Episode 17 Helicopter Heroes


Episode 17

Documentary series. A walker falls 40 feet down a moorland ravine, and paramedic Darren must risk his own safety to reach him. Plus a motorcyclist gets trapped under a Jeep.


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Transcript


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If you're seriously ill or critically injured,

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every second counts.

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

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But thanks to these guys,

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the people of the UK's biggest county

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are never more than ten 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

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to bring 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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Has he fallen down there?

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A walker plunges 40ft.

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Paramedic Darren faces a dangerous descent to reach him.

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Now then, sir, you can pick your spot, can't you?

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A biker's trapped beneath a car.

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Can the team save him?

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Take a deep breath for me, boss.

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There's traffic chaos and the victim of a factory accident desperately needs an ambulance.

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We've been on scene a good half an hour, just waiting for a land crew.

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And paramedic Paul discovers a patient's drug stash.

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What's that there?

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The helimed paramedics often work twelve-hour shifts.

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They usually have plenty of time to do training

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and the paperwork that comes with any job.

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But when the call comes in, they drop everything.

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Today Helimed 99's taking off for Wharfedale,

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one of Yorkshire's prettiest dales.

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When summer comes to the village of Kettlewell,

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the tourists are never far behind.

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This is hardcore walking country.

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Every day the dales bus delivers another party of ramblers.

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And the campsites are already booked up.

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But today one walker's day has ended in a serious accident.

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We've been passed through a detail where we've got an elderly gentleman

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that's fallen backwards we believe from a wall.

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And gone down an embankment or small cliff.

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For pilot Chris Atterill, it's not a routine flight.

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Clouds are making his job harder and many of them have hard centres.

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It doesn't look too good coming out of Leeds,

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but obviously, we've dropped down a little bit.

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And visibility's quite good below the cloud base itself.

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It's not often the helimed team lands to get directions,

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but it saves time when you're trying to find a walker

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in hundreds of square miles of moorland.

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What I'm going to do is try and land on the green.

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The ground ambulance crew have already arrived at the scene of the incident.

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They're putting RAF Rescue on stand-by.

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Have you got any landing instructions yet?

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-Where is it?

-We've got a casualty up to the north-west of here in a valley.

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It sounds like it'll be tough to reach their patient,

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but at least now they have some good directions to go on.

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-There's a settlement...

-Yeah.

-And it's near that settlement.

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So it's going to be, like I say, from where we were parked,

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-half past two.

-Right, OK.

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-Up on the high ground here.

-Yeah.

-It's just there.

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But there's a problem.

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The valley where the walker has fallen

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is swathed in low cloud.

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Even with good directions from the patient's wife,

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finding him is proving hard.

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Now his wife is supposed to be with him.

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Can you go to the other side of this, mate,

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so we can look back up the valley?

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-I'll bring the nose left if that helps.

-Yeah, that helps a lot.

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They know that somewhere down there, a patient desperately needs them.

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But it's look increasingly like they'll fail to reach him.

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I hate to see this, guys, but I don't think we're much use here.

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No. I tend to think that way myself.

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I can't see anything.

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Then pilot Chris's eagle eyes spot the casualty.

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-Ah!

-You got him?

-Yeah.

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Darren knows this is going to be a difficult rescue.

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-Belt coming off, mate.

-OK.

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-Bag coming off.

-Rights.

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-Disconnected.

-OK.

-He's disconnected.

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-Just stepping out.

-OK.

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Medic 1 to air desk.

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I'm on the ground

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with the patient.

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Can you definitely keep the RAF running towards this detail? Over.

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The walker's wife spells out the severity of the fall.

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Flippin' heck!

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Has he fallen down there?

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-Where is he?

-Down the bottom here.

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Down the bottom. Right.

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Good. Just bear with me.

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Cos this is treacherous.

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Darren knows the man's lucky to be alive.

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His injuries could be very serious.

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He has a nasty looking head injury,

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but Darren is keeping it cheerful.

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Now then, sir, you can pick your spot, can't you?

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Normally, paramedics avoid moving their patients,

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but this case is different.

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Tony Robinson's in real danger here.

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He fell from the top? And his face was in the water?

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I had to get his face out of the water.

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-Tony...

-Yeah?

-Are you all right sat there? You're not sliding off?

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-I feel as if I'm a bit precarious.

-Right.

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Do you think with my help we can step onto there and sit on that rock?

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Possibly. Possibly. It depends on this hip.

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Well, Tony, just let me get positioned first.

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Right.

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Right, Tony.

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-I've got you.

-This right leg isn't moving properly.

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Is it not? Put it down.

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-Agh!

-Right, get on your good leg.

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Got it, got it.

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One, two, three, go.

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Agh.

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I've got you! I've got you, Tony! I've got you!

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If you're going, I'm going. So don't worry.

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It's been an ordeal for Tony's wife.

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We were following a walk from Buckden

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up towards the mines.

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And...

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It got very misty, very wet.

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And the pass...

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The walk we were following didn't seem to be right.

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And to be fair, I got quite nervous.

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So we decided to come back to the mines,

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and to follow the path down the river.

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And the problem was it was slippery,

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we were just negotiating this bit here when he slipped

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and just crashed to the bottom.

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And to be fair, I thought he was dead.

