Episode 14 Helicopter Heroes


Episode 14

Series following the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Firefighters are forced to cut apart a supercar, and a family visit to a stately home ends in a flight to hospital.


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Transcript


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If you're seriously ill

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or critically injured, every second counts, especially

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if you're up high or off the beaten track.

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But, thanks to these guys, the people of the UK's

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biggest county are never more than 10 minutes away from a hospital.

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The Yorkshire Air Ambulance can do 150mph,

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and every day brings a new life-or-death emergency.

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Five million people depend on these yellow helicopters to bring

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life-saving care from the skies.

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When a multiple pile-up closes Britain's highest motorway,

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or there's a serious accident on the shop floor,

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the highly trained paramedics and pilots of the Helimed team

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are there to rescue the casualties.

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Today on Helicopter Heroes,

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a disabled driver crashes his supercar,

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and now the Fire Brigade must cut it apart.

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He's basically gone from 70 to nothing, straight into a tree.

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The team fight to save a biker's badly injured leg.

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He's done some quite severe damage to his foot, and we're querying his pelvis as well.

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On the road to the Dales, there's a serious accident.

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The lady's gone over the handlebars and hit her head on the floor.

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A young visitor to a stately home needs help.

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Climbing on the tree and was trying to get off it and fell off backwards.

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Owning a supercar is a dream that rarely comes true for most of us.

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But imagine if it did, and you ended up writing it off.

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One day in North Yorkshire, that nightmare became reality for one unlucky motorist.

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On a country road near York, a high performance supercar has crashed.

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The Nissan GTR has a top speed of 195mph and costs £60,000.

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But today, this one has run out of road.

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Four people are trapped in the vehicle, which left the road and ended up in a ditch.

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They're shrouded in protective sheeting as firemen try to work out how to free them.

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The major problem is if they've got life-threatening injuries,

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it's how to get them out quickly to get them to hospital.

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Prolonged entrapment causes us problems

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regarding treatment we can give them on scene.

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Helimed 99 is on the case.

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The accident scene is a long drive from hospital.

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Yeah, quite common for vehicles to leave the road on these types

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of bends and end up like this one in a ditch at the side of a road.

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Paramedics Tony Wilkes and Sammy Wills are in for a surprise.

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Four people in this car, come off the road about 60mph, landed as we see there.

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The driver is paraplegic anyway.

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-Right.

-He's saying he's uninjured, that's good.

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Front seat passenger complaining of right arm pain, agitated.

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I've asked him if he's taken anything.

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Anyway, very agitated, no neck pain. No-one's been unconscious.

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Rear seat passenger behind the driver here, she's complained of neck pain and she's also

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a nasty laceration to the front of her head where she's come forward.

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They've been lucky.

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Six feet either side is a mature tree that could've killed everyone in the car.

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As it is, all the Fire Brigade have to worry about is a sapling that's in their way.

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Brief update, four casualties, two double man ambulances en route.

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However, at the moment, we are unable to gain access to the casualties.

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This car is among the most powerful on the road.

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500bhp and 0-60 in three seconds.

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It's a lot of power for a driver using hand controls.

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But it's the speed its occupant stopped that's worrying the Helimed team.

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We're just waiting for the Fire Service to get us a bit of an entrance, really.

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They're just starting to cut the doors off, get the roof off,

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so we can actually get in and make an assessment of the patients.

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Our main priority is to stabilise the vehicle, stop it

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from going any further down into the ditch or making sure it's stable.

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We're gaining initial access to the casualties using hydraulic cutting tools and hand tools.

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As you can see, there's going to be some difficulty in getting the casualties out from where they are

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just due to the location of where the vehicle's landed.

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One is the driver, two, three, four...

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Driver...

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The flying doctor has been called out from his home nearby.

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The impact's been severe.

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Any one of the passengers could have a serious neck or spinal injury.

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Just because of the speed that you've left the road,

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what we want to do initially is put a collar on your neck, OK?

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Not being able to examine their patients is difficult.

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They're all conscious, they're all

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breathing, their blood pressure and everything is within normal limits,

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but we can't actually get into them,

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so the Fire Brigade are just going to chop off the roof.

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Then we can then do a full assessment, decide who's suitable, if anybody, for the aircraft,

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and the land crews will be able to re-triage.

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The car is built to survive high-speed impacts,

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which means the Fire Brigade are going to have their work cut out reaching the four patients.

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Several motorists saw the accident happen in front of them.

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It just sort of went straight off the bend across the road, onto the mud.

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Obviously, the mud slowed it down a bit and then luckily it went between

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the very large tree over the far side and these small trees here, which obviously broke its passage.

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Luckily, one witness was able to use her medical skills.

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We arrived just after, so I made the call to the emergency services.

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I'm a community matron so we sort of knew a bit - to keep them still and just wait for help to arrive.

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The occupants were obviously shocked.

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The gentleman in the passenger seat seemed quite agitated

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and was trying to get out of the car, and I was trying to ascertain

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how serious the injuries were.

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I approached the car after we'd viewed the accident and the gentleman was obviously in shock.

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I told him to switch his engine off. He said that he needed a wheelchair in order to get out of the car.

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The team aren't unduly concerned about the condition

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of their patients, but that's about to change.

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I'm only observing from up here, but he just doesn't look comfortable.

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Coming up - the team switch priorities as a passenger takes a turn for the worse.

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A husband wishes he'd nagged his wife more.

