Episode 4 Helicopter Heroes


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Episode 4

Series following the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. The team fight to save a farm worker's leg after an accident with a combine harvester.


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Transcript


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If you're seriously ill,

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or critically injured, 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, 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 150 miles an hour,

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

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Five million people depend on these yellow helicopters to bring 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 are there to rescue the casualties.

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Today on Helicopter Heroes...

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the team battle to save a farm-worker's badly injured leg...

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Good man. Take some nice deep breaths. Don't worry.

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..Paramedic Sammy's in a tight spot with a patient who's rolled his hatchback...

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-Which wrist is it that's hurting most, this one?

-Yes.

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..An adventurous teenager tumbles out of a tree...

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Nothing to say there is...

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..And there's a major operation to save a tombstoner who's plunged from a waterfall.

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Farming sounds like a great way to make a living -

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plenty of fresh air and beautiful countryside to enjoy,

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but a lot of the machinery you work with can be lethal,

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as one farmhand found out during the harvest in North Yorkshire.

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RADIO: 'I've got someone. It looks like he might have amputated his foot,

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'or part of his leg, I'm not sure, with a combine harvester.'

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Helimed 99's just delivered a patient to hospital, now there's an even more urgent case.

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'If you could mobilise on this as soon as you can, Tone.'

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Luckily, they're just 10 minutes from the remote farm where the accident has happened.

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But paramedics Tony Wilkes and Lee Gray know there's a problem -

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999 callers are rarely able to give a grid reference,

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especially when the accident's happened in a farmer's field.

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-This is an area grid, so we're looking for...

-'A combine harvester, basically, yeah.'

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The crew have to rely on their eyesight.

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Is that machinery near that bale... bales of hay at two o'clock?

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Luckily, Lee's sharp eye has spotted the incident.

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'Yeah, bike on your right has confirmed.'

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A motorbike medic has already reached the scene.

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23-year-old tractor driver Jason Winspear was harvesting maize

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when he was involved in an accident with a combine.

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-You're not allergic to any medicines at all?

-No.

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Good man. We're just going to start giving you some pain relief, all right?

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-What do we call you? What's your name?

-Jason.

-Jason. Good lad, Jason.

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-Good lad, Jase.

-All right, pal. We'll look after you, pal.

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Can we have long leg splints, orange ones, please?

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The razor-sharp scissors that slice through the thick stalks of the crop

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have all but severed Jason's lower leg. He's in a bad way.

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If workmates hadn't used a piece of rope as a makeshift tourniquet, he could have already bled to death.

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All right? Take some nice deep breaths. We're just going to be round your leg. Don't worry.

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The main priority is to control Jason's pain. Lee and Tony have their work cut out.

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Again, just try and bear with it, matey.

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Luckily, even more expert help is arriving.

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From what we can make out, it's probably just a bit of skin just holding.

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Flying doctor Rob Anderson can see immediately Jason's leg will have to be fully amputated.

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Yeah, well, obviously we can't cut the skin off.

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That's what I'd do in this... I've done it before a few times.

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What they can't do is tell Jason. It could make his condition worse.

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-Agh! The pain!

-I know, mate.

-Agh!

-I know, pal.

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Jason, just let me know if the pain gets a lot worse, all right?

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-Oh, don't let it get worse.

-Just having a look at this leg, OK?

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Coming up - can the team save Jason's leg?

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Doctors make a decision that could change his life.

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There's a consultant who's interested in re-implanting limbs,

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who works here, who going to come and have a look.

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A teenager's broken both wrists after plunging 20 feet from a tree.

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Pete's just given him some morphine.

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Anything, just so I can tie him to me.

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And paramedic Tony pulls off a rope trick as he tries to rescue an elderly tourist.

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When a patient needs help, paramedics often need to put their own safety second,

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but there's no substitute for a reassuring voice when you're injured and trapped.

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There's been a head-on crash on a country road near Worksop.

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Helimed 98 has been scrambled from its Sheffield base.

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We're en route to reports

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of a car that's overturned and we believe the patient's trapped.

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-Quite a lot of cloud about.

-Yeah.

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The heavy mist is making it hard to find the crash scene.

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-I think it's down here.

-I've got visibility with the incident.

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-Oh, nice one.

-That's really muddy.

-Very muddy.

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-Don't just blow the car back over, will you, mate?

-No.

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-Let's try and get a skid on the grass.

-OK.

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The responder's not with that car that's upturned, he's with the other one.

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Two cars have collided.

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One of the drivers has walked away, the other is still trapped into his seat and can't get out.

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Morning.

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-Hello. We've got this chap here.

-Yeah.

-He's not trapped, he's free.

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-Yeah.

-We've got some head injuries on that one there that was laid on his side.

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-How happy are we about this car - it's not about to go any further, is it?

-This gentleman's a firefighter.

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-Pleased to meet you. Thank you very much.

-So everybody's on the way with it.

-Brilliant.

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-Okey-dokey.

-OK?

-Yeah.

-Lovely.

-At the moment, you're just balanced, aren't you? How are you feeling?

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-I've got a bit of pain in my arm.

-A bit of pain in your arm? OK. Are you normally fit and well?

-Very.

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Yeah, no medication or anything?

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Once we're in, I'm going to shift the weight of the whole car

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and I don't want it to carry on toppling over,

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so whilst he's talking to us and we know that he's stable,

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we'll just wait a couple of minutes till they're secure.

