Documentary series focusing on the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. A family day out ends in a car smash, and two mothers become amateur medics to treat four injured children.
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If you're seriously ill
or critically injured, every second counts, especially if you're up high or off the beaten track.
But thanks to these guys, the people of the UK's biggest county are never more
than 10 minutes away from a hospital. The Yorkshire Air Ambulance can do 150mph
and every day brings a new life or death emergency.
Five million people depend on these yellow helicopters to bring lifesaving care from the skies.
When a multiple pile-up closes Britain's highest motorway,
or there's a shop-floor accident,
the paramedics and pilots of the Helimed team are there to rescue the casualties.
Today on Helicopter Heroes:
a family day out ends in a car crash and a passing mum turns medic.
They asked if we had a First Aid kit.
A man loses his fingers in a factory accident. Can Paramedic Sammy save them?
You do get a lot of pain,
so I'm drawing up a second dose.
A cyclist is badly injured.
Just going to pop you off to sleep then off to hospital.
And the swimmer who didn't look before he leapt.
It takes three years of hard study to qualify as a paramedic,
seven to become a doctor and more than 10 to build up the experience needed to be an Air Ambulance pilot.
It's a lot of expensive expertise,
but the results can be priceless.
The steep hill that takes holiday traffic nearly 900 feet up Sutton Bank in North Yorkshire
is among the UK's most accident-prone A roads.
It's blocked twice a week on average, often by drivers underestimating its 1 in 4 incline.
And today it's closed again.
Helimed 99 was refuelling at an airfield just five miles away
when the 999 call came in.
This is Helimed 99.
Making our way to Sutton Bank. We'll be there very shortly.
The accident's just two minutes away.
We don't know what's involved yet. We'll be on the scene pretty quick.
There's your visual, yeah.
Pilot Chris Atrill has spotted a mansion with a large garden set into the hillside.
The front lawn's about to become a helipad.
Got a visual of that, mate. Close to the house.
-I'll put you on the corner of the lawn.
-OK, just watch the tail, Chris. Have a look, mate.
-That's all right.
-Just watch. A bit to the left.
The smash has happened halfway up the hill.
A family hatchback has been in a collision with a tractor.
The car was carrying a family of five to a day out at an amusement park.
Three children are injured. Helimed 99 are the first medics on scene, but they already have help.
We need a couple of vehicles. Get two vehicles coming.
Mum-of-two Sarah Quinn was returning home after a camping break
when she came across the accident.
She's having trouble with her stomach.
Sarah's been cradling five-year-old Samia in her arms.
I think it's hurting inside. This gentleman's going to help you.
-There's no one else? Just the children?
-These two people,
two adults, four children... We pulled up after the crash.
Hello. I'm Simon.
Where does it hurt?
Oh, there. Oh, dear.
Samia's complaining that her tummy hurts. Children are particularly at risk from internal injuries.
It's sore here? Are you OK?
Take a big breath like you're blowing a balloon up.
Oh, good girl. Well done.
I'm not going to hurt. I just want a quick tickle of your tummy. OK?
Sutton Bank is wet and slippery today. The weather's been a factor in the accident.
We saw the tractor come round the bend, but we lost it, then it was seconds.
We just jumped out and got the kids out of the car
and just wrapped them up, just to keep them calm, really.
We were about five cars behind and just saw the queue of traffic.
Somebody asked if we had a First Aid kit, so I went down.
The children were bleeding, so I took hold of Samia and just cuddled her, really,
talked to her, kept her off the wet floor. Horrible.
The little girl's mum and dad are shocked and hurt themselves
and have been caring for Samia's two sisters and their nephew.
Chest is hurting, abdo's all right, pelvis is fine,
good movement of limbs.
Flying doctor Simon Ward fears Samia nay have a serious internal injury.
Look what I've got here. Can I listen to your breakfast?
OK? It doesn't hurt.
OK? You're ever so good. It's a bit cold.
Big breath like a balloon. Good girl. And another one.
Excellent. Now let's listen for that breakfast.
The team must be sure to prioritise the most serious patients.
-We need another board, a collar.
-Yep, for this one?
-Yeah, she's pale. Spleen's gone.
-I think so.
-They badly need extra help.
-I wanted to get a board and collar.
-Coming up: they get reinforcements as the first child heads to hospital.
-The most serious patient.
-A cyclist suffers serious head injuries.
-It's a case of getting him to definitive care now at Leeds.
And a man seriously injured cooling off in the heatwave.
There's a skin flap to his head and C-spine pain.
For the Ambulance Service, time is critical and, in some cases,
the speed these guys react can make the difference between a lifetime of disability and a good recovery.
Emergencies don't come much more urgent than today's.
There's been a 999 call about an industrial accident at a factory near Pontefract.
A gentleman apparently cut three of his fingers off.
We'll see when we get there.
We're hoping to take this patient to Leeds General Infirmary.
-If they're not able to accept him, Pinderfields is nearest.
With modern surgical techniques, fingers can be reattached, but it's got to be done quickly.
ETA 10 minutes.
Pilot Chris Atrill grew up in Australia where they had a robust attitude to accidents.
-Somebody did that at school on the old metal lathe...
The chopper's touching down in a delivery yard.
Clear of the posts at the rear.
Stay right, rear.
-Good. Thank you very much.
-Good to go.
Patient Chris Hewitt is already being treated by a ground ambulance.
Hello, chaps. How are we doing?
This is Chris Hewitt, 40-year-old gentleman. He trapped his fingers.
Those three have gone. One's hanging on, we've got two on some ice.
-He's had some Tramadol.
-Let's show t'dog to t'rabbit.
-Don't you look, sweetie.
This gentleman, it looks like he has amputated some fingers.
He's got quite a lot of pain. We're just cleaning him up
and getting better pain relief. And then we'll take him.
The time it takes to get him and his severed fingers to hospital is critical.
Two have been cut clean off and his little finger is barely attached.
-He's in pain and the first priority is to ease it.
-Just confirm with me, morphine sulphate.
-In date, Feb '12.
-Yeah, that's right.
Just going to give you some nice strong medicine now.
That is morphine, 10mil.
Chris is remarkably calm and worried about his watch!
-Your watch is going to have to come off, kid.
-That's my favourite!
-Is it your favourite?
-It's not your Rolex, though.
-Not a Rolex?
James is alerting the micro-surgery team at Leeds General Infirmary.
Their experts at treating injuries like this.
He's a 40-year-old, stable and we'll be with you in approximately...
15 minutes. ..Have we got the fingers to hand?
Yes, in there.
-They're in a bag, are they?
Originally, they were just in a bag. I've put them in them.
-Yeah, they are.
Fingers and hands, there's so many nerve endings, you get lots of pain,
so I'm drawing up a second dose should we need it in flight.
We are only going to be minutes to loading him, but it's just belt and braces.
Left hand, three fingers.
I'm left-handed an' all.
The advantage of going to Leeds is there's specialist surgeons there.
What we want them to do is we've got the option of reattaching them
because it's happening so quick.
40-year-old Chris's workmates haven't panicked - they collected up his fingers,
-wrapped them in plastic and put them in ice.
-The little finger's hanging on.
But the bone's all stuck out and everything.
That's great. Thank you very much.
-The patient won't want to see that.
-They've done a great job,
but Sammy's worried they're too cold. Ice burns are a problem. They can kill healthy tissue.
This is the gentleman's finger. I'll get rid of half of the ice.
Then it won't fall out. At the moment, technically, it could receive an ice burn.
-Been in a helicopter before?
-It gets really noisy.
Chris is in shock, but time is ticking by. James knows every lost minute reduces the chances
of a successful graft.
Coming up: can doctors reattach Chris's severed fingers? He'll know in the next hour.
Help arrives as the team are overwhelmed by the number of patients from a car crash.
And the swimmer who didn't look before he leapt.
Helimed crews are all volunteers.
Paramedics are paid by the NHS, but some of the flying doctors actually give their time for free.
Two wheels may be the greenest way to get around on the roads,
but it's also among the most dangerous and Helimed 99 is going to an accident all paramedics dread.
Car versus cyclist.
If the person is unconscious, it's generally a head injury.
25-year-old Ben Walker was thrown from his bike and landed on his head. He looks like he may have
a serious head injury, despite his helmet.
On the crew today is Dr Jez Pinnell, a hospital anaesthetist. His skills are badly needed.
He's been unconscious since he came off the bike. He went straight over the handlebars.
He's reacting a bit more now to pain. He's quite agitated.
Ben is refusing to co-operate with his rescuers. It's behaviour that is completely out of character.
-The patient was out for a spin on his new bike.
He was wearing all the right gear and that probably saved his life.
His helmet shows the force of the impact.
The guy was really agitated. He's sustained nasty head injuries.
Pupils equal and reactive at 5.
-Has he spoke to you at all?
Open your eyes, mate. Ben, stick your tongue out for me.
I need to know you can hear me. Stick your tongue out if you can.
The ground paramedics were with Ben within minutes of his fall on a quiet road outside Sheffield.
They began the battle to stabilise his condition.
Now it's up to the Helimed team to get him to hospital.
-Right. We would put him off to sleep...
Ben's showing all the signs of a brain injury. Patients with injuries like his can get agitated
and difficult to control. In the air, that's dangerous.
Straighten this arm out for me, Ben.
That's it, Ben.
Dr Jez faces anaesthetising his patient where he lies.
Just drawing up something to sedate him. He's quite agitated.
We can't get him out of that position to lie him flat.
We need him flat to pop him off to sleep, so we'll give him something to numb him up a bit
to get him in position to anaesthetise him.
-You're absolutely fine.
-We need to take over his respiration.
We get the lung so we do it instead of the patient.
Once Jez has anaesthetised him, all respiratory effort will stop.
We have to breathe for him.
Now under sedation, Ben's about to be anaesthetised.
He won't wake up until hospital doctors are satisfied his brain isn't damaged or has recovered.
And that could be days or weeks.
We're just going to pop you off to sleep and get you to hospital. OK?
This is a procedure Dr Jez performs daily in hospital, but this is a long way from an operating theatre.
Luckily, Paramedics Glen and Tony are trained to assist.
Can you check his pupils?
Just get this thing off his head.
A breathing tube must be carefully slipped down Ben's windpipe.
It's a delicate operation.
There's quite a lot of blood in his airways.
But they've done it.
'It went quite smoothly for the side of a road.'
Patient's now sedated. We can maintain an airway.
The accident's happened a few miles from Sheffield's Northern General Hospital and its Trauma Unit,
but sometimes the Helimed team bypass local hospitals to deliver patients to a specialist unit.
Ben will instead be flown 40 miles to Leeds General Infirmary and its state-of-the-art neurological ward.
It's a case of getting definitive care now at Leeds, which is where the Neuro ICU unit is.
Ultimately, that's the place he needs to be to have a look at his head.
The decision's a medical one, but it's unlikely to upset pilot Steve.
The LGI has a rooftop helipad. The Northern General's landing site, like many more in Yorkshire,
requires a tricky landing in the middle of trees and a bumpy land ambulance ride for the patient.
The worry with patients like this is bleeding in the brain. That can be taken out by an operation.
The quicker you get that done, the better. Not having to have a secondary transfer from hospital
is a really good thing.
Ben's now minutes away from specialist care, but brain injuries are hard to diagnose
and only time will reveal the seriousness of his condition.
It's six months since the accident that nearly killed him
and Ben meets Paramedic Tony Wilkes, one of the team who saved his life.
My first real memories are really vague.
I remember phoning people up and then forgetting.
It took a long time for friends, family and doctors to convince me
that anything was wrong with me.
I didn't see any cuts or bruises.
It had been a long time. I didn't know what was going on.
It was only when I couldn't walk I realised I wasn't doing so well.
Your reduced levels of consciousness suggested that you had a bad head injury.
There's a big debate about whether cycle helmets are worth it.
I've been to so many where they've saved people.
I've been lucky. I haven't needed a great deal of treatment.
I've got a problem with my neck and back, but they operated on my face after the accident
and for a couple of months I did a lot of work with psychologists
and speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, et cetera.
Medically, I was sort of declared brain dead at the scene of the accident.
I believe people were phoned and told it was hit and miss whether I would make it.
I think having the right team with the skills to do what they did,
probably means I lasted longer than perhaps they thought I would and managed to make a recovery.
Coming up: surgeons operate on a man who lost his fingers.