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Thanks to a passer-by, rescue has finally arrived.

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I scrambled down and lifted his head out of the water.

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And screamed and screamed and screamed

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and a man came down there.

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I don't know where he came from...

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..Who helped me get him out of the water onto that ledge,

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and then we tried the phones, and there was just no signal.

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That was at about...

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half-past two, quarter-to-three,

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and he set off down the hill to try and get some help.

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But Tony's still in real danger.

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It's more than an hour since his fall.

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He's soaking wet from the stream and he's very cold.

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He's also battling cancer and hypothermia's a real possibility.

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Coming up - mountain rescue join the fight to save Tony.

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It's just drizzled and rained on and off all day

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and just made all this limestone ground very, very slippy.

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There's a serious accident on the shop floor.

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We're only some four minutes' flying time from LGI,

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but they won't accept the patient.

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And the teams called to treat a car thief.

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The green car overtook us, just weaving from side to side.

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If you have a serious accident,

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there's one thing you really need on your side.

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And that's luck.

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Just a fraction of an inch can mean the difference

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between a minor injury and death.

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High in Nidderdale, Menwith Hill is an RAF base that's been described

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as the biggest electronic monitoring station in the world.

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It's run by America's National Security Agency

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and has security to match.

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Today it's got visitors.

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Helimed 99 has been scrambled

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to a serious accident outside the main gates.

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We've got a couple of parked vehicles down there now.

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I don't know if that's somebody parked up or not.

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Oh, I've got a visual.

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Yeah, visual.

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I can see that.

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A motorcyclist is trapped under a jeep

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that was being driven by a worker turning into the base.

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They don't usually welcome surprise visitors here,

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but today they'll make an exception for paramedics Tony and Sammy.

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-He probably has been unconscious. No pain except his right ankle in actual fact.

-OK.

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-Haven't done the neck yet cos he's under the car and he's got a helmet on.

-Yep.

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His sats and his pulse is OK. That's all I've really done.

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-I think we've got a tib and fib so we'll deal with that before we move him out.

-OK.

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It's a miracle the biker's still alive.

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He was unconscious for a time,

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and the weight of the vehicle was pressing down on his chest.

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But the base's own fire engine was scrambled

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and firefighters quickly raised the jeep using an airbag.

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Can you score your pain for me, out of ten?

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My ankle?

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Whatever bit hurts the most.

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-My ankle.

-Out of ten, what would you score?

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About seven or eight.

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Seven or eight. OK then, boss.

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We're not quite sure how he's ended up there,

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whether he's gone under at the front or the side.

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Just complaining of leg pain initially.

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Sammy's just doing some basic observations

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before we do anything else.

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Sorry, Sammy?

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I think what we do, as we bring him out, we splint it at the same time.

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This is a risky process.

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The vehicle's weight is being supported by the air bag

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and a few chunks of timber.

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Right, if you can reach in to under his shoulder that side,

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can you get to that?

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I'll get that and you get his pelvis, yeah?

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To examine the biker properly,

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they're going to have to remove him from under the jeep.

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We're just going to support your leg

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and then we're going to slide you out, OK?

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So, literally go about six inches first, everybody happy?

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Ready, steady, slide.

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And brace.

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I've now got his head there.

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Hello, you all right, Dave?

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Biker David Skeet was on his way home from work

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when the accident happened.

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Try and relax.

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-Do you take any medication for anything?

-No.

-No? None whatsoever.

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His helmet probably helped save his life,

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but now it's getting in Sammy's way.

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We slid him out and we're just assessing him now.

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The portions we couldn't reach properly under the car.

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Now David's helmet's off, Sammy can see her patient's face.

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Cos of the thickness of the clothing his head isn't on the head block.

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-Is that all right if we just cut your jacket?

-Yes.

-Thank you.

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You say your pain's about six out of ten,

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-has it reduced since we've pulled you out from underneath?

-A little.

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A little bit.

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David's thinking about his family, they're expecting him home for tea.

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Can you let my wife know?

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We can organise all that at the hospital, all right?

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-It's not a problem. Is she expecting you home about now?

-Yeah.

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The fire brigade were happy to take a risk while David was being freed.

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Now they want everyone away from the unstable jeep.

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From a safety point of view, guys, is there any chance we can move away...

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And get my feet out from underneath this? That'd work for me!

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That's fine.

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-If we could just move another foot this way.

-We can do that.

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Stop!

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Would you like to try some gas and air? See if that helps your ankle?

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Yeah?

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The base's armed police are more used to focusing on terrorism,

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but they're happy to make sure

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David's family finds out what's happened.

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There's someone going round to your house anyway.

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It looks like David's had a miraculous escape,

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but a medical team at Harrogate Hospital

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are already on standby to examine him.

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For a good reason.

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He's quite stable and clearly, he could have fractured his leg.

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Hopefully it's nothing more serious,

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but if that's gone over him at some point

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there's maybe some internal injuries that we're not aware of yet.

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Coming up, the biker's free, but his symptoms are worrying Sammy.

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His blood pressure has been a bit low.

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The ravine rescue begins.

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We've got to move our casualty to a clear area

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where we're visible to the helicopter.

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And a driver collides with a wall.

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It looks like she sustained quite a significant head injury.

