A duo of experienced firefighters pitches their idea of a fire escape ladder to the sharks expecting a $75,000 deal for a 15% