UK-based bodybuilder Cartwright has expanded its conversions capabilities with a bespoke four-wheel-drive search and rescue unit, which it hopes will attract further orders from emergency services.
The vehicle – designed and developed by Cartwright for Cheshire Search and Rescue – is based on a high-roof LWB Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and was 12 months in the design, planning and conversion stages.
The Sprinter was the client’s base vehicle of choice based on its versatility, off-road performance and manoeuvrability. Cartwright Conversions worked closely with the local Mercedes-Benz dealer to acquire the appropriately equipped chassis, with its in-house design and electrical specialists to evolving a conceptual idea into what is believed to be the UK’s most advanced and versatile vehicle of its kind.
The vehicle has to contend with some of the toughest off-road terrain and adverse weather conditions – any time day or night – and also doubles up as a mobile work unit and control hub, where the volunteer workers are in close contact with the emergency services and the families of missing persons.
The driver and front passenger seats swivel through 360 degrees, transforming the mobile unit into a working environment. The rear of the vehicle – accessed through side and rear doors – is fitted out with a table, bench, large storage area, two workstations and a stretcher. A roof top mounted satellite dish, wi-fi connectivity and a large, internal panel-mounted monitor aid communication.
Cheshire Search and Rescue – in its 12th year – is a charitable organisation run by highly trained volunteers who are on call 24/7. As members of the Association of Lowland Search and Rescue, they train and work with local mountain rescue teams as well as assisting Cheshire Police and other emergency services in locating and rescuing missing persons.