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The Yorkshire Air Ambulance choppers cover an area of more than 6,000 square miles.

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No two incidents are the same,

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but some factors are often familiar to the flying paramedics.

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It's rush hour in Bradford,

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and thousands are heading home to the suburbs. But 1,500 feet above them,

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Helimed 99 is on a mission to a serious factory accident.

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Paramedics Lee Davison and James Vine carry morphine,

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and that's what their patient desperately needs.

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This guy has got a crush injury,

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lower legs, isolated limb,

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but that's just to give him more pain relief.

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We carry morphine, so we're making our way over there to back up the crew

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and help the patient with some good, strong painkillers.

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At an engineering works, there's been an accident involving a fork-lift truck.

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Nigel Wilson's foot is crushed.

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We've just got visual of the landing scene, over.

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Helimed 99 is on final approach to the factory yard.

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It's not far from the city centre,

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but it's an ideal helipad.

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All clear there.

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Inside?

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Ground paramedics have already started treating Nigel,

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whose foot was trapped between the fork-lift and a stack of steel pipes,

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which the company makes.

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He's got a left lower open compound fracture.

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Yeah.

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Compound fracture.

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He's been trapped between the fork-lift and one of them steel reels there.

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I don't know how much one of them weighs.

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I might not be able to hear you very well, so come back in.

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I brought you some morphine.

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He's in a bad way. There's a real risk he may lose his foot,

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and he's bleeding internally.

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We've got one of the emergency care practitioners that's arrived on scene.

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So he's just trying to give him a bit of a nerve block currently,

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just to try and stem the pain.

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At the moment, we're going to see what we can do and see if that works.

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The firm take safety seriously.

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The fork-lifts are essential to move stock around the factory.

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He got on the fork-lift to drive down

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and didn't take his leg in as he set off

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and he's caught his leg on a coil.

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Nigel's just become a statistic,

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one of around 400 workers who'll need hospital treatment

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as a result of fork-lift trucks this year in the UK.

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Around 10 of them will die.

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We are having difficulty communicating with the patient

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due to the noise. It can make it difficult to converse with your patient

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to find out what's wrong with them. The sooner we can get him out

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makes it easier for us to get a good communication going.

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The nerve block's not working as well as they or Nigel would like.

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Lee will have to give him morphine.

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It's a controlled drug,

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with a strict procedure to go with it.

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January 13, so it's in date.

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It's morphine, 10 mg.

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Nigel's injury is serious enough to require complex surgery.

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The team would like to fly him to specialist surgeons

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at the Leeds General Infirmary 10 miles away.

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But they're already busy with other cases.

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We're only four minutes' flying time from LGI,

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but they won't accept the patient.

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They've got some trauma where we've just been.

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We've taken a couple into them.

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So I've given the patient some pain relief,

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tried to get him comfortable.

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We're just waiting for a land crew to come

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and I'll have to go in the vehicle into Bradford.

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Then the crew will have to pick me up.

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But there's another problem.

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An earlier accident on the M62 motorway

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has led to huge tailbacks,

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and made Bradford's rush hour even worse than usual.

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Many major roads are gridlocked

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and the ground ambulance has to reach the factory through the jams.

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It's the worst time of the day to be in a hurry.

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There's a land crew coming.

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I don't know exactly how long they're going to be.

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That's the easiest option currently.

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Finally the ambulance reaches the factory gates,

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but its crew now face the problem of finding their patient.

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We've been on scene half an hour just waiting for a land crew.

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That's how it goes sometimes.

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Can't be helped.

0:17:580:17:59

Because Lee's given Nigel morphine,

0:17:590:18:02

he will have to travel to hospital with him

0:18:020:18:05

so he can brief doctors there first-hand.

0:18:050:18:08

Bradford Royal Infirmary doesn't have a helipad,

0:18:080:18:11

so Lee will be travelling back to Helimed 99 by taxi.

0:18:110:18:14

His colleagues are heading off for more fuel.

0:18:140:18:18

How long was your foot trapped?

0:18:200:18:23

-Quick as that.

-Right.

0:18:230:18:26

-Just nipped it.

-It bent it backwards.

0:18:260:18:30

Right.

0:18:300:18:31

Fighting through the traffic is difficult for the driver.

0:18:310:18:35

Agonising for Nigel.

0:18:350:18:38

Just keep topping you up with a bit of morphine.

0:18:380:18:41

Just try and keep the edge off it.

0:18:410:18:44

Finally, Nigel's made it to hospital,

0:18:440:18:47

where he's met by his worried wife.

0:18:470:18:50

Surgeons operate on him within hours.

0:18:500:18:52

But a month later he's still in bed,

0:18:540:18:56

after his injury proved to be even more difficult to treat than doctors predicted.

0:18:560:19:01

They made the decision to amputate the foot, which they did,

0:19:010:19:06

and I'm now on the plastic surgery,

0:19:060:19:08

waiting for the wound to be closed up with plastic surgery.

0:19:080:19:12

I think prior to the accident I was a bit of a hard nut, I never cried,

0:19:120:19:16

but I can now!

0:19:160:19:18

Definitely.

0:19:190:19:21

It's changed my perspective on life, definitely.

0:19:210:19:24

One day Nigel hopes to walk again,

0:19:240:19:27

but he knows the road to recovery will be long and painful.