Can you talk to me?
And a teenager is struck dumb after a bizarre canoeing accident.
Now let's return to the scene of that serious accident on a steep hill in North Yorkshire.
On the edge of the North York moors,
the crew of Helimed 99 are caring for the casualties of a serious accident. A family of five
have been badly injured in a crash with a tractor.
She's injured her abdomen.
I'm going to get her flat on the board, get some oxygen on, pain relief and off to hospital.
Now ground crews are arriving.
Paramedic Pete Shaw is based 20 miles away, but he was just down the road when the 999 call came in.
-Now he's joining the rescue operation.
-This car here.
There's been side impact.
All passengers were restrained, but not in paediatric seats.
-The little girl looks like she has a spleen injury.
Lee's just assessing the other kids. They seem fine.
Dad's there and a little girl. They all seem fine.
Five-year-old Samia Udin is the most serious casualty.
Into the bed now. Oh, you're doing ever so well. We'll get a blanket to keep you warm.
I've got air. It's a special necklace that goes right round.
Holidaymaker Sarah Quinn has been looking after her.
She's not really answered.
Paramedic Pete is helping Lee care for six-year-old Sanjida.
They're worried about this deep cut to her head.
Samia's dad Nizar was driving the family's car.
I've had a good look at her and she's obviously wide awake...
Little Tia, who's just two, is also hurt.
-When she's had the seatbelt on, it's just bruised her tummy, so we'll take her to hospital.
Because I want her to be seen by the doctors there quickly.
-He's absolutely fine. He's just getting a check-over and giving all the details.
Sanjida and Samia are now ready for a flight to hospital.
It's time for Sarah to say goodbye to Samia.
Her mum is now sheltering her from the rain, although she herself is hurt.
We've got a second helicopter coming. It's just a case of landing sites at the moment.
We're keeping ours. Ours is the most serious patient, so we want quick access once she's stabilised.
The other helicopter will have to land a bit further down the road.
The Great North Air Ambulance has been called in to fly Sanjida.
Doctors at the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough are already on standby to examine both girls.
Coming up, doctors assess Samia's condition
and her rescuer waits for news.
As a mother, it hit me how awful it was and how scared they were. She was absolutely petrified.
And in the heatwave, a swim ends in agony.
He came back up and had blood all over his face.
Imagine losing your fingers!
It's the nightmare faced by one man after an accident at work
and he's just about to find out if the doctors can graft them back on.
Factory worker Chris Hewitt has severed three fingers while using an industrial saw.
His little finger is only just attached to his hand
and his ring and middle fingers have been cut clean off.
What we've got at the moment is that little finger just in between your knuckle and your finger.
That was a partial amputation and these two are just here.
The fingers that have come off look in good nick.
This is where Helimed 98 comes into its own. Chris is minutes from surgery.
But James is still pumping him for information. The smallest details can help the surgeons.
-Is it like a saw or a circular, spinning...?
-A circular saw.
-I thought it had gone back and I went to pull one forward.
My hand's gone into the blade.
The saw that removed his fingers made a clean cut. That's good.
But the accident happened on a factory floor. Infection is a real risk and that's bad.
There's going to be a lot of people here who are wanting to have a look at you. Just try and be patient.
Six floors below the Leeds General Infirmary helipad,
an operating theatre is already being prepared for Chris.
Microsurgeons can now re-connect severed nerves and tiny blood vessels,
but it's more art than science.
You're just going in to see the doctors now.
The team don't know whether Chris has seen the last of his fingers.
Nice and steady, pal. Just swing your legs across first. That's it.
This is Christopher, 40-year-old male, been on a cross-cutter like a circular saw that cuts wood.
He got his hand in between it.
He's got a full amputation proximal to his IPJ on his ring and middle finger
and partial amputation on his little finger.
Fingers have both been on ice since amputation.
Within an hour of his arrival, Chris was being operated on.
Surgeons devised a complex repair using what was left of his fingers and skin taken from his arm.
And three days later, he's out of danger.
If they hadn't got me here as fast as they did and my fingers,
they probably wouldn't have got them back on.
My middle finger and my ring finger were severed fully off.
I damaged that one there.
