Episode 9 Helicopter Heroes


Episode 9

Series following the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. The team are called to an accident involving a bus, an RAF pilot ejects and a teenage racing driver is injured.


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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,

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with its highly trained team of pilots and paramedics,

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will fly to your rescue at 4.5 miles a minute.

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These are Yorkshire's Helicopter Heroes.

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When the people of 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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Today on Helicopter Heroes, there's a major road accident.

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Difficulty getting through because the weather is quite bad up here.

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And the Helimed team are battling appalling weather.

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One of the RAF's top guns ejects.

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At the moment he is in quite severe pain but he is stable.

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Why this teenage showjumper looks a little familiar to paramedic Darren Axe.

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As far as I am aware, she will be the first repeat customer that we've ever had.

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And a young biker proves wearing the right safety gear can't always save you from serious injury.

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How does that feel, does that feel normal?

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Rain is one of the biggest hazards on the road

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yet, still the easiest to forget.

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It takes longer to stop, you can't see as well

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and if you need help, that is going to take longer too.

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It's a rainy day on the outskirts of Leeds and Helimed 99 is at the scene of a road accident.

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The occupants of two cars have been lucky, their injuries are minor

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despite an impact which tore off the suspension of one vehicle.

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Paramedics Pat and Sammy know none of the casualties are serious enough to need a flight to hospital,

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which is just as well,

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they are badly needed 30 miles away.

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'We've got a four vehicle RTA with persons trapped on a coach, over.'

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As far as we know there's been a road traffic involving a coach with possibly four people injured.

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Weather's coming in a bit

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but hopefully we should be able to make it there.

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Just get off as soon as we can.

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High in the hills of the Yorkshire Wolds there's been a major accident.

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Emergency services from two counties have been scrambled to the crash.

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I come round the bend, I just saw the bus in the middle of the road,

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and then I saw the cars on the side. That's all I have seen.

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Helimed 99 receiving York control.

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At least three patients reported unconscious

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and as many as up to eight patients injured, and that is without any update as yet.

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Helimed 99, roger, is there any chance you could get in touch with our air desk

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and ask the availability of the second aircraft?

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Helimed 99 that's already been done. They are contacting the RAF for support.

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Pilot Steve Cobb knows they're urgently needed.

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He also knows the weather is deteriorating and he is going to need all his skills to get there.

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-I don't think this is going to work, Sammy.

-It's not looking good is it?

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It's not very high at the moment.

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-This must be the lowest part of the...

-The journey.

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At last Sammy and Steve find a valley that will take them through the hills

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to the location of the accident and the news from the scene isn't good.

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At the moment there are four patients but that is just an initial scene sweep,

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I am waiting for a more substantial update.

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I have been told there are 56 Polish persons on board.

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We have no idea if any of them are injured.

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Helimed 99, roger, just for your information

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we are having difficulty in getting through because the weather is quite bad up here.

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Drenched by heavy rain and covered by low cloud, the accident scene is a paramedic's nightmare.

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A coach load of foreign workers, five seriously injured patients,

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two of them still trapped in the wreckage of their vehicles.

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The dilemma for Pat and Sammy is who needs them most.

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The Polish workers, most of them can speak a little bit of English...

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but obviously this guy here...

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I think he'll probably be ours.

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-He's just severely trapped.

-He's the worse trapped, you take that one and then I'll check those two out.

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Coming up, the first victim of the accident is freed but his life is in the balance.

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The first casualty has been taken by the police helicopter.

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The team welcome aboard their first frequent flyer.

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This is her second trip on the ambulance now, also horse related.

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And what happened when a 14 year old racing driver hit the barriers.

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Yorkshire is home is to some of the UK's most crowded skies.

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All the RAF top gun pilots start their training here.

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So, these guys have to keep a good lookout

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and if there's a crash, the Helimed team are among the first to know.

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Every morning at the Helimed base there's a briefing for the crew.

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We've got Brough occasional reactivation.

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If it is happening in the air over Yorkshire they'll find out about it.

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Aerobatic practice by military aircraft at RAF Linton on Ouse

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and that's from 12 o'clock to half twelve daily.

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20 miles away at the RAF's busiest base,

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the fighter pilots of tomorrow are learning to fly 300mph Tucano trainers.

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Their instructors include some of the RAF's most experienced top guns

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and each year one is selected to perform in air displays across the country.

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But today his aerobatic sequence has ended in a terrible crash.

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Helimed 98 outbound to Linton.

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Helimed 98 is on the case.

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An air crash means an instant scramble.

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For ex-military pilot Tim Taylor the adrenalin is pumping.

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Get the 55 just in case he's not on the airfield, mate.

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'Just to let you know RAF Kinloss has been on,

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'Rescue 128 are coming across from Leconfield.

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'Their medical officer says all ejectees should go to Queen's

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'at Nottingham. I have told him if he's badly injured we will be going into the nearest, over.'

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Helimed 98, yeah roger, all received.