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28-year-old Wayne Glasby is precariously suspended from his seatbelt

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and it's cutting into his stomach and shoulder.

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Firemen are making the vehicle safe,

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so paramedic Sammy Wills can crawl in and take a closer look at Wayne's injuries.

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-Wayne, the lady behind you is going to move the headrest, OK?

-Yeah.

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SIREN WAILS I'm going to pass out a bit more of that broken glass,

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so I can kneel down.

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The broken glass isn't from the car windows.

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-What did you have in it - a fruit bowl?

-My mum's trifle bowl. She'll kill me.

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-Your mum's what, trifle bowl?

-Yeah.

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-Is that her job this Christmas?

-She'll have you back, don't worry!

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We stabilised the vehicle and now we've allowed the paramedic to go in there

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to assess the casualty.

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We've now made access into the vehicle to assist and hold the casualty in position.

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We're hoping to fold the roof down and assist the casualty out that way.

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The combined weight of two cars is around two-and-a-half tonnes.

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This is what happens when they crash head on.

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-Have I broken it?

-Yeah, I think you have, mate.

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-Is it in the palm of your hand?

-Oh-h!

-OK, mate. Well done.

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Right, once they've got rid of the windscreen, someone will come in this side and support both your shoulders

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and we'll cut that seatbelt off.

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CUTTING MACHINERY WHIRRS

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I'd like to put a little needle in this one, if that's OK with you.

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-I don't like needles.

-You don't like needles?

-I'm a butcher by trade...

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If Wayne's broken his wrist, he won't be wielding his butcher's knife for quite a while.

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-I pulled my shoulder blade lifting a side of beef yesterday.

-Open and close that arm again.

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That's it.

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But the paramedics are worried he may have more serious spinal injuries,

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which won't come to light until he's out of the car.

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Sammy, I can't get in there at the moment.

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-How tight is that on your neck?

-Killing me.

-It's really tight.

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Wayne is incredibly uncomfortable, but if they cut the seatbelt too soon,

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he'll fall on his head.

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The powerful jaws of the hydraulic cutters are carving out an escape route -

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that's the end of Wayne's nice car.

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We're going to slowly release your weight and try and support you best I can.

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He's going to go face down and then we'll roll him out there.

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Lay against that board, mate. You're all right there.

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Just go with it. Lay it down flat. Fingers. Just go with it.

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And he's free at last, but the paramedics aren't taking any chances.

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They need to keep him as still as possible, so they bring him out face down.

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Going to have a quick look. What am I doing?

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Before turning him over, paramedic Glen checks to see if Wayne has damaged his back.

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It appears he's had a very lucky escape.

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-Straighten it for me.

-Oh, my arm!

-Stay still.

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Wayne is about to come face to face with his rescuers for the first time.

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Pleased to meet you anyway. I can actually see you face-to-face now.

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-How are you feeling now?

-I'm fine. It's just my wrist that's hurting.

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Yeah, you might have got away... Ooops, sorry. ..With that.

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Ready, steady, lift. OK.

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Is it your own business, mate?

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-I've got a new shop opening Monday an' all.

-Oh, dear.

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Wayne's still worried about his butcher's business.

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He's due to open a new shop tomorrow and he doesn't know how long he's going to be out of action.

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All the paramedics are concerned about is getting him to hospital as soon as possible.

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He's really just bothered about his wrist,

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but because he's had a bang to the head and his eye is quite closed,

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he had a bit of repetitive speech so we're thinking concussion -

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head injury, car's rolled as well, so we're playing it safe.

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Thanks to Helimed 98, the trip to Rotherham takes a matter of minutes.

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Wayne has survived a terrifying road accident and a traumatic recovery from his car.

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Now he's about to discover what the long-term effects will be.

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Coming up - the team reckon Wayne's lucky to be alive,

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but doctors have some bad news.

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A hospital team prepare to reattach a farmhand's severed leg...

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It's just gone straight through four inches below his knee.

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..And the snap that almost cost a photographer his life.

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He just wandered off with the camera.

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Climbing trees is one of the things many of today's kids have forgotten how to do,

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but one teenager has found out why some parents hesitate to let them take risks in the name of play.

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13-year-old fallen out of a tree.

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It might be an access problem, because it's in some woods near some locks,

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so it could be an access problem.

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The Helimed team spend most of their time heading out into the countryside to find their patients.

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'Progress over to Bramley.'

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It's caught in the turbulent wake from the 737, just airborne now.

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But today they're battling through the rush hour at Leeds Bradford Airport and heading into town.

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Leeds is one of the UK's greenest cities, and in an urban park,

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13-year-old Jack Halliday has had a nasty accident.

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He's fallen 20 foot from a tree and now he's in agony and his mum is worried.

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-He was climbing on that.

-Right.

-A bit snapped off and he fell on the floor.

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Jack's a teenage rugby player and he doesn't hurt easily.

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-This one it were.

-Up here?

-Yeah. It snapped there.

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-Are you with Jack?

-I'm his mum.

-Right.

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He landed on his arms, both of which are broken,

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But it's the severe back pain that most worries his rescuers.

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Keep still. You don't have to move to make the pain come on.

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We're going to splint your arms and we'll treat your back as if you've got an injury to it.

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Jack's symptoms are similar to those caused by a spinal injury.

