Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) played a pivotal role in the suspense-filled episode of Emmerdale that aired last night (Wednesday, 11th of October). This special feature marks a significant collaboration between the popular ITV soap and the YAA, focussing on the essential work of the charity and the critical role air ambulances play in emergency medical situations.
In Tuesday’s episode of Emmerdale, Mackenzie Boyd, Charity Dingle, and Chloe Harris found themselves entangled in a brutal car crash as part of the show’s thrilling stunt week. The intense storyline, filled with suspense and drama, captivated viewers nationwide.
The episode portrayed a series of events that took a sinister turn when the car Chloe, Mackenzie and Charity are travelling in veers off the road after an unexpected van collision and left their car teetering on the edge of a cliff. Viewers were left in suspense on Tuesday night wondering who Mackenzie saved after the car plummets to the bottom of the quarry with one passenger still inside.
Cue the surprise arrival of one of YAA’s iconic yellow helicopters in Wednesday’s episode elevating the authenticity of the storyline and the severity of the incident. The dramatic stunt sequence, encompassing multiple days of filming for the Emmerdale cast, intricately involved skilled stunt performers and visual effects to craft the gripping final shots. Yorkshire Air Ambulance contributed to the episode during a single day of filming in late August, taking place at a disused quarry at Denhome near Keighley.
Despite the filming, both of Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s air bases in Wakefield and Thirsk continued to operate as usual, ensuring that their life-saving service was never offline or affected. This dedication to service continuity is a testament to the professionalism and commitment to the charity’s values and mission.
Yorkshire Air Ambulance pilot, James Booth, who flew the YAA helicopter in the episode has also previously appeared as another helicopter pilot on the ITV show back in 2006. He shared his experience, saying, “Participating in such an iconic show while piloting an equally iconic helicopter was an incredible experience. Very few people have the privilege of flying a helicopter on the show for a second time, so I consider myself fortunate to have received this opportunity. The show’s willingness to include YAA is a testament to their commitment to authenticity, mirroring the dedication and precision that define our missions every day.”
YAA Operations Manager Paul Holmes, who was one of two YAA Paramedics who were part of the iconic scenes alongside colleague Gemma Richmond also offered clinical guidance and support to the actors, Director and production team. He said, “It was a truly unique experience collaborating with the Emmerdale team and witnessing the behind-the-scenes production of such a renowned show in action. The entire YAA team has been eagerly anticipating the episode’s release since we wrapped up filming. For me, our mission extends beyond saving lives; it’s about shining a spotlight on the vital work we do, and this collaboration has offered a fantastic platform for that.”
Yorkshire Air Ambulance is a lifesaving rapid response charity, serving over five and a half million adults and children and spanning over three million acres of Yorkshire. As an independent charity, Yorkshire Air Ambulance relies on the generosity of individuals and organisations to operate and help save lives across Yorkshire.
Emmerdale’s Production Manager Bob Farrell, praised the YAA’s involvement, saying, “We were absolutely delighted to be able to involve YAA with this gripping storyline. The team demonstrated remarkable dedication and expertise on the day, playing a pivotal role in ensuring the scenes looked as realistic and as accurate as possible. Their valuable medical insights and direction left us in awe of the incredible work the YAA does in real life, and we’re immensely grateful for their support, which contributed to the episode’s overall authenticity and helped portray the seriousness of the accident.”