0:19:270:19:32

Coming up - the trapped biker's lucky to be alive.

0:19:360:19:39

The doctors fear he may have a serious head injury.

0:19:390:19:42

He's 32, normally fit and well. Rider of...

0:19:420:19:45

Ooh, can you get his helmet? Think it's in the boot, yeah.

0:19:450:19:48

And the family whose day out ended in a collision with a stolen car.

0:19:480:19:52

The green car overtook us, just weaving from side to side.

0:19:520:19:56

Now, let's return to that incident we brought you earlier,

0:20:110:20:14

and the helimed team is hard at work.

0:20:140:20:17

High in Wharfedale, the helimed team is fighting the weather and the landscape

0:20:200:20:24

to rescue a walker who's plunged 40 feet down a moorland ravine.

0:20:240:20:29

We've had trouble finding him with the helicopter,

0:20:290:20:32

because of the low cloud and because he's fallen in tree cover,

0:20:320:20:36

but eventually his wife were able to gesture to t'helicopter

0:20:360:20:40

and show us where we needed to be,

0:20:400:20:42

but we couldn't land here with the helicopter,

0:20:420:20:44

so we've had to drop Daz off best we could, a few hundred yards away,

0:20:440:20:48

and then drop myself off in a place where it was safe to land,

0:20:480:20:51

which was another few hundred yards further away.

0:20:510:20:54

Several times we thought we've heard the helicopter

0:20:540:20:57

but...couldn't see it...

0:20:570:20:59

I daredn't leave him because...

0:20:590:21:01

he was ledged with his feet on that bit there, on that bottom, he was cold, he was shivering,

0:21:010:21:06

he'd got quite a big head wound, er...

0:21:060:21:11

and I just daredn't leave him,

0:21:110:21:13

so eventually I stuck my stick with a carrier bag on it at the top

0:21:130:21:17

and...finally heard the helicopter and went running and wasn't sure that they'd seen me.

0:21:170:21:22

An RAF chopper's been called in to winch cancer patient Tony Robinson out of the ravine

0:21:220:21:29

but he's not out of the woods yet.

0:21:290:21:31

He had a hip replacement, he had two hernias,

0:21:310:21:34

then he had a brain tumour removed,

0:21:340:21:37

and then they told us it was secondary from his kidney...

0:21:370:21:40

and he'd come on this holiday just to...do some walking,

0:21:400:21:45

and how can anybody have gone through all of that...and I thought he was going to die...in that water.

0:21:450:21:50

A sheet of foil may look a poor substitute for a warm coat

0:21:510:21:55

but its heat-keeping properties are amazing

0:21:550:21:58

and the team's determined to prevent Tony getting hypothermia.

0:21:580:22:02

I think the plan, lads, is get him out of this spot, into a bit of open valley,

0:22:020:22:08

where they could actually see what's going off and they'll drop a basket in for that.

0:22:080:22:13

Local ground paramedics have had to walk three miles from the nearest road.

0:22:130:22:17

This area is as remote as the Dales get.

0:22:170:22:21

We've got Search and Rescue coming, they'll be here in about ten minutes,

0:22:210:22:24

and Mountain Rescue have just arrived on scene

0:22:240:22:28

and we're moving the casualty to a clear area, where he'll be visible to the Search and Rescue helicopter,

0:22:280:22:33

and they're going to winch him off the hillside for us, hopefully.

0:22:330:22:37

Tony's going to be strapped to a spinal board for his rescue flight

0:22:370:22:41

but first volunteers from the local cave rescue team

0:22:410:22:44

will carry him down the stream into which he's fallen.

0:22:440:22:47

It'll be a risky operation.

0:22:470:22:50

It's slippy. Yeah, it's just really, really greasy.

0:22:500:22:53

It's been one of them days where it's drizzled and rained on and off

0:22:530:22:57

and made all this limestone ground very, very slippy.

0:22:570:22:59

It's just an unfortunate accident, really.

0:22:590:23:02

Coming up - Tony's on his way to hospital at last.

0:23:050:23:09

He was extremely wet, because he obviously had been in the water, and probably had been unconscious.

0:23:090:23:14

And the patient who's under observation...and arrest.

0:23:140:23:18

Thanks to an awful lot of luck,

0:23:250:23:27

one biker looks like he's had a very narrow escape after an accident in North Yorkshire,

0:23:270:23:33

but paramedics Tony and Sammy are very worried by their patient's symptoms.

0:23:330:23:38

A road accident outside one of the UK's most secure military bases

0:23:380:23:44

has left a biker badly injured.

0:23:440:23:45

-You say your pain's about six out of ten?

-Yeah.

0:23:450:23:48

-Has it reduced since we've pulled you out from underneath?

-A little.

0:23:480:23:52

For 20 minutes, David Skeet was pinned under a Jeep

0:23:520:23:55

driven by an American employee driving into the Menwith Hill base.

0:23:550:23:59

At the moment he's just got pain in his left leg

0:23:590:24:02

so clearly injuries to that, but no obvious fractures.

0:24:020:24:06

Now he's been freed, thanks to the base's firefighting team

0:24:060:24:10

and paramedics Sammy Wills and Tony Wilkes.

