Cool your jets, James Bond, this is a job for a flying paramedic.
In a scene straight out of 1965’s “Thunderball,” inventor Richard Browning tested a jet suit that will allow Great North Air Ambulance Service medics to quickly respond to emergencies in the rugged Lake District, Reuters reported.
“Who knows what the future holds but this is a start we are very proud of,” said Browning, founder of the UK’s Gravity Industries who reached a 10-year-old girl in a simulated fall in just 90 seconds.
It would have taken 25 minutes for first responders to cover the treacherous path on foot, according to the company.
The suit – which holds two mini engines on each arm and one on the back — can fly at 32 mph to a maximum altitude of 12,000 feet, the BBC reported.
“The biggest advantage is its speed,” said Andy Mawson, a helicopter paramedic and director of operations at GNAAS who came up with the idea.
“If the idea takes off, the flying paramedic will be armed with a medical kit, with strong pain relief for walkers who may have suffered fractures, and a defibrillator for those who may have suffered a heart attack,” he said.
“In a jet pack, what might have taken up to an hour to reach the patient may only take a few minutes, and that could mean the difference between life and death,” Mawson continued.
“There are dozens of patients every month within the complex but relatively small geographical footprint of the Lakes,” he added. ” 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.”
According to the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, the number of incidents requiring emergency responses last year was 584, according to Reuters.
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