So they had to do skin grafts, nerve and vein graft,
on them two, I think.
I got a skin graft off my arm and off the top of my leg and veins and nerves out of my feet.
It could take up to 12 months to get my feeling back, but I'll never have full movement on it.
I'll never be able to make a fist like that. She said I'll be able to do that at most, but not that,
which I'm happy with. As long as my fingers are there.
I'd sooner have fingers there than none at all.
But it'll get there eventually. I'll just keep persevering with it.
Chris still remembers the moment he realised he'd lost his fingers.
I felt the pain, so I knew I'd done some damage.
So I've cut my hand, my left hand,
and I shouted to my friend.
Then I looked and I saw my finger on t'bench.
I just said, "Get my finger and make sure it goes on some ice."
It's still touch and go for Chris.
Re-attachment can fail.
But three weeks after the accident,
he's back at the LGI to have his hand examined by the doctors who saved it.
-How are things going?
The fingers that Christopher brought in were in good condition.
The little finger was still attached on,
so we could fix that on with a wire.
The middle and ring fingers had good bone structure.
And he had good blood vessels and tendons,
so it was possible to put them back on and we were lucky that worked.
Sometimes it stings a little bit, but it's not something I can't cope with.
I've not had really any pain from it at all, from doing it.
The downside is that some of his knuckles have been fused,
so he'll lose a bit of movement with that.
Unfortunately, he had cut them off through the joint,
so we couldn't save the joint surface there.
But he's done really well so far and it'll be over to rehabilitation
with the physiotherapist and the occupational therapist to try and get as much movement as possible.
Coming up, hospital doctors start work on the family whose day out ended in a terrible accident.
Heat can take its toll on the fittest person if you fail to take sensible precautions
like drinking plenty of water and seeking shelter from the sun.
But those things are often easier said than done.
It's the beginning of the holiday season
and thousands of tourists head for the sun from Leeds Bradford Airport.
If they had known how hot it would be at home, they might have not bothered booking.
It's approaching 30 degrees Celsius and across the runway, the Helimed team is feeling the heat too.
'Police are advising the patient has a serious back injury and is also complaining of chest pain.'
At least Helimed 99 is heading for the beach today.
A policeman riding a quad bike has been badly hurt in an accident
in the dunes at Formby beach in Lancashire.
Quad bikers can tend to come off
because they tip their bikes over backwards,
so they go up a hill that's too steep, lean back and pull the bike over on top of them.
Helimed 99 to Coastguard Rescue Team. Are you receiving? Over.
'This is the Coastguard down on the beach. If you'd like to spin your way round
'and make your way north along the front of the beach, our units are on the beach.
'There is two vehicles and a quad headed in your direction. Over.'
These sands are very popular in hot weather
and the cop was being trained to carry out summer patrols on the sand when the accident happened.
His colleagues fear he's broken his back.
The west coast has some of the UK's fastest rising tides,
so pilot Andy's not shutting down the engines just in case.
We have four quad bikes and a Land Rover to patrol the beach to reassure the public.
Unfortunately, one of our officers has gone over the handlebars of his quad bike. I just hope he's OK.
So while Al and Tony are working out how to treat their patient,
Andy must keep a weather eye on the tide and the other on his instrument panel.
We've got a male with a probable spinal injury. I'll get back with some specific details shortly.
But we'll take this patient to Southport Hospital which has got a spinal unit.
Luckily, the injured cop has been well cared for by local paramedics,
so he'll soon be ready for his flight.
Doctors are already preparing to scan his spine.
Whatever the outcome of those tests, he's unlikely to be patrolling the sands this summer.
When the heat is on, it's tempting to cool off in water.
But beware, that has its dangers too.
The people of Yorkshire are choosing ever more unusual places to cool off.
Now Helimed 98 is on the way to a nature reserve where there's been a nasty accident.
One of the jobs suggested this morning was that we'd be going
to one of the inland waterways
for an incident with people trying to cool off in this very nice weather.
Flying doctor Ben Wyatt's skills could be badly needed.
With any head injury, you have to suspect a spine injury.
It's called the mechanism of injury
and it's not uncommon with these diving incidents,
so with the recovery, we have to be careful.
Ground paramedics fear 24-year-old Brett Roberts has broken his neck.
