British Company Tests A Jet Suit That Could Change Future Of Emergency Care Gravity Industries teamed up with local paramedics to test a paramedic jet suit in northern England for what could be the future of emergency medical care.

British Company Tests A Jet Suit That Could Change Future Of Emergency Care

British Company Tests A Jet Suit That Could Change Future Of Emergency Care

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Gravity Industries teamed up with local paramedics to test a paramedic jet suit in northern England for what could be the future of emergency medical care.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Turns out that dream you had as a kid about flying around like a superhero - it might not be that far-fetched.

(SOUNDBITE OF JET SUIT WHIRRING)

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

That's the sound of Richard Browning taking off in a jet suit. Yeah, seriously - took off over the mountainous region of northern England called the Lake District.

RICHARD BROWNING: It was a beautiful, sunny day. It was pretty - a pretty easy climb.

CORNISH: If Browning sounds a little casual, it might be because he's taken thousands of flights like this. He's the founder of a company called Gravity Industries. He invented this jet suit. But this particular flight was special. It was a proof of concept for a new kind of first responder.

BROWNING: Some months back, the Great North Air Ambulance reached out and said that they, based on analysis of many years of incidents in the mountainous area of the Lake District - they had this hunch.

KELLY: This hunch that a jet suit might be faster than paramedics sprinting up trails on foot or even piling into a helicopter. So they set up a test scenario. How fast could Browning reach a 10-year-old girl who's fallen from a cliff and seriously injured her leg? Gravity Industries made a video of the whole thing.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BROWNING: OK - check, check.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Yeah, I got you loud and clear. (Unintelligible).

BROWNING: (Unintelligible).

CORNISH: Honestly, Browning looks a little like Iron Man in this bright-red jumpsuit with his black helmet covering his face. And there's a turtle-shell-style jet engine on his back and jet turbines attached to each of his forearms.

KELLY: He floats gracefully over rolling hills, grass billowing beneath him. He says the feeling when you're up in the air...

BROWNING: It is pretty hard to describe. It is the most free, liberating, kind of dreamlike state you get.

CORNISH: He lands next to the injured hiker, checks the clock.

BROWNING: We managed to get to the casualty in 90 seconds when it was taking 25 minutes to walk there.

CORNISH: Andy Mawson, who's a paramedic with the local service, can be seen in the video, watching the whole thing play out.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ANDY MAWSON: Incredible moment - truly, truly incredible moment. It's absolutely astounding how quickly we're going to be at somebody's side that needs us.

KELLY: No word yet on when jet suit paramedics might be ready for actual emergencies, but it's hard to disagree with Mawson when he says the rescue was quite honestly awesome.

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