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He's a long, bumpy walk from the nearest road,

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which is why ground paramedics have called in Helimed 99.

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Pete's just giving him morphine. That should help with the pain.

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I'm just making sure Pete's sharps get put somewhere safe,

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as we're in a park and they can easily get lost and they're a danger to everybody else.

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Jack's arms are protected by splints made from a special plastic that memorises shape.

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-Now bring this arm in as well.

-Am I going to hospital, yeah?

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-HE LAUGHS

-Yeah.

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Unfortunately, you need to go in, all right?

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For Glen, treating injured teenagers is a little too close to home for comfort.

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My son's 14. He's a bit like me - scared of heights -

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which is a bit ironic, being in a helicopter.

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So, no, he doesn't climb trees, but he does play hockey,

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so he's more likely to lose his teeth than, er, break both wrists.

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Jack's spine has been immobilised.

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He's complained of pain in his back

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and numbness in his legs - classic symptoms of a serious spinal injury.

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The team are taking no chances.

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All right, we're going to carry...lift you up,

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then we'll try and keep you as straight as we can.

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These boards will move around while we're moving, but you won't fall off.

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Jack's barely four miles from the region's biggest trauma unit,

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the Leeds General Infirmary.

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The rush hour's in full swing, but Helimed 99's crew don't have to worry about the jams.

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Their patient is on his way to a full examination

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by A&E doctors

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and it turns out the team were right to take every precaution.

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In a long night of surgery, doctors discover that not only has he badly broken his wrists,

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he also has serious damage to his spine.

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I've got a pin there

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and pins there, but I've just got two pins in that one.

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And I broke my arm and thumb.

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But the worst hangover from his 20-foot fall is this -

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a full body cast, keeping his spine rigid.

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-OK, so what we're going to do today is take your plasters off.

-Yeah.

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-We've got some wires in. We'll take them out.

-Right.

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We'll put you in some nice, new, fresh casts. How's your back?

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-It's all right.

-All right, yeah? Painful?

-No.

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SAW BUZZES

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'I think, in the grand scheme of things, he's been very lucky.'

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The air ambulance, as you know, brings us critically injured patients,

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so I think he's got off relatively lightly.

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Good afternoon.

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'Coming up, paramedic Sammy finds out why her patient looks a little familiar

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'and I take a dip in the pool, but take it from me, you don't want to join me!'

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It's freezing!

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Now let's return to North Yorkshire where a flying doctor's helping the team rescue

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a farmhand badly injured in a serious accident with a combine harvester.

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-HE GROANS

-All right, sonny. Keep going for me.

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Good lad. Nice deep breaths again for me.

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The battle is on to save Jason Winspear's leg.

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-He's ready to roll.

-10 minutes.

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Yeah, that's fine.

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It's almost severed and he's in terrible pain.

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Doing really well, mate. Really well.

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Good lad. Just slide down to you a bit...

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Paramedic Lee Gray's trying to ease it,

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but the whole team knows only speed will save this limb.

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All right, mate.

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He needs emergency surgery to repair the damage caused by the combine's blades.

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Air desk, 99.

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'99, go ahead.'

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Just a quick update, Dave. We've got a male here, approximately 20s.

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He's had his left foot

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completely amputated.

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The doctor's on scene.

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He's had morphine and ketamine.

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GCS 15.

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You look a bit peaky, Jason. Are you feeling a bit weird? Don't worry. Everything's fine.

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Let me get you up.

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Jason's lucky in one way, at least.

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By road, the journey to Middlesbrough's James Cook Hospital

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could take 45 minutes or more.

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The leg's been pretty much

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completely amputated.

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I gave him stronger pain relief

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and completely amputated the limb for ease of transfer.

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There was nothing...that could be done to save the limb

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at this present time.

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-Just...shoot me.

-Jason, we're just going to give you some oxygen, mate.

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-Keep your head nice and clear.

-Anything, just kill me.

-All right.

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My leg hurts.

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-MACHINE BEEPS

-I know.

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I know, Jase, but we won't be long and we'll be up at hospital.

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Just 10 minutes.

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Jason's leg's amputated from about three inches below his knee.

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It's gone straight through his boot

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and obviously his suit.

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Em, fortunately the farmers on scene

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have put a makeshift tourniquet round with some rope,

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which has obviously helped things

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and then we had a doctor arrive,

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which has been a massive help, just to give some ketamine for pain-relief.

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Jason's quite sedated at the moment.

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His observations are all good,

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but we need to get up to James Cook as quick as we can

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just to keep the limb viable, really, if we can.

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Ready, steady, move.

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In some cases, severed limbs can be reattached.

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If the cut is clean like this one, the chances are better.

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Even then, Jason is unlikely to regain full use of his lower leg.

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The surgeons are here now.

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They're doing X-rays as we speak and then they'll make a decision.

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There's a consultant who's interested in re-implanting limbs

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who works here, who's going to come and have a look.

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The bone, it's gone straight through horizontally about 4 inches below his knee...

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The foot, at the moment, is obviously dead. It was dead when we got there.

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There was no blood supply to it.

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..But they may be able to re...re-implant it.

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Coming up...

0:19:590:20:00

doctors face the agonising decision - to operate

0:20:000:20:03

or leave Jason to face a lifetime with an artificial limb.

0:20:030:20:07

And paramedic Tony rescues a pensioner whose walk across water

0:20:070:20:11

ended in a nasty fall.