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I keep saying, "Put your helmet on, put your helmet on,"

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but she said, "No, it irritates me."

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And a passenger on England's most scenic railway has a nasty fall.

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Whether it's speeding past the jams or the thrill of the open road,

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bikers will tell you there's nothing like a motorcycle.

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But you're unlikely to find too many paramedics riding them.

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It's the beginning of summer on the roads of North Yorkshire, and the bikers are out.

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Riders travel hundreds of miles to enjoy these views, and the sweeping bends

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of the Dales and moors, but today, there's been a serious accident.

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It's a road that runs parallel with the A59.

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It's a car and a motorbike, someone with a partially amputated foot.

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If it's fully amputated, we might have to bag it up and take it with us.

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Paramedics need to think ahead.

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The Helimed team's job is to get patients to the right hospital as soon as possible.

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If we've got a partial amputation, LGI's going to be the best with this.

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-OK, yeah.

-Do you agree?

-Yeah, fine.

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Pete Balance and Glenn Powell are planning to bypass the local A&E

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and take their patient direct to the trauma unit in Leeds.

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-We've got it here, Steve, it's out at 9 o'clock now on the other road.

-Well spotted.

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Helimed 99 to Yorkshire, we've located the incident and are just about to land, over.

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'99 Roger, let me know if you're going to LGI and I'll let them know early.'

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Within minutes of being scrambled, pilot Steve Cobb

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is on final approach to a country road in Nidderdale.

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There still looks to be a lot of working around the casualty.

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Is there an ambulance on scene?

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Yes, and a car.

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Sometimes the initial reports of accidents are exaggerated.

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But there's no mistake today.

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Biker Tim Rowe from Harrogate was out for a ride when his bike was involved in a collision with a car.

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-His foot is just...

-Hanging off?

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It's in mush.

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Hello there.

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-Tim's leg took the full force of the impact.

-All right, son. Listen, I'm going to take your blood pressure,

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and this guy's going to get you some morphine, and we'll get you in this helicopter and away, OK?

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-Tim, where's all your pain coming from, fella?

-Foot.

-OK.

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What would you score it as, out of ten? Ten's absolutely unbearable.

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-Ten out of ten.

-All right, Tim. That's fine, mate.

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He's come off his motorbike, hit a car, come off and he's done some

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quite severe damage to his foot, and we're querying his pelvis as well.

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He's still got his sense of humour, which is great!

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He's just writing his details now for me.

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He's remarkably lucid, but ground paramedics know Tim's very badly hurt.

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We'll get you this morphine, and hopefully

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it'll take that painful feeling away, and we'll get you on your way.

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-It's now my right foot.

-I know.

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The team's also concerned about his pelvis. It must be kept immobile,

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otherwise broken bones could cause further internal injuries.

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You're going to feel a belt go round your waist, all right? It needs to be pulled quite tight.

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Your leg is in the best position we need for transport, all right, Tim?

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OK. Just let us look after you, mate, all right?

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-When am I going to fly?

-When are you going to fly?

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As soon as we can get you over there, OK?

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So he has hit a car, then?

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Yeah, he said he thought the road was clear, saw the car coming,

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pulled in and he's hit the left-hand side of the car.

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The team know the details of Tim's accident could give hospital doctors vital clues.

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Did you try and get up off the floor straightaway?

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No, I took my helmet and gloves off straightaway,

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-sat up and looked at my foot.

-OK.

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-The one that was killing me.

-This case is close to home for paramedic Glenn.

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He's a biker himself.

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Is it a 600F?

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-Yeah.

-I had to sell mine last year.

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I'm thinking of selling mine.

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Yeah, I won't be riding mine no more.

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Half an hour ago, Tim was out for a ride in the country.

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Now he's on his way to hospital, awaiting a decision that could change his life.

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He may lose that, to be honest with you, by the look of it.

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Coming up, there's a serious setback as doctors begin the fight to save their patient's leg.

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His bone's visible, there's lots of contamination from grass.

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The trapped passenger takes a turn for the worse.

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Find out what her obs are, then we can make a clinical decision.

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And the team hit the tourist trail as a visitor collapses at a rocky attraction.

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If you feel at all dizzy, we'll sit straight back down to where I am, yeah?

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Break an arm or a leg and you could be up and about within a few weeks.

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But fracture your skull and your life's in danger.

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And that's why we're all encouraged to wear a cycle helmet.

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The market town of Skipton

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is known as the Gateway to the Dales for good reason.

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For millions of motorists heading out of Yorkshire's big cities,

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this is where the hills and the jams begin.

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Luckily for the locals, the town has a busy bypass, leaving its shopping streets relatively quiet.

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But today, one local has been the victim of a serious accident on it.

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It's a bit of a murky Sunday morning,

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we've been called out to a road-traffic collision

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out towards Skipton at the junction of two major A-roads.

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It's a cyclist and a car.

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There is an off-duty paramedic on scene, who says there is some serious injuries involved in this,

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so based on that limited information, we've deployed on it.

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63-year-old Margaret Rouse was out on her bike

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when she was involved with a collision with a car.

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She's badly hurt.

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It's not the best at the moment.

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We're trying to make our way down the valley, er...

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Quite low cloud, a little bit murky here and there, so we're just hoping for the best, see how we get on.

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They're heading to a roundabout that was the scene of an identical crash last year.

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That cyclist almost died.

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Typical - fences.

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There is lighting stanchions all the way around this roundabout by the looks of it.