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Can we confirm this is actually on the airfield, over.

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'Helimed 98, apparently the aircraft we believe on the base

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'but they haven't located the pilot that has ejected, as yet, over.'

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This is serious, the pilot has ejected at 50 feet.

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Bailing out too low has killed pilots in the past.

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If he's bailed out he'll have a sore back.

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The only issue I have is he might have flares and pyrotechnics in his waistcoat.

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I think if he is seriously injured we'll just scoop him and take him to LGI.

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Linton's entire fleet of Tucano trainers is being recalled to base

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-or asked to land elsewhere.

-There's one to the left.

-There.

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Wilco, Helimed 98 Alpha.

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Luckily they have found the pilot,

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he has landed on the airfield itself.

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The crashed plane has hit the ground yards from the runway.

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-Hi there.

-How are you doing?

-Not too bad. How are you doing here?

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Obviously, we've got a pilot doing aerobatics,

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ejectee approximately 50 feet from the ground.

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Basically, we are worried about his back and the smoothest route to the hospital.

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OK we got a message about SAR on their way as well.

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Probably from Leconfield, yeah.

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Hiya, doc, I'm Pete.

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-What's this guy's name?

-The pilot is one of the RAF's top air show crew.

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He's been incredibly lucky.

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He has ejected from his Tucano trainer at just 50 feet in the middle of an aerobatic display.

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He started doing his second run

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and the aircraft didn't recover out of a loop basically.

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Now have you ever had morphine before?

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-Yes.

-You have. Any problems with that?

-No.

-Right.

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But he is complaining of back pain, it's a bad sign.

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Ejection can badly damage the spine.

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Military pilots learn to live with huge forces of acceleration.

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In combat, they will experience up to 10G

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when the human body can literally weigh a tonne.

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The display pilot has just endured 100G.

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That's what happens when high explosives blast an ejection seat out of a plane.

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He is in quite a deal of pain at the moment.

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He has obviously got the back pain from ejecting from the aircraft.

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In combination with that he has fractured his left wrist and he has also got an injury to his ankle.

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So, at the moment he is in quite severe pain but he is stable.

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The pilot is a former Harrier Jump Jet ace who survived combat in the Gulf War unscathed.

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But the flying instructor knows better than most that one ejection can end a military pilot's career.

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Coming up, the RAF scramble their own rescue team to airlift the downed flyer.

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Paramedic Pat is concerned for the condition of a seriously injured driver.

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He's trapped by his chest and his legs.

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And the unsung heroes of the St. John's Ambulance Brigade come to the rescue.

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The two Yorkshire air ambulances cover a population of five million.

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So, your chances of getting a life saving flight aren't that high.

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But one patient has beaten those odds by claiming a title few of us would envy.

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It's the spring of 2008 and teenage rider Charlotte needs help.

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She has just come off her horse, Muffin, on a farm in North Yorkshire and she's in pain.

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Helimed 99 is coming to the rescue with paramedic Darren Axe on board,

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a man who is unlikely to take up showjumping any time soon.

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He knows what horses can do to the human body.

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You could wind up with a burst bladder or sever major blood vessels

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but we've also got other injuries as well.

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A possible fractured arm and another fractured leg.

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Charlotte is in good hands.

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She'll soon be in hospital being checked out for back injuries.

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And Charlotte is about to become a statistic.

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One of 6,000 patients carried by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance in nine years.

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They are absolutely fantastic.

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They came and did a wonderful job

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and sorted her out very quickly, which was brilliant.

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Despite a lengthy stay in hospital and a dislocated hip

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Charlotte was determined to get back in the saddle as soon as possible.

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I probably won't jump for a while.

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As soon as I could walk I was on a horse.

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I really want to go riding now but it might be a bit hard.

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But barely a year after her recovery,

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Helimed 99 is heading to a farm in North Yorkshire

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with a familiar address.

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Darren Axe can't help having a feeling of deja vu.

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We have arrived on scene at this detail.

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My colleague is checking the patient out.

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When I saw the patient I realised that I've seen this patient before

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and taken her to hospital.

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So, as far as I am aware she will be the first repeat customer that we've ever had with the air ambulance.

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-What's her name?

-Charlotte.

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Charlotte are you all right, sweetie?

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Charlotte, we are just going to have a little feel on your back

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while we wait for my colleague to get his spinal board.

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OK were you knocked out at all?

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-No.

-OK.

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You have definitely got some pain in the middle of your back.

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Charlotte, do you have some pain in the middle of your back?

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-Here.

-OK. When my colleague's come what we'll do is straighten your legs out

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and roll you onto your back to have a proper look at you.

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Once again Charlotte has come off her horse and injured her back.

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Her mum is concerned for her daughter, coming off so soon after her last injury.

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Let's take your hat off make your more comfy.

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Unfortunately we have had a riding accident before, yes.

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She is in pain in mainly her back, her leg and her knee.

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And her breathing has not been too brilliant but it seems to be better now.

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What is your horse called then?

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-Muffin.

