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Gravity Jet Suit delivers in emergency challenge with the North Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team

October 11, 2021

The beautiful but challenging terrain of Dartmoor National Park was the setting for a collaboration between Gravity Industries, which has developed and patented a 1050 brake horsepower Jet Suit, and the North Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team (NDSART).

The exercises at Meldon Reservoir and Black Tor saw Gravity Industries Founder and Chief Test Pilot Richard Browning fly up and down steep ground, traverse granite Tors and cross half kilometre of open water in two exhilarating rescues. The rescues were co-ordinated by the North Dartmoor Rescue team who deployed both the Jet Suit-ed rapid air responder and a hill party on foot in a combined operation.

The Jet Suit first responder took just over sixty seconds to locate and land next to the casualtiesbefore administering critical care to stabilise each casualty. He was then followed by a team of six land-based rescuers who arrived on scene on foot.

The exercises on Dartmoor build on tests in 2020 with Critical Care services in the Lake District with Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS). The Jet Suit has again proven its worth in dramatically increasing first responder speed.

Robbie Taylor, Chairman of the North Dartmoor Rescue team said, “We were blown away by the speed and precision of the Jet Suit. We were very pleased to be part of this research exercise, which clearly demonstrated the capability of the Jet Suit for emergency response in upland settings.”

He added: “Our Search and Rescue team will remain the vital part of the emergency response in this terrain. Hopefully we have helped push forward the role of the Jet Suit in emergency settings and we look forward to seeing what happens next.”   

Jonathan Evans, rescue co-ordinator was also impressed. “If you’re on Dartmoor suffering from a cardiac arrest or bleeding, getting a first responder to you as quickly as possible, could in some cases save your life. The Jet Suit responder reached the casualty in an unbelievably fast time, over incredibly challenging terrain – Richard has developed a completely game-changing suit for emergency rescue!”     

Richard Browning added: “It was wonderful to be invited to continue to develop and prove ever greater capabilities of the Gravity Jet Suit in an emergency response simulation and work alongside the team at NDSART. Emergency response is one of the areas Gravity are actively pursuing, alongside commercial training at the world-renowned Goodwood Estate.”

Richard was also able to test the durability of ruggedised devices which digital transformation specialists boxxe brought to the challenge. boxxe, who has already deployed the Dell Technologies devices with some of its MoD customers, demonstrated how the kit could support emergency responders working in even the harshest environments.

Rob Hennessy, Head of Defence at boxxe said “The Dell rugged laptops and tablets are designed to enable communication and access to data, securely and efficiently, from pretty much anywhere – deserts to mountain tops to lifeboats. We love the idea of being able to equip emergency responders with kit that they don’t need to worry about breaking and that helps them to do their job, saving lives whatever the weather, wherever they are.

NDSART and Gravity Industries would like to thank North Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team, Duchy of Cornwall Estate, South West Water, Jonathan Evans (Event co-ordinator) and Phil Heard in making the Exercise possible.