0:24:100:24:13

All we've found up to now is that you might have broken your leg, OK, your ankle, I think,

0:24:130:24:18

-but because of where you've been, and the potential, we're going to fly you to Harrogate District.

-OK.

0:24:180:24:23

-Have you ever been there before?

-I've not been in hospital for years.

0:24:230:24:27

That's a good thing, then, isn't it?

0:24:270:24:29

We're now flying POB, from Menwith Hill to Harrogate Hospital. We'll call when there.

0:24:290:24:35

At 150mph, the flight from the hills of Nidderdale to the centre of Harrogate

0:24:350:24:40

will take just five minutes.

0:24:400:24:43

Paramedic Sammy thinks her patient has escaped certain death by inches.

0:24:430:24:47

It sounds like, from the witness, that he went between the wheels,

0:24:470:24:51

and it might be just his ankle that's been run over.

0:24:510:24:54

If there is the complication of maybe internal bleeding or chest injury,

0:24:540:24:59

we've not found any of that,

0:24:590:25:01

although his blood pressure has been a bit low, so we're just preparing.

0:25:010:25:05

David's about to undergo a series of tests designed to identify internal injuries.

0:25:050:25:12

Only then will doctors be able to tell whether his lucky escape is quite as fortunate as it appears.

0:25:120:25:18

But witnesses said he's hit the floor before and gone between the wheels.

0:25:180:25:23

On my arrival it's just his legs that are sticking out from underneath.

0:25:230:25:27

Against all the odds, it turns out he's only suffered minor concussion,

0:25:290:25:33

and less than 24 hours after the accident that could have killed him

0:25:330:25:37

David's back on his feet.

0:25:370:25:39

Well, one of them, at least.

0:25:390:25:41

His memories of his brush with death are still hazy.

0:25:410:25:45

The only clear bit I remember is opening my eyes

0:25:450:25:48

and seeing the underneath of a vehicle very close to me

0:25:480:25:53

but no actual feelings of that, of any pain or...surrounding, where I was, or anything.

0:25:530:25:59

It was just...literally opened my eyes,

0:25:590:26:02

recognised the underneath of a vehicle, and then out again.

0:26:020:26:06

And then the next one was where the vehicle was being jacked up.

0:26:060:26:11

The next thing I remember was waking up in hospital, erm...

0:26:110:26:16

and I was in Accident and Emergency on the stretcher

0:26:160:26:19

and my wife and eldest daughter was there. Erm...

0:26:190:26:24

It was quite surreal because I was just in full conversation with them

0:26:240:26:28

but couldn't quite understand how I was there.

0:26:280:26:30

Just three days after his crash,

0:26:300:26:33

David's fit enough to walk out of Harrogate Hospital.

0:26:330:26:37

And two weeks after that he's visiting the helimed team with his wife and son.

0:26:370:26:41

He's here to find out what happened that day.

0:26:410:26:44

He still can't remember his flight.

0:26:440:26:46

What do you remember of the incident? Do you remember us turning up?

0:26:460:26:51

Not at all, no. The only things that I can remember was leaving work

0:26:510:26:55

and then a few other bits that had to be confirmed,

0:26:550:26:58

and the main one was when I was in hospital, with my wife and daughter there,

0:26:580:27:03

so I don't remember any of the flight or you guys turning up or anything.

0:27:030:27:07

Coming up... The rescue in the Dales reaches its climax.

0:27:120:27:16

Some people fall victim to freak accidents when they least expect it.

0:27:250:27:29

Others increase their chances of becoming a casualty

0:27:290:27:32

by taking risks. The helimed team treats them all the same.

0:27:320:27:37

Responding to 999 calls isn't cheap.

0:27:390:27:42

It costs seven grand a day to keep the helimed choppers in the air,

0:27:420:27:46

and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service alone has an annual budget of £200.

0:27:460:27:51

No-one worries about the money, of course, unless the expense could have so easily been avoided.

0:27:510:27:56

On the A1 in North Yorkshire, there are reports of a major accident.

0:27:560:28:01

The cars will have just come out of a 50-mile-an-hour zone

0:28:010:28:04

and they're up to 70 to where they are.

0:28:040:28:06

This is what's probably caused the crash.

0:28:060:28:09

Helimed 98 is on the case.

0:28:100:28:13

Two cars are wrecked and several people are hurt.

0:28:130:28:16

There are currently two vehicles and seven casualties.

0:28:190:28:22

Something in the field here. You see the red building?

0:28:220:28:26

-Oh, yeah. I can see everyone with DayGlo jackets.

-Yup.

0:28:260:28:30

We've had you down and we're going to sit you up.

0:28:340:28:36

-If you kick off again, you're going back on the floor, yeah?

-OK.

0:28:360:28:39

Police are looking after one of the patients.

0:28:390:28:42

But not in the usual way.

0:28:420:28:43

-Has he self-extricated from the vehicle? Was he out the vehicle when you got here?

-Yeah.

0:28:430:28:48

-He's been up and walking about? He's not been cooperative to any sort of treatment at this stage?

-No.

0:28:480:28:53

This was the driver of one of the cars.

0:28:530:28:57

Officers have used their CS spray to subdue him,

0:28:570:29:00

while medics deal with his passengers

0:29:000:29:02

and the people in the other car involved in the accident.

