:33:50

because it just goes where it wants.

0:33:500:33:52

You've got to be concentrating 100 per cent all the time.

0:33:520:33:54

A lot of accidents in the past are with people who have just got their licence and are taking

0:33:540:34:00

their family and friends out for flights and they just overcooked it and were too blase about it all.

0:34:000:34:04

It's a dangerous machine if not treated properly.

0:34:040:34:07

A quarter of a million quid and it's yours.

0:34:070:34:11

Lots of people dream of having their own helicopter just like this.

0:34:110:34:15

But the downside is if something goes wrong, it can be very expensive and painful.

0:34:150:34:20

When the sun shines, private pilots head out in their hundreds.

0:34:210:34:24

But in the Pennines, a helicopter flight has come to a sudden and very painful end.

0:34:240:34:31

Hello, have you just made an emergency call for a reported helicopter crash?

0:34:310:34:34

The team are always quick to set off.

0:34:340:34:37

But when it's a fellow aviator in trouble, there's an added pressure.

0:34:370:34:41

It must feel very strange, especially when you're flying in a helicopter

0:34:410:34:45

and you're going to one that has just crashed, you're thinking,

0:34:450:34:48

"Are we going to be all right?"

0:34:480:34:49

But they probably aren't thinking that, they're probably concentrating on what they're going to.

0:34:490:34:55

More information is being sent to the crew all the time,

0:34:550:34:58

and eyewitness accounts are not encouraging.

0:34:580:35:02

We've talked to a lady

0:35:020:35:03

that witnessed the incident and she said she saw a helicopter

0:35:030:35:07

come down on the moor,

0:35:070:35:08

but we don't know if she saw any flames or smoke.

0:35:080:35:11

She witnessed a helicopter, she believes, crash land and she hasn't seen anybody get out of it.

0:35:110:35:18

We're going to take a look and see what's going on there.

0:35:180:35:21

The helicopter that has crashed has four seats, and with the possibility

0:35:210:35:25

of passengers being injured as well as the pilot, another air ambulance has also been scrambled.

0:35:250:35:31

Helimed 98, I'm going to stand you down.

0:35:310:35:33

I'm leaving Helimed 99 running, they're almost on scene and only one helicopter is required.

0:35:330:35:38

One patient is involved.

0:35:380:35:40

We'll stand down there.

0:35:400:35:42

They're saying that there's one casualty.

0:35:420:35:44

One casualty, I heard that.

0:35:440:35:46

The crew have already flown over a lorry fire on the M62.

0:35:460:35:49

But at the scene, emergency crews have arrived in force.

0:35:490:35:54

We've got a situation at the moment. Obviously, we won't know the reasons as to why the helicopter has crashed

0:35:540:36:00

until the the investigation has been completed.

0:36:000:36:02

It's down here somewhere.

0:36:020:36:05

That might be the hotel she was on about.

0:36:050:36:07

Yeah, I've got emergency services on scene. Bang on the nose.

0:36:070:36:11

In the field there, yeah.

0:36:110:36:13

Pilot Steve Cobb approaches the area with extra care.

0:36:130:36:17

He doesn't know how or why the other helicopter has crashed and nobody on

0:36:170:36:21

board wants to end up in the same situation as the injured pilot.

0:36:210:36:24

Hello, sir.

0:36:290:36:31

No loss of consciousness on impact.

0:36:310:36:34

He's basically mid-shaft right tib and fib.

0:36:340:36:37

He can mobilise his toes. Got sensation.

0:36:370:36:39

He's been lucky. Few people survive after crashing a helicopter.

0:36:390:36:44

But he's not out of danger.

0:36:440:36:46

He's complaining of a severely broken right leg, no other injuries that we can

0:36:460:36:52

find at the moment, but we're a bit concerned about him with the nature of the accident.

0:36:520:36:56

The pilot's injury could be serious.

0:36:560:36:59

Patients can bleed to death internally from broken legs.

0:36:590:37:02

Soon he'll be airborne again, this time for a short flight to hospital in nearby Manchester.

0:37:020:37:08

All the team know that flying makes their job more dangerous.

0:37:080:37:12

In the last year, three people have died in chopper crashes in Yorkshire alone.

0:37:120:37:17

But they also know that they're in safe hands.

0:37:170:37:20

Steve Cobb has flown 5,000 hours without a single accident.

0:37:200:37:23

He's determined to keep it that way.

0:37:230:37:26

The pilot who crashed was kept in hospital for a considerable time with injuries to his leg and back.

0:37:260:37:33

But he was lucky. His aircraft was beyond repair.

0:37:330:37:37

If it was an engine failure or some mechanical failure,

0:37:370:37:39

the position he was in wasn't good for a successful landing.

0:37:390:37:42

It was on a hillside, it wasn't flat at all.

0:37:420:37:44

But he actually seemed to do quite well.

0:37:440:37:47

I wondered what the man thought -

0:37:470:37:49

He's just crashed a helicopter then he's getting into another helicopter to take him to hospital.

0:37:490:37:53

We have one of the latest, up to date, modern helicopters

0:37:540:37:57

flown by some of the best pilots in the country.

0:37:570:37:59

I have every confidence in this helicopter and our pilots.

0:37:590:38:03

I'm pleased to say that the injured pilot has recovered.

0:38:050:38:08

Now, in North Yorkshire's racing country,

0:38:080:38:11

top jockey Jacqueline Coward's family are waiting for news.

0:38:110:38:14

COMMENTATOR: ..The Iron Giant, who is followed by Feeling Peckish...

0:38:140:38:20

Racing's back under way at Catterick,

0:38:200:38:22

after an up-and-coming young jockey was thrown from her horse.

0:38:220:38:26

Jacqueline Coward hasn't regained consciousness, and Helimed 99

0:38:260:38:30

have rushed her to the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough.

0:38:300:38:33

It's only when she wakes up that doctors will be able to find out just how serious her injuries are

0:38:330:38:38

and Jacqueline will discover if she'll ever ride again.

0:38:380:38:41

Horseracing is a way of life in this part of North Yorkshire.

0:38:460:38:50

And at Jacqueline's family farm near York, work starts at the crack of dawn.

0:38:500:38:54

The horses need exercising, washing and grooming.

0:38:540:38:58

But there's one member of the team missing. Jacqueline was unconscious for over an hour.

0:38:580:39:03

But despite hitting the ground at 40 mph, she's escaped any serious neck or spinal injuries.

0:39:030:39:10

However, six weeks later, a blossoming racing career is still on hold.

0:39:100:39:15

Supposedly I can't ride for

0:39:150:39:17

three to six to nine months. It just depends.

0:39:170:39:23

Every day you've got to take at a time. Apparently your body tells you.

0:39:230:39:26

People just keep saying, "Don't rush things,

0:39:260:39:29

don't rush things." I have these like major ups and downs.

0:39:290:39:33

It's very strange, very weird. Good days and bad days.

0:39:330:39:37

Before the race I'd had a really good weekend.

0:39:370:39:40

I'd ridden three winners and I'd ridden a winner in Ireland so I was quite chilled out, thinking,

0:39:400:39:44

"Oh, well, hopefully I'm on the favourite and I'm going to win

0:39:440:39:47

"and who cares if I don't because I've been winning lately."

0:39:470:39:50

And then that just happened.

0:39:500:39:52

Few people have the chance to see how their accident happened.

0:39:520:39:56

Jacqueline suffered severe concussion and can't remember anything about the race.

0:39:560:40:00

But the TV cameras caught every moment of her unfortunate fall.

0:40:000:40:05

I've only just watched it once, coming back from hospital,

0:40:050:40:08

so it's difficult to remember because my memory hasn't been great.

0:40:080:40:12

But it was fine, I just watched it and thought, "Silly horse. Why didn't it land?"

0:40:120:40:16

I just thought nothing of it.

0:40:160:40:18

It's weird because I just know nothing about it.

0:40:180:40:20

So when people are like, "Are you all right?"

0:40:200:40:23

I'm like, "Yeah, absolutely fine."

0:40:230:40:26

Then you kind of look at the replay and think, "That's why they were worried."

0:40:260:40:30

Injuries are part and parcel of being a jockey,

0:40:300:40:33

and Jacqueline accepts the risks every time she saddles up.

0:40:330:40:36

But there's nothing else she'd rather do.

0:40:360:40:39

It's like addiction. You can't help it.

0:40:390:40:42

Your horses are like your children.

0:40:420:40:44

I said to Mum, I said, "What is it about them?

0:40:440:40:47

"Why is it that whatever happens to them you always go back?"

0:40:470:40:50

She says it's because, "at your age, they're like your children. They're so precious to you."

0:40:500:40:55

I'll definitely go back. Of course I will. Definitely.

0:40:550:40:58

Without a doubt, I'll be back. I might not be back very soon, but I'll be back at some point in my life.

0:40:580:41:04

Jacqueline has ridden 50 winners and can't wait to add to her tally.

0:41:060:41:10

But she also knows that if she's concussed again, she may lose her licence to ride.

0:41:100:41:15

No wonder she's taking her time before joining her friends on the gallops.

0:41:150:41:19

When Helicopter Heroes comes back, 10 year old Lucas has just been

0:41:190:41:23

hurled 20 feet over a wall after a road accident.

0:41:230:41:27

He's complaining of a pain in his head. No neck pain, no back pain.

0:41:270:41:30

Now the team fear he may have a serious head injury.

0:41:300:41:33

It's Christmas, but there's no rest for paramedic Darren on a 999 dash to the top of the Pennines.

0:41:340:41:40

A lot of pain in his back. He's saying it hurts to breathe.

0:41:400:41:43

There's a freak accident down on the farm.

0:41:430:41:46

And the team ruffle a few feathers touching down on a village green.

0:41:460:41:52

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:41:590:42:02

E-mail [email protected]

0:42:020:42:05

A top jockey is thrown by her horse, a young builder is trapped beneath his dumper truck and a hospital visitor ends up travelling to A&E herself.


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