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If you're seriously ill or critically injured up here,
your life is in real danger.
Complaining of severe pain.
Mid-30s. Been ejected from a vehicle.
Hospital's an hour away by road.
Speed is the only thing that can save you.
Roger. Helimed 99 is en-route to you. Over.
The Yorkshire Air Ambulance and its highly-trained paramedics are scrambled 1,000 times a year.
-A small child has been on a path. A wagon's run over it.
Many of its ex-military pilots flew the SAS into action.
That's not a suitable landing site. This one here is.
Welcome to the life and death world of the Helicopter Heroes!
Today on Helicopter Heroes:
a lumberjack is badly injured by a falling tree.
Paramedic Darren has to call in reinforcements.
Call in the RAF and winch him out.
The Helimed team deal with the casualties
after a veteran motorist goes for a spin in a high-powered car.
-Nothing digging in your back?
There's a serious accident on the shop floor and a worker is in agony.
Trapped by his fingers and hands.
And a winter sportsman's accident is caught on camera.
Couldn't tell what was wrong. Not a happy bunny!
Thanks to helicopters, sophisticated emergency vehicles and satellite tracking,
when you dial 999 today,
you can expect help far faster than was the case a few years ago.
But there are still some places technology can't reach.
Then it's down to the ingenuity of the paramedics sent to save you.
Yorkshire's two air ambulances save lives
by getting to places vehicles struggle to reach.
But today the crew of Helimed 99 are about to be beaten
by the same problem as their colleagues on the ground.
'It's in some woods. Looks like there's a clearing.
'It's just north of the village of Grewelthorpe, which is south of Masham.'
Tree surgeon Kevin Ward was felling elms with a chainsaw
when a falling branch hit his lower leg, shattering his tibia and fibula.
Workmates dialled 999.
He was cutting a branch and he got to the forked bit
and made a cut. He thought he was out of the way of it.
He cut into the thing and it broke back and caught his foot.
Ground paramedic Paula Etherington and a colleague have hiked to the scene.
But they need help to get Kevin out of the woods.
How close can we land to the patient?
'Sounds like he's been down for an hour.
'If you get there and you need more assistance, I'll get Fell Rescue or someone.'
99 Roger. We need to know where the patient is.
We can see a guy in the field. We need to know where the patient is in relation to that.
The tree cover is dense and there's no hope of finding a helipad on the steep sides of the ravine
where the patient lies.
-There's a building there.
-It's not that far up.
It's down to our right somewhere.
If you just track directly left, turn left.
We can bring it onto my side.
Yeah, I can see them.
Right, Chris, do you see this strip of white that runs up?
-I've got them. Yeah. Visual.
-Wearing a blue top.
Got them, yeah.
Pilot Chris knows this case is hopeless.
If his medics are to reach their patient,
they're going to have to walk a long way!
It's not just a mile distance. It's the terrain that they're in. An awkward position.
He's broken his leg just above his ankle. I guess both bones, the way his foot is sat.
-He's getting cold.
-He needs to be out of there. That's not in dispute.
He needs to be out of there as quick as he can.
Daz knows their patient's only hope may be an RAF rescue chopper
with a winch.
What I'm thinking, the terrain that you're in,
it'll be difficult to carry him out.
And we'll have a wait for Fell Rescue.
Is it going to be easier for us to carry him out or easier for him to be winched out?
Just go steady, Ian. It's icy.
The path down to their patient is steep and slippery.
Carrying a stretcher up here would be lethal.
All right? You can pick your spot, can't you?
Kevin is a mile from the nearest road.
But he urgently needs hospital treatment.
-How was the ankle?
-It was kind of banana-shaped when we got here.
We've straightened it out and his pain has reduced.
-Closed, yes. Just a couple of grazes on the inside.
Kevin's not only badly hurt,
but he's very cold.
It's an hour since the accident and it's minus three Celsius.
He must be kept warm or his condition could worsen.
Well done, Kev. Brilliant.
Let me get out of the road then we'll move that leg.
This super-insulated sleeping bag is called the Flectalon.
But it's more often known by the Helimed crew as the pizza bag!
All right, my love? There you go.
Just a wee wait till the helicopter comes. Try and keep you warm.
Kevin's out of the cold, but there's a problem.
The RAF chopper can winch casualties in all weathers,
but it can't cope with tree cover.
If the winchman decides these woods are too dense,
Kevin could be stranded with darkness fast approaching.
They should be able to get in, but they're the experts.
They'll be able to tell us straightaway where they want it to be.
A helicopter like this costs three million pounds -
There's only two of them to cover five million people round here.
But sometimes, there's an incident so serious
both of them are needed.
Down there by those trees. The red roofs.
I think that's it, mate.
On a country road just south of York, there's been a high-speed collision.
-How many are in here?
Two cars, head-on. The force of the impact immense.
During the 999 call from the driver of this red Honda,
he says he thinks his passenger, his wife, is dead.
In this car, he's got chest pains. The woman in the other car is in an awful mess.
Thankfully, he's wrong.
Katherine Robinson is alive, but very badly injured.
-CAR HORN BLARES OUT Hello, love.
-Can you keep really still for me?
Take a deep breath for me.
She's trapped in a cage of crushed metal.
Please, can you disconnect that battery for me?
Just to turn it off.
The other car involved is a Subaru Impreza,
a car with a top speed of 150 miles per hour.
Its driver is 82 years old!
He, too, is trapped in the bent metal of his car.
Two vehicles were in a traffic collision. Two persons trapped.
Prioritised the casualties. The red one was the main priority.
The first crew in attendance took that one. And we took the one with the elderly man.
With both patients needing to be cut free from wrecked cars,
a decision is made to call in another helicopter.
Well trapped is what we've been told.
So it'll take a while to get them out of the vehicle.
It may well be
depending on their injuries that they need an anaesthetic
once they're out of the car to stabilise them.
-You've had a little bang.
-We'll get you out, don't worry.
Colin knows his patient has potentially life-threatening injuries.
Put your arm in there. It'll keep it more comfortable for you.
-I've got pins and needles.
-Where's the pins and needles?
She's had three of morphine so far.
The motorist who came across the crash first
has been helping support Katherine's neck.
I just wanted to make sure she was kept as well as possible until the paramedics came.
She had trouble with her breathing
and it looks like she's got trouble with her legs.
This collar is temporary until we get her in a better position.
She was concerned about her husband, and he was just behind me
so I was just reassuring both of them
that they were both talking and were both in the best possible health.
Oh, that is nasty.
When Helimed 98 arrives,
Dr Jez Pinnell has to quickly assess which of the two patients
is most critically injured.
Can't remember what's happened.
Normally fit and well.
Generalised chest pain.
Pelvis seems fine, legs seem fine.
This lady has had 20mg of morphine. Heart rate 95.
This lady has got a chest injury, possibly some abdominal injury.
Definitely got a left femoral fracture and may have a right femoral fracture.
It's quite serious, having two big broken bones like that.
Bilateral femoral fractures can be life-threatening. It means a lot of blood.
At the moment she's relatively stable and talking.
It looks to be almost a head-on collision.
Both cars have a lot of damage to their front end.
A lot of intrusion into the passenger compartment.
So her knees are both forced up and the dashboard is wrapped around them.
The fire brigade have cut away some of the car and put a ram in to force the dashboard forward.
But we need to get a bit more space if we can to get her out.
Keep taking deep breaths, Katherine.
As much room as you can on that dash, please, Dave!
The fire brigade's pneumatic rams are stretching the Honda apart
in an attempt to free Katherine's broken legs.
It's a slow process
and as each minute goes by, Katherine could be losing more blood.
The crew working on the Subaru are making quicker progress
in getting their patient out.
-One in each helicopter?
-Yes, both helicopters will be transporting.
While Helimed 99 takes the first patient to hospital,
police accident investigators are making enquiries
as to how the high-speed crash happened.
Their initial evidence points to the Subaru being on the wrong side of the road when it hit the Honda.
Which still has a critically-injured patient still trapped in the wreckage.
Thanks to modern health and safety laws,
employers and unions are constantly trying to make life safer
for their workers.
But despite all the precautions,
sometimes something goes wrong.
Helimed 98 Yorkshire airborne for Beverley.
ETA 17.22. Over.
The crew of Helimed 98 are often called in to help with one of the most vital jobs a paramedic can do.
Reduce a patient's pain.
We're on our way to Beverley, just north of Hull,
where we have reports of a man who's got his hand trapped in some machinery.
We've been requested to back up the land crew who are already on scene,
and also the basics doctor. We have our own medic with us today.
He's got hopefully some appropriate drugs to make the patient feel a lot more comfortable.
Flying doctor Steve Rowe and his bag of painkilling drugs
are crossing the Humber Estuary
to touch down in a town with an unusual claim to fame.
Helimed 98 preparing to land. Thank you.
Beverley is the capital of the UK's caravan industry.
Sounds like his hand was forced into some machinery
so it sounds like we'll need the assistance of the fire service and cutting equipment
or technical knowledge to disassemble the machine.
At a plant turning out mobile homes, there's been a serious accident.
-Have you got morphine with you?
-Yes, we do.
I've got all sorts with me!
Paul Marshall has been trapped for more than an hour in a machine he was using.
-Hi, I'm Steve, a doctor with the air ambulance.
I've got a bag full of drugs so we'll sort you out, OK?
Is there anything we can do to make you more comfortable while you wait?
-Nothing digging in your back?
Paul's right hand has been crushed and in trying to free it,
his left hand has been trapped, too.
He's trapped literally by his fingers and hands.
Which is good because he's not deep inside the bowels of some machine.
I'm drawing up some ketamine which is a strong painkiller
that will help us get him out of the pickle he's in.
Without strong pain relief,
Paul will not be able to withstand the agony the fire-fighters will cause
when they dismantle the machine.
You'll feel a bit disorientated, but it's a really good painkiller.
Then we'll get you out of here, run you up to the Royal and get you sorted. OK.
I'm about to give him the medicine.
Two local doctors have been caring for Paul, but they don't have access to the drugs Steve has.
He's a hospital anaesthetist.
Two of midazolam and 50 of ketamine.
Leave that a minute to work.
Ketamine was developed as a horse tranquilliser.
It's very powerful. But Paul needs more.
Still as sore as it was? I've got plenty more where that came from.
Not only does ketamine dull pain, it also gives patients temporary amnesia.
Paul won't remember much about his ordeal.
It can be used as anaesthetic, but we're just giving a painkilling dose.
He was a bit sore initially. We gave him some more. He's nice and comfy now.
Paul, we're going to have a go at removing the rollers, OK?
Sing out if it's sore.
OK, then, chaps. Let's have a little go.
If he says it's sore, we'll stop. Then we can give him some more.
It's time for the fire-fighters to start cutting.
The force of the machine spun Paul around after he became trapped
and he's in a very uncomfortable position.
At last, Paul's free.
But several of his fingers have been severed.
He'll need reconstructive surgery.
Managed to release his fingers from the roller, take the roller out,
get him backed and we'll run him up to Hull Royal Infirmary
and let the surgeons see his fingers.
Paul is an experienced factory worker. He relies on his hands to make a living.
Now he must wait to find out how much dexterity he'll retain.
He's been trapped for an hour. He's lost several digits on both hands.
Has bilateral forearm fractures.
At Hull Royal Infirmary,
surgeons are already scrubbing up
in preparation for their incoming patient.
It'll be a long and complex operation.
GCS was 15 before he had the ketamine.
He's more relaxed now. But he's maintaining his airway.
He's looking a bit confused. I'm sure he'll be 15 when he gets to you.
Paul ended up having several operations on his broken bones and mangled hands.
Two months later, with his girlfriend's help,
he's back for a check-up.
I've got both my arms plated up.
I've smashed my knuckles in my right hand.
I've broken two fingers in my right hand.
The middle one had to be reattached.
My ring finger rotated 180 degrees round.
And I've lost the last fingers on my left hand.
I have flashbacks every now and again
of my hands being wrapped around this wheel and hearing my bones breaking.
It wakes me up every time.
Paul is a fan of Helicopter Heroes. But he never thought he would need their help himself.
But when they did come, he was very relieved!
I remember two of the paramedics from watching the show previously.
Is there anything we can do to make you more comfortable?
Sammy's voice rang a bell with me. That made me feel more reassured.
A couple more faces I could remember.
But there's one thing that Paul can't cope with yet.
I haven't looked at the injury yet. I have to do it sooner or later.
It is a bit scary, knowing that you've had part of your body taken away from you.
It's just coming to terms with it.
Morning. Come in, please. Have a seat.
The time's come for Paul's check-up.
And that means having to have the bandages off
and face up to his injuries.
Try and make a fist for me. Make your fingers do that.
Yes, it's at least...
His hand's getting much better, but he still can't look at it.
An accidental glance proves too much.
-I can get it about as far as there.
I think that you have to recover mentally,
to accept that it's happened.
So I would say it's a bad accident,
but still there's something there to build on
to give you more function for your future life.
So mentally, you have to be stronger to deal with it.
The sooner you start looking at your hand, doing a bit of exercising,
that will help, OK?
Paul is making good progress. His remaining fingers are in working order.
And his other hand should make a full recovery.
Once we tell you how worse it could have been,
then you realise at least we've got something to go on.
I'm not surprised at all that you don't feel like looking at it.
It's normal. It takes time to recover from it.
-You'll get there.
-OK, then. Thanks a lot.
'I want to be back at work as soon as possible.
'Back doing normal things as soon as possible.
'They say time is a healer.
'I want my independence back.'
Let's return to the woods in North Yorkshire
where paramedics Darren and Kate are working hard to rescue an injured woodsman.
Tree surgeon Kevin Ward has been awaiting rescue
for an hour and a half.
I was just doing my job.
It was just pressure on the tree.
As I was cutting it, it just snapped and flew at me.
He was working for the Woodland Trust charity, clearing trees around a Victorian folly near Ripon
when he was hit by a falling branch.
Some wood's hit you.
Yes, I felt this streak and it was the pressure of the branch
on that end.
You'll be able to go out drinking on this one for years!
Ah, you don't know my mates!
I'll buy my own beer as normal!
You'll be getting mileage out of it.
Paramedic Darren Axe has called in an RAF helicopter
to winch Kevin out of the ravine in which the accident happened.
Before we move him anywhere, we'll let them come
-to where he wants to be and then we'll move to them.
The tree cover may make the rescue difficult, if not impossible.
'Daz, the crew should be with you in a few minutes.'
Darren's using a flashing beacon to help the RAF crew see them.
I'm trying to make us a bit more conspicuous than these orange suits(!)
When we came in, we couldn't see Paula waving an orange banner.
Hopefully, they'll see this a bit better.
-We'll just give you the rest of the morphine.
We're about on scene, so you'll hear a lot of noise, shortly.
Two hours after Kevin's accident, more help finally arrives.
The down-draught from the Sea King's rotors is creating an Arctic gale
in the clearing
as it's pilot works out how to rescue Kevin.
This Sea King chopper weighs in at six tonnes,
but its crew are trained to hover inch perfectly.
They'll need to lower their winchman 150 feet through a narrow gap
in the tree canopy.
This is a dangerous operation. He knows that if he becomes entangled,
his crew mates may have no alternative
but to sever the winch cable in order to save the aircraft.
But at last he's down.
-How are you doing?
-How are you?
This guy has been logging, using a chainsaw,
it's sprung, snapped his lower leg. We need to get him out of here.
Once we get the stretcher down, we'll move him into the stretcher up here
and whoever's coming with us can make their way to the top of the hill,
near to the helicopter...
SEA KING DROWNS SPEECH
Because Kevin's been given morphine,
a paramedic must accompany him to hospital.
But it's too dangerous to winch them too.
-How long will it take you to walk to the top?
-Not too long.
-Because it's exposing you to undue risk.
-As you wish.
-Are you happy with these guys here if you leg it to the helicopter?
Does it have to be one of us, or can the other paramedic go?
The other one can go if she's... I'm not qualified to give morphine.
Take her. So if she makes her way up to the top...
If she legs it up, we'll pick her up at the top. And we'll do the winch here.
Daz to Chris. Paula's on her way up to you.
Once they've taken this lad out on the stretcher, they'll come up, put down where you are
and Paula's going to get in.
They're just getting the stretcher ready for you.
We'll move you up into that clear ground.
Two, three, lift.
Sorry, mate. It's not easy.
Go steady on your footing.
At last, the RAF are ready to winch Kevin out of the woods.
But the clearing is tiny and he'll be feet from the trees.
It will be a hair-raising ride for him and his rescuers.
Kevin, are you nice and secure in there?
Coming up: Kevin's not out of the woods yet. The RAF hit a problem.
On a rural road in North Yorkshire,
both Helimed choppers have been sent to rescue the victims of a bizarre road accident.
The police are investigating the cause of a head-on crash
between this Subaru Impreza and a red Honda.
Both cars are now just mangled wrecks.
The passenger side took the full force of the impact.
Flying doctor Jez Pinnell is concerned about Katherine Robinson who's trapped.
We don't want to hang round any longer. We need to get to hospital.
She's been trapped for an hour plus, so she'll be getting cold
and she needs to be in hospital.
Helimed 99 has already taken the 82-year-old Subaru driver to hospital in York.
His injuries aren't serious. But Dr Jez's patient is in trouble.
Katherine, before we move you, we're debating whether to give you more pain relief.
As we move you out of the car, your left leg is going to be quite sore.
We can give you a quite strong painkiller, called ketamine.
It'll help your pain, but may make you feel quite strange.
Katherine, can you open your eyes for me?
OK. She's quite drowsy now.
She's quite drowsy.
With her pain under control, the fire-fighters set about freeing Katherine from her car.
As soon as you're ready for us to create more space, let us know.
Its safety cage saved her life.
Now the fire crew are using pneumatic rams to stretch it apart.
Modern vehicles now are really well constructed.
Up to a point, it protects you, but after that,
it can work against you. That's a difficulty.
It's a case of the really tight space we're working in.
Getting the right sized rams. We're putting a small ram in, creating space,
getting a bigger ram in, get more space.
Then we can get her out with as little movement as possible
so we don't aggravate her injuries.
Lifting with the board. Keep going, keep going!
Keep going. That's it.
After being trapped for over an hour, Katherine's out.
Dr Jez has time to take a photo of the wrecked car.
There is a good reason.
A picture tells a thousand words. If you can tell the doctors in A&E what exactly has happened,
they get a much better idea of the severity of possible injuries.
She's a bit sleepy at the moment because of the drugs we've given her.
We're concerned she's broken both legs
although they're straight at the moment and maybe she's damaged her hip joint to the left.
The best place for her really is a major trauma centre.
The closest one to here is Leeds, less than ten minutes' flying time.
Katherine's broken legs could mean that she is losing massive amounts of blood internally.
The helicopter's onboard monitoring system will alert the crew to any problems.
When a patient is severely injured,
if they were to lose a lot of blood, the heart rate will increase
in rate to compensate for this.
Their blood pressure may well drop.
If we see those changes appear on the monitor,
that would alert us to the patient losing blood
and we'd have to try and correct that to maintain stability.
It's been nearly two hours since the crash happened.
The flight from roadside scene to hospital has taken ten minutes
and the trauma team set to work straightaway,
assessing Katherine's extensive injuries.
In the few days that followed, Katherine spent 30 hours in the operating theatre.
She spent the next seven weeks in hospital. But finally,
she's allowed home.
I had two broken femurs.
The knees were both smashed.
An open fracture to my left arm,
a fracture to my right thumb,
four broken ribs, a broken sternum,
perforated ear drum.
-And a vertebra.
-And your left foot.
-Oh, and my left foot.
Even now, every time we get in the car,
I've got to make sure my phone's in my pocket.
Katherine's husband Philip got out of the car virtually unhurt.
For him, the pain is from the memory of what could have been.
My first reaction, I thought she was actually dead.
I thought she'd been killed in the accident.
So when I heard her actually speak, and say she couldn't breathe, it was the best words ever!
Katherine still has a long way to go. It's slow progress.
But she is very grateful to everyone who has helped her get back on her feet.
'Without the air ambulance, I think it would be a different story.
The trauma team at the LGI were absolutely amazing.
They put me back together, basically.
She's a tough one!
When snow comes to our towns and cities, it always makes life difficult.
But up here in the hills, it can endanger your life.
Suddenly, the landscape goes from this...
It's November, and the worst early snow for decades is blanketing North Yorkshire.
1,000 feet above the drifts, Helimed 99 is on a mission
to rescue the crew of a ground ambulance stranded in the middle of a 999 call-out.
We've just got a request from a crew who have become stuck in snow.
The vehicle has now been hit by an HGV while parked up
so the vehicle's not driveable, they've got a patient on board.
So we're going to render assistance
and get the patient off to hospital.
Landing in the snow is dangerous.
The chopper's down-wash blinds the pilot.
Chris Attrill must focus on an object and land quickly
if he's not to become disorientated.
It's been a difficult morning for the Helimed team's colleagues.
Bit bad out here!
We've had a bus come down sideways, a wagon's gouged the side of us, and it's "Oooh!"
Driving on these roads is treacherous.
The crew have obviously made it to here but were unable to get further.
It's been hit by a lorry coming down
on the opposite side of the vehicle.
The lady on board has got multiple sclerosis.
A very degenerative condition.
It's taken the use of her limbs and things.
So she's not mobilising very well at all.
They've had a lucky escape.
Coming sideways down the hill, he managed to stop
and caught his back end on our back end!
So quite an eventful morning!
One, two, three, lift.
Thanks to the chopper, the ambulance's patient is just ten minutes from the hospital treatment
she desperately needs.
It's not just those of us who work in the countryside who get a keen sense of the passing seasons.
NHS workers are acutely aware of a cold winter.
It can double their workload. And there's one injury that outnumbers them all.
'Roger. I'm going to give you a job. It's just south-east of Pocklington.'
An elderly man is badly hurt after falling on ice.
It tends to be the older people that suffer from this, in the main.
They go down. Their hips are not as strong as they were and they end up breaking them.
Breaking the bone at the top of the leg.
The village of Burnby looks like a Christmas card,
but the locals are already fed up with the first snow of winter.
Helimed 99 isn't often sent to cases like this.
But all the local ambulances are busy.
A lone paramedic has been dealing with the casualty.
-Complaining of pain in his left hip.
75-year-old Albert Smith is a former paratrooper who's fit for his age.
Now he's suffered one of the most common injuries among older people.
Right, Albert. How are we doing? Feeling better?
No, you don't?
I've had a smack on the hip.
-You landed on your hip?
-I think I've broken it.
-On your side?
-And you've knelt up to that position?
Yes. There's no weight at all on that leg. It's all on the right leg.
-And I can't get up.
-I should think not!
Albert was walking to the post box when he went over on the ice.
Now he's in agony.
Albert, this pain you have in your hip.
-It's just dead, mate.
So it's not really painful, just numb?
The village streets are covered in frozen, hard-packed snow.
No wonder Albert fell.
Absolutely dreadful. We've been like this since the snow started.
They've not gritted. Not done anything.
But I suppose their priority is the main roads. But these accidents happen, don't they?
-All right, my love?
-Roll over, then.
We'll start rolling you.
-Can you hold on to my hand?
-I've got you.
-We're going over.
That's it. Well done.
Paramedic Darren has seen many cases like this before
and he knows they can be very serious.
But now a road ambulance has been found, Albert will be more comfortable going by road.
He's fairly stable. We'll get him into the warmth of the ambulance.
We'll see where we are then.
Albert is on his way to hospital in York
where a special ward has been opened just for patients with hip injuries.
He faces a long road to recovery.
Sadly, he has to spend Christmas in bed.
Normally, I'm quite agile, but that ice was taking young people as well as me.
I went up there and I came down like that.
And I didn't bounce!
Ready, steady, go!
Winter's great if you're under ten.
But snow brings out the kid in all of us.
When it comes to sledging, any slope will do.
Mums and dads have an excuse.
20 and 30-somethings are among the most enthusiastic winter sports fans.
People like Lee Pittendry, who's determined to capture his daredevil descent on his camera phone.
These two mad people. We're going to go break a leg!
We're going down a big steep hill down to the bottom.
It seems that Lee is able to predict the future.
Oh, God, I can't believe we're doing this again!
The next thing he'll need his phone for is the 999 call.
Chest injury. To the west of Otley itself.
Lee's accident happened just five miles from Helimed headquarters.
Paramedics Kate Coughlan and Darren Axe
are soon circling the hillside where Lee is lying.
If he's got chest injuries, you'd think he'd hit a tree or something.
What's at the bottom there, Chris?
-That's what I'm looking at.
-A sledge. Watch the chimney.
-Is that somebody laid down there?
-That's it, I think.
Darren knows the chopper's rotor blades could create more casualties as more sledges head downhill.