0:29:020:29:06

Passenger in this green car here, it's just him that's got the head injury.

0:29:060:29:11

This is the worst one if you want to transport.

0:29:110:29:15

The green car overtook us just weaving from side to side.

0:29:150:29:19

And then when we... I said, "There's something not right there."

0:29:190:29:23

As we came round the corner, we just saw all the dust and smoke.

0:29:230:29:28

I said, "That's the green car." We didn't realise they'd taken off the Megane as well.

0:29:280:29:33

I'm just going to have a quick listen to your chest. Couple of deep breaths in.

0:29:330:29:37

In and out.

0:29:370:29:40

Just be wary around him.

0:29:400:29:45

Dealing with difficult patients is all in a day's work for paramedics,

0:29:450:29:49

but it is particularly difficult when your ambulance flies at 1,500 feet.

0:29:490:29:53

Most of the casualties are stable.

0:29:530:29:55

They'll be going to hospital for precautionary check-ups.

0:29:550:30:00

But it's still involved the emergency services,

0:30:000:30:03

about four ambulances, three fire engines and numerous police units.

0:30:030:30:07

It's been a real stretch on the emergency services up this neck of the woods.

0:30:070:30:12

The fact he has no licence may explain the erratic driving.

0:30:120:30:17

I don't know, actually. Really.

0:30:170:30:19

I looked up and everything was fine, I looked down - that was it.

0:30:190:30:23

I don't know.

0:30:230:30:24

Is there pain in your jaw?

0:30:240:30:26

Luckily, the injured passenger from the car is placid

0:30:260:30:29

and his mate is just concerned.

0:30:290:30:31

Is this guy green Punto?

0:30:330:30:36

-Yeah. Passenger.

-So the one that was showing off, he was driving, and that other kid was in the back.

0:30:360:30:42

Yeah. Yeah, basically.

0:30:420:30:44

HE MURMURS

0:30:440:30:47

-They've CS gassed him.

-Have they?

-Yeah.

0:30:470:30:51

Just what you want(!)

0:30:510:30:54

The passenger is flown to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough for treatment.

0:30:570:31:02

All three people in the hatchback later had a chat with my former colleagues.

0:31:020:31:07

Driving when you've had a drink is illegal

0:31:100:31:12

and for very good reasons. Your judgement is seriously impaired.

0:31:120:31:16

The flying paramedics have seen the effects far too often.

0:31:160:31:20

Pilot Tim Taylor is used to landing in tight spots.

0:31:220:31:26

But today's landing in a suburb of Sheffield is going to be especially difficult.

0:31:260:31:31

A people carrier has crashed into a wall at high speed.

0:31:310:31:36

Three people are hurt.

0:31:360:31:37

Helimed 98 now making a landing. Over.

0:31:370:31:40

Luckily, Tim's got an eye for a helipad

0:31:400:31:44

and he's spotted a patch of waste ground 100 metres from the crash.

0:31:440:31:48

Looks a little bit on a slope as well.

0:31:480:31:50

Yeah. He likes a challenge.

0:31:500:31:53

I'm just going to take my turn for the right.

0:31:560:31:59

-Clear my side.

-That looks good.

0:31:590:32:01

-The slope is going to take us down.

-Yeah.

0:32:010:32:04

It was good for me.

0:32:060:32:08

Paramedic Sammy Wills has been beaten to the scene by a local ambulance crew.

0:32:080:32:15

-She says the other one is minor injury.

-All right.

0:32:150:32:18

-The wall impact.

-Yeah.

0:32:180:32:19

Neil is just assessing that one. I'm just going to go round the other side.

0:32:190:32:23

Just relax. I'm one of the doctors. I'm going to have a quick listen on your lungs.

0:32:230:32:27

We're going to listen to your chest.

0:32:270:32:29

The female driver of the car is badly hurt. Police believe she has been drinking.

0:32:290:32:34

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

0:32:360:32:37

All right.

0:32:370:32:39

She's resisting her rescuers,

0:32:390:32:41

and firefighters are finding it difficult to free her.

0:32:410:32:45

Flying doctor Anil Hormis fears she may have a head injury.

0:32:500:32:55

Just open your eyes for me.

0:32:550:32:57

The circumstances of the accident are confused.

0:32:570:33:01

I've just found a third casualty. He's climbed out himself.

0:33:010:33:04

Can we just get another crew?

0:33:040:33:06

The car is badly damaged,

0:33:060:33:08

but the driver's condition is concerning Anil.

0:33:080:33:11

We need to get her out quickly cos she's in and out of consciousness.

0:33:110:33:15

-So you want her straight out?

-We'll get her onto a board and anaesthetise her.

0:33:150:33:19

So get this door out the way, get this back door, fold it to the floor. Happy with space?

0:33:190:33:24

We've got to pop this door first.

0:33:240:33:26

Keep your eyes open for me, pet. Keep your eyes open.

0:33:260:33:29

That's it. Well done. The door is just coming off now, OK?

0:33:290:33:33

Sammy to Tim, could you bring our D-fib?

0:33:330:33:37

We're going to RSI her and take control of her airway.

0:33:370:33:41

Bit more humane, as well as the fact she's fighting as well.

0:33:410:33:45

-All right, darling.

-Ready, steady, slide.

-There we go.

0:33:490:33:52

The team will anaesthetise the patient before they fly her.

0:33:540:33:57

This is a difficult process, even in a hospital,

0:33:570:34:01

but Dr Anil has done it many times before.

0:34:010:34:04

I'm going to put on this mask. Take some deep breaths.

0:34:040:34:08

The woman is now asleep and the team is breathing for her,

0:34:080:34:12

pumping air into her lungs manually.

0:34:120:34:16

She's been in a fairly horrendous car crash, as you can probably see.

0:34:160:34:19

She looks like she sustained quite a significant head injury.

0:34:190:34:23

We've anaesthetised her as soon as we got her out the car,

0:34:230:34:26

and we'll fly her to Northern General so the trauma team can look.

0:34:260:34:29

I'm just worried she's got a bleed into her brain,

0:34:290:34:32

which is why we're in a bit of a rush to get her out of here.

0:34:320:34:35

She's flown to Sheffield's Northern General Hospital,

0:34:370:34:40

where she is treated for what turns out to be relatively minor injuries.

0:34:400:34:44

She is later arrested and charged with drink driving.

0:34:440:34:49

Pilot Tim gets more than his fair share of difficult patients,

0:34:500:34:55

and today is no exception.

0:34:550:34:57

One car is down there and one car is here.

0:34:570:34:59

There's the one in the field.

0:34:590:35:01

On a country road,

0:35:020:35:04

firefighters are trying to free the victims of a two-car crash.

0:35:040:35:09

Helimed 98 has been called to take one of the patients.

0:35:090:35:13

It's two casualties - one's going to Worksop, one's going to Kingsmill.

0:35:140:35:19

Take your pick.

0:35:190:35:20

Injury's to his sternum...

0:35:200:35:22

A little bit of nausea on the top right side from the seatbelt area.

0:35:230:35:28

It's just been pandemonium.

0:35:280:35:30

Try to stay still.

0:35:300:35:32

Open your eyes, right. Tell me where you're hurting.

0:35:320:35:35

He's clearly in pain.

0:35:350:35:37

Or is he?

0:35:370:35:38

Paramedic Paul Bradbury has treated hundreds of people

0:35:390:35:42

injured in car smashes, but this time something is different.

0:35:420:35:46

What's hurting you?

0:35:460:35:47

Your lower back? Right. Anywhere else?

0:35:470:35:49

-MAN GROANS

-Your legs hurting?

0:35:490:35:51

Just say yes or no.

0:35:510:35:53

-Legs?

-GROANING CONTINUES

0:35:530:35:54

-No. Right. Chest?

-GROANING CONTINUES

0:35:540:35:57

-No.

-Put your legs flat, sunshine, OK.

0:35:570:35:59

His patient's cries don't follow the usual pattern.

0:35:590:36:03

Where's that hurting?

0:36:030:36:04

They can't find any injuries.

0:36:040:36:07

And he appears to be concealing something in his jeans.

0:36:070:36:10

I'll take that bag.

0:36:100:36:12

They can see part of a plastic bag.

0:36:120:36:15

What's that there? MAN GROANS

0:36:150:36:17

Listen, open your eyes for me. Have you taken anything?

0:36:170:36:20

HE GROANS Hey?

0:36:200:36:21

Honestly?

0:36:210:36:23

-GROANING INTENSIFIES

-The police are clearly curious, too.

0:36:230:36:27

Do you see where his hands are now?

0:36:270:36:29

-He's shoved them down the front of his trousers.

-HE GROANS

0:36:290:36:32

Does that hurt?

0:36:320:36:34

No.

0:36:340:36:35

Let's just feel down here. Move over to your side.

0:36:360:36:40

Despite their suspicions, the team must treat the man

0:36:400:36:43

as if he has a genuine injury. His car is certainly a mess.

0:36:430:36:46

Quite a horrific accident, caused by speed as well.

0:36:480:36:52

Have to go nice and high, guys. Right up.

0:36:520:36:55

But once he's loaded on board Helimed 98,

0:36:560:36:59

they decide to find out what's in his waistband.

0:36:590:37:02

It could have a bearing on his condition.

0:37:020:37:04

MAN GROANS

0:37:040:37:06

Sure enough, there's a bag of powder.

0:37:080:37:10

A few minutes ago, this was a routine car crash.

0:37:120:37:15

Now the police are taking a greater interest.

0:37:150:37:18

Drugs can make people behave just as unpredictably as booze.

0:37:180:37:23

The team is getting a police escort to hospital in Sheffield.

0:37:230:37:26

-We're going to have to take one of the coppers.

-Yeah.

0:37:260:37:29

If you want, we'll take one of you guys with us.

0:37:300:37:33

I'm just thinking if he kicks off...

0:37:330:37:35

We're taking a police officer with us because we don't want

0:37:350:37:38

the gentleman to kick off on their route to the hospital.

0:37:380:37:40

That's just for our safety just in case he does.

0:37:400:37:43

The gentleman has also got pinpoint pupils which obviously indicates some sort of drug-type overdose.

0:37:440:37:51

On arrival, the man was found to have minor injuries

0:37:540:37:57

and he was soon given a private room...

