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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-thirties, been ejected from a vehicle.
Hospital's an hour away by road
and speed is the only thing that can save you.
Roger, Helimed 99's en route to you. Over.
The Yorkshire Air Ambulance and its highly trained paramedics
are scrambled a thousand times a year.
Tell me exactly what's happened.
A small child's been on the path and a wagon's run over him.
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...
Right. Where's sore?
Paramedic James takes a risk to save a crane driver.
He was face down in a drainage ditch in an upside-down digger.
The team sees double after mountaineering twins call for help.
He does have the potential to have a serious brain injury.
A cyclist raising money for the air ambulance
needs its help after a hit-and-run.
He's got serious facial injuries.
And a first aider helps save a motorist's life.
There was just a plume of smoke, dust and all sorts.
When an accident leaves someone in a dangerous situation,
the men and women of the emergency services
have to face the same hazards
as the people they're trying to save.
And sometimes the rescuers' lives are at greater risk
than their patients'.
Yorkshire's farms are among the UK's most fertile
and it's the soggy winters that help the crops grow.
It means farmers spend much of autumn
clearing out becks and drainage ditches
to prepare for the rain to come.
But on land just south of Doncaster, there are reports
of a serious accident.
Helimed 98 has scrambled from Sheffield.
The map's grid reference points to a field a long way from any roads.
98 pass your message, over.
Someone's getting a machine so they're able to access the patient.
He's obviously well away, across the field to get to.
He also has an injury to his head and back. Over.
How are we doing? What have we got?
-He's got a cut head and...
-Has he tipped it over?
Farm worker Ged Smith was clearing a deep drainage ditch
when his excavator toppled over.
Only mud is preventing it sinking further.
Ged managed to phone some other farm workers who came to his aid
and used another digger to reach his own.
He's in a very precarious position.
-What've you been up to?
-Doing a job when I'm tired, I think.
Paramedic James Vine knows he's taking a risk.
But if he's to save his patient, he must join him on the toppled digger.
Right, chief. Where's sore?
-Right bad, here.
-Is that where you've come down? No worries.
-Is your head sore?
-No. Just cut me head on top here.
No worries. What we're going to do is put a collar on your head...
Ged managed to scramble out of the driver's seat.
He has a head injury,
but that's the least of his worries.
People will often scramble their way out
and you can assume that they're all right because they've got out
of the initial incident but it's self-preservation.
He was face down in a drainage ditch in an upside-down digger,
'so your instinct is to get out.
'It doesn't rule out that he's still got an injury.'
Keep really still, while we get you out.
They're not designed for comfort.
Ged's mates feared the worst after he managed to ring them.
I couldn't see the machine. I thought, "Christ, he's in the dyke!"
When I got here, it was tipped over. Ged was on the cab and seemed OK.
I asked if he wanted me to get him out and he said, no,
cos he felt dizzy and he'd hurt his back. So we phoned your lads.
The digger's unstable and everyone knows it could move at any minute.
The muddy water Ged was dredging is easily enough to drown in.
I thought, "How's he got there?" It's not looking good.
But as I say, we just sort of... made sure he was OK
and then rang for the ambulance.
Ged's head injury is obvious.
But the force of impact when a 15-tonne digger
tips over is immense.
It's the potential spinal injury that's causing James to worry.
We need to be careful with your neck and your back, OK?
I know you're in the middle of a dyke, but there's no rush
for us to get you out.
Farm accidents claim up to 50 lives a year.
And they've been on the increase.
-I can't believe all this, mate.
-Don't worry, we'll get it sorted.
They make them tough in South Yorkshire.
Ged even manages to share a joke with paramedic James.
-What's this for now?
-This is for me, mate.
It's in case I land in that wet stuff, behind us.
James needs to come up with a plan.
Come out here and we'll get long board onto here
and then at least it's out here and we can...
just get him to stand up and sit on it
and then go back, and we can think about getting him out at that stage.
But the dilemma now is how to get Ged back to the bank
without damaging his spine any further.
If you're a twin, you'll know there's a special bond
with your brother or sister.
But what happens if that special connection
drives you into the same high-risk hobby?
One day in the Peak District, two brothers found out.
Identical twins, James and Joe Brownhill, share most things,
including their love of climbing.
They've tackled peaks all over the world.
But one summer's day, their high-risk hobby
put one of them in desperate need of an air ambulance.
Helimed 98, we've lifted, Sheffield, en route.
MRT Edale are en route.
Sometimes, one of the most important things
the Helimed team bring to their patients,
is local knowledge.
Today, Helimed 98's been scrambled from its Sheffield base
to rescue a climber in the Derbyshire Peak District.
Paramedic Lee Gray and flying doctor Jez Pinnell live in the area.
My concern at the moment is
he's got quite a lot of damage to his climbing helmet as well,
so obviously that might be indicative of a head injury.
With Jez being on board today, as well, it's really good.
From an access viewpoint we can reach him,
but also we've got Jez's anaesthetic skills as well, if required.
It's an area paramedic Sammy Wills knows well.
Stanage Edge is world famous. It's a beautiful place to go climbing.
I can't imagine the thought that as he's fallen...
It'll be a, "Oh, my goodness."
At point of impact,
if it has been his head, with his helmet being smashed,
he might not be fully aware of what's happening anyway.
This area attracts people looking for adventure.
and the law of the air means pilot Andy Lister's
responsible for staying out of the way of the local paragliders.
Whereabouts is the paraglider?
Directly, sort of 5 o'clock from where we are now.
There's a whole load of people down there.
Yeah, they've got wide arms pointing to us.
You've got a large gathering of people now gesturing to us.
Can't see anyone gesturing.
At the base of the rock face.
Oh, visual now. Quite a lot of people.
They're 1,500 feet up in the Pennines
and Stanage Edge is a tricky place to land.
I don't think I'm going to get that close for you, unfortunately.
That's all right. It'll be our exercise for the day.
I'll just put it in this bit here, I think.
That's what we usually do and then hike on up.
Flying doctor Jez faces a tough climb to his patient.
How far's he fallen?
Hard to say. Looking at where the fall's come from,
about 25 feet...onto rock.
Directly or with the rope breaking his fall?
I think directly.
James has fallen onto rocks.
He's been lucky to survive the impact.
His twin saw it happen.
He went up again, decided he was tired and he was coming down.
As he came down, his strength just went.
On belay, I was watching him.
I took in a bit and then, he just went.
When he said he was going to go, it was mid-fall.
I tried to step back, but by the time I'd done so and turned around,
he'd hit the deck. Just on this big flat side of the triangular block.
Luckily, a local GP was climbing the rock face when the accident happened
and James has had trained medical help since he came round.
I think most of the stinging and stuff is from the cuts and grazes.
The back of your head and your right shoulder,
I suspect that's hurting you.
-How's your breathing?
The twins have climbed together all over the world.
Last year, they tackled some peaks in South America,
but James's accident is potentially very serious,
even though it's pretty close to home.
Of most concern is that he's been knocked out for a while,
so he's obviously going to need to be monitored and scanned.
Dr Jez is reassured by the fact James is alert.
But this is his second head injury
and he can't rule out any brain damage.
He urgently needs hospital care and a CT scan.
He was a bit confused for 10, 15 minutes but he's fully with it now.
He knows where he is... he's fully conscious,
he's got no obvious, immediately life-threatening problem.
Clearly, he does have the potential to have a serious brain injury still,
so we'll get him off
with mountain rescue,
and once we're down the bottom,
we'll fly him into the Northern General.
But getting him off Stanage Edge isn't going to be easy.
It's a long way down to the chopper and only manpower can carry him.
The team need plenty of mountain rescue volunteers
as quickly as possible.
On average, we give nearly a pound a year, per person,
to the local air ambulance.
That cash keeps a network of life-saving choppers in the air.
And at the bottom of many people's minds is the fact that one day
they may need it themselves.
