If you’ve ever wondered what the future of remote medicine may look like, it’s probably safe to say that it will involve jet packs. At least, that’s what a groundbreaking exercise run by an air ambulance service in England has recently demonstrated in one of the country’s mountainous regions.
In a bid to see whether jet suits can enable paramedics to reach stranded casualties in remote areas, an ambulance service together with jet suit manufacturer has run a test, where a jet pack navigated the rocky hillsides of the Lake District, North West England.
As reported in The Guardian, inventor Richard Browning from Gravity Industries, equipped with the revolutionary technology, could be seen shooting across treacherous terrain at heights of between 10 to 20 feet in search of a party of walkers simulating a casualty scenario. Within minutes the stranded group had been located in a search that would normally have taken rescuers more than an hour on foot.
The exercise was the culmination of a year-long discussion between the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) and Gravity Industries. According to Andy Mawson, the director of operation and paramedics at GNAAS, the test aimed to demonstrate the huge potential of equipping paramedics with jet suits to enable the delivery of critical care services to remote mountainous areas in potentially life-saving time.
“We could see the need. What we didn’t know for sure is how this would work in practice. Well, we’ve seen it now and it is, quite honestly, awesome,” said Mawson.
Currently, GNAAS is carrying out a few modifications to Browning’s suit before it is anticipated to be used in real rescue scenarios as early as next summer. If all goes well, we could soon see this extraordinary new service be deployed elsewhere as well.