Video: UK Mountain Rescue Are Trialling Jet Packs to Help Them Get to Patients Quicker

Sep 30, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  

If you crash your bike and injure yourself in the wilderness and it's not practical or possible to reach you by helicopter, you're likely to be waiting for a while as mountain rescue attempts to reach you on foot or by vehicle. As any First Aider will tell you, the moments after an accident are crucial and the longer it takes for help to arrive, the more serious your situation becomes.

That could all be about to change as UK mountain rescue paramedics are trialling using jet packs to help them access hard to reach patients in remote areas quicker than they could on foot.

As reported by the BBC, the Great North Air Ambulance Service carried out a 2 day test recently in the Lake District that reconstructed a typical rescue scenario.

In the test that was carried out on September 8, a 25 minute climb was cut to just 90 seconds. This time saving could mean the difference between life and death as a first responder could locate and stabilise the patient much quicker than they could be reached by any other method.

Andy Mawson, director of operations at GNAAS, said: "There are dozens of patients every month within the complex but relatively small geographical footprint of the Lake [District]. 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. If the idea takes off, the flying paramedic will be armed with a medical kit, with strong pain relief for [those] who may have suffered fractures, and a defibrillator for those who may have suffered a heart attack. 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."

The £340,000 suit delivers 1050bhp of power.

The jet suit was designed and flown on the day by Richard Browning, founder of Gravity Industries and inventor of the system. It delivers 1050bhp of thrust, has a top speed in excess of 80mph and is capable of reaching an altitude of 12,000ft, although for safety purposes it is flown lower. The wearer has one engine on each arm and one on their back and they use their own balance to control the flight. The suit retails for £340,000 ($437,000 USD).

With the test complete, GNAAS and Gravity Industries are now exploring the next steps in this collaboration.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of the article said the jetpack was £34,000, this has now been edited to reflect the correct price - £340,000

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194 Comments

  • 110 2
 Who's going to save the jet packers?
  • 86 0
 Even bigger jet packs! Duh
  • 34 1
 Levy will
  • 127 0
 Seems like the fastest way to have two rescues on the same mountain in one day. Plus a wild fire.
  • 5 1
 @vapidoscar: fire risk, first thought I had. Hopefully there's some training/thought gone into that..............
  • 17 2
 @nojzilla: I wouldn't have thought the UK was ever dry enough for forest fires to be an actual risk. It's a joke, just a joke.
  • 24 0
 @nojzilla: fire risk in the Lake District?! I’ve never been anywhere as wet (except Wales obviously)... I guess that’s of small consolation to the rescue victim when Johnny rocket pants slams into him at 80mph from a height of 12,000ft though
  • 3 2
 @barbarosza: with the grim donut Tim Ho's edition
  • 5 1
 @barbarosza: Yes! 25 minute hike to the rescue location but the Grim Donut could climb that in under 5 minutes.
  • 6 0
 @kcy4130: flagrant fibbery sir.
Looks outside...
Such spurious slander!
  • 4 1
 E-bike riders?
  • 6 0
 Quis jetpackos ipsos jetpackers?
  • 67 0
 @nsmithbmxmotor. Tried trials motos. In theory, they could make it up in 5 minutes with more gear and way cheaper. But the riders took three hours because they kept starting over until they got it clean. No dabs!
  • 1 0
 coast guard
  • 2 0
 @Peskycoots: there was that time the peat bogs burned for a month. Well... Smouldered.
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: training of the firefighters? Wink
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: just had 6 months of dry weather...
  • 1 0
 @vapidoscar: underrated comment
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: flames only on start up just hot air after . no after burner on this baby
  • 3 0
 a guy on an ebike
  • 9 0
 @nsmithbmx: E-Bike rescue wouldn´t be faster - everybody knows it requires as much work out and as much fitness as regular bio-bike rescue ;-)
  • 1 0
 Only if it comes with a packet of marshmallows
  • 58 0
 The drone pilots name is Ben Kenobi?? Like... the Jedi Master??
  • 27 1
 These aren't the shots you're looking for.
  • 21 0
 Yes, he is actually called Ben Kenobi.

Source: My dad works with him.
  • 98 1
 Now that's a name I've not heard in a long time
  • 6 0
 @derekbnorakim: how is this not top comment?! Great reference
  • 3 0
 Luke, you’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view. So you're saying we're always... Right?
  • 2 0
 Hello there
  • 2 0
 @derekbnorakim: He’s just a crazy old man.
  • 2 0
 @thomascassada I wonder if you mean old Ben Kenobi. I thought he was dead?
  • 1 0
 @FragrantParrot: who is your father?
  • 51 1
 I wont buy it, no water bottle mount
  • 5 0
 Sipping from a water bottle in a jetsuit - the new Friday Fails theme edition.
  • 46 0
 - So why do you want to become a Mountain Rescuer?
- Well.....
  • 10 0
 They may as well change the job role to Superhero...they're heroes and now they can fly, which is super.
  • 7 0
 @terribleone1982: It kinda sucks that it sets your cape on fire. And if you take the SuperGrover pose, will you go forward or backwards? Real questions and good to know in case of an emergency.
  • 1 0
 @terribleone1982: I wanna be Iron Medic so bad!!! I admit it's fatally dangerous, but I'd get to fly around like Iron Man.
  • 6 0
 @vinay: "No capes!" -Edna Mode
  • 33 6
 £34,000 for a jet pack? How much is the kashima version?

In all seriousness, this is pretty awesome. Seems far fetched and expensive now, but so are most innovations at the start. This could prove life-saving at the critical first response stage. Lets hope they get more refined, more affordable and more available.

Also puts a big boost in your dating game...

So what do you do for a living?

I'm a paramedic.

Oh wow, working on the ambulances?

No, jet pack actually.

[Desire to remove underwear intensifies]
  • 10 1
 The article was updated, the price is £340,000
  • 3 1
 >> Seems far fetched and expensive now, but so are most innovations at the start

...except so are all bad ideas, of which there are far more. Good innovation may start as an expensive toy, but unfortunately you can't predict them because they are expensive toys.
  • 1 0
 £340,000 is a lot of money but when compared with the price of helicopters, it's reasonable for the functionality that it has. Plus they will get top talent working in their rescue team because everyone will want to be rescuers if they get to be jet pack super heroes.
  • 30 6
 Can you imagine sitting there with a broken leg and some f*cking noodle on a jetpack zZZZzzZZZziiips on up to you all budget-superhero like, "hey I'm Tim, and uhh, I'm here to the rescue!"

Zero chance I'm strapping in with Tim. I'll take my chances. Who knows, maybe I can ride a bear down the mountain instead. Seems about equally as safe/more realistic.
  • 36 0
 On the other hand, he can easily cauterize any open wounds.
  • 3 0
 @Jacquers: My first thought was that he would cauterize his own legs on the way up.
  • 24 0
 @snowwcold55

Can you imagine sitting up there with a broken leg and some f*cking legend on a jetpack shows up like "Hey i'm Tim. I'm going to administer some pain relief, put this blanket on you to stop you going into hypothremic shock and stay with you until help arrives"
  • 9 0
 Did someone call me?
  • 12 1
 Imagine bleeding to death on the side of a mountain, but instead of dying I am alive because the medic in a jet pack got to me in time. I'd rather be alive and not be "cool" than dying in agony like a "badass"
  • 4 0
 @bigtim: Yes Tim, DESTINY called!

Oh, and Ian from Accounts called. Apparently you submitted an invoice for £340,000.00 for a jetpack. He just wanted to have a chat about it to check it was right.
  • 2 1
 @MikeBikerson:

I mean obviously I'd take @bigtim saving my ass and holding my hand as I weep tears of relief on the side of the mountain...

I'm just saying - can you imagine strapping into Tim's harness like a tandem skydiver and flying ZzZZzzzZippity-doo-da back down to the parking lot or wherever and your buddies are there watching you land, all teary-eyed and what not? You'd never live it down. Death may be a better option.