For one fundraiser in North Yorkshire,
that day came a lot sooner than he expected.
The Yorkshire Dales are criss-crossed
by a thousand miles of road, most of it single track,
where wandering sheep are the biggest hazard.
Cyclists love them.
But these peaceful lanes are deceptive.
Every summer, there are serious accidents.
And today's one of those days.
Helimed 99's on its way to an incident
near the market town of Masham.
We've been tasked by a response that is on the scene.
A cyclist's come off his bike.
He's got severe face injuries.
We've been requested because he believes it'll require surgery.
The cyclist's badly hurt.
The journey to a major hospital from some parts of the Dales
can take more than an hour by road,
which is why the Helimed team are a familiar sight around here.
Hopefully, he'll be stabilised by whoever's on the scene
and then we can get them to a unit
that specialises in what this gentlemen needs.
It's harvest time,
with the combines working round the clock,
which is good news for pilot Steve.
There's a field of freshly cut stubble, right next to the incident.
-Is he in a bad way?
-He's not drastic.
His name's John Bleasdale, he's 46,
doing a charity bike ride, and, apparently,
got hit by a car - a hit-and-run.
He's impacted the ground with his face.
He's lost a couple of teeth.
He can't close his jaw properly.
John's charity cycle ride was actually raising money
for the air ambulance.
He's struggling to breathe.
The gentleman has sustained
quite significant facial injuries,
and the concern here was his airway
and...obviously the extent
of the damage to his face.
So, we obviously knew that he needed to go to plastics
and we needed the airway to be secured and controlled.
John's wife Theresa was following in a support car.
She found him lying in the road.
He was fighting for breath,
a dangerous side effect of facial injuries.
It inhibits your ability
to breathe properly and can be detrimental,
as well as the other things that people don't think about,
they think about the breathing, but they don't think about head injuries
and obviously neck injuries, as well.
John, how's the pain at the moment, buddy?
Can you score it out of 10?
Ben to copy?
Go ahead, Ben.
We're just getting the patient on the trolley.
Is everything ready with the aircraft?
Once we're in, we'll have to move quite quickly.
Yes, we're all ready to go here.
From here, the nearest hospital for these injuries
is James Cook at Middlesbrough. It'll be about 10 minutes'
flying time once we're airborne.
Can you hear me?
We've popped you on a stretcher,
we're just going to put you onto the helicopter, OK?
He's got serious facial injuries
but nothing at the moment that we can't manage. It looks...
it looks quite bad where it's torn his lip
and around his mouth
but...we've pre-warned the hospital
and they'll be able to get him sorted quickly.
Half an hour ago, John was looking forward
to collecting the proceeds of his charity ride.
Now he'll take off in the chopper he was trying to raise money for.
Flying direct to James Cook.
Currently heading of 040 just to the north...
Paramedics Lee and Ben will carefully monitor John
throughout the flight.
Maintaining a patient's airway and so his breathing,
is always a paramedic's number one priority.
We check for the oxygen levels that are currently in the blood.
If they start to drop and if we become really concerned about them,
then obviously we need to look for what is making that happen.
That can be problems with breathing, problems with the airway,
problems with the lungs, if they're not ventilating properly.
As far as we're aware, he's almost certainly got fractures to his jaw,
in possibly, multiple places.
He hasn't had a helmet on. He's gone straight over, headfirst.
Many of his teeth are missing. And he's got large skin lacerations,
which are causing obstructions inside his mouth.
The James Cook Hospital, at Middlesbrough
has a specialist maxillofacial department
with the skills needed to rebuild John's face.
Ahead of him is a long and painful few months -
all because he took the wrong turn
and came across a reckless driver on a country lane.
Within days, doctors begin work
on rebuilding their patient's face.
But even three months on, he still bears the scars
physically and emotionally.
The way I was, on me own, driver not stopping,
I could have been left for any length of time before somebody else...
or been left in the road
for the next car to come along and run over me.
So, I think it's quite despicable really, what they have done.
