Firefighters-turned-entrepreneurs Eric Hartsfield and Brett Russell took the safety product Rescue Ready to the Sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank to see if they could get a deal from an investor.
The entrepreneurs created a type of fire escape that is not made for apartment buildings but is instead made for individual households, and the pair had been working on the product for years before getting the chance to pitch it on Shark Tank. Rescue Ready is actually run by a team of firefighters, dads, moms, engineers and entrepreneurs and not just co-founders Hartsfield and Russell.
Hartsfield and Russell pitched their business to Sharks Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner and guest shark Rohan Oza. This is Oza’s last appearance in Season 11 of the show.
Here’s what you should know about Rescue Ready:
1. They Want to Promote Fire Safety
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“As Seen on Shark Tank” We have 2 different products. Our Window Fire Escape Ladder System is built into the window frame. #window #fireescape #entrepreneur #escape #firesafety #sharktank #sharktankabc #covid19 #momlife #family #saferathome #makehomesafe #dad #berescueready #windowframe #entrepreneurlife #firefighter #firefighterwife
Instead of just going on Shark Tank to sell and showcase their company, the pair instead said they were looking to promote fire safety as well as demonstrate the need for self-rescue tools like their due to changes that have come about in building, construction and fire spread.
During their pitch, they state that over 2,500 people die each year from house fires and claim that most of those incidents occur between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
That’s what led to their idea for Rescue Ready, which is a ladder that is easy to use even if the user can’t see very well due to smoke around them.
2. The Ladder is Installed Under a Windowsill
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NOW AVAILABLE ON KICKSTARTER! This ladder is not built into the window frame. Visit our website and Kickstarter for more information. Where you want it, when you need it most! . #sharktank #sharktankabc #kickstarter #kickstartercampaign #berescueready #firesafety #momlife #mom #family #dad #dadlife #entrepreneur #visitnorfolkva #firefighter #norfolkfirerescue #whereyouwantitwhenyouneeditmost
The Rescue Ready is to be permanently installed directly under a windowsill in order for it to be used in case of emergencies to escape out the window.
Though some people may be concerned with the idea of having a ladder outside their window, these ladders are not in-use all the time; instead, they are rolled up to be directly outside the window and cannot be accessed from the ground.
Because they know that some fatalities due to fires occur when residents spend time looking for a ladder as a way to escape when the ladder is not easily accessible, it was important to the firefighters that the ladder be pre-installed and ready to go at all times.
3. They Are Very Early on in Their Business
Companies who go on Shark Tank are always in different stages of their businesses, with some having thousands of sales already to some having none at all. Right now, according to the company website, Rescue Ready is at an early stage.
Currently, they are available for pre-order on Kickstarter. It’s possible the Sharks will find issues with this since there will have been no proof of concept when it comes to sales outside of the Kickstarter campaign, especially when taking into account that the men have been working on Rescue Ready for four years.
On their website, it states they are looking for “an established window manufacturer, to partner with, that shares our passion for building life-saving products.”
Still, it’s also possible that the Sharks will see the need for the product and be able to offer advice on who to partner with when it comes to window manufacturers and the best way to get the products out to people who need it.
4. Rescue Ready Ladders are Available for Pre-Order
At the time of writing, Rescue Ready ladders are available for pre-order through the Kickstarter campaign, which launched in 2020. They have a goal of $225,000 to bring their product to market.
Currently, the product has raised $19,995 toward its goal and has 43 days to go before the campaign ends. As is usual with Kickstarter campaigns, the project will only be funded if it reaches the goal by the end date, which in this case is Friday, June 26, 2020 at 11:51 a.m. EDT.
The goal is to begin shipping the product no more than five months from the completion of the campaign if it is funded.
5. Both Founders Have Experience as Business Owners
Russell and Hartsfield are no strangers to what it takes to run a business. According to the Kickstarter campaign, Russell owns and operates a full-service landscaping business and has previously funded and fulfilled Kickstarter campaigns.
Hartsfield owns and operates a Class A contracting business and works with customer requests and concerns on a daily basis.
“Through both businesses, the founders are very experienced with customer service and have a track record of putting the customer first and doing whatever necessary to execute on promises and contracts,” the campaign reads.
Tune in to Shark Tank on Wednesday, May 13 at 10 p.m./9 p.m. central to see if the entrepreneurs can get a deal from one of the sharks.