High-tech vehicle for SAR operations

Published:  08 October, 2018

The Austrian Red Cross welcomes a new search and rescue vehicle into its emergency response fleet.

This comes 64 years after Land Rover first donated a vehicle to the Red Cross and the partnership is still helping vulnerable people all over the world facing the challenges of today.  

The bespoke vehicle will provide eyes in the sky via a special drone and all-terrain wheels on the ground, as an emergency response vehicle with the Austrian Red Cross search and rescue operations.

The specially designed and engineered Discovery features:

  • State of the art communications equipment
  • An advanced eight-rotor drone - a long-range thermal imaging camera fitted to the drone is capable of spotting a person from 440m and can identify a vehicle almost 1,000m away
  • Video feeds which track objects by providing precise coordinates
  •  A four radio antennae
  • 360-degree lighting

The Discovery vehicle will operate as a mobile command and communication centre for emergencies from which the Austrian Red Cross experts can direct rescue operations. It also allows emergency crews to reach remote disaster zones quickly in all conditions, and provide instant updates to improve response times and coordinate emergency planning. The vehicle will be based in Vienna at the Austrian Red Cross training centre in Erzberg, in the mountainous Eisenerz mining area.

The Austrian Red Cross has about 75,000 volunteers and provides 24/7 emergency medical and rescue services nationwide.

As Austria is a mountainous region, there are many tourists and locals enjoying the outdoors every day. As a result, every year there are hundreds of search and rescue operations, where people go missing outside of towns. In those cases, the Austrian Red Cross has previously been completely dependent on rescue dogs, which are regularly on alert.

Now, the Land Rover Discovery Emergency Response Vehicle will help the canine volunteers to give them support from above.

Gerry Foitik, member of the managing board of the Austrian Red Cross said: 'After months of collaboration, we’re now excited to use the Land Rover vehicle in emergencies. This will make disaster response in hazardous environments safer, quicker and more efficient.'

Michael van der Sande, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations, said: ‘Since the start of the relationship in 1954, our aim has been to help the Red Cross improve its disaster response capability 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.’

Land Rover’s close relationship with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (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 reach more vulnerable communities across the globe.

This Emergency Response Vehicle is just one example of the increasingly collaborative nature of what is now a multi-million-pound strategic global partnership. 

At the start of the millennium, the donation and loan of vehicles had become just one facet of a growing relationship between Land Rover and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. In 2007, it moved to a formal footing with the first phase of the strategic partnership, and since then, Land Rover has supported projects in nearly 30 countries on four continents from Austria and Australia to Uganda and the UK.

The partnership is also exploring ways of innovating, sharing skills and adding value to the IFRC’s core business of emergency response. This often means Land Rover’s staff working or volunteering at projects. In Spain, staff have been teaching the basics of mechanics to people who are unemployed, while in Italy, Land Rover volunteers visit the streets of Milan and Rome to hand out food and drink to the homeless.

Jemilah Mahmood, IFRC’s Under-Secretary-General for Partnerships, explained:

‘The Land Rover partnership enables the Red Cross to do more to create a strong social impact and legacy in vulnerable communities. Through long-term commitment and collaboration, we are continuing to demonstrate the value of working with private sector organisations.’

‘We are constantly looking to innovate and achieve more together, through fundraising, staff volunteering and product development – such as with the Austrian Red Cross and the Discovery Emergency Response Vehicle.’

  • Operation Florian

Sign up: eMagazine & eNewsletter

The latest issues in your inbox.

Company Profiles

Renka´s Fire Engine No. 1

Firefighting, fast, safe, everywhere. Michael Renka GmbH, based in Germany, is a manufacturer of firefighting vehicles, pumps and rescue equipment.

Waterax - We move water

Trusted by wildland firefighters around the world, WATERAX sets the industry standard by developing innovative, portable fire pumps and water-handling equipment designed to withstand demanding applications and rugged environments.

Big Water Flow for Industrial and Municipal Firefighting Applications

Protecting the lives of the public and firefighters while limiting the structural damage caused in large scale fires is our primary mission

We are committed to improving lives and doing business in the right way

We have a unique mix of capability and culture that we refer to as 3M Science and we strive to develop products that improve people’s daily lives in a multitude of ways.

HazSim - Bringing situational HazMat training to life

HazSim, LLC provides innovative simulation training to ensure your team works safely and effectively. HazSim Pro simulation equipment is in use by hundreds of fire departments, training schools, industrial fire teams, and private trainers across the US, Canada and further afield as well as the US Army.

The ultimate in innovation, quality and service

For 60 years Lehavot has been delivering the world’s most advanced fire detection and suppression automatic systems

Advancing rescue technology

The specialist supplier of quality PPE and Rescue Equipment to Emergency Services.

Revolutionizing fire fighting foam technology

The one-stop resource for fire fighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware.

Trust the best, let us be your foam solution

AUXQUIMIA is a Spanish company whose main activity is the design, manufacture and commercialization of firefighting foam concentrates.

Williams Fire & Hazard Control offers a full line of specialized fire response equipment for oil and gas platforms

From storage tanks and pipeline emergencies to offshore platforms and vessels at sea, Williams' response personnel and specialized equipment quickly address adverse fire emergencies.

The leader in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms

Our mission is to provide the best and the safest solution to professionals that work at height.

If you want quality, you want Zico

Since its inception Ziamatic Corp has provided the men and women of the fire service with products designed to make their jobs safer and easier.

The independent alternative

Dafo Fomtec AB is a privately owned company with head office in Stockholm Sweden and manufacturing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden.