Iron Man joins the ambos

2 minute read

Because helicopter rescues are so last century.

As a child of the 1960s, your Back Page correspondent lives each day with the gnawing disappointment that he does not travel about in a flying car, à la The Jetsons.

A life decision to become a journalist instead of a paramedic hasn’t helped. While the former career option has involved a fair bit of international travel, it’s not quite the same as gadding about wearing a jetpack – which is now a real-world option for some lucky paramedics in Britain’s Lake District.

In what could be mistaken for a blockbuster movie concept called Iron Man Joins The Ambos, technology developed by a company called Gravity Industries has advanced to a stage where suitably trained medical officers will don jet suits before going about their business of rescuing injured folks from precipitous mountain locations. 

Faithful Back Page readers may remember that we’ve, ahem, marvelled at this before.

But two years on, according to a report by the BBC, one member of Great North Air Ambulance staff has already completed training to use the suit solo, and two more will start soon.

The rationale for the jet suits is, of course, saving lives by saving time. An ambo in a jet suit and carrying a medical kit can whiz up a mountainside in under two minutes, as opposed to a hike which could take several hours.

“We’re still awestruck by it, everyone looks at the wow factor and the fact we are the world’s first jet suit paramedics but for us it’s about delivering patient care,” Andy Mawson, GNAA operations director who’s completed the training, told the BBC.

Unsurprisingly, the jet suits don’t come cheap, so it’s unlikely that world will soon be abuzz with paramedical superheroes going about their life-saving business.

In fact, the more cynical among us suspect there might be elements of “publicity-seeking fanfare crossed with childhood-fantasy-comes-true” to all of this.

On the other hand, if you did happen to fall down a crevasse and shatter your os coxae then a speedy attendance by jet-dude would probably seem just the ticket.

If you see something that’s totes amazeballs, despatch with due haste to    

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