-Fluffy?

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-Muffin.

-Muffin.

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Sounds more like a cat than a horse.

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This time the team has Dr Tim Mole on board.

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Ready, steady, roll.

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Good girl.

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Straighten your legs up, please.

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That's it we're not going to hurt you. Just want to check out the middle of your back.

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Got to be very careful with horses and backs.

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Last year, Charlotte's injuries weren't too serious

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but this time she has hit a fence as well as the ground.

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The horse just took off with her. He wasn't stopping.

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And I thought he was stopping at the fence here but the horse and her just came straight over.

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She still has feeling in her legs, that's a good sign.

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-OK, you are doing really well.

-But Doctor Tim is not taking any chances,

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she could have a spinal injury

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and she will have to be checked out in hospital.

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She seems to have injured probably the sides, near where her back is.

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She has got quite a lot of leg pain as well.

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Her airway is fine, her breathing is fine,

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her circulation seems to be fine, which is all good.

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We have to take a fall from a height and back pain quite seriously.

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We are going to immobilise her back so no further damage could happen

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and we are going to take her off to York Hospital for some precautionary X-rays and things.

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Paramedic Darren isn't used to seeing patients twice,

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but he knows Charlotte didn't choose to hurt herself again.

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If we are going into York, we will be there no later than 13.00.

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Ten minutes.

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Ready, steady and lift.

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Charlotte is a talented rider and she has been very unlucky to have two bad falls in such a short time.

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We've reserved your usual seat. Nice and cosy!

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X-rays at York Hospital will confirm whether Charlotte has indeed damaged her back.

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For doctor Tim, her accident has confirmed his views of horses.

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They are big, they are fast, unpredictable, they are dangerous,

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they are definitely dangerous and you are going to get a lot of injuries from them.

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This is her second trip on the ambulance now, also horse related.

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So, let's hope she sticks to a safer hobby next time.

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Once bitten, twice shy and all that.

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Thankfully, Charlotte's injuries prove to be minor and she's now back in the saddle.

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Coming up, an RAF fighter ace has survived a last minute ejection, but has it damaged his spine?

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And, Helimed 99 is on the home straight as a motor race is halted following a crash.

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Now, let's rejoin the rescue operation to save the seriously injured victims

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of a multiple pile-up high on the Yorkshire Wolds.

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On a country road in the heart of East Yorkshire,

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three cars and a coach have crashed, seriously injuring five people.

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This is a major incident. Paramedics Pat and Sammy desperately need back up.

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The crew of the local police helicopter will take a man with head injuries to hospital in Hull.

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But the man who was driving the car in which he was a passenger is a long way from surgery.

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He is trapped in the twisted wreckage of his Citroen.

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It is quite a difficult situation because both cars are in quite a severe state.

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We are just establishing some pain relief

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before we start cutting him out, which is morphine.

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To add to the paramedics problems their patient is Polish and

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his command of English means they don't know exactly what his injuries are.

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-Do you speak any English?

-Yes.

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Do you have any medical problems?

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We are still having difficulties getting this gent out of this car.

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He is trapped by his chest and legs.

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Fortunately the passengers on the coach, many of them

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workmates of the injured driver, have escaped serious injury.

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Now, they can only watch as the battle to free their colleague goes on.

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At least the team have a willing helper in pilot Steve, who is free to talk to base.

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Pat's asking could you just give Dave an update

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and a request that he has a crew available at York.

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Once we've got him out, we are just going to snatch and go.

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With the road blocked in both directions by emergency vehicles and

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queuing traffic, helicopters are vital.

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Thankfully, the RAF is flying to the rescue.

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On board a Sea King from the local search and rescue base is a medical team

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which includes two basics doctors, volunteer GPs trained in trauma medicine.

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OK that chap's going with yours and this one's coming with RAF.

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So the rest are out.

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Pavel was driving to work from his home in Hull

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to a meat packing plant 40 miles away in North Yorkshire when the accident happened.

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The bus was on the same journey.

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The head-on impact has left him and another driver pinned in their cars.

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Are we ready?

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Cutting now.

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Paramedic Pat suspects Pavel may have broken his back.

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It means he will have to be removed from his seat very carefully if they are not to further damage his spine.

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Pat's trying hard to reduce Pavel's pain while the fire service work out how to free his legs.

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The speed limit on this road is 60.

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The two drivers could have survived an impact of up to 120 mph.

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But the weather is freezing and both are beginning to show the signs of hypothermia.

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One patient is already on his way to hospital by air.

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The first casualty has been taken by the police helicopter and

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this guy here is going to go with the RAF.

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We have our patient in that car over there,

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still quite badly trapped, so it could be a while for us yet.

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The weather is not getting better.

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Steve knows it could be an hour or more before he gets to take off with his patient.

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But there is some good news.

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Our pilot has just asked me to pass on to you

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that the weather conditions towards Hull are clear.

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Right. We are going to York.

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Steve knows that Hull Royal Infirmary have received most of the patients from the crash.

