The Rhino Outdoor International, Inc. (ROI), a leading outdoor activity based business, including Rhino Off-Road Industries, Inc., its entirely owned subsidiary, earlier announced that the company has formed a strategic alliance with the Arizona Emergency Products (AEP), a famous provider of emergency equipment to government agencies.
The alliance is aimed at designing and producing a specialized Rhino Off-Road Industries RTV to meet the unique needs of first response and search and rescue groups. The “Rapid Response” Rough Terrain Vehicle (RTV) is inspired by the innovative Rhino Off-Road Industries RTV design platform, which is now being produced for both the competitive and recreational off-road marketplace.
In producing the RTV, refinements were entertained to enhance the capabilities of the vehicle for the first response activities in rugged off-road terrains that are inaccessible at present to most vehicles. The main design considerations include increasing the wheelbase to accommodate extra passengers and equipment.
Other considerations include expanding the battery capacity so as to support communications and lighting, creating space to allow for emergency equipment accessories like tool boxes, winches, medical equipment and poly-tanks for fire retardants. These retardants can be refilled by a helicopter.
The AEP is known in the manufacture of vehicles for law enforcement, Homeland Security, fire departments and search and rescue organizations. “The Rhino Off-Road RTV is unlike any other vehicle now in use by the emergency response industry,” said Mike Chamberlain, the owner of Arizona Emergency Products. “It’s designed to go anywhere – and when outfitted to meet the needs of firefighters, police, border patrol, and others – it will allow for rapid response access to areas previously only accessible by horse, foot or helicopter.”
In the past couple of months, the AEP has field-tested the Rhino Off-Road RTV with its customers. This is done to get feedback from them. “Without exception, the response has been very positive”, continued Chamberlain, “everyone who has seen the RTV in action has requested a follow-up demonstration of the prototype and is interested in placing an order.”
ROI and AEP are sharing the cost of development for the prototype version of the RTV. The final design of the RTV is expected to be completed in a matter of 90 days. ROI will be the one to deliver the vehicle. AEP, on the other hand, will install the necessary accessories to meet the needs of emergency response groups. The vehicle will also be given a simple manual which could be likened to Nissan repair manuals.
“Mike Chamberlain and AEP have brought a tremendous amount of expertise to the design table,” said Howard Pearl, the CEO and the President of ROI. “We created the RTV to go just about anywhere. The fundamental design platform is ideal for first responders needing access to backcountry and off-road terrains.”
He added, “The strategic alliance with AEP allows us to learn directly from professionals in emergency response who use this vehicle in search and rescue and rapid response situations. ROI and AEP are creating a specialized RTV that will carry emergency personnel and equipment to and from the most remote locations. This is a fantastic application for the RTV and is a growing, untapped market. You can’t imagine how excited we are to be making a contribution in this important market space – this is the type of opportunity for growth we are constantly seeking.”