Stay there. Stay up there.
-Go back up the hill!
-Came down there, a little lump there.
Landed really wrong.
-You've landed on your right side.
-I landed on my bum, but at an angle.
At an angle. So the pain's in your bum, then?
No, it's just my ribs.
-Let me establish. You've come down that hill.
You hit that bump and you were sitting on the sledge.
-So the pain shot up from your backside into your ribs.
-You've got pain in your ribs.
-Not in your backside or chest?
Just your ribs. OK.
Darren knows sledges can cause spinal injuries
but the more he hears about Lee,
the less serious this case sounds.
It doesn't hurt when you take a deep breath?
Pain here? Yes?
No pain on the other side, no?
It started out as a bit of fun.
But now Lee's in agony.
His partner never imagined their downhill race
would end like this.
As we landed, he started shouting cos it hurt.
Before we'd even managed to stop.
I turned round and he was on the floor. Couldn't speak or tell me what was wrong.
He couldn't say anything, really. Not a happy bunny!
Air ambulances are reserved for serious injuries.
But bad weather changes the rules.
The grown-up casualties from the local snow slopes aren't helping.
He's meant to be at work this afternoon. I doubt he'll go!
The accident has happened a long way from the nearest road.
Darren and Kate will airlift Lee to Leeds Bradford airport
where a road ambulance will pick him up.
-I was hesitantly going down it.
-You weren't aiming for that bump?
We watched the kids go down and I was hesitant, but Sarah jumped on.
She said, "We'll be fine." Off we went.
The Yorkshire ambulance service is so busy today,
the Helimed team have had to call in a road crew based 20 miles away
to pick up Lee.
The ambulance service is maxxed out.
The nearest crew have come from Sherburn-in-Elmet, whereas it's normally a Leeds crew.
But it's so busy, this is the nearest one they could send.
Lee is going to Leeds General Infirmary to be checked over.
As Darren suspected,
he's broken a rib but is otherwise unhurt apart from a bruise or two.
They'll soon fade, but he has a permanent reminder of his accident
thanks to his phone.
He wasn't getting a lot of sympathy from his girlfriend, who thought it was funny
that he'd sustained an injury.
Not a good thing, really, is it?
They're laughing at you and you're in pain.
The casualties of an early winter.
Thankfully, all our patients are now on the mend.
Now let's catch up on the tense rescue operation launched to save a man
trapped in the woods in North Yorkshire.
The crew of an RAF helicopter are using all their skills
to prepare for a tricky rescue in remote woods.
Tree surgeon Kevin Ward is being carried to the only clearing big enough to winch him to safety
and on to hospital treatment for a broken leg.
Well done, Kevin.
That's the worst bit, sweetheart.
It's going to be cold and draughty.
You'll have to keep your head straight.
Is that as tight as it goes?
You want to see, don't you, Kev?
Kevin is strapped into a steel basket stretcher
designed to protect him in case it swings into overhanging branches.
But this will still be a dangerous operation.
How's that, Kevin? Feel nice and secure in there?
You're with the pros now. We'll leave you be.
-All the best.
-Nice to meet you. Take care.
Paramedic Darren Axe is one of the beefiest members of the Helimed team.
Which is just as well. His strength will be critical to Kevin's rescue.
This rope should stop patient and winchman
spinning uncontrollably in the chopper's powerful downwash.
Darren's an ex-miner with muscles to match.
But he's got his work cut out!
I'm trying to stop the stretcher from spinning.
If it does, it's obviously dangerous for the winchman.
Thanks to the RAF's skill and Darren's strength,
Kevin finally reaches the safety of the Sea King's cabin.
Within ten minutes, he's on the final approach to Harrogate Hospital.
It turns out his leg is so badly broken, it needs surgery.
It'll be months before he's fit to chop down trees again.
But he knows he's lucky.
The Air Ambulance has always been my favourite charity.
On the assumption I might need it.
But I never really expected to need it.
Then when the RAF turned up as well, that was something amazing.
The man out of the helicopter came down first.
Then they sent the cradle down, got me snugged up into that.
Then me and the man went back up.
It was a bit scary, to tell the truth!
Especially going through the branches.
It was amazing, really.
I'm pleased to say Kevin is now back at work
after what was his first injury in 40 years of working in the woods.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd