UK-based Gravity Industries was established in 2017 and is now synonymous with a jet suit that can take its wearer high into the sky at brilliant speeds. This impressive and futuristic technology is being considered as a method of transportation for paramedics in the remote Lake District area of England.
Leaving on a jet suit
The Lake District of northern England is a popular recreational area. It draws novice hikers who may not fully recognize and prepare for the harsh terrain and fast-changing weather conditions present. In fact, the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association says 584 situations in 2019 required an emergency response.
According to Reuters, paramedics in the Lake District of England are testing a jet suit as a means of transportation – allowing them to get to these situations more effectively than travel by car or on foot. Helicopter paramedic Andy Mawson spoke to Reuters and said the following:
“The potential is just huge…The first flight in Cumbria from a jet suit that is going to save lives and ease suffering – an incredible moment. It’s absolutely astounding how quickly we’re going to be at somebody’s side that needs us.”
Running tests and simulations
It’s not officially being used yet, but the jet suit is under serious consideration, and tests and simulations are being conducted. In one simulation scenario, a 10-year-old girl had fallen from cliffs, sustaining a severe leg injury.
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Demonstrating the jet suit’s abilities in this scenario was test pilot and suit inventor Richard Browning, who, after receiving the coordinates of the incident, suited up. Flying over the rocky terrain, Browning was able to reach the casualty in only 90 seconds. In this scenario, the company says it would have otherwise taken 25 minutes on foot to navigate the same terrain.
Reuters reports that the suit has a record speed of 32 miles per hour (51 kph) and a maximum altitude of 12,000 feet (3,658 meters). However, the statistics presented on the Gravity Industries website claims an even faster speed.
The big question with this suit for use as paramedic transportation – especially in the Lake District – is how it will perform in inclement weather. How cold is too cold? Is it only useful in fair weather conditions? What about the wind?
It’s certainly an exciting idea and one that is fitting for the rapidly changing technological world we live in. But we’ll have to wait and see how it performs in the real world.
What do you think of this jetpack-paramedic idea? Are there any other dangers and impracticalities that would prevent this from entering service? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.