0:20:110:20:13

It's just been a case of getting him over without us all going in, basically.

0:20:130:20:17

This control room receives an average of 1,800 999 calls a day

0:20:330:20:39

from an area that's bigger than some countries.

0:20:390:20:41

That's one call a minute!

0:20:410:20:44

So it's only a handful of Yorkshire's patients

0:20:440:20:46

who get help from the skies.

0:20:460:20:49

Two cars have collided on a country road just outside Worksop.

0:20:520:20:55

One of the drivers, 28-year-old Wayne Glasby, is trapped.

0:20:550:20:59

Paramedic Sammy Wills has to crawl inside the car

0:20:590:21:03

to assess his injuries.

0:21:030:21:04

Wayne, this headrest, I'm going to remove it. It's not touching him, is it?

0:21:040:21:09

Wayne is a self-employed butcher and if he's broken his wrist,

0:21:090:21:12

he won't be able to do his job,

0:21:120:21:14

but he seems to have escaped without damaging his back.

0:21:140:21:17

Surgeons at the hospital will soon be able to tell.

0:21:170:21:21

For more than a month, the staff of Wayne's butcher's shop have had to get by without the boss.

0:21:240:21:28

He's undergoing a series of operations in Rotherham Hospital.

0:21:280:21:32

'But six weeks after his traumatic accident,

0:21:340:21:36

'Wayne's already back on his feet.'

0:21:360:21:38

So, you've got a nasty-looking cast on your arm.

0:21:380:21:41

Come to a left-hand bend

0:21:410:21:42

and all I can physically remember is seeing a Cavalier

0:21:420:21:46

coming sideways round the opposite corner and just hit me.

0:21:460:21:49

That was it.

0:21:490:21:51

And then...woke up in Rotherham Hospital,

0:21:510:21:53

"Where the hell am I?" That sort of thing.

0:21:530:21:55

I didn't know what had happened, didn't know nothing.

0:21:550:21:58

So you were taken to Rotherham Hospital,

0:21:580:22:00

where the full extent of your injuries were apparent.

0:22:000:22:03

What did you have?

0:22:030:22:05

I broke my...my nose and I dislocated my right pelvis,

0:22:050:22:10

broke my right cheekbone,

0:22:100:22:12

had nine stitches in my left eyelid,

0:22:120:22:14

dislocated my left knee,

0:22:140:22:16

black and blue from top to toe,

0:22:160:22:18

and internal bruising on my right-hand side of my ribs.

0:22:180:22:22

So, on top of all that,

0:22:220:22:23

you then had a completely crushed arm for good measure?!

0:22:230:22:26

From the join of my left wrist to my elbow, I completely shattered it -

0:22:260:22:30

my tendons, my guidelines... I just disintegrated my arm, basically.

0:22:300:22:34

It's completely shattered. They've had to rebuild it.

0:22:340:22:37

'The only thing Wayne can remember from the accident

0:22:370:22:41

'is paramedic Sammy taking care of him whilst he was trapped.'

0:22:410:22:45

I'd love to thank that lady, personally, sort of thing,

0:22:450:22:48

because without her, I don't think I'd be here, to tell you the truth.

0:22:480:22:51

She really is an absolute diamond.

0:22:510:22:53

And Sammy's just as keen to meet Wayne as he is to meet her.

0:22:550:22:59

Good afternoon.

0:23:000:23:02

-You wouldn't happen to be Wayne?

-Hello! How are you?

0:23:020:23:05

Good. How are you?!

0:23:050:23:07

-I've been better, but, yeah...

-You're looking really, really well!

0:23:070:23:11

'Whereabouts was I and how was I and what condition was I in?'

0:23:110:23:15

-The car itself...

-Yes?

-..Was on its side.

-Right.

0:23:150:23:19

You are still with your seatbelt on, so you're pivoted round

0:23:190:23:22

and your seatbelt's holding you in and your legs are trying to touch the floor, but don't quite.

0:23:220:23:27

You'd obviously got a broken arm - that just stood out -

0:23:270:23:31

but then we had to be careful for your neck and your back

0:23:310:23:33

and your pelvis. And your legs - you were complaining about one of your knees.

0:23:330:23:38

Yeah, like you say, I'm a little fighter. I just keep going. With my business, I've got to.

0:23:380:23:43

What did you have in here, a fruit bowl?

0:23:430:23:45

Me mum's trifle bowl. She'll kill me.

0:23:450:23:48

Your mum's what? Trifle bowl?

0:23:480:23:50

Your mum had.... Your mum's bowl was in the back of your car and it was broken.

0:23:500:23:55

-The trifle bowl!

-You told me it was the trifle bowl

0:23:550:23:57

and I had to take it in chunks cos I couldn't get to you.

0:23:570:24:00

I'm like, "This is really sharp glass, not safety glass,"

0:24:000:24:03

so I had to say, "Sorry about Mum's bowl!"

0:24:030:24:06

-Yes, Mum wasn't a happy bunny about that!

-No?

0:24:060:24:10

In fact...we've had quite a laugh and a joke about it

0:24:100:24:12

because the first thing Mum said to me after asking if I was OK,

0:24:120:24:16

she said, "Where's me glass bowl?"

0:24:160:24:18

The top of her agenda, "Where's me glass bowl?"

0:24:180:24:20

I said, "You'll have to ask that lady in the orange suit cos I don't know, myself."

