With their proven all-terrain capabilities. Land Rovers have long been popular vehicles for rescue teams and organisations. Now the company has developed a unique version of the Discovery model for use by the Austrian Red Cross emergency response fleet. The vehicle, developed from the original Project Hero concept, is the result of an 18-month collaboration between Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations and the Austrian Red Cross.
The customised SUV can not only transport rescuers to remote locations and act as an emergency mobile command centre but also provide ‘eyes in the sky’ with a special drone.
The advanced 8-rotor drone has a long-range thermal imaging camera which is capable of spotting a person from 440 metres and can identify a vehicle at almost 1,000 metres. The operator can also track objects found using the drone simply by tapping the item on the slide-out main computer touchscreens video feed and obtain precise co-ordinates – crucial when directing rescue efforts.
The Discovery will operate as a mobile nerve centre for disaster emergencies from which Red Cross experts can direct rescue operations. Specialised features include 4 radio antennae, 360-degree lighting and a unique integrated carbonfibre loadspace Command Centre, enabling Red Cross operatives to co-ordinate emergency responses as soon as they reach the scene of an emergency, day or night.
“Our partnership with the Red Cross isn’t just about our vehicles. Since we started collaborating in 1954, our aim has been to help the Red Cross improve its disaster response and ultimately to help save lives. Over the past 18 months, our engineers have worked closely with the emergency response team at the Austrian Red Cross, deploying Land Rover’s technology and talent to create a unique solution to the requirements of the Red Cross in the region,” said Michael van der Sande, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations.
Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) Under Secretary-General for Partnerships said: “We are grateful for Land Rover’s generous support over the past 6 decades. The Discovery Emergency Response Vehicle is yet another result of our strong global partnership that brings together the best expertise of the Red Cross and Land Rover in one unique vehicle, which will make a difference in rescue operations in the harshest conditions.”
“We are proud to be working with Land Rover to build resilience in communities around the world in the face of natural disasters such as monsoons, flooding and earthquakes,” she added.
Land Rover’s close relationship with the IFRC began with the donation of a vehicle to be used as a mobile dispensary in the deserts of Dubai in 1954. Since then, Land Rover has donated more than 120 vehicles to the IFRC, helping the organisation improve the lives of vulnerable communities across the globe.