They called in the chopper because moving him by road across uneven ground could worsen the injury.
Keep nice and still for us, mate.
Brett dived into a pool that's much more shallow than it looks.
People here have said he's had about half a can of alcohol.
He dived straight in and hit his head. He's got a 10, 15 centimetre laceration.
We've only just come down. He just jumped over t'fence.
He jumped in, then came back up and had blood all over his face.
Then he managed to swim out
and we just all got to him.
Then we just phoned you straight away.
Fairburn Ings is a legacy of the local mining industry.
Now it's a bird reserve, but dozens of local people have come here to cool off.
-So he jumped maybe two metres into the water?
-Well, it used to be deep.
Ready, steady, roll.
We all went to the corner and got him out, then we just rang you up to come and pick him up.
We didn't know what else to do. We just laid him down and applied pressure to his cut.
His symptoms are worrying. Tingling or numbness can be signs of spinal damage.
-Wiggle your feet for me.
-The Helimed team isn't taking any chances.
Brett will be flown direct to a spinal unit for X-rays and a scan.
He's got quite a large scalp laceration.
But that doesn't... That shouldn't be life-threatening.
We're just more concerned about his cervical spine at this stage.
He's had some tingling sensations in one hand, so we take all precautions until it's proved otherwise.
Paramedic Glen likes to keep his bedside manner cheerful,
even when the injuries could be very serious.
I'll shine a little torch in. Just keep looking at me. I know I'm ugly.
You don't have to agree so readily!
But paramedic Pete is spelling out symptoms that will ring alarm bells in A&E.
He's complaining of C-spine pain
and complaining of some sensory deficit in both arms.
He's reacting to stimulation, but he says both arms feel heavy.
In less than five minutes, their patient will be in expert hands.
Pinderfields Hospital at Wakefield has its own spinal unit.
Your neck's really hurting? It won't help being on that board, but we'll get you straight in.
-Can you still wiggle those feet for me? OK. Can you touch both your hands together?
-Can you feel yourself doing that?
-Have you got any pins and needles anywhere?
-In my arms a little bit.
-A little bit in your arms?
The team knows one careless moment could alter Brett's life for ever.
The next 24 hours will reveal the truth, but he's lucky.
Apart from a very nasty cut to his head, his neck is just bruised.
With the right precautions, water sports are a great way to cool off.
And the heatwave has come at just the right time for the lucky schools enjoying adventure training
at the Rother Valley Country Park near Sheffield.
But there's one teenager wishing he'd never got into a canoe today
and paramedic Kate Drye is on her way to meet him.
We've just had a call to go to Rother Valley Country Park,
which is really near where we're based in Sheffield, for a canoeist
who has come out of his canoe and may be unconscious.
-It's where the water is?
-That's the one, yeah.
16-year-old Joel Hassan was knocked out when his canoe flipped up and hit him on the head.
Can I see a spinal board on that motor boat, Kate?
-Yeah, it looks like it, doesn't it?
Do you want to stick it somewhere down there, Andy, and we'll ask?
It's going to be down there somewhere. It's whether he's in the water or not.
Teachers saw the bizarre accident happen.
What he's done is he's capsized out of his canoe, banged his head.
-He's been unconscious for about two minutes.
-Is he still unconscious?
-Not now, no.
He's conscious. He's responding to me talking to him...
Joel was lucky his accident was seen. He was on deep water when it happened.
He was in the water floating about. We said, "Are you all right?" He said, "Yeah, I'm OK."
He went quiet and that's not like Joel, so we knew something was wrong.
You were out paddling and you were paddling along with your friend.
-He slipped. It would seem he hit his head on the boat, rather than the paddle.
-He hit his head on the boat.
-So he's not been under the water at all at any time?
But he did go out cold for maybe about a minute and a half.
But Kate's worried about Joel's unwillingness to communicate.
It's out of character and an unusual symptom.
Joel, can you talk to me? Do you know whereabouts you are?
Can you remember anything that's happened?
-Joel, don't nod your head. Try and say yes or no.
Try and keep it nice and still. Can you tell me where you are? Can you speak to me?
Give it a go? What's your date of birth?
Can you tell me how old you are?
Joel is still not talking.