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Motorists, including an off-duty nurse, have already begun Margaret's treatment.

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She wasn't wearing a helmet, and it's feared she has a fractured skull.

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As far as we gather, the lady on a push-bike is coming around the roundabout.

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Another lady in a car coming out of the roundabout has pulled out and clipped her.

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Lady's gone over the handlebars, hit her head on the floor.

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No loss of consciousness, as far as we know,

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but she does have quite a head injury, so she needs to be lifted to the LGI.

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Margaret lives nearby and had nipped out for a spin on an early spring weekend.

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Now she's confused and showing signs of a serious head injury.

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Got to secure it somehow, haven't we?

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We've got two RRVs on scene. The ambulance is a fair way away.

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Al's going to get us a spinal board and some further equipment,

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then we're going to immobilise as just a matter of caution, really.

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She's got quite a nasty head injury, so we're going to deal with that

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and we think we'll pop her into the LGI and look at her, it's an isolated head.

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Paramedic Daz knows this case is serious.

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They'll dress her wound, but she urgently needs an X-ray and scan in hospital.

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-Here we go.

-Marvellous.

-I've got you, Margaret, I've got you.

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-I'm all dizzy.

-Are you all dizzy?

-Yeah.

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This patient's got a head injury,

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and although there's no evidence that she's damaged her spine,

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with a head injury we'd always immobilise

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just as a matter of caution, to be on the safe side, really.

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Are we ready? Two, three, and lift.

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Okey-doke, we're going up that banking.

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The holiday season is stretching local emergency crews to the limit.

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The nearest available ground ambulance was in Todmorden, 25 miles away.

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Its crew have done well to arrive so quickly.

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-Where will she be going now?

-LGI.

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-Where's that?

-Leeds.

-Leeds.

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Margaret's husband Paul was enjoying a lie-in at home

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when his granddaughter told him about the accident.

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He's rushed to the scene.

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She just came to the door and said,

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"Margaret's had an accident on her bike," you know.

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Must've been a shock for you.

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I were in bed. I was still in bed.

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Wearing a helmet could've prevented Margaret's injury.

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Cos we live on the main road, and most of the bikers coming past all have helmets on.

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I keep saying, "Put your helmet on, put your helmet on,"

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but she said, "No, it irritates me, it falls over my eyes

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"and I can't see and everything," you know.

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He'll play hell with me, my husband, cos I won't wear that helmet.

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-Well, Margaret...

-It annoys me so much.

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-We've said so many times, "Wear your helmet."

-I know.

-Honest.

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-You might've got a few bumps and grazes, but you wouldn't have bumped your head, would you?

-No, I know.

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-When you get back on your bike, are you going to wear your helmet?

-Yeah.

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-Are you sure?

-This isn't the first accident Margaret has had on her bike.

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I've had a few accidents. You wouldn't believe what I did. It were a bit softer, than this.

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I cycled into the canal.

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You cycled into the canal?

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-Yeah.

-Were it an hot day?

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-No, it were January.

-That's not good, is it?

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No, it were a good job I could swim.

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I bet you got out a lot faster than you got in.

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Outside of work, paramedic Al Day is a keen walker, climber and cyclist.

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He, more than anyone, knows the importance of wearing protective head gear.

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I wear a helmet for anything, really.

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I wear a helmet when I'm skiing as well, which not many people do, but I've just been

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to too many head injuries not to, really.

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Most patients are flown direct to the nearest hospital, but Margaret's injuries are potentially so serious

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she's being taken to the regional trauma unit at Leeds General Infirmary, an hour's drive away.

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Are you all right there, Margaret?

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When Margaret is seen by specialists, it turns out she's had a lucky escape.

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Although she's had to have many stitches in her head, a scan reveals she hasn't damaged her brain.

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Margaret's head is very tender, and she's kept overnight in hospital for observation.

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But the following day, doctors say she's fit enough to leave.

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Her husband Paul is coming to collect her and take her home.

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I can remember screaming and flying through the air, and then the next thing I know,

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I was on the floor and people were round me immediately.

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Well, my head was hurting, but I didn't have any pain anywhere else,

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it was just my head, at the back here.

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Erm, and I was really more frightened of the other traffic going past. I thought,

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"I don't want to be run over while I'm on the floor."

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Margaret knows she should've been wearing a cycle helmet.

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Her reason for not doing so doesn't sound very convincing.

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For some reason, I don't know if it's when you

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get older, things irritate you more, and I'm trying to itch my head,

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you know, with the helmet on,

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which is not much good, and that's why I haven't worn it, basically.

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Seven weeks later, and now it's the perfect weather for cycling in the Yorkshire Dales.

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Despite her bad experience, Margaret is determined to get back on her bike.

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But her husband Paul is insisting she now wears a helmet.

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He said he won't allow me to go out unless I have a helmet on,

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but I wouldn't argue with him at all,

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because I myself wouldn't go without a helmet now, ever.

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Every time I see someone without a helmet,

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I do feel like saying, "Get a helmet on, you don't know what happened to me,"

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you know? But I keep my mouth shut.

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Coming up, a biker's family wait for news as surgeons fight to save his leg.

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The plan now is to take him for a CT, make sure that we're not missing anything.

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And a family trip to a stately home ends with a painful bump.

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Now, let's return to North Yorkshire, where the team

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is battling to release the occupants of a wrecked sports car.