AND YES I know it's not intended to extract victims, but let us have some fun, eh?
  • 2 0
 @snowwcold55: I mean, flying around on a jetpack off my tits on painkillers sounds pretty fun
  • 23 0
 I've worked in Search & Rescue for about 13 years, and I love the new tech that comes our way. I am however very dubious that this will actually happen anytime soon, if at all, but definitely happy to be proven wrong!
  • 5 0
 This just seems like it violates the first rule of any rescue/ first aid situation of "don't make another victim"
  • 4 0
 @NorCalNomad: I thought the first rule of rescue/first aid situation was "You don't talk about rescue/first aid situation"?
  • 1 0
 @DidNotSendIt: That's a safety meeting you're thinking about
  • 22 0
 In the US, that guy has about 30 seconds of flight time before he gets shot out of the sky by a redneck.
  • 1 1
 Get out of my prop..... sky!!!!
  • 17 0
 Id like to see Mike Levy testing out one of these suits in his fancy flip flops
  • 1 0
 Put it in the field test!
  • 16 0
 This is one of the coolest videos I've ever seen. Can we get a review of the jet pack?
  • 20 0
 Tomorrow.
  • 14 0
 @Dropthedebt: I wish.

working on www.pinkjetpack.com right now, someone send us some review units please.
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: thanks Brian. Now I know the "5 running must haves for 2018" lol
(I had to click)
  • 8 0
 @brianpark: I am so going to block that - true flying requires flapping arm power alone and anyone who cheats with a jetpack is no better than an e-biker...
  • 17 0
 **FINALLY, something that bares no resemblance to a SESSION! Smile
  • 15 0
 43K for a jet pack? When I am no longer a waiter there is no way im buying a car over this.
  • 16 0
 So just the price of 2 ebikes.
  • 7 0
 they missed a zero in there - one of the important ones: $430K

plus it was "flown by the designer and founder of the company selling them" - this is just a piece of click-bait PR fluff, and in this case fluffier than usual...
  • 2 0
 @plyawn: They dont need to advertise ,, rich folks are cueing up to purchase , he's a really nice guy and its not the price the emergency services would pay .... They are quite easy to fly , most people learn in 4-5 hours .
  • 6 0
 @barnylondon: "They are quite easy to fly , most people learn in 4-5 hours"

And here I am 4-5 years later on my bike still trying to learn how to ride it!
  • 2 4
 Where the hell do you wait tables at? Here in Canada with the stupid tip culture waiters make more money than a lot of people with university diplomas...
  • 1 0
 @mollow: Not sure why I'm engaging with a troll like you, but everyone has their day when they aren't willing to take shit.

We bust our asses for our money, dealing with entitled snobs, anti-maskers, and general bafoons. I can't tell you how many salty people like you act like servers are just fancy cashiers, and that we don't deserve to make a decent living. Being a high level server is not nearly as easy as you would think, and it's pretty tiring to have elitists shit on you for working a blue collar job that pays well.
  • 1 1
 @4thflowkage: huh, I don't think you understand. I was saying that you probably make more money now than you will when you change jobs. I'm not salty I'd be a waiter if I was. Keep crying me a river that you work hard and nobody understands how are it is to take an order and walk it out. You'd be crying to your mama if they gave you the actual wage you deserve (20$/hour) and had to pay taxes. Yes, we know you all fraud your taxes.
  • 1 0
 @mollow: You seem pretty salty to me. I pay my taxes, and I'm ok with the pay cut I will probably take when I graduate. I'm not really sure why you feel the need to attack my livelihood with this level of disdain and condescension.
  • 1 0
 @4thflowkage: the only thing I'm salty about is tip culture, which is what I was attacking but for some reason your comprehension level is so low you feel personally attacked. Carry on with your day and everything will be fine chief.
  • 12 0
 So some jabroni rolls their ankle. They in turn send someone with medical training via bottle rocket to the peak of the mtn. Cool. Cool Cool cool
  • 2 0
 Iron Sheikh reference approved.
  • 13 0
 Are you accepting resumes?
  • 10 0
 He's forgot his bike so he can ride down afterwards!! Got to be the best uplift option going!!
  • 10 0
 Selling all of my bikes. Good bye Pink Bike, you'll find me over at Pink Jet now.
  • 8 2
 That’s awesome. But how does it actually help the injured person? Can’t evacuate via the jet pack and it doesn’t look like he is carrying much rescue supplies. If I break my leg in the backcountry then I’m stoked to have this guy come hang out with me. But how does that help me get down?
  • 10 0
 first response only, from the article "locate and stabilize" i.e. painkillers, defibrillation etc.
  • 8 0
 It'll help you get likes on Insta when you post the video (if you make it down)
  • 1 0
 He should bring a hammock chair with to carry you down, oh wait, he might just grill you to a crisp!!
  • 12 0
 Ask Brook McDonald. Should send a memo to MSA paramedics...
  • 1 0
 @gnralized: oh shit
  • 3 0
 @gnralized: MSA medic were fairly quick to get to Brook. It was the evac that was a mess. Which is in line with MonsterTruck’s point.
  • 2 0
 Depends on the injury - hypothermia, blood loss, starvation/dehydration could all be time critical. Even broken bones can cause a compromised blood supply to the limb in some situations! Early stabilisation and quicker evacuation are always key in situations like this (plus, frees up time in case of multiple casualties/call outs). Admittedly I can't see this technique actually becoming the norm, but the premise is good!
  • 3 0
 Maybe we should focus on utilising helicopters to their full potential first. We’re not even close here in BC...
  • 9 0
 f*ck mountain biking. When is pinkjetpack.com launching?
  • 1 0
 Daniel is amazed to see a sudden increase in visits to his blog... lol
  • 2 0
 @Dropthedebt: Checked him out, won't go back until he properly implements https.

Lol, he is going to look at his Google Analytics page and think it's broken when a bunch of referred traffic from Pinkbike.com is suddenly showing up with a 99.9% bounce rate.
  • 7 0
 Could you imagine you're in and out, possibly hallucinating from blood loss and you just see some dude in a bright orange jumpsuit drop out of the sky
  • 8 0
 But, can I use this for shuttling?
  • 3 0
 With clipless pedals I guess Smile
  • 4 0
 I hate to be the one to point this out but the articles I read on this had the price at £340k.. did somebody at PB miss a zero out?
  • 1 0
 Ah, I actually thought 34k is quite cheap. 340k makes much more sense for the amount of tech involved. Obviously this number or engines also requires a good bit of maintenance but the purpose is well worth it.
  • 2 0
 How often can you use a jet pack where you can't do a heli with a long line? I watched two last month go into densely forested woods and it looked expensive to run a helicopter, specialized responders, ambulance, transfer station and all support staff, but not half a million expensive...
  • 4 0
 The helicopter shown in the video looks like an AS365 Dauphin. That one is US$8.6M without the rescue and medical equipment.
  • 5 0
 @paja-tousek: you are correct, it is the newest one in the GNAAS fleet, the N3+ variant. None of the currently charity run Air Ambulance services in the UK run the capability for winch rescue. The neighboring Yorkshire air ambulance is fitted with this gear on its H145s but I believe not yet certified for use by the CAA. The coastguard do regularly carry out winch extractions across the UK however. The jet pack option here is an apparent legitimate solution to be deployed by land vehicle to access a patient where access by helicopter is not permissible, allowing time for MRT to arrive etc
  • 3 0
 On the up side they can make you toast to keep you going till the chopper arrives. On the down side, they toast the hillside.
  • 1 0
 I think it's fantastic! Yes it's expensive, but not in relation to some of the other things that government spends on! The one thing that has always been drilled in during first aid training for the last 15 years i have been certified is that the quicker you can get to someone the better chance you have of helping them if it is a serious injury or emergency. Great use of an idea that seemed like it was going to be a toy!
  • 3 0
 Y'know...like a helicopter
  • 1 0
 First impression. Pure genius idea.

Second impression. How the
Hell could we go back to the hospital with the victim ?


Third impression. Im happy to see a good but limited (but good) use of this Tech.

Keep it working !
  • 1 0
 Love it and really think i can work in this environment. They just need to work out how to bring the cost down. Im sure it will get snapped up by the military too once they can work out how to carry heavier loads (e.g. weapons).
  • 1 0
 (20 years from now, two friends speak prior to a ride) Hey man, are we taking the Grim”E”donuts Or da jet pack bikes? Uhh. Hmm ,you wanna take the ole acoustic bikes ?, ohh ,noo way man ,they don’t allow those on jet pack trails dude , something to do with the head tube angles being unsafe , lets take the “Grim E Donuts”. (with auto shred) I just filled em with plutonium, plus they have 12 pack bottle holders!
  • 3 0
 f* ing iron man is coming now to get yo ass, except if you are from the usa i guess
  • 3 0
 Not for use in any western US state. He'd take off and the whole mountain side would be ablaze.
  • 4 0
 What no water bottle mount!??!

I question everything about this jet pack!
  • 1 0
 Uhh how can you measure thrust in bhp? Isn't thrust quantified as a load/force in static conditions, ie "1050lbf of thrust"? Seems a more sensible measure and I guess fairly credible.
  • 1 0
 Shaft horsepower.
  • 1 0
 @twopoint6khz: Thanks for clearly elaborating that one... Surely shaft horsepower is equally irrelevant? Shaft horsepower would be a useful metric in propeller engines because you're directly rotating the driving thing, but in a jet engine it's still not helpful in any meaningful way I can see.

I'm not being beligerantly argumentative here, just always understood a jet engine's useful output was a measure of force effectively.
  • 2 0
 I came here to say same. I was always told you can't measure bhp which is derived from a turning moment on a jet engine.
  • 1 0
 I’d agree jet pack pilot seems at far greater risk than taking additional time to rescue someone. I can only see burns, explosions and crashes coming out of trying to rescue someone with a jet pack.
  • 1 0
 We were promised jetpacks... (I'm young again, I'm young again, I'm young again...)

Good to see we have finally arrived.

And did anyone notice the drone operator was Ben Kenobi?
  • 2 0
 Lol yes, as soon as I saw Ben Kenobi I had doubts this was real
  • 1 0
 Not to be picky, but there are clearly two engines on each arm; it's right there in the video. I'm going to bet there are two in the backpack as well, for redundancy.
  • 1 0
 the backpack is the main engine, the arms are for stabilization and steering. If it was just arms, you'd have to support your body weight plus the backpack with just your arm/elbow/triceps, which would be really tough even for a super strong person.
  • 3 0
 like what happens when you have to scratch your nose?
  • 1 0
 @CarlMega: same thing when you're an astronaut on a spacewalk....you wait.
  • 1 0
 @CarlMega: what happens when you have to scratch your crotch?
  • 3 0
 @ReformedRoadie: "air" hump the inside of your suit.
  • 1 0
 Job Posting from GNAAS is very specific, they need a highly qualified medic, must have the name George Jepson (a proper English surname)
  • 3 0
 Job applications for british S&R just went up 10 fold.
  • 1 0
 It will be so much easier to bust trail poachers with those. Their vulnerability is sniper fire. Doubt we will see these anywhere near the combat zones!
  • 1 0
 it takes more time than the heli, because youve to drive to the location before you can fly. but also that doesnt seem very bike related lol.
  • 3 0
 That's a job for the Mandalorian
  • 4 0
 This is the way
  • 2 0
 @benderdu67 I have spoken.
  • 1 0
 Some of my favorite people are bounty hunters...
  • 2 0
 It makes me a bit happy to see that the US is not the only country wasting our tax dollars on completely ridiculous things.
  • 1 0
 Pretty cool. It's all fake BS, until its actually real. I can't wait to just pop my bike on the Jetty and fly to the top of the mountain.
  • 3 0
 I'll just wait for it to trickle down to SLX...
  • 1 0
 Does it make S'mores too? This is actually cool and now I am worried about getting one and doing something stupid. Watch this!
  • 1 0
 Are we going to ignore the part where it says "casualty located"? They said she fell off the cliff and hurt her leg, she's not dead yet man.
  • 2 0
 Where can I get one of these to mount to the back of my Mountain bike?
  • 2 0
 Recalling the intro of Earthed 3, I think I know who will do this first...
  • 2 0
 Strapping jets to your arms and legs, in no way will that backfire
  • 4 0
 It will if he fires it backwards
  • 2 0
 Finally a decent option for socially distant self-shuttling
  • 2 1
 That's great and all, but mobile phone signal would be a better place to start
  • 2 0
 Not sure about ground responders, but SAR helicopters are now flying with mobile phone detectors. The aircraft itself can operate as a cell tower and intercept the caller.
  • 2 0
 Could probably get me a spare tube if I flat up top as well. . .
  • 2 0
 And then he ran out of gas...
  • 1 0
 Keep farting until you've landed safely. That said, most obvious safety measure in case of an engine malfunction here would be a parachute. But it is only going to help once all remaining engines have been shut off. Just like with a helicopter, the most dangerous part is relatively close to the ground where you have no room for error or malfunctions.
  • 2 0
 Let me cauterize that wound for you Wink
  • 2 0
 allow me to reheat your lunch while I'm at it
  • 2 0
 29er Jetpacks hover better. Change my mind.
  • 1 0
 With the extra bike haul strap attachment, it doubles as the sweetest shuttle rig ever!
  • 2 0
 When does he set fire to the undergrowth ?
  • 1 0
 As cool as that is...seems like potential for disaster is high... Jet sayin'...
  • 2 0
 This will never take off hahahahaahah
  • 1 0
 Sometimes I think the heli pilots in the Red Bull snow movies are having more fun than the riders.
  • 2 0
 Meet George Jetson!
  • 1 0
 Can they send some to Mount St Anne?
  • 1 0
 sweet create more forest fires with our luck
  • 1 0
 They're going to replace EBikes!!
  • 1 1
 Seriously, um yea that's not gonna work here in the colonies, that was like a hill...we gots mountain country here.
  • 1 0
 If you thought having ur ebike run out of juice was bad...
  • 1 0
 The seat tube angle is way too slack...
  • 1 0
 This would be the coolest job in the world!
  • 1 0
 How many water bottles can it hold? Can I use it for Park?
  • 3 1
 Bullshit PR stunt.
  • 1 0
 I'll hold off for the jet bike
  • 1 0
 What if you have an itchy nose?
  • 1 0
 I'll think I am just going to buy one of those and quit biking Smile
  • 1 0
 WILL TRADE ONE MTN BIKE FOR JET PACK! HMU
  • 2 0
 Holeeeee
  • 1 0
 Can you strap those jets to a bike? Epic send!
  • 1 0
 What's the run/burn/air time?
  • 1 0
 Apparently my Jetpack article filter ain’t working
  • 1 0
 Cool but will they work on a bike
  • 1 0
 How long does the fuel last?
  • 1 0
 Yey real life Ironman!!
  • 1 0
 Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees
  • 2 2
 Looks like a good way to start a forest fire.
  • 1 0
 SO James Bond...
  • 1 2
 This is an amazing dose of optimism and a refreshing reminder of humanity's capacity for empathy and innovation. Thanks pb!
  • 1 0
 I am Ironman!
  • 1 0
 Very cool
  • 1 0
 This is super rad.
  • 1 0
 J-biking, anyone?
  • 1 0
 that is fucking awesome!
  • 1 0
 Sweet way to do shuttles
  • 1 1
 Pretty neat
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