-Has he spoken to you since...?
Before all this happened, is he normally quite compos mentis?
Yes. You're one of my brightest students, aren't you? On a good day!
Keep your head still for us, Joel. Have you got any pain anywhere?
But at last, Kate gets an answer.
Have you got any pain in your chest or your tummy?
Can you tell me where it's hurting?
-In my head.
-In your head?
Can you just give Sheffield Children's a ring and see if they're happy to take a 16-year-old?
Helimed 98 took less than three minutes to respond to the 999 call from instructors at the park.
The speed of the team's response surprised everyone.
We were just getting over to the side and we heard the helicopter.
And you're thinking, "That can't be the helicopter yet." And it turned out it was.
Yeah, it's very speedy.
Less than 20 minutes after his accident, Joel is being examined by doctors.
They'll diagnose concussion and little more.
It was his first time canoeing, but he's keen to try it again.
And a few weeks later, Joel is back at Rother Valley,
recovered from the concussion that followed his accident, this time staying upright.
He has few memories of the half hour following the blow to his head.
I went to turn and I just tipped over in the canoe.
Cos I landed feet first, my head was still up
and the canoe just landed on top of me.
I don't remember anything else,
apart from waking up in the helicopter.
I'm grateful for everyone that was here
and that gave it the time to help me and the helicopter people that came.
I'm just glad that it all went the way it did cos it could have been a lot worse.
I'm pleased to tell you all our patients have recovered from the heatwave.
Now let's catch up on the family caught up in a serious road accident on a day out.
On a steep hill near the market town of Thirsk,
the flying paramedics are preparing to take off with the young victim of a serious car crash.
Holidaymaker Sarah Quinn has been looking after five-year-old Samia. Now she's on her way to hospital.
The Great North Air Ambulance will take her six-year-old sister Sanjida to the same unit.
You're doing ever so well. I know it's very noisy. That's the other helicopter for your sister, OK?
Mum's just coming in a minute, OK?
Pilot Chris landed in a back garden of a house just off the busy A170.
No-one was in.
The dents three tonnes of chopper have left in the lawn may cause some confusion when they get home.
We think she's got an abdominal injury.
Her tummy's been injured by the seatbelt, but she's stable.
She's had strong pain relief and she seems much more settled.
Samia could be very badly hurt. She's told flying doctor Simon Ward that her tummy's hurting.
He fears she could have internal injuries.
We're just getting her to one of the trauma centres as soon as possible,
so that she can be further evaluated.
The James Cook Hospital is home to one of the north's best trauma units.
In a few minutes, Samia will be undergoing tests and scans on her tummy.
Normally, we'd land on the helipad.
This time we've landed on the grass to make way for the other helicopter.
We've left them on the scene with the second patient.
They'll be able to land on the helipad. They're a wheeled aircraft
and we've got skids, so it just allows us a bit more flexibility.
Her six-year-old sister Sanjida is just minutes behind her.
Despite the huge forces involved in the crash, there's a happy ending.
Neither sister has more than cuts and bruises.
And the family is soon reunited to the relief of holidaymaker Sarah Quinn
whose reassuring presence helped all the victims in the first minutes after the crash.
It was quite a shocking scene to see and they were so upset and all covered in blood.
It was really, really horrible.
The child that I went to was a very similar age to my son who's five.
It was just harrowing to see how upset she was.
As a mother, it just really hit me how awful it was and how scared they were.
She was absolutely petrified.
Her eyes kept lolling back in her head and I was really worried that something was seriously wrong.
I was just holding this tiny child and she just seemed so fragile
and so in pain and she was crying, she was hurting.
It was just...just awful.
The accident has left Sarah with traumatic memories of the crash
on one of Yorkshire's busiest holiday routes.
Our friends have invited us to go to the east coast in a couple of months.
We're going to go, but we're going to take a different route. There's no way I'll go on Sutton Bank again.
And Samia's family say they'll never forget the stranger who cared for their little girl.
That's all from me for this series. I'll be back next year with more stories of real-life rescues,
carried out by Yorkshire's Helicopter Heroes. Thanks for watching.
Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2010
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Documentary series focusing on the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. A family day out ends in a serious car smash, and two mothers become amateur medics to treat four injured children.