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On a country road near York, a powerful sports car is being slowly

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cut apart in a battle to free four people trapped when it left the road and hit a line of trees.

0:19:420:19:48

The 195mph sports car had been specially adapted for its driver.

0:19:510:19:55

He's paralysed from the waist down following another car crash.

0:19:550:19:59

Just cos of the speed the car's come off the road, we're going to take precautions with your neck and back,

0:19:590:20:05

-so we're going to put a board behind your back and getting you out with the board, OK?

-OK.

0:20:050:20:10

Paramedics Tony and Sammy have been treating a woman in the back seat.

0:20:100:20:15

She has a suspected broken nose, but it's feared she may also have a spinal injury.

0:20:150:20:20

-Can you remember what happened?

-We come round the corner, and then it crashed.

0:20:200:20:24

Tony's giving her morphine to dull the pain.

0:20:240:20:27

Despite her seat belt, her face hit the back of the driver's seat

0:20:270:20:31

as the car crashed, but Sammy's concerned about Jamie, the passenger in the front seat.

0:20:310:20:37

I'm only observing from up here, but he doesn't look comfortable.

0:20:370:20:40

Flying doctor Rob Anderson goes to check his condition.

0:20:400:20:43

-Ideally, we'd like to put the needle into your hand.

-Don't ask me again!

0:20:430:20:48

But their patient's terrified of needles.

0:20:480:20:51

If you feel like you need something for your pain, just say, OK?

0:20:510:20:55

The team are worried. Jamie's agitated, and there are signs he could have internal injuries.

0:20:550:21:00

He has a raised heart rate and a reduced blood pressure.

0:21:000:21:03

There's no obvious sign of bleeding externally,

0:21:030:21:06

so we suspect that something is going on internally.

0:21:060:21:09

It might be that he's just a fit young man that's very anxious, but we'll play it safe.

0:21:090:21:13

They're changing their priorities.

0:21:130:21:15

Do you want to reprioritise? Are you happy for the lady

0:21:150:21:18

to still be number one by the aircraft and not number two, front-seat passenger?

0:21:180:21:24

I'd probably prioritise and take the passenger.

0:21:240:21:27

Jamie's desperate to be out of the car, but the team need to protect

0:21:280:21:32

his back from further injury, so he must stay where he is for now.

0:21:320:21:37

When we move you, OK, we're going to try and be as gentle as we can.

0:21:370:21:40

To do that, we're going to put like a big corset down your back, round your side,

0:21:400:21:44

so when we move you, it's not moving your back about so it'll keep your pain under control, OK?

0:21:440:21:49

We assessed the patient purely on the patient's blood pressure

0:21:490:21:53

and how the observations were.

0:21:530:21:54

Jamie's normally

0:21:540:21:56

quite an anxious chap, he says, but the...

0:21:560:21:59

blood pressure was a little bit low, and his heartbeat was going quite quickly. Even though he's

0:21:590:22:04

not complaining of any injuries, I've seen similar incidents of high speed accidents turn out

0:22:040:22:11

to have patients who have nasty chest internal injuries,

0:22:110:22:15

bleeding into the chest, which we can't detect without scans.

0:22:150:22:18

All four patients do still remain in the car, and it's possible we may be

0:22:180:22:23

reprioritising and having a young male.

0:22:230:22:25

Sammy's concerned that the operation to free her patients is taking too long.

0:22:250:22:29

It's almost an hour since the accident.

0:22:290:22:31

Just a general announcement, this RTC was one hour now, so if we can...

0:22:310:22:37

And there's bad news from the fire brigade.

0:22:370:22:39

If it is an electric seat, we may have to start looking at cutting away at the bottom of it

0:22:390:22:45

to further strut it, then it should lay back.

0:22:450:22:48

But we won't be able to tell that until we have a proper look.

0:22:480:22:50

-There's a manual device there.

-Yeah.

0:22:500:22:53

-Electric.

-Is it? Fair enough.

0:22:530:22:55

We might have to knife open the back of the seat

0:22:550:22:58

so we can see the strutting and then it'll be a saw-type job to cut away those struts so we can lean it back.

0:22:580:23:04

The four occupants of the car are tightly packed.

0:23:040:23:09

Without being able to move its hi-tech seats, squeezing their patients out

0:23:090:23:12

while keeping their backs rigid will be very difficult.

0:23:120:23:17

And Jamie's going to have to wait even longer for release.

0:23:170:23:20

Coming up - there's another setback as the fight to free the injured passenger reaches its climax.

0:23:250:23:31

We're having to take out the people in the back first to be able to lift the people out in the front.

0:23:310:23:35

And up in the Pennines there's an unlucky break for a charity walker.

0:23:350:23:41

-This is Linda.

-You all right there?

0:23:410:23:43

Imagine losing part of a limb.

0:24:010:24:03

For some people, it's like a bereavement.

0:24:030:24:06

No wonder the Helimed team are determined to make sure

0:24:060:24:09

a badly injured biker walks again, despite a lower leg that's been almost severed.

0:24:090:24:15

Right, Tim, we're going to leave you with these guys now.

0:24:150:24:19

Biker Tim Rose, on his way to hospital in Leeds after an accident

0:24:190:24:22

on a country road that has almost severed his left leg.

0:24:220:24:26

It took the full force of a collision with a car.

0:24:260:24:29

And if it hadn't been for his armoured boot, it could have been even worse.