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So taking another critical case there could overload its doctors.

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He must fly west to York into the worst of the weather if Pavel is to have the best chance of recovery.

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Coming up, the driver is finally freed but his survival is in serious doubt.

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The teenage racing driver proves he has the skills for Formula One by blaming someone else.

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The other car went into the back of me.

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When the scramble phone rings at the Helimed base, every call out gets the same response.

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But for the aircrew, a plane crash means an extra sense of urgency.

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At RAF training base in North Yorkshire, a Tucano trainer

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has crashed seconds after its pilot bailed out in the middle of an aerobatics display.

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His ejection from his stricken plane has left him with severe pain

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from back injuries, a broken wrist and ankle.

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Paramedic Pete Vallance has given him morphine to dull the pain.

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He was 50 feet doing acrobatics when this occurred.

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What we need to do now will be a joint effort.

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Search and rescue are coming in.

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With anyone who ejects from an aircraft, they go to Nottingham to be checked over.

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That is a specialist centre for it. We'll stabilise him, get him packaged and

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then Search and Rescue guys will nip him down there an he will get the treatment he requires.

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The pilot has been in good hands.

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The station medical officer was in the gym raising money

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for Comic Relief when he was scrambled to the crash.

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He is still wearing his red nose tee shirt.

0:21:390:21:42

We are busy in the fund raising thing because it's Comic Relief day tomorrow.

0:21:420:21:46

Just trying to raise some money for charity and then we heard there'd been an accident.

0:21:460:21:51

We were really still assessing him when the air ambulance got here,

0:21:510:21:55

so we really need to get him off to hospital now.

0:21:550:21:58

In 20 years, only three Tucanos have actually crashed.

0:21:580:22:02

But the airfield's emergency crews were quick to react.

0:22:020:22:05

The aircraft at the time was doing aerobatics.

0:22:050:22:07

So, the crash crew and the ambulance were already manned up.

0:22:070:22:11

So, when he hit the ground, they immediately responded.

0:22:110:22:14

So, they were here within a minute at the most.

0:22:140:22:17

The RAF has grounded its Tucano trainer fleet until the emergency is over.

0:22:170:22:22

The pilot was booked to perform at air displays all over the UK. Now that's in doubt.

0:22:220:22:28

And even more could be at stake.

0:22:280:22:30

Back injuries can ground pilots for good.

0:22:300:22:34

The pilot has been very lucky. 30 years ago, few airmen would have survived ejecting at just 50 feet

0:22:340:22:42

but the former Jump Jet pilot's parachute opened in time and saved his life.

0:22:420:22:47

Can you get me a blanket to go on top?

0:22:470:22:50

The RAF has 50 years of knowledge in treating the injuries caused by ejection seats.

0:22:500:22:56

They have a specialist unit at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham

0:22:560:23:00

where downed pilots can be nursed back to health.

0:23:000:23:03

What you want to do is keep him so his legs won't be on the ground as we come out.

0:23:030:23:06

They've got to be slightly raised off there.

0:23:060:23:09

Helimed 98 won't be carrying this patient.

0:23:090:23:12

The RAF has called in a Sea King Search and Rescue helicopter

0:23:120:23:16

to fly the pilot the 80 miles to Nottingham.

0:23:160:23:19

Search and Rescue have given us an ETA now.

0:23:190:23:23

They will be here in two or three minutes.

0:23:230:23:25

We will hand over. One of the RAF doctors

0:23:250:23:28

will then travel with the patient through to hospital.

0:23:280:23:33

There was a time when any ejection

0:23:330:23:36

reduced a pilot's height by an inch, crushing his vertebrae.

0:23:360:23:42

Two ejections and you were grounded.

0:23:420:23:45

This flyer was lucky. The advances in technology meant

0:23:450:23:48

he quickly recovered and will soon be back in the air again.

0:23:480:23:52

Coming up, the victim of a major accident needs an urgent flight to hospital.

0:23:580:24:03

Helimed 99, just to let you know, this patient is critical.

0:24:030:24:06

Can the team beat the weather?

0:24:060:24:09

The Helimed team love their machinery and off-duty, many of them are motor sport nuts.

0:24:140:24:20

But a new generation of petrol heads are keeping them busy at work too.

0:24:200:24:25

None of these young petrol heads is out of their teens, yet they are

0:24:370:24:41

spending their Sunday afternoon roaring around a kart circuit at 70 mph

0:24:410:24:47

and occasionally crashing.

0:24:470:24:49

This is how Formula One drivers like Jensen Button started their careers.

0:24:490:24:54

And flying paramedic Paul Bradbury hopes his 11-year-old son Connor

0:24:540:24:58

will soon hit the big time too, despite the dangers.

0:24:580:25:01

Motor sport is safe if it is regulated properly

0:25:010:25:05

and I'd much rather he was doing this than

0:25:050:25:07

riding a horse which you are dealing with an animal

0:25:070:25:10

but you've not really got total control over it.

0:25:100:25:13

It's got a mind of its own and it will do what it wants regardless of

0:25:130:25:16

how good a rider and how good a horse you've got.

0:25:160:25:19

But youngsters doing motor sports certainly keep Yorkshire's flying paramedics busy.

0:25:190:25:25

On the outskirts of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, a combination of

0:25:280:25:32

youthful exuberance and a few dozen horsepower has brought this daring teenager's day to a painful end.

0:25:320:25:39

We've been despatched up into Pateley Bridge up in the

0:25:390:25:43

Dales area to an incident involving a motor cyclist but an off road motor cyclist.

0:25:430:25:50

Come off a trials bike.

0:25:510:25:53

But his next burst of adrenalin is about to come from Helimed 99.

0:25:530:25:58

Famous among petrol heads as the machine that saved Top Gear's Richard Hammond for the nation.

0:25:580:26:04

On board are paramedics Al Day and Lee Davison.

0:26:040:26:07

And they both know what today's patient is going through.

0:26:070:26:10

They both used to ride off road motorbikes in their younger days

0:26:100:26:14

and understand the draw of petrol fumes in a circuit full of twists, turns and jumps.

0:26:140:26:21

I was riding bikes since I was five or six.

0:26:210:26:24

All sorts of off road bikes.

0:26:240:26:26

I've also got road time as well on some bigger machines.

0:26:260:26:32

I used to love the off road type of stuff,

0:26:320:26:36

but obviously the main thing in off-roading is the protection.

0:26:360:26:39

You must wear proper protection. If you don't, it will catch you out.

0:26:390:26:43

Yorkshire has been bathed in sunshine for days and that's causing problems for pilot Steve Cobb.

0:26:430:26:48

As he tries to land Helimed 99, the dust blown up from the disused quarry

0:26:480:26:53

means he can barely see the ground.

0:26:530:26:56

INAUDIBLE

0:26:560:27:00

A ground medic has just arrived to help 17-year-old Joshua Pope.

0:27:020:27:06

He has been thrown off his quad bike and is still lying where he fell.

0:27:060:27:10

-Hi, are you all right.

-Yes.

0:27:100:27:13

-Al's just doing your blood pressure, all right.

-Yeah.

0:27:130:27:16

He's also got some worrying symptoms. Tingling in his fingers

0:27:160:27:20

and pain in his neck could all be signs of a very serious injury.

0:27:200:27:24

It could indicate some sort of spinal injury so we are going to

0:27:240:27:27

have to be gentle with him and just treat him carefully.

0:27:270:27:30

A nice smooth ride to get him down to hospital.

0:27:300:27:33

It is a lot better for him to fly out of here because, although it is

0:27:330:27:36

not that far to Harrogate from here, the ride out of this quarry in the ambulance

0:27:360:27:41

is going to be very bumpy and if he does have a spinal injury, that could make it a lot worse.

0:27:410:27:45

Joshua's family and friends come here every year for a weekend of racing.

0:27:450:27:50

But they all make sure they are wearing the right protective clothing.

0:27:500:27:54

It's not cheap but a good helmet, back protector and sturdy boots

0:27:540:27:59

have almost certainly saved Joshua's life.

0:27:590:28:01

One, two, three, roll.

0:28:010:28:03

Medics like Lee and Al know that every time they touch a patient

0:28:050:28:08

with a spinal injury they could make it worse.

0:28:080:28:12

One wrong move and Joshua's quad-biking days could be over.

0:28:120:28:16

Helimed 99 is not only quicker at transporting patients to hospital, but avoiding bumpy country roads

0:28:180:28:23

makes it a smoother ride as well and that could make all the difference to Joshua's recovery.

0:28:230:28:29

He has had a lot of good protective clothing on,

0:28:290:28:32

he had a proper back protector on, proper kidney protector, good helmet, good gloves, everything.

0:28:320:28:37

Just some pain relief. Got him as comfortable as we can.

0:28:370:28:41

His observations are fine. Flying him to Harrogate.

0:28:410:28:44

After a thorough examination in hospital, doctors could find no serious injuries and

0:28:440:28:49

Joshua is now back on his quad bike and with a rescue story he can recount for the rest of his life.

0:28:490:28:56

Back at the kart track, paramedic Paul has made sure his son Connor has all the right kit, too.

0:28:590:29:05

He knows how important it can be.

0:29:050:29:06

All the drivers have to do a test or an exam before they can actually get in the karts and race on a track.

0:29:060:29:14

Before every race and every meeting, we have a scrutineer that comes out, checks all the karts to make sure

0:29:140:29:20

they are safe and the suits are safe, helmet, gloves, neck protectors and shoes.

0:29:200:29:24

So, everything that happens around the sport is regulated.

0:29:240:29:28

But for some teenagers, karts aren't enough.

0:29:280:29:32

They want to race the real thing.

0:29:320:29:34

Grass track racing involves old bangers and lots of mud.