It's hard to say I feel lucky because you keep thinking,
"If only I hadn't taken the wrong turn and carried on with the riders,
"I wouldn't be in this position,"
but it's easy to see it could have been worse and in a way I am lucky.
One day, John hopes to complete his ride
and repay the cost of his flight.
It's one of those ironic things.
So, they asked which charity he'd like to put his fundraising to
and he said the air ambulance - "I might need them later."
Now let's return to the rescue operation launched to free
a crane driver trapped in his cab.
And it's about to become a lot more complicated.
Farm labourer Ged Smith was clearing a drainage ditch
when his 15-tonne excavator toppled down the steep bank.
He managed to crawl out of the cab before it sunk under the water.
But he has a head injury
and the Helimed paramedics fear he may have a serious spinal injury.
It is all lower back, mate, by the sounds of it.
Ged's mates rushed to his assistance
but everyone knows the upturned digger
is only being held in place by mud and gravity.
If it topples, Ged and paramedic James are in real danger.
-That dyke is very deep.
-It will go over your waist.
-What, with mud?
Guys, over the dyke.
The fire brigade arrive
but they are stuck the wrong side of the drainage ditch.
The crew face a long walk with their kit.
Any delay means more pain for Ged.
Paramedic Pete's worried that he may have damaged his pelvis
as well as his spine.
-Top of me leg, at this side.
-Any pain down your leg at all?
-No discomfort around your tummy?
And treating Ged balanced on top of an upturned digger
has it's problems.
We're about 20 foot up here.
Finally the fire crew arrive and paramedic James has the plan.
If we can get a ladder down the bottom end.
We'll put the board straight out.
If someone holds the bottom end of the board as he's laid down
so he doesn't go off the end.
A ladder in the dyke up this way and someone holding the board.
We'll go flat on to the board and get as many hands as we can
and lift him in to the bucket. The easiest way.
But it's all taking a long time
and the pain and stress is getting to Ged.
It's a worrying sign.
Pains in my chest, here.
-You haven't had pain in your chest?
Nice steady breaths,
we'll get it all sorted.
-I'm thinking about it.
-We're going to get you sorted.
Get me out. I'm panicking now.
There's nowt to worry about. When I worry, you can worry.
We're not going to let anything happen to you.
No amount of fire brigade training
could have prepared the team for this.
It's unusual. We don't get these every day. Gets you thinking.
A lot of it is thinking on your feet.
You wonder what's happening.
Until you get here you don't know what you're facing.
-Well done, Ged, mate.
-Oh, my back is killing!
Ged has been the perfect patient.
But when it is time for him to move,
the seriousness of his injury becomes very obvious.
Are you ready? One, two, three, push!
OK, OK, OK!
And lifting 19 stone of farm labourer
with a possible broken back,
needs both strength and care.
Just get us in position.
Hopefully we can get him out now
and get him on the ambulance and away to hospital.
And the final stage of Ged's bizarre rescue,
from an upturned digger in a dyke...
Everybody get a hand hold, cos I don't want it on that for longer than it needs to be.
..to a ditch digger bucket on a telescopic arm.
It's not glamorous, but it works.
Can I have resus assessment, please, of a 51-year-old gentleman.
He's a farmer who's turned a digger over into a ditch.
We've took our time just extricating him there,
just to be safe
regarding his back, make sure we don't exacerbate any injuries.
It has taken 20 people to get Ged out of his excavator
and into Helimed 98.
-That right leg, is it still?
You know the window over on the floor? I think you landed on that.
For both the emergency services and Ged's farm colleagues,
the relief of a job well done is tempered by concern for a workmate
who might have broken his back and may never be able to work in these fields again.
Ged arrives at hospital
and the results of a body scan reveal his injuries.
The news isn't good.
Remember the twins involved in a serious fall in the Peak District?
Let's get back to Stanage Edge, where Mountain Rescue teams
are about to start the long trek to the helicopter.
Climber James Brownhill needs urgent hospital treatment.
He was climbing with his identical twin, Joe,
when equipment securing him to a 25-foot-high rock face
came loose and he fell.
Fellow climbers came to the rescue.
Fortunately, me and the guy with him had basic first aid
and we were pretty relieved we had it.
Lots of people came to help and started shouting and,
fortunately, there was a doctor from Mountain Rescue just climbing next to us,
so that was very relieving when he turned up, cos he knew exactly what to do,
rather than just an inkling of what to do.
OK. You just tell me.
Joe is concerned about his brother's condition,
but all climbers live with the risks of their sport.
-There you go.
Back here, then, James. You're doing well.
Flying doctor Jez Pinnell knows the journey down from the edge
to Helimed 98 isn't going to be easy.
But Mountain Rescue and local climbers have turned out in force.
We will take his helmet so the doctor at the hospital can assess
the point of impact and any damage.
They're designed to take a good, substantial wallop.
The fact that the outer shell looks all intact
doesn't tell the full story, cos of the polystyrene inside.
He's had a significant impact.
Mountain Rescue teams were called to this spot 50 times last year,
and they know the route down for patients can be treacherous.
They've built a specially adapted all-terrain stretcher
to make it as safe and comfortable as possible.
-Are you warm enough?
James will soon be on his way to the brain scanner
at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital.
His brother is going to be following in a car,
knowing that James is in good hands,
but worried that his twin might have a serious head injury.
James was kept in hospital overnight.
The cuts on his head were stitched up
and he was thoroughly assessed for any brain injury.
Amazingly, the next day, he was allowed home.
For Joe, the twin that didn't fall,
his brother's accident has been very significant.
Hello, everyone. I'm president of the Rockclimbing Club.
The point of this is just basically to highlight the importance of first aid.
He's now lecturing other students on basic first aid, with good reason.
If not for his first aid skills, his brother could have died.
Landed right on his shoulder and neck like this.
As he hit, he went upside down slightly.
That was when he looked at me and then he just lolled
and went back and that's when I thought he was dead.
A few months later and Joe and James are reunited on the rock face,
with first aider Joe at the bottom,
and the fully-recovered James at the top.
My injury was mainly a cut to the head
and quite a lot of lost blood, which required 13 stitches.
It was quite a big gash on my head but it was the helmet that broke,
so if I hadn't been wearing a helmet
it would have been a different story. I would've, erm...
well, I might not be here, because my helmet was pretty damaged.
James, the twin that fell,
has had little trouble getting back into climbing.
The same, however, isn't true of his brother.
'It has taken Joe a lot longer than me,'
cos, for me, it was a ride in a helicopter.
I don't remember a lot about it.
Back of your head and right shoulder, I suspect...
Joe had to see his brother compromise his airway, clear his airway,
be unconscious, and then be airlifted away with a bad head injury.
Seeing that is a hell of a lot worse than experiencing it.
It gave up there, that's why he came down and landed just here.
'I thought he was going to get up and then he didn't.
'It clearly wasn't normal, any of it. So it just sort of kicked me into action.'
I went into my bossy thing and shouted at a lot of people
and just got organised, because they realised how serious it was.
All right, mate.
The twins are going to continue climbing together,
each brother's safety in the other's hands.
It's a relationship based on trust and for these two,
it should hopefully keep them safe on the rock face.
Now, going on a first aid course is a great idea.
Since I learnt some basic medical skills in the police,
I've had to use that knowledge several times
and it's usually when you least expect it.
But an ordinary person with a little know-how can often work miracles.
On the M1 in South Yorkshire, a sports car has left the motorway.
It's gone over three fields before ending up in a ditch.
'There's about four calls come in on this.
'We now have two more saying between 31 and 30, Aston and Rotherham.
'Car into a field. Just follow the M1 till you find it
'and let me know when you find it, please. Over.'
With paramedic Colin Jones volunteering as a senior trainer
for the St John Ambulance in his spare time, he knows only too well
the difference those who get to an accident first can make.
What about your legs? Can you move your legs? Fantastic.