0:37:570:37:59

in the local nick where he was charged with possession of drugs.

0:37:590:38:04

I'm pleased to say all our patients are now on the mend,

0:38:070:38:10

although my former colleagues in the force may still have a few questions.

0:38:100:38:14

Now, being a flying paramedic is never easy

0:38:140:38:17

as the teams found out today.

0:38:170:38:19

High in Wharfedale, a major rescue operation is under way to rescue walker Tony Robinson who slipped

0:38:200:38:26

and fell 40 feet down a ravine, injuring his head.

0:38:260:38:30

Paramedic Darren Axe has called in the military,

0:38:310:38:34

a Sea King chopper with a winch on its way.

0:38:340:38:37

We've completely mobilised him, obviously, with assistance

0:38:370:38:40

from Cave Rescue and we're going to try and take him down that section

0:38:400:38:44

of waterfall, get him into some open ground

0:38:440:38:46

for when the RAF Search and Rescue team turn up from...

0:38:460:38:50

Leconfield, we think, to move him from where he is now.

0:38:500:38:53

One, two, three...

0:38:530:38:55

Lift!

0:38:550:38:57

Cave Rescue volunteers must now carry Tony down the stream

0:38:590:39:03

into which he fell.

0:39:030:39:04

It's a journey that's fraught with danger -

0:39:040:39:07

overhanging trees mean even the RAF can't winch him up from where he fell.

0:39:070:39:11

We got a call saying that the RAF were on their way as well

0:39:130:39:16

so we just had to bring him down this short section

0:39:160:39:19

and get him ready for the RAF.

0:39:190:39:21

The Sea King helicopter from RAF Leconfield,

0:39:220:39:25

70 miles away, weighs six tonnes and has a downwash to match.

0:39:250:39:29

But this is still far from routine.

0:39:310:39:34

Winds from the surrounding hills are buffeting the chopper.

0:39:340:39:37

Its pilots are having to hover in the 100 feet or so of clear air

0:39:370:39:42

below the clouds and above the unforgiving rocks

0:39:420:39:45

that almost killed Tony.

0:39:450:39:47

But thanks to the skill of the Sea King's crew,

0:39:470:39:51

Tony's finally on his way to the hospital treatment

0:39:510:39:53

he desperately needs.

0:39:530:39:56

This gentleman has fallen 20 feet plus down this steep embankment.

0:39:560:40:00

He's landed face down. He has sustained a head injury.

0:40:000:40:03

He's also complaining of a lot of pain in his right hip,

0:40:030:40:06

but he has had a previous hip replacement.

0:40:060:40:08

We managed to get to him and stabilise him somewhat.

0:40:090:40:12

He was extremely wet because he'd been in the water and probably been unconscious, but we're not sure.

0:40:120:40:18

If he was any higher in this valley, we might not have been able to get to him because as you can see,

0:40:190:40:24

the clouds are onto the tops of the fells

0:40:240:40:27

so we were fortunate.

0:40:270:40:29

Within 20 minutes, 64-year-old Tony is arriving at Harrogate Hospital.

0:40:300:40:34

He'd been determined to go on a walking holiday in the Dales,

0:40:340:40:38

staying in his brother's caravan. But he didn't expect it to end like this.

0:40:380:40:43

Because of the weather, we aborted the trip were were planning

0:40:430:40:46

and decided to walk down to the valley floor by the most direct route.

0:40:460:40:51

It was quite steep.

0:40:520:40:53

The bends were quite serious, but...

0:40:560:40:59

the underfoot conditions were safe.

0:40:590:41:01

Well, I thought they were safe until the point where they became distinctly unsafe for me.

0:41:030:41:08

At that point, apparently I went over a rock face

0:41:080:41:12

and apparently

0:41:120:41:14

went over the edge and into the water.

0:41:140:41:16

Tony's a Yorkshireman living in Cambridge.

0:41:170:41:20

He's an experienced walker who made a simple mistake.

0:41:200:41:24

I feel lucky. I feel stupid.

0:41:240:41:26

Over the year, we've warned children

0:41:290:41:32

to be very careful about where they put their feet.

0:41:320:41:34

And then, clumsy clot, I go and do exactly what they're not supposed to do.

0:41:340:41:38

So I feel...lucky there.

0:41:390:41:42

Stupid though!

0:41:430:41:44

But also...

0:41:440:41:45

immensely fortunate...

0:41:460:41:48

..that Terry...

0:41:500:41:51

..and the other people who were involved were so prompt

0:41:520:41:56

with their actions.

0:41:560:41:57

They're skilled at what they do.

0:41:580:42:00

When Helicopter Heroes comes back...

0:42:020:42:05

a truck overturns and its driver may be paralysed.

0:42:050:42:09

Certainly some pelvis injury, I'm sure.

0:42:090:42:11

Down in the woods, there's a difficult rescue for the team.

0:42:110:42:14

-We're going to need assistance from the fire service.

-Paramedic Glen finds the patient's a neighbour.

0:42:140:42:20

-I didn't know you mountain-biked!

-Yeah!

-And pilot Chris

0:42:200:42:22

battles appalling weather to reach his patient.

0:42:220:42:26

This is getting a big dodgy. Yeah.

0:42:260:42:28

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:42:430:42:46

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0:42:460:42:49

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