0:29:340:29:39

And today in North Yorkshire, the race has ended in a dramatic accident.

0:29:410:29:45

Paramedics Tony Wilkes and Ben Anderson are used to car crashes but not with drivers this young.

0:29:450:29:53

At the Yorkshire Dales grass track circuit, racing has been halted and

0:29:530:29:57

in the back of a St. John's Ambulance,

0:29:570:29:59

first aiders are taking care of 14 year old Aidan Ingles after a high speed smash.

0:29:590:30:07

Shunted from behind. He says he felt his head go forward.

0:30:070:30:11

I saw a big cloud of dust and bits of car flying everywhere.

0:30:110:30:14

I was kind of chilling out watching it. Ooh, what happened there?

0:30:140:30:17

Racing drivers have a fatalistic attitude to crashing

0:30:190:30:23

and competitors in the next race can't wait for Helimed 99 to clear the track.

0:30:230:30:28

They will just have to wait.

0:30:280:30:30

He was boarded, collared, he was carried out of the vehicle and the crews in there with him as well.

0:30:300:30:36

Aidan crashed in front of hundreds of spectators many of them parents of drivers.

0:30:360:30:42

They don't know how serious his injury is.

0:30:420:30:45

A marshal saw it happen.

0:30:450:30:47

Three cars came together.

0:30:470:30:49

One got squeezed and bounced off the alcove.

0:30:490:30:51

Unfortunately another car collected it right up the back

0:30:510:30:54

and he's damaged his neck I think, so he's not so well.

0:30:540:30:57

We cut the door skins off, we cut the roll cage off the side

0:30:570:31:01

and then we managed to get him out sideways and on to the board.

0:31:010:31:05

This is Aidan, 14 years old. He's... oh, they've moved it now.

0:31:050:31:10

Volunteer medics have done a good job making sure his spine

0:31:100:31:14

is protected and keeping him warm in the back of their Land Rover.

0:31:140:31:19

What's worrying Tony is a lump track medics believe they have felt in Aidan's neck.

0:31:190:31:27

It could be broken.

0:31:270:31:28

Tony knows Aidan urgently needs to be checked out in hospital.

0:31:300:31:35

Aidan's dad, Peter, who doubles as his mechanic and manager, saw it all.

0:31:350:31:40

He's keeping a brave face.

0:31:400:31:42

They came off the bottom corner and I'm not sure if it was the steering on the car

0:31:420:31:49

but he was forced into the alcove and another vehicle

0:31:490:31:54

sort of like shunted the stationary vehicle

0:31:540:31:58

and unfortunately that's the result.

0:31:580:32:02

Bring him across slowly, I suppose.

0:32:020:32:04

It's quite thick grass...

0:32:040:32:07

Aidan knew he had chosen a risky sport but he never expected this.

0:32:070:32:12

Psychologists say teenagers are much worse than adults at recognising danger.

0:32:120:32:17

Now Aidan has come face to face with the reality of a racing accident.

0:32:170:32:21

Tony is doing his best to relax him.

0:32:210:32:25

Fingers crossed you've not done any harm.

0:32:250:32:27

Obviously all this precaution in case you have done some damage to your back, all right.

0:32:270:32:31

Everything seems to be in order.

0:32:310:32:33

So, we will fly down to Harrogate and have a look at you.

0:32:330:32:37

One good sign is Aidan can remember exactly what happened.

0:32:370:32:41

The other car went up the back of me.

0:32:440:32:48

At least he's not been unconscious.

0:32:480:32:51

His fellow drivers are about to start the next race

0:32:510:32:55

but it will be a while before Aidan sees the chequered flag again.

0:32:550:32:59

The first time you've been in a helicopter, innit?

0:33:040:33:07

Dad's flying too.

0:33:070:33:10

Father and son live in Harrogate but they couldn't have counted on going home this quickly.

0:33:100:33:15

Just precautionary is this.

0:33:150:33:18

Better safe than sorry.

0:33:190:33:21

Last year he was junior runner up in his club champion.

0:33:210:33:27

He has got a few trophies for second and third places.

0:33:280:33:32

He's got no fear. He's all go for it, is Aidan.

0:33:320:33:37

Helimed 99. We will be landing in about another three minutes.

0:33:370:33:43

I may lose you because of my low height.

0:33:430:33:45

It will be a tense hour before Peter Ingles finds out if his teenage son has sustained a serious injury.

0:33:460:33:52

Doctors at Harrogate Hospital are on standby.

0:33:520:33:55

It was one of those small cars with a roll cage, well strapped in.

0:33:550:34:01

He has had a bump from behind by another car.

0:34:010:34:04

In a few minutes Aidan will be undergoing a full examination.

0:34:040:34:08

That will decide whether he is given the all clear

0:34:080:34:12

or faces weeks in hospital.

0:34:120:34:15

But just a week later car number 106 has its driver back.

0:34:150:34:20

Aidan was released from hospital after a check up.

0:34:200:34:23

His injury was no worse than a bit of whiplash.

0:34:230:34:27

The rigid steel roll cage he and his dad built into the car saved him.

0:34:270:34:32

I think he was very lucky really.

0:34:320:34:35

You've got the strength of the cage and you've got the harness

0:34:350:34:39

over your shoulder so you are pinned to your seat.

0:34:390:34:41

If they are on properly you cannot move from your seat.

0:34:410:34:46

I think for those safety features, yeah he's a lucky lad.

0:34:470:34:53

Aidan can't wait to get behind the wheel and this time he hopes to stay away from the barriers.

0:34:530:34:59

Rules mean safety in motor sport and when things go wrong,

0:35:040:35:07

the track marshal's word is law, even when it means you are out of the race.

0:35:070:35:11

For paramedic Paul and his son its back to the pits.

0:35:110:35:15

Even in karting every detail is governed by regulations, for a reason.

0:35:150:35:21

We have been to events recently where we have been hovering above.

0:35:230:35:27

We have been called out and when we've got there they've not actually stopped the racing for us to land.

0:35:270:35:32

Obviously the problem is we can't land at an event

0:35:320:35:35

with quads and bikes still going round.

0:35:350:35:37

As, obviously a big yellow helicopter coming out of the sky

0:35:370:35:40

is going to take their concentration

0:35:400:35:42

and possibly even cause a bigger accident

0:35:420:35:44

than there was in the first place.

0:35:440:35:46

This is what can happen when the brakes are taken off enthusiasm.

0:35:460:35:53

Helimed 98 has been scrambled to a disused quarry near Doncaster

0:35:530:35:57

that has been turned into an off-road bike track.

0:35:570:36:00

A young racer has been thrown off his powerful machine.

0:36:000:36:04

Yeah, 98 head towards Finningley we will update soon as.

0:36:040:36:09

-Did you get that Tim?

-Yeah.

0:36:110:36:12

The track is right next to Robin Hood Airport, a busy international hub for holidaymakers.

0:36:120:36:18

Pilot Tim is heading straight for its approach path.

0:36:180:36:21

I'm just going to slow it down until we know where we're going

0:36:210:36:24

because we're messing with big boys' air space at the moment.

0:36:240:36:27

Having safely negotiated an international airport,

0:36:270:36:31

Tim must now tackle landing in a dusty disused quarry

0:36:310:36:35

-and the huge downdraft from Helimed 98 five rotor blades is not helping.

-All clear.

0:36:350:36:41

Yeah clear. All clear right rear.

0:36:410:36:43

Got the dust cloud coming up.

0:36:430:36:44

In motocross it's CCs and torque that matter and teenager Joshua Spinks has fallen off at high speed.

0:36:440:36:51

He has landed on his neck and that's potentially very dangerous.

0:36:510:36:56

This is Josh. He was coming into this corner at about 15... 20mph.

0:36:560:37:02

He lost control of the back end and flipped off and landed on his head.

0:37:020:37:06

Paramedics Lee Graham and Paul Bradbury know this track very well.

0:37:060:37:10

There are events here every weekend and for youngsters not old enough to drive on the road,

0:37:100:37:16

the draw of tackling 30 foot jumps at 40 mph attracts hundreds of bikers.

0:37:160:37:21

Just feeling your calves, all right. How's that, does that feel normal?

0:37:210:37:25

-That's fine.

-Any different to normal at all?

0:37:250:37:28

-No.

-Do you want me to go and get his helmet?

-If you would do.

0:37:280:37:33

He's come off his bike at quite a relatively high speed

0:37:340:37:38

apparently he's landed straight onto his head.

0:37:380:37:40

We are trying to get his helmet to ascertain the damage

0:37:400:37:42

and we can sort of work out

0:37:420:37:44

what head injury or spinal injury he may have as a result of that.

0:37:440:37:48

The nearest hospital that deals with spinal injuries is Sheffield Northern General -

0:37:480:37:52

about five or six minutes flying time so we'll be bob him across there,

0:37:520:37:55

that's the best place for him to be.

0:37:550:37:56

Paramedics across the country are picking up more injured kids

0:37:560:38:00

who get their thrills from high-octane sports like motocross.

0:38:000:38:05

The team are so worried about Joshua's neck,

0:38:050:38:07

they are going to fly him to a specialist spinal centre.

0:38:070:38:11

Thankfully they had got first aiders here who were straight on top of it

0:38:130:38:16

when it happened and he's had the best possible care.

0:38:160:38:19

He had the response guy here certainly within five minutes and we were here a couple of minutes later.

0:38:190:38:23

So, he's had everything thrown at him,

0:38:230:38:26

hence now we are on the way to Sheffield.

0:38:260:38:29

Joshua is a real petrol-head and if he wasn't in so much pain,

0:38:290:38:32

a ride helicopter would be even better than his bike.

0:38:320:38:37

Joshua's injuries weren't as serious as the team feared

0:38:370:38:41

and he was soon released from hospital.

0:38:410:38:43

And I am pleased to say all our young patients

0:38:470:38:48

are now back on their feet and now raring to go once again.

0:38:480:38:51

Now, let's get back to the Yorkshire Wolds

0:38:510:38:53

where the team are fighting the weather

0:38:530:38:55

in a battle to save a seriously injured driver.

0:38:550:39:00

Emergency services are dealing with the aftermath

0:39:000:39:03

of a major road crash on a remote road over the Yorkshire Wolds -

0:39:030:39:06

a range of hills between York and the east coast.

0:39:060:39:10

Paramedics Pat and Sammy are treating Pavel Wolkowski,

0:39:100:39:14

a Polish butcher with suspected spinal injuries.

0:39:140:39:18

At last the Fire Brigade are getting nearer to Pavel but he is still trapped in his seat.

0:39:210:39:25

No blood on chest and groin area - my hands are clean.

0:39:250:39:28

Hydraulic rams are being used to force apart the crushed body work of Pavel's car.

0:39:280:39:34

It's brute force that needs to be applied carefully if they are not to injure their patient further.

0:39:340:39:40

Pat has noticed that Pavel's breathing is shallow on one side of his chest.

0:39:420:39:46

Despite his car air bags protecting him, the impact may have punctured a lung.

0:39:460:39:50

A surgical procedure here and now is the answer.

0:39:500:39:54

We have got a silent chest on one side.

0:39:540:39:57

Are you able to do a chest drain? It's not ideal, is it?

0:39:570:40:00

-No...

-One, two, three...

0:40:000:40:02

Brilliant, that, Sam.

0:40:050:40:07

Pavel is free at last.

0:40:070:40:10

In less than 20 minutes, he will be in hospital, IF they can make it through the weather.

0:40:100:40:15

Pilot Steve used all of his skills to get Helimed 99 to the scene.

0:40:150:40:20

Now he faces battling the weather again to get Pavel back to hospital in York 20 miles away.

0:40:200:40:26

Helimed 99... We have a 45-year-old male

0:40:290:40:33

who has been trapped by the chest, abdomen, pelvis and legs.

0:40:330:40:38

He has diminished breath tones to the right hand side of his chest.

0:40:380:40:41

Heavy rain was a factor in the accident but the police are taking an interest in this crash.

0:40:410:40:48

It could very easily have cost several people their lives.

0:40:480:40:52

Helimed 99, just to let you know this patient is critical.

0:40:550:40:57

We will give you a shout when we are two minutes out.

0:40:570:41:01

The UK's strict air laws make no allowances for medical emergencies.

0:41:010:41:06

If the cloud base is too low, Steve will have to land, regardless of Pavel's condition.

0:41:060:41:12

The regulations are there to protect the lives of air ambulance crews and their patients.

0:41:120:41:17

But it's a decision no-one will take lightly.

0:41:170:41:20

With the steering wheel on his chest,

0:41:200:41:24

we were unable to get any good observations on him

0:41:240:41:26

until the fire brigade

0:41:260:41:28

were able to take the dashboard and steering wheel off his chest.

0:41:280:41:32

At the moment all his obs are fine.

0:41:320:41:34

I'm having difficulty communicating with him as this gentleman has got limited English and he's Polish.

0:41:340:41:40

Luckily, the mist lifts long enough for Helimed 99

0:41:400:41:44

to slip through the few hundred feet of clear air

0:41:440:41:47

between the cloud base and the rolling hills of the Wolds.

0:41:470:41:50

Pavel is in a bad way, but intensive care is only minutes away.

0:41:520:41:57

Helimed 99, roger, we are now two minutes, two minutes out.

0:41:570:42:00

York Hospital is a welcome sight.

0:42:000:42:03

Pavel's broken English means Helimed 99's crew are still unable to pin down exactly what is injured.

0:42:030:42:10

OK, Pavel.

0:42:100:42:12

He later under went a full body scan which revealed he had broken three vertebrae.

0:42:120:42:17

He's lucky to be alive, but he is recovering well.

0:42:170:42:21

Sadly, Pavel's passenger - flown to hospital by the police - died a few days later.

0:42:210:42:28

When Helicopter Heroes comes back, the team face a terrible dilemma.

0:42:280:42:33

A trapped farm worker may lose his legs or his life.

0:42:330:42:38

He's got his legs stuck in a screw and it's gone under a concrete slab.

0:42:380:42:41

A drunk driver is badly injured.

0:42:430:42:45

She's got a nasty leg injury and quite a nasty arm injury,

0:42:450:42:48

so she's going to be in a lot of pain when we try to move her.

0:42:480:42:50

Pilot Steve is in a tight spot as he attempts a dramatic landing.

0:42:510:42:57

And a 999 call takes up a lot of time.

0:42:570:43:01

The case of a tipsy teenager ties up 40 members of the emergency services.

0:43:010:43:06

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:160:43:19

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:190:43:22

The team are called to an accident involving a bus, an RAF pilot ejects and a teenage racing driver is injured.


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