Air Ambulance Innovation: Doctors in Jet Suits
Air Ambulance services worldwide have a new technology to look up to Jet Suits. Extending the reach of aeromedical doctors in airplane jets and helicopters, the jet suit has been successfully tested with paramedics for search and rescue missions in remote areas by a British engineering company in collaboration with an Air Ambulance service in the North of England.
Gravity Industries has been testing the jet suit with the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) using paramedics for missions in the remote Lake District. In a test mission, a pilot flew up from the valley bottom to a simulated casualty site that would take around half an hour by foot. The jet suit helped cover the distance in 90 seconds, as reported by the Good News Network last week.
Tests conducted over the last two years, and especially in 2022 have revealed the huge potential of these devices in missions involving foggy, craggy, or difficult terrain that conventional jets or helicopters can hardly reach to deliver critical care services.
“Our aircraft will remain a vital part of the emergency response in this terrain,” said Chief Test Pilot Rob Browning, who trained several paramedics to use the jet packs. “In some cases, it would save their lives.”
The Jet Suit includes two miniature jet turbines on each arm, and a fifth engine housed in a backpack. The device is reportedly capable of creating over 300 pounds of thrust with 1,050 brake horsepower. The Jet Suit is in its third working version at present and may take some more time to hit the market. Meanwhile, the company is collaborating with Air Ambulance services to see how far it can have a positive and practical impact on the industry.
Air Ambulance services originated during the world wars when injured soldiers and later, civilians in critical condition, were transported quickly for better care. This later evolved into critical care given in the flight itself, covering long distances to reach better hospitals or native destinations during repatriation from foreign countries.
Today, even as these services make use of new aircraft’ speed and convenience, the Air Ambulance industry must keep an eye on new and innovative developments that could spur growth in unexpected and patient-friendly directions.