0:24:290:24:34

Left foot

0:24:340:24:36

is virtually amputated

0:24:360:24:40

as a result of the accident.

0:24:400:24:43

Tim's in danger of causing further damage to his leg. It's almost severed.

0:24:430:24:47

Keep your right knee where it is.

0:24:470:24:48

-It's more comfy.

-I know...

-For me to put that up.

0:24:480:24:52

You'll cause your foot to be injured even worse if you do that.

0:24:520:24:55

It's not the one that's hurt.

0:24:550:24:57

-What - you want to bring your right one up?

-Yeah.

0:24:570:24:59

Just try and keep it where it is. You've got straps all the way round.

0:24:590:25:01

You've got to just stay like that, I'm afraid.

0:25:010:25:04

But Tim knows he's lucky to be alive.

0:25:040:25:05

-Seven years ago, his younger brother was killed in a motorbike accident.

-Tim?

-Yeah.

0:25:050:25:11

I know it's hard but try and breathe without grunting, I just want to have a quick listen to that chest.

0:25:110:25:16

HE BREATHES HEAVILY

0:25:160:25:19

In...and out. In...and out.

0:25:190:25:24

It's rush hour on the roads of North Yorkshire as Leeds commuters head home.

0:25:240:25:29

But pilot Steve Cobb has his own congestion to worry about.

0:25:290:25:32

This is peak time for airliners heading in and out of the North's airports.

0:25:320:25:38

RADIO: '...heading for LGI.'

0:25:380:25:40

'Alpha Roger. Radar control. Another 2,000ft, straight to LGI.'

0:25:420:25:45

Air Traffic Control try to give air ambulance flights priority.

0:25:450:25:51

And tonight, Helimed 99 is ducking under the main

0:25:510:25:54

approach path to the busy runway at Leeds Bradford Airport.

0:25:540:25:58

Ready, steady - move.

0:25:580:26:00

OK, all the way now.

0:26:000:26:02

Ready, steady... And move.

0:26:020:26:04

LGI's trauma team are already waiting for Tim.

0:26:040:26:08

They're experts in saving damaged limbs using micro-surgery.

0:26:080:26:12

You're going to be surrounded by doctors

0:26:120:26:15

and nurses, and they're all going to be firing questions at you, OK?

0:26:150:26:18

Questions that you've probably been asked already.

0:26:180:26:20

Just bear with it and answer best you can.

0:26:200:26:21

The decisions made over the next few hours will decide whether Tim walks on his own leg again.

0:26:210:26:28

Going from top to toe the main injuries seem

0:26:280:26:30

to be down his left-hand side and his foot is the main one of concern.

0:26:300:26:33

Very nasty injury there, there's bone visible,

0:26:330:26:37

lot's of contamination from grass and things like that

0:26:370:26:39

so it's primarily orthopaedic injuries that he's got.

0:26:390:26:42

The plan now is to take him for a CT to make sure we're not

0:26:420:26:44

missing anything, but those initial X-rays do look fine.

0:26:440:26:47

It's going to be down to the orthopaedic surgeons to take him to theatre, give it a really good clean

0:26:470:26:51

and see whether or not the foot is salvageable.

0:26:510:26:53

Fingers crossed - hopefully, it will be.

0:26:530:26:55

Under the next two days, Tim undergoes several operations.

0:26:550:26:59

The impact of the crash crushed the bones and tissue in his limb

0:26:590:27:02

so badly that the surgeons are forced to amputate his leg below the knee.

0:27:020:27:07

Tim vividly remembers everything that happened on the day of the accident,

0:27:070:27:11

including the unbearable pain that he felt.

0:27:110:27:15

Somebody asked me

0:27:150:27:17

to describe the pain on a 1-10 scale and I said no, 20!

0:27:170:27:22

It was just immense.

0:27:220:27:25

I wouldn't want anybody else to go through

0:27:270:27:30

that pain whatsoever.

0:27:300:27:32

Losing a limb is one of the most traumatic injuries you can suffer.

0:27:320:27:36

Nurses on the ward have specialist training for dealing with not only

0:27:360:27:39

the physical injury but also the mental recovery.

0:27:390:27:44

Emotionally, I've cried because...

0:27:440:27:47

..of what I've put the rest of my family through.

0:27:490:27:52

Or what my family are going to go through, because a lot of them still haven't seen me yet.

0:27:520:27:56

A lot of them still haven't been able to get from Kent to visit me.

0:27:560:28:01

You know...

0:28:010:28:03

People don't want to see their parents or grandparents with a limb missing.

0:28:030:28:09

Very few bikers are put off their hobby, even after the most serious of accidents.

0:28:110:28:16

In Tim's case, this is even more surprising.

0:28:160:28:19

I've had a brother younger than me,

0:28:190:28:22

seven years ago

0:28:220:28:24

ruptured his heart on a bike accident.

0:28:240:28:28

So I'm lucky to be here.

0:28:280:28:32

I'm grateful to everybody - the staff at LGI,

0:28:320:28:36

air ambulance that got me here...

0:28:360:28:39

Bless 'em. You know...angels of the sky, they've got to be.

0:28:390:28:43

Coming up - the patient at the centre of a major rescue operation is finally prepared for takeoff.

0:28:470:28:53

When summer comes to the Yorkshire countryside, the day-trippers are never far behind.

0:28:590:29:04

And no wonder, with places like this to visit.

0:29:040:29:08

But for an unlucky few, a grand day out ends with a medical emergency.

