The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) has partnered with renewable energy company Ørsted and Gravity Industries to trial the viability of jet suit paramedics.

The initiative seeks to further health and safety offshore by improving the way emergency first responses are applied out at sea.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service’s journey toward a jet suit-enabled paramedic service started in 2020, with the charity aiming to train experienced air ambulance paramedics to use the suit to access patients in the Lake District.

So far, the training has already enabled one paramedic to complete their first free flight, safely operating the jet suit unassisted.

The next stage, looking to commence in the summer, will bring paramedics’ flight skills to a level where real operational experience can be assessed – and real assistance will arrive via jet suit in the Lake District.

The main areas of focus for the jet suit paramedic would be on-site triage and urgent casualty response.

Andy Mawson, director of operations at GNAAS, said: “We think the jet suit paramedic will speed up the response to some hard to access patients in the Lake District, and allow us to reach more patients. But in order to know for sure, we are putting it to the test.

“The most recent trials in the area, held at the start of the month, were a great success and showed how far and how quickly the jet suit can reach otherwise inaccessible locations. Thanks to Ørsted, this incredible dream could become a reality.”

Gravity Industries is the first organisation of its kind that designs, builds, and flies the world’s first patented jet suit.

The suit is now fully 3D-printed in polypropylene, resulting in a system with vastly greater capabilities, which has enabled Gravity to push into more challenging mountainous environments.

The new jet suit improvements should result in increased manoeuvrability and faster deployment.

Time savings have already been found and proven in this concept against conventional access methods on foot or by helicopter.