And luckily for this 40-year-old woman from Sheffield,
the first man who came to help her was Brian Gray.
Wobbled a bit, lost it, then shot into the field.
She were behind you, then all of a sudden, she's in lane one?
He's a scout leader, who'd just done a first aid course.
There was a plume of smoke, dust and all sorts
and we saw the fence disappear.
So I pulled over and jumped over the fence -
vaulted it, actually - and came down here.
We thought it would go on fire
cos there was a lot of oil and smoke from the front of the vehicle.
You don't know what you're doing, in a situation like this. You see it on TV all the time and then...
I've just about calmed down now, I think!
Even before the emergency services arrived, Brian,
along with two other drivers, helped to support her head,
made her car safe, and kept her calm -
three things which make a huge difference.
I've got friends in the emergency services and they both say things kick in.
And it did. I must admit, it did kick in.
Running down the hill, I didn't know what to expect.
When it came to it, I think I just went into, er...
..first aid mode, let's say.
I get my badge for that one now!
-Can you feel me touching your hair?
-Is that hurting?
-Can you bend your elbow?
Before she's taken from the car,
Colin wants to do some medical checks.
She has a few missing teeth at the front, a laceration on her arm.
We're going to go for a standard extrication - long board down the back,
straight up the board, as soon as she counterbalances, tilt her over,
making sure her legs are clear and then a standard extrication.
Ready, steady, slide.
She has a head injury, so it's hard to assess.
We'll treat her for the worst and fly her to Northern General.
Guys, toes first!
At this incident, there were more than 20 people from the emergency services.
Each have their own crucial role.
But Colin's well aware that the most important
is often the person who gets there first.
And that's why, on his days off, Colin volunteers with the St John Ambulance.
Today, he's at the University of Leeds, leading a first aid course
for students who run outdoor activities.
Thanks for coming along.
It is a fact that about 150,000 people in this country could survive
if somebody knew a little bit of first aid.
So many people die needlessly.
'Everybody should learn it. It should be taught in schools, I think.
'If they start of early, the earlier the better. It becomes common sense.
'Most first aid is common sense.'
There is no excuse, everybody should know a little bit about first aid.
When your sports and hobbies take you off the beaten track,
you're often miles from professional help should things go wrong.
And it's at times like these when good first aid is critical.
On the moors above Sheffield, an off-road biker is in trouble.
Gary Sorsby has come off his trial bike
and has been knocked unconscious.
I was behind him and he hit the rocks over there.
The back end came up and the bike somersaulted.
He was on his head and was out cold for probably two minutes.
The crew of Helimed 98 have been sent to try to find him.
The path is going left to right, sort of coming towards us.
-That's where the bobby said he was?
-Yeah, on this path here.
It's over a mile from the nearest road,
but two police officers have managed to run to their patient,
along with a volunteer first aid team
who've already been helping Gary.
98, we're overhead the vicinity.
We'll have a look round, see if we can locate the patient.
-He's on nose I think here.
-On the right there.
Straight on nose.
-Can you see a gathering of people in fluorescent jackets?
-Can we not get in that next field?
-It's very deep, that heather.
-All right, go here then, mate.
-I'll put it here and have a look.
We can always reposition if required.
What caused the incident, can you remember what caused it?
-I've no idea.
-No? All right, then.
Are you normally pretty good on the bike?
-Or do you tend to fall off a lot?
-Cos he'll tell you.
-What, whether you're any good or not?
It's clear Gary's got some good mates.
Apparently, he hit that.
Graham was right behind him when he came off,
and straight away, he knew what to do.
We do first aid anyway
so we knew to put him in the recovery position,
make sure his airways were clear and make sure he stayed still.
Then after two minutes, he finally came round
and was making some gurgling noises.
Tried to keep him still, and we rung for the ambulance
and made sure we got him some medical help.
Your legs, can we straighten them out, nice and steady?
-Can you move the those yourself?
-Yeah. Hurts a bit.
Pete suspects Gary's broken his collar bone,
and his shaking is a sign of hypothermia.
Can we tuck that jacket just underneath him,
so when we're all out, we can get the other side out?
-Any shortness of breath at all?
We'll get you warmed up in a bit, all right?
The St John Ambulance volunteers had been in the area for a running event.
They never expected it would be a biker needing their treatment.
One of the bikers
came down and said, "Is there any chance you could see us?"
I was told it was only a mile up the road,
but a bit further on the walking.
When we got to him, we found that he'd been unconscious
and started with the basic stuff, really.
Let's see if we can get this arm out before we do it.
Bend this arm for me. Bend your left arm.
Pete knows they need to get Gary out of the freezing wind quickly.
But they also need to be careful.
He could have back or neck injuries.
Put your hands on your tummy for us again now.
When you say you felt something go there, that right shoulder? Yeah.
And move again, yeah? One, two, three - move.
A few loose rocks as we come down.
He's obviously got a shoulder injury.
He's got pain around his scapula and his clavicle,
which, when people fall off bikes, it's quite often an injury they'll get.
He's also been unconscious, which is a bigger worry.
It's took a severe bang to his head to knock him unconscious.
That will be checked over in A&E and hopefully cleared.
Gary will soon be getting advanced medical care in hospital,
but it's clear that's only been made possible
by the quick-thinking first aiders who helped him out
in those crucial minutes straight after his crash.
Sometimes you go through an event where nothing really happens,
and then to come here and an air ambulance be involved as well, so it's a bit different.
Back at the University of Leeds, Colin is working with the next generation of first aiders.
They want to learn how to help if someone in their team suffers an accident
or becomes ill during an outdoor expedition.
Often this means putting the casualty into the recovery position.
'A simple thing like opening the airway, checking for a response, putting two fingers on the chin,'
lifting the head back like that and checking the breathing.
That could save so many lives per year. It's very simple to do.
But you don't need to be critically ill to need the help of a first aider.
A fractured limb in a remote location can become just as serious.
Over 9 million visitors take time out in the Yorkshire Dales every year.
That's ten times the population of Leeds.
But, up here, there's no handy casualty department if things go wrong.
Helimed 99 is flying out to Great Whernside.
It's one of the higher peaks in the Dales, is Great Whernside.
We don't know if it's on the summit of the hill or down on a path on the way up.
It could be fairly steep up there.
And rough terrain has certainly caught out Maria Todd.
With a broken ankle, she's trapped on the hillside.
Fortunately, she and her walking buddies had just been on a first aid course
and knew exactly what to do before professional help arrived.
Is that them below us now?
From the air, you can see why Maria's friends' basic medical skills were so useful.
She's on the path down there.
The nearest road ambulance has had to park up several miles away.
We've got a visual, we'll be landing shortly.
-'There's a couple of small rocks that you can put her down on.'
-Is that down?
It's OK on my side.
Maria's friends have done a good job, keeping her warm and comfortable.
-Hiya, my name's Glen. I understand you've had a bit of a tumble.
-Have you gone over on your ankle like that?
-No, it went...
She's on a day trip with a fell-walking club from near Durham.
He slipped first and he said, "Be careful, it's slippy."
Then she just went, but she fell down the side as well.
Ooh, yeah. You've got quite a big swelling there.
OK. I'm going to treat it as if you've fractured it.
It's not guaranteed to be fractured but it's likely.
Regular fell walkers know that an accident is always a possibilty.
Maria and her friend Sheila have just helped themselves
by getting some very useful extra knowledge.
They've just done a leadership course,
and they've done their first aid, so they know what AVPU means,
but whether they can put it into practice, I don't know.
To help with the pain, Glen gives his patient some Entonox.
What you're having now is gas and air. It can make you feel a bit giggly.
It really helps with the pain but it doesn't last long
so if you start to feel a bit woozy with it, as soon as you stop taking it those effects will wear off.
It doesn't take long before the side-effects kick in.
I take it it's good stuff then!
I tell you! I think I'm getting the effects!
She seems to be doing really well now she's on the Entonox.
I think her friend's a bit of a catalyst for humour,
and I always think laughter's the best medicine, so she's doing quite well.
-She's a little bit...
-We wanted to be on Bargain Hunt!
I think you can make your own mind up here, can't you!
-Wanted to be on Bargain Hunt?
-We got rejected, didn't we?
The laughter soon turns to tears.
Despite having morphine to kill the pain, Maria's getting increasingly uncomfortable.
Glen works quickly.
Mountain Rescue have arrived to help out.
Without these volunteers, the Helimed crew would struggle
to get Maria up to the chopper on top of the hill.
She probably thinks,
"All I've got is a fractured ankle and look at all this fuss."
If you think about it, there's no other solution.
She won't walk down the hill and it's getting cold
so, potentially, if they didn't have services like this, she could die out here.
Pretty soon, Maria is on her way from Great Whernside to Harrogate Hospital.
She and her friend Sheila knew that one day the first aid course
they've just completed would be useful.
They just didn't think that day would be today.
The first aiders who became heroes themselves there.
Now let's find out about the digger driver who became trapped in his cab after a dramatic accident.
Listen, there's nowt to worry about. When I start worrying, you can worry. We'll get you out nice and steady.
Farm worker Ged Smith managed to scramble out of the sinking cab of his 15-tonne excavator.
Firefighters and farm workers used a combination of ladders,
muscle power and heavy machinery to rescue Ged.
Now he's on his way to Sheffield's Northern General Hospital and the waiting consultants.
Ged had never had an accident before in his working life,
but he made up for it with this one. His list of injuries is extensive.
I cut my head open really bad at the back. I had to have that glued.
Badly bruised all the way down my side.
I broke my pelvis in two places.
I've done two discs on my back.
And apart from that, I don't think there isn't anything else that doesn't hurt with a bruise.
He's driven tractors and heavy agricultural machinery all his working life
and has had plenty of time to go over what led up to his accident.
I'd got to the end of the day, stopped to have a drink of tea.
The next thing I remember is just rolling backwards and ending upside-down in the digger.
I knew I was hurt. I knew it was bad.
When I looked back, my phone was in the cab. I phoned the farmer, the farmer come,
and rung, you know...
..whoever I had to get hold of straight away, the services,
cos they knew I was really hurt.
-I can't believe all this, mate, honestly.
-Don't worry, pal. We'll get it sorted.
He knows he was lucky to survive.
The good thing is, it landed with the cab facing upwards, rather than downwards.
If the cab had gone downwards...
..I don't think I'd have been here today.
It's cos I'm thinking about it, in't it?
-Course it is. We're going to get you sorted.
But one person in particular sticks in Ged's mind -
paramedic James Vine,
who kept him calm during his ordeal, with humour and comforting words.
-He's a big lad.
-I can't swim.
-Can you not?
-You won't when we strap you to this board, anyway!
-You'll float, though.
He turned round and said,
"I don't know who's more frightened, me or you.
"But obviously you're in pain, and I'm not."
Take a nice, big, deep breath in. Does that change the pain?
No, but I'm getting really agitated.
I know. I'll get you out nice and steady. Nowt to worry about.
He said, "I am going to get you out of here". Brilliant.
He was a good character and a good paramedic, he was.
OK, keep going. We're going to lay him on the grass, where it's flat.
'I just don't know how to thank everybody
'who's actually done the job for me.'
My wife, paramedics, everybody who stood by me.
My five children.
And ten grandchildren, who helped me back like this.
And the Air Ambulance has one very big supporter.
I have never been involved in it in my life.
It is the bestest thing I could ever think of.
You'll be glad to hear Gerald has now fully recovered
and is back at the controls of his digger.
But I'm afraid I have some sad news about the Brownhill twins,
the climbers whose case we brought you earlier.
James recently had another climbing accident,
and suffered fatal injuries.
His family say it's helped them,
knowing he died doing something that he loved,
and have set up a trust in his memory.
They wanted us to show his story
as a tribute to a much-loved son and brother.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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