A unique Land Rover Discovery has just entered active service with the Red Cross emergency response fleet in Austria.
The Discovery will operate as a mobile nerve centre for disaster emergencies from which Red Cross experts can direct rescue operations.
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 specially designed and engineered Discovery has the latest communications equipment including an advanced eight-rotor drone.
A long-range thermal imaging camera which is fitted to the drone is capable of spotting a person from 440 m, and can identify a vehicle at almost 1,000 m.
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.
Other bespoke features include four radio antennae, 360-degree lighting, and a unique integrated carbon fibre load space
Based on a 258 PS 3.0-litre TD6 Land Rover Discovery, the Red Cross Discovery allows emergency crews to reach remote disaster zones quickly in all conditions, and also to provide instant updates to improve response times and co-ordinate emergency planning.
Michael van der Sande, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations said, “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."
Dr Jemilah Mahmood, IFRC Under Secretary General for Partnerships said, “We are grateful for Land Rover’s generous support over the past six 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.
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 improve the lives of vulnerable communities across the globe