0:24:200:24:25

It was in several pieces and I did have to remove it before I climbed in.

0:24:250:24:28

-I think we owe Mummy a new trifle bowl, I think!

-Yeah.

0:24:280:24:31

Despite all his injuries, Wayne knows he's had a lucky escape.

0:24:310:24:37

'Thank you, once again,'

0:24:370:24:39

-for all your help and effort.

-You are welcome!

0:24:390:24:42

Thank you very much.

0:24:420:24:43

Coming up...

0:24:470:24:49

surgeons at James Cook Hospital decide whether farm worker Jason's leg can be saved.

0:24:490:24:53

We all love water.

0:24:580:25:00

Everyone wants a swimming pool when we go on holiday.

0:25:000:25:03

Here at the original Turkish baths in Harrogate, North Yorkshire,

0:25:030:25:07

people have been sampling the delights of water since Victorian times,

0:25:070:25:11

but it's also a good place to demonstrate how getting into water unexpectedly,

0:25:110:25:16

can endanger your life.

0:25:160:25:18

Yorkshire's Three Peaks, high in the Pennines,

0:25:180:25:22

are among the UK's wettest places.

0:25:220:25:24

This entire landscape was carved out by millions of years of rainfall

0:25:240:25:30

and today, one stretch of wild water has claimed a casualty.

0:25:300:25:33

Try and take him up the stairs. He'll slide across it.

0:25:330:25:37

We came down the steps and seen him lying in the water,

0:25:370:25:40

his head in the water, so we got down, pulled him out

0:25:400:25:43

and then, obviously - touch wood - managed to get him rescued by the ambulance people.

0:25:430:25:48

Robert Hutchinson was walking with his wife

0:25:480:25:51

when he slipped 30 feet down a ravine into a waterfall

0:25:510:25:54

and was knocked unconscious.

0:25:540:25:55

He just wandered off with the camera to take some photographs

0:25:550:25:59

cos I'm very slow at walking and he's, you know...

0:25:590:26:01

usually better than me.

0:26:010:26:03

And...I just couldn't find him.

0:26:030:26:06

Helimed 99 has been scrambled,

0:26:060:26:09

but the weather that created the Three Peaks could prevent them reaching their patient.

0:26:090:26:14

OK, how high's the ground down that way?

0:26:140:26:18

Hopefully be able to get direct to have a look.

0:26:180:26:21

These clouds have hard centres.

0:26:210:26:24

Each conceals a 2,000-foot peak.

0:26:240:26:27

We're heading west, then towards higher ground. 2,000 feet now.

0:26:270:26:31

But thanks to a lucky break in the cloud cover,

0:26:310:26:34

Helimed 99 is finally on the case.

0:26:340:26:38

How close are we to moving?

0:26:380:26:40

A while yet?

0:26:400:26:42

Flying doctor Simon Ward volunteers to go down to the water.

0:26:420:26:47

Simon's just going down, our doctor. He's just going to do another assessment.

0:26:480:26:52

Have they explained what's going on? We need to get him out in a controlled manner.

0:26:520:26:56

Robert's head is bleeding heavily, but Dr Simon has some good news.

0:26:560:27:02

His head injury's not that bad.

0:27:020:27:03

He's got a facial injury and he's got a Colles' on his right wrist.

0:27:030:27:08

Hasn't been any other injury to him.

0:27:080:27:11

But Robert's not out of danger yet.

0:27:110:27:14

Wading in icy water, the medics can't rule out a neck injury from the fall

0:27:140:27:19

and as rain continues to fall, he must be moved.

0:27:190:27:22

We're just getting him up now with the help of the rescue organisation

0:27:220:27:26

and we'll have a reassessment once he's up

0:27:260:27:28

and make a decision about where he'll be taken for treatment.

0:27:280:27:31

Volunteers from the local cave-rescue team are used to emergencies like this.

0:27:310:27:35

Robert will be hauled up the ravine

0:27:350:27:37

by old-fashioned manpower.

0:27:370:27:40

But the journey to Helimed 99 will still take its toll.

0:27:400:27:44

-Have you got the weight?

-Yeah.

0:27:440:27:46

OK, we're going to take it off and put it on the ground.

0:27:460:27:50

OK, I've got the handle.

0:27:500:27:52

Just come forwards two metres.

0:27:520:27:55

A ground-ambulance crew spent half an hour in icy water, treating their patient,

0:27:560:28:01

but for the paramedics of the peaks, it's all in a day's work.

0:28:010:28:05

'He was conscious, but he had a fracture to his right wrist,

0:28:050:28:09

'and obviously some facial injuries from actually falling.'

0:28:090:28:13

We were just concerned for the mechanisms of injury.

0:28:130:28:16

Robert ended up with a painful broken jaw and a broken wrist.

0:28:160:28:20

Next time he stops to take a picture,

0:28:200:28:24

he'll be more careful where he's standing.

0:28:240:28:27

If ever you've fallen into water unexpectedly,

0:28:280:28:31

you'll understand what a shock it can be.

0:28:310:28:33

Well, here, people do it for fun

0:28:330:28:35

and I'm about to find out what that feels like.

0:28:350:28:38

Paramedic James Vine has rescued plenty of people from water

0:28:380:28:42

and understands the dangers.

0:28:420:28:44

'Against my better judgement, I'm taking the plunge.'

0:28:440:28:47

Oh!

0:28:490:28:50

God, it's freezing!

0:28:500:28:52

You're experiencing a process called cold shock.

0:28:520:28:55

You get the initial involuntary gasp of breath, hyperventilation,

0:28:550:29:00

and - I'm sure you're feeling it now -

0:29:000:29:02

your muscles are starting to feel weak and uncoordinated.

0:29:020:29:05

-How does it affect the way you deal with them?

-It makes things a lot more difficult.

0:29:050:29:10

It compounds the injuries they've already had and, being cold and wet,

0:29:100:29:15

you lose body heat 25% quicker than you would in the dry.

0:29:150:29:19

After just a couple of minutes in cold water, I've had enough.

0:29:190:29:23

And jumping into cold water is even more dangerous.

0:29:250:29:29

Tombstoning - leaping into cold water - is growing in popularity.

0:29:290:29:34

But today, one teenage tombstoner has been badly injured in the North York Moors.

0:29:340:29:39

Rachel Nicholson was jumping from rocks into a deep pool when she injured her back.

0:29:390:29:44

A ground ambulance crew have called in reinforcements.

0:29:460:29:49

I think it's more of a question of a problem with access to the place where somebody's fallen.

0:29:490:29:54

The ambulance crew won't be able to get to this patient, so maybe the air ambulance could help out.

0:29:540:30:01

The Yorkshire Dales are full of hazards for helicopters, and the crew are about to

0:30:010:30:07

-come across one of the oldest.

-We might have to hover over

0:30:070:30:10

-the field a bit, because the sheep are looking scared.

-OK.

0:30:100:30:14

OK, if there are any problems, let me know, OK?

0:30:140:30:18

..Trees to the rear.

0:30:210:30:23

With a little help from paramedic Colin, Helimed 99 is down.

0:30:230:30:28

I'm on the ground.

0:30:280:30:30

But finding the patient won't be easy.

0:30:300:30:33

Hiya, mate! Is the ambulance crew down there?

0:30:330:30:36

-Yes. Are you the air ambulance?

-Yeah, we are.

0:30:360:30:40

And the team know getting their patient to the chopper will be difficult.

0:30:400:30:46

We've come about 300 metres, over unsteady rocks and footholdings and things...

0:30:460:30:52

This person has got back injuries...a spinal board...

0:30:520:30:56

Looking up, we might winch this person up.

0:30:560:30:59

Rachel, who was tombstoning with friends, has been strapped to a spinal board,

0:30:590:31:04

a stretcher designed to prevent further damage to her back.

0:31:040:31:08

Despite the warm weather, and her wetsuit, she's cold.

0:31:080:31:11

We were up on the hill and we heard a scream,

0:31:110:31:15

so we shouted down to this gentleman and he said

0:31:150:31:19

he'd ring an ambulance. We came down and had a quick chat with her.

0:31:190:31:22

When the air ambulance crew arrives, patients usually know their ordeal

0:31:220:31:26

is nearly over. Not today. It'll be impossible to get Helimed 99

0:31:260:31:31

anywhere near the waterfall. They'll have to call in RAF Rescue.

0:31:310:31:35

If we can get up to that grassy little section where my blue bag is, we'll go straight up from there.

0:31:350:31:42

The RAF Sea King air-sea rescue helicopters can do something

0:31:420:31:47

Helimed 99 can't. Their winchman will be able to lift Rachel through the trees

0:31:470:31:53

and off to hospital. It won't be easy.

0:31:530:31:56

We are in the ravine, I don't know if you can see us

0:31:560:32:00

at the most central point. It's quite tight for tree cover.

0:32:000:32:04

'It looks possible.

0:32:040:32:08

'We're going to come in and do an overhead check to make sure.'

0:32:080:32:12

The tree cover is so thick, the RAF winchman has to walk to the waterfall.

0:32:120:32:18

But the team have identified a place where Rachel can be safely winched.

0:32:180:32:22

The RAF Sea Kings weigh six tonnes,

0:32:250:32:27

and their patients feel every pound of it,

0:32:270:32:30

thanks to the massive downdraft.

0:32:300:32:33

But walking Rachel out of the gorge could make her back much worse.

0:32:330:32:38

It may not feel it, but this hair-raising ride

0:32:380:32:41

is a lot safer.

0:32:410:32:42

In a few minutes, she'll be touching down at hospital.

0:32:420:32:46

It may not be the way Rachel expected her day to end,

0:32:460:32:49

but she won't be the first tombstoner to enjoy a one-way trip to A&E.

0:32:490:32:54

Five months after her ordeal, and I'm catching up with Rachel at home.

0:32:540:33:00

Rachel, you've got something to tell us about a day that started off

0:33:000:33:04

as a bit of fun but didn't end up that way for you. What happened?

0:33:040:33:07

As soon as I hit the water, I felt

0:33:070:33:10

a really sharp pain, like I'd been winded, but in my back.

0:33:100:33:13

It was like... I just screamed. I was in loads of pain.

0:33:130:33:18

I was really shocked when they said I'd broken my back and might need

0:33:180:33:22

an operation.

0:33:220:33:23

You didn't hit a rock or the bottom of the pool? It was simply

0:33:230:33:27

-the force of you hitting the water that broke your back?

-The angle

0:33:270:33:31

-that I went into...

-It was simply the angle that you hit the water...

0:33:310:33:35

-It was enough to break your back?

-Yes.

-Wow.

0:33:350:33:38

I don't think it's going to be right for a long time. I've always got to be conscious of it.

0:33:380:33:43

And Rachel isn't alone.

0:33:430:33:45

Every year, more than 110 people drown after accidentally falling into water in the UK.

0:33:450:33:52

But water doesn't have to be deep to be dangerous.

0:33:520:33:56

And today, one walker in the Yorkshire Dales is finding that out the hard way.

0:33:570:34:02

You can see the stepping stones on that side.

0:34:020:34:04

The casualty turns out to be an elderly rambler, who's taken a tumble off some steping stones.

0:34:040:34:10

Afternoon!

0:34:130:34:14

All right?

0:34:140:34:15

Fellow walkers have pulled him out, but he's too cold and weak to reach the bank.

0:34:150:34:19

-What's your name?

-Ron.

-What you doing in middle of t'river?

0:34:190:34:23

Trying to get across.

0:34:230:34:25

He fell in the river and I asked the lady if he was OK, then I came across

0:34:250:34:30

and he was in the water, so I pulled him out and then another gentleman came and helped.

0:34:300:34:36

Where did you fall - this way or that way?

0:34:360:34:37

I fell towards there.

0:34:370:34:39

The water is fast-flowing, and there are deep pools between the stones.

0:34:410:34:45

Have we got a line?

0:34:450:34:46

A line!

0:34:470:34:49

Thanks to a safety line made from one of the ropes used to tie down

0:34:490:34:53

the chopper's rotor blades at night, Ron's feeling a little safer.

0:34:530:34:57

-Who's your wife?

-The one in the blue dress.

0:34:570:35:00

-That pretty-looking one?

-Yes.

0:35:000:35:02

That's it. You're not going anywhere.

0:35:020:35:06

OK, Ron.

0:35:060:35:07

Ron's rescuers are taking a real risk, but they've got to get him to dry land.

0:35:070:35:12

Just remember you're tethered to me, Ron.

0:35:120:35:16

Their patient is exhausted, and they still don't know whether

0:35:160:35:19

he's injured from his fall.

0:35:190:35:21

Back where you started, Ron.

0:35:210:35:23

He's got halfway over, slipped into the river

0:35:230:35:26

to just below his waist, so he's severely cold.

0:35:260:35:31

Then he's not wanted to go either way, so it's a case of assisting him

0:35:310:35:34

back over to this side of the bank.

0:35:340:35:36

Nice and steady...and down.

0:35:360:35:38

He'll be taken for a check-up by land ambulance.

0:35:400:35:42

But sadly, there's not always a happy ending.

0:35:440:35:47

It's a sunny day, and hundreds of daytrippers are enjoying the sun at Bolton Abbey,

0:35:470:35:52

the waterside beauty spot near Leeds.

0:35:520:35:55

But many of them have become caught up in a life-and-death struggle to save a little boy.

0:35:550:36:00

There are two children in the water. They've found one girl.

0:36:000:36:04

The boy, they believe, is still missing.

0:36:040:36:06

Helimed 99 will take just 10 minutes to reach the scene.

0:36:060:36:11

The crew know that speed is the only thing that can save the missing boy.

0:36:110:36:16

'We've been called to Bolton Abbey, which is a lovely scenic area

0:36:160:36:22

'with a river running through it.

0:36:220:36:23

'Very popular at this time of year... families barbecue at the side of the river. Obviously,

0:36:230:36:31

'people go into the river itself. It's quite strong and fast-flowing in places.'

0:36:310:36:36

If he's recovered, paramedics Lee and Ben will use adrenalin to kickstart his heart.

0:36:360:36:41

But the doseage is crucial in kids.

0:36:410:36:43

'Ben?

0:36:440:36:45

'Yep.

0:36:450:36:46

-'Just running through for eight years... For adrenalin - 1 in 10,000 is 2.6.

-2.6 mil.

0:36:460:36:54

2.6 mil to restart after cardiac arrest.

0:36:540:36:56

Even from 1,000 feet, the desperate race to save the boy is obvious.

0:36:560:37:01

'Here we are, here we are.

0:37:010:37:02

'Yep. Come back round, Steve.

0:37:020:37:04

'There's still a lot of people in the water - can you see them?

0:37:070:37:10

-'About there?

-Yeah.

0:37:100:37:13

-'You see the corner?

-Yeah.

-We want to be in there somewhere.

0:37:130:37:16

'There's a barricade of people there.'

0:37:160:37:19

But pilot Steve faces a problem. Crowds are getting in the way of his best landing site.

0:37:190:37:26

-'That's OK this side.

-Yeah.

-OK.

0:37:260:37:29

'Put us down there, mate, yeah.'

0:37:290:37:32

Police have already taken control of the rescue.

0:37:320:37:35

There's plenty of the public looking. Um...

0:37:350:37:39

Until we find him, there's not really much for you lads to do.

0:37:390:37:43

This stretch of the River Wharfe is dangerous. Many people

0:37:430:37:47

have drowned here, but hundreds continue to swim, despite the warnings.

0:37:470:37:52

We're still looking at the moment. It's been 20 minutes gone, apparently. ..All right. OK. Thanks.

0:37:520:37:58

Bye. Bye.

0:37:580:38:00

The boy is just eight. He was here with his family celebrating his birthday.