0:29:080:29:15

The magnificent Chatsworth Estate is home to

0:29:150:29:18

the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and a major tourist attraction.

0:29:180:29:21

But this treasure house is also a star of film and television.

0:29:210:29:26

Most notably for the Keira Knightley movie, The Duchess.

0:29:260:29:31

Today, Helimed 99 is on its way to the 1,000-acre park designed by the legendary landscape gardener

0:29:310:29:36

Capability Brown, to rescue a seven-year-old boy who's fallen out of a tree.

0:29:360:29:43

Isaac is on a walking holiday with his mum and dad and they decided

0:29:430:29:46

to spend the first day of their week long trip exploring the grounds of Chatsworth House.

0:29:460:29:52

How are we doing, Isaac?

0:29:520:29:54

How's that feel? Uncomfortable? Squeeze this hand for me, Isaac.

0:29:540:29:57

Great job.

0:29:570:29:59

Now squeeze this hand.

0:29:590:30:01

Great job. Wiggle this toe for me.

0:30:010:30:04

And this one. Good boy.

0:30:040:30:06

Isaac, what we're going to do is move up to the helicopter now.

0:30:060:30:09

Mum's coming with us so there's nothing to worry about.

0:30:090:30:12

We'll have a proper look at you on there. get you out of the cold.

0:30:120:30:14

12ft is a long way for a seven-year-old to fall.

0:30:140:30:18

Paramedic James Vine is concerned that Isaac has damaged his spine.

0:30:180:30:22

The sooner he gets to hospital the better.

0:30:220:30:25

Have you been on a helicopter before, Isaac?

0:30:250:30:28

Whereabouts?

0:30:280:30:30

Was he knocked out at all, Mum? No, cried straightaway. This is Isaac.

0:30:300:30:36

He just fell off the tree.

0:30:360:30:38

Climbing on the tree and was trying to get off it and fell off backwards.

0:30:380:30:42

Landed on his back.

0:30:420:30:44

Isaac, we're just going to do a couple of checks, there's nothing to worry about.

0:30:450:30:50

Just checking your blood pressure and making sure your pulse and everything is OK.

0:30:500:30:53

All right - how's that pain?

0:30:530:30:55

-It's a bit better.

-Is it very bad or is it just bad?

0:30:550:30:58

Just bad.

0:30:580:31:00

Roger, seven-year-old male, normally fit and well, fallen approximately 12ft from tree onto his back.

0:31:000:31:08

Complained of mid-thoracic pain.

0:31:080:31:11

Primary survey is clear, no altered neurology.

0:31:110:31:15

Vital signs all within normal limits.

0:31:150:31:18

We'll be lifting in about five minutes. Over.

0:31:180:31:21

It was fine, all the indications are quite good.

0:31:210:31:23

He's fallen and thankfully he's gone onto the

0:31:230:31:25

soft ground, so that's a good thing,

0:31:250:31:27

and he's landed flat onto his back, again,

0:31:270:31:28

which is quite a good thing.

0:31:280:31:30

Everything's moving, he's got full sensation in every limb.

0:31:300:31:35

The painkillers are making Isaac sleepy, but the noise

0:31:350:31:37

from the helicopter's powerful engines can be overwhelming.

0:31:370:31:42

-Two minutes.

-Right, thank you.

0:31:420:31:44

He'll be seen by the specialist doctors there.

0:31:440:31:47

Right, OK, thank you.

0:31:470:31:49

Seeing your child in pain is heart-wrenching for every parent,

0:31:490:31:53

and James has to reassure Mum that Isaac is going to be OK.

0:31:530:31:58

I don't think there's anything for you to worry about.

0:31:580:32:00

'It doesn't feel like

0:32:020:32:04

'there are any steps or any deformities or anything like that.'

0:32:040:32:07

When Isaac gets to hospital, doctors confirm that he hasn't done any permanent damage to his back.

0:32:070:32:14

Two of his vertebrae are cracked, but because Isaac is so young, they will heal by themselves.

0:32:140:32:21

Many of Yorkshire natural attractions are in rugged places.

0:32:210:32:25

And some are so far off the beaten track,

0:32:250:32:27

the Helimed team is often called in to back up colleagues on the ground.

0:32:270:32:32

The A1 is busy with holiday traffic heading north.

0:32:340:32:37

Helimed 99 is about to touch down at the scene of a road accident.

0:32:370:32:41

-'They don't want us.

-Did you get a waver?'

0:32:410:32:44

Luckily, no-one's been hurt, and the helicopter isn't needed.

0:32:440:32:48

But dispatcher Dave has another job for them nearby.

0:32:480:32:51

I'm going to head you towards Brimham Rocks.

0:32:510:32:54

Brimham Rocks is a collection of grit-stone rock formations

0:32:550:32:59

10 miles west of Harrogate.

0:32:590:33:01

It's spread over 50 acres and is difficult to get to by road.

0:33:010:33:05

Unfortunately, it's also difficult to find a suitable place for the helicopter to land.

0:33:080:33:13

Paramedic Sammy has to make the final part of her journey on foot.

0:33:130:33:18

Good day, how are you? Hello, sir.

0:33:180:33:21

19-year-old student Josh Simpson was out walking with his friend.

0:33:230:33:26

He suddenly became very dizzy and keeled over.

0:33:260:33:29

He does have a central frontal headache.

0:33:290:33:33

It doesn't go anywhere else. No history of headaches, no history of loss of consciousness.

0:33:330:33:38

Up until today, fit and well, not ailing a thing.

0:33:380:33:42

-What was it that made you want to just sit down then, Josh?

-I felt like a rest.

-Just fancied a rest?

0:33:420:33:48

Proper genuine teenager, then!

0:33:480:33:50

-Yeah.

-Yeah!

0:33:500:33:51

-I haven't slept in three weeks, so...

-Why's that?

-I just haven't.

0:33:520:33:55

So, the thing we've discovered is your blood sugar is quite low.

0:33:550:34:00

Normal would be between 4 and 7.

0:34:000:34:04

You're 2.9.

0:34:040:34:06

Josh has eaten a meal recently, so it's important to find out why

0:34:060:34:10

his blood-sugar level has dropped so low.

0:34:100:34:13

We believe this patient's going to be conveyed by land.

0:34:130:34:16

I'm just going to assist taking him down to the vehicle.

0:34:160:34:20

You're OK where you are, Tone. I'll shout you if we need you, over.

0:34:200:34:24

This is quite sweet.

0:34:240:34:26

It's not the nicest thing in the world, but what it'll do is help get your blood sugar up.

0:34:260:34:30

What I'd like you to do is put some between your gums and...

0:34:300:34:33

-On the cheek?

-Down there, yeah.

0:34:330:34:35

We're just treating that with a sugary glucose gel.

0:34:350:34:39

Hopefully that'll freshen him up a little bit, and then

0:34:390:34:42

we'll take him to the ambulance and place him under investigation, find out what's wrong.

0:34:420:34:48

The concentrated glucose gel has given Josh enough energy to stand and walk to the ambulance.

0:34:480:34:54

-If you feel at all dizzy, we'll sit straight back down?

-Right.

0:34:540:34:59

It's a good job. He's 6ft tall, and carrying him on a stretcher would've meant calling out mountain rescue.

0:34:590:35:06

One of the basic obs that we do - after checking airway, breathing and circulation -

0:35:060:35:10

is their blood sugar, and on this occasion, young Josh... his blood sugar was quite low, 2.9.

0:35:100:35:16

Your brain needs sugar to operate, and, for whatever reason, his blood sugar's low at the moment,

0:35:160:35:21

so we've given him a glucose gel, it's brightening him up.

0:35:210:35:25

My colleagues are just rechecking his blood sugar, but because it's the first instance for him,

0:35:250:35:29

we're going to take him to hospital and let him be investigated as to why that's happened.

0:35:290:35:34

For him, it's a simple problem but could have huge implications.

0:35:340:35:38

He could've just sat down and stayed there and effectively gone to sleep until somebody had found him.

0:35:380:35:43

Victorian engineers gave the North dozens of new landmarks - from giant mills to huge town halls -

0:35:430:35:49

but few matched the monuments the railways brought with them,

0:35:490:35:54

and they have their fair share of visitors too.

0:35:540:35:56

This is the giant Ribblehead Viaduct.

0:35:580:36:01

Completed in 1870, it's 100ft high, 400ft long, and carries the most scenic railway in England.

0:36:010:36:09

The Settle to Carlisle line boasts stunning views, and it's Helimed 99's destination today.

0:36:090:36:15

'Channel 0, we've got a rescue, Channel 6.

0:36:150:36:18

'We're not sure at the moment whether we're going, because it's

0:36:180:36:20

'a nasty type of injury, or because of the where they are.

0:36:200:36:24

'So, it's quite a flight up for us, looking at the map.

0:36:240:36:28

'It's in middle of nowhere, basically.

0:36:280:36:30

'So, yeah, we'll see when we get there, but there's a good chance

0:36:300:36:33

'it's mainly an access problem for the local crews as well as for the injury itself.'

0:36:330:36:37

The team are trying to find a rambler who's fallen and injured her head minutes after getting off

0:36:370:36:41

the train at Dent Station, the highest in England.

0:36:410:36:45

But finding patients in the outsize landscape of the Three Peaks isn't easy.

0:36:450:36:50

'Roger, 99. We're still having a hover around, we can't seem to find

0:36:500:36:55

'anyone at the moment, there's nobody that's attracting our attention.

0:36:550:36:58

'We've spotted the ambulance itself, but no crew as such.

0:36:580:37:02

'Whether there's anyone inside or not, we're not quite sure, over.'

0:37:020:37:05

Finally, they spot Joan Dickinson. She was out with her husband

0:37:070:37:11

when she tripped on the rocky path down to the viaduct.

0:37:110:37:14

She's gone down, she's tripped over, caught the bridge of her nose, lost a few teeth.

0:37:140:37:18

I haven't looked at that one - there were nurses on scene.

0:37:180:37:21

I've just had a look at that one, you can just see it's a bit...

0:37:210:37:23

-So, what's your name again, sweetheart?

-Sorry, love?

0:37:240:37:26

-What's your name again?

-Joan.

-Joan.

0:37:260:37:28

Right, Joan, obviously cos you're quite a way from the ambulance, we're just going to bob you

0:37:280:37:33

in the helicopter and fly you down to where the ambulance is, OK?

0:37:330:37:37

Her blood pressure's a little bit high.

0:37:370:37:39

I think as long as we're nice and gentle, she can walk back

0:37:390:37:42

to the land ambulance and be taken to hospital if necessary there.

0:37:420:37:45

That's it, Joan.

0:37:450:37:47

-There you go. Feel dizzy?

-No.

0:37:470:37:49

-You feel all right?

-Mmm.

0:37:490:37:51

Well, it's a free ride in a helicopter.

0:37:510:37:53

One thing I didn't like doing.

0:37:530:37:56

I used to think, I don't want to go in a helicopter.

0:37:560:37:59

Joan's sight-seeing trip is over.

0:37:590:38:01

She needs stitches, so Helimed 99 will give her

0:38:010:38:05

the short flight down to the land ambulance parked under the viaduct.

0:38:050:38:08

I was walking along the path and I just tripped up and went forward,

0:38:110:38:16

banged my head, down to the ground and my nose, and did my teeth.

0:38:160:38:21

Just a bit shocked, that's all.

0:38:210:38:23

Sore, but the two nurses there helped me, which was lucky.

0:38:230:38:29

And I'm pleased to say all our injured day-trippers have recovered.

0:38:290:38:33

Now, here in North Yorkshire, paramedics Sammy and Tony

0:38:330:38:36

have their work cut out dealing with a bizarre accident.

0:38:360:38:39

For more than an hour, firefighters have been struggling to release

0:38:390:38:43

four people trapped in a sports car that left a country road and smashed into a ditch.

0:38:430:38:49

The driver, paralysed from the waist down in a previous crash, says he isn't hurt.

0:38:490:38:54

But paramedics Sammy and Tony are concerned about Jamie, his front-seat passenger.

0:38:540:39:00

He has a raised heart rate and a reduced blood pressure.

0:39:000:39:04

There's no obvious sign of bleeding externally, so we suspect

0:39:040:39:08

something is going on internally.

0:39:080:39:09

At last, the first casualty of the crash is about to be released.

0:39:090:39:15

Because of their potential injuries, we're having to take out

0:39:150:39:19

the people in the back first to lift the people out in the front.

0:39:190:39:21

They're in specialist sports seats that are unfortunately also

0:39:210:39:25

electronic, so we can't just wind them back.

0:39:250:39:28

The 23-year-old patient had joined three friends for a ride in the country.

0:39:310:39:36

Now she's strapped to a rigid spinal stretcher and heading for the accident unit of York Hospital.

0:39:360:39:42

Firemen have cut the supports in the back of Jamie's seat.

0:39:430:39:47

It's just loosely on.

0:39:480:39:50

Now they must gently ease him out. It's not going be easy.

0:39:500:39:54

But at last, he's free.

0:39:580:40:00

Right, got straps here, lads.

0:40:000:40:03

He's had quite a high-speed deceleration injury

0:40:030:40:05

from 60 miles an hour to nothing.

0:40:050:40:07

Lucky, you know. Hit a tree, and, yeah, it's amazing no-one's

0:40:070:40:12

more severely injured, really.

0:40:120:40:14

Finally, Jamie's on his way to Helimed 99 for the 30-mile flight

0:40:140:40:18

to the trauma unit of Leeds General Infirmary.

0:40:180:40:22

Surgeons have already been alerted by flying doctor Rob Anderson, who rushed to the scene from his home.

0:40:220:40:29

He's basically gone from 70 to nothing, straight into a tree pretty quickly.

0:40:290:40:32

Jamie's beginning to calm down.

0:40:340:40:36

He thought the car was on fire after the crash.

0:40:360:40:39

Helimed 99, imminent lift, ETA to LGI about 15 minutes maximum, over.

0:40:390:40:45

An accident with so many casualties places a strain on the NHS,

0:40:460:40:51

and Helimed 99's speed is going to help out York Hospital's overstretched A&E unit.

0:40:510:40:58

'It's always a case of assessing the patients and deciding which ones need to come out first in

0:40:580:41:03

'priority of the severity of injury, but then sometimes you can't get to

0:41:030:41:07

'them people, because somebody else is in the way.

0:41:070:41:08

'In this case, all of the back-seat passengers need to physically

0:41:080:41:12

'come out before we could get this patient out,

0:41:120:41:15

'so quite a long extrication, really, but a really good team effort

0:41:150:41:18

'with the fire service

0:41:180:41:19

'and the land ambulance crews to get everybody out as soon as we could.'

0:41:190:41:24

Just 15 minutes after leaving the accident scene, Jamie's arriving at Leeds General Infirmary.

0:41:250:41:31

Slide - ready, steady, slide.

0:41:310:41:34

He'll be undergoing a series of tests to establish whether he has indeed suffered internal injuries.

0:41:340:41:41

Luckily for Jamie, after a one-night stay at the LGI, he's released -

0:41:410:41:45

bruised but otherwise unhurt after what was a very lucky escape.

0:41:450:41:50

When Helicopter Heroes comes back...

0:41:530:41:55

the team faces a difficult rescue as a small boy is impaled on a metal spike.

0:41:550:42:01

He has got another potential for it to go in him again.

0:42:010:42:04

There's a serious accident on a moorland road.

0:42:040:42:07

A climber's badly hurt in a freak fall.

0:42:070:42:10

Just on the off-chance you've broken your neck, we'll take careful care of you.

0:42:100:42:15

And World Cup fever lands a soccer-loving dad in hospital.

0:42:150:42:18

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:42:320:42:34

E-mail [email protected]

0:42:340:42:36

Rav Wilding presents the series following the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Firefighters are forced to cut apart a supercar so the team can reach its patients, and a family visit to a stately home ends in a flight to hospital.


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