0:38:000:38:05

It is 20 minutes since he vanished beneath the surface.

0:38:050:38:08

The team know there is still hope.

0:38:080:38:11

Children can be revived after long periods underwater,

0:38:110:38:14

especially if it's cold.

0:38:140:38:16

We're just getting stripped off a little bit. It obviously gets really warm.

0:38:160:38:21

Um...

0:38:210:38:23

Then we're going to put life jackets on.

0:38:250:38:28

Obviously, we're working near water here...

0:38:280:38:31

Our own safety is important.

0:38:310:38:34

The team are borrowing a heat-seeking camera from the fire brigade.

0:38:340:38:37

It's hoped they can spot a trace of the boy from the air.

0:38:370:38:41

I'll just have a check up the river, further downstream

0:38:410:38:44

where there's a natural barrier - there are some steps across.

0:38:440:38:47

We've got a thermal-imaging device.

0:38:470:38:51

Great stuff.

0:38:510:38:52

If we spot anything, we'll try and use that to see if we can see anything.

0:38:520:38:56

'Keep going... I think there are police down here anyway.'

0:38:570:39:01

But it is a hopeless task. The police and fire service rescue teams offer the best hope of rescue,

0:39:010:39:07

but they desperately need divers.

0:39:070:39:10

At last they arrive.

0:39:100:39:12

The local cave-rescue team are experts in this kind of rescue.

0:39:120:39:15

All the rescue services are here. We've been searching now for a long time, I think plus 60 minutes.

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I was here myself only last week with my own children, as it was hot weather, playing in the water.

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Sad all round, at the moment. As time goes on, the outcome doesn't look any better.

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Despite frantic searching, there's no sign of the boy.

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It's been more than two hours, and hope is running out.

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Both Lee and Ben are dads themselves. They know what the boy's parents are going through,

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but they also know time's run out. As the chopper lifts off, the boy is found, but it's too late.

0:39:500:39:55

Another victim of Yorkshire's wild water.

0:39:550:39:59

Do you remember the man whose leg had to be amputated after a farm accident? How's he getting on?

0:40:020:40:07

23-year-old Jason Winspear's leg was removed by a flying doctor

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after a terrible accident with a combine harvester.

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It was flown with him to hospital in Middlesbrough. Surgeons think there is a chance they can reattach it.

0:40:160:40:23

He then undergoes 10 hours of surgery.

0:40:230:40:27

It's 10 days since Jason's accident. His fiancee has stayed with him in hospital the whole time.

0:40:280:40:35

They tried to save my foot - that's why I was in theatre so long.

0:40:370:40:42

I were in for eight hours.

0:40:420:40:43

They tried to put my foot back on, but it was going to be too short.

0:40:430:40:49

A lot too short.

0:40:490:40:50

It got chewed up.

0:40:500:40:52

And it also got the stage where it had been a bit long by the time I got into theatre.

0:40:520:40:59

It was too late.

0:40:590:41:01

I daren't look at it. I've seen a photograph of it, and it's... I get distressed when I see it.

0:41:010:41:09

I daren't look at it, itself.

0:41:090:41:11

..Cos it's not nice.

0:41:120:41:14

They've done a very good job of it. It's really tidy and...

0:41:140:41:19

clean and...

0:41:190:41:21

The surgeons have done a really good job.

0:41:210:41:23

Jason still has vivid memories of the accident.

0:41:230:41:27

The machine got blocked up. Looking into it, you couldn't see

0:41:270:41:31

it was coming towards you, it was only coming slowly.

0:41:310:41:34

The next minute, the chains grabbed hold of my leg and pulled me into the knife and cut it straight off.

0:41:340:41:40

When I got here, he'd just landed in A&E, and I came in to see his leg in his welly,

0:41:400:41:45

by his bed, and I was like, "That is not a cut." I couldn't stop crying.

0:41:450:41:49

Then I got it together and saw you off before you went into theatre.

0:41:490:41:54

By the time spring comes to the North York Moors,

0:41:540:41:58

Jason's back on two legs and up for a walk down to the village,

0:41:580:42:02

even if his wedding is still a few months off.

0:42:020:42:05

He made remarkable progress, thanks to his new limb.

0:42:050:42:09

You start off with a basic leg, just to get you walking about.

0:42:090:42:12

After a while, they gave me a better one, a better ankle

0:42:120:42:17

-for walking over rough terrain.

-That's what you've always done and what you want to continue doing?

0:42:170:42:23

Yep. I want to get back to work as soon as possible, and get back to normal.

0:42:230:42:27

-You're looking at that as a realistic option in the near future, aren't you?

-Yes.

0:42:270:42:33

-I want to go back as soon as possible.

-You're not letting this stop you.

0:42:330:42:37

When Helicopter Heroes comes back,

0:42:370:42:40

there's a dramatic mountain rescue after a climber falls 40 feet.

0:42:400:42:44

Nice and steady, nice and slow...

0:42:440:42:47

Snow ruins a family Christmas as Grandma is flown to hospital.

0:42:470:42:52

It's either find their own transport or thumb a lift from Father Christmas.

0:42:520:42:57

There's a dash to save the driver of a car that's plunged into a canal.

0:42:570:43:02

No sign of any person, still investigating.

0:43:020:43:05

And a tot is burned by a mug of hot chocolate.

0:43:050:43:08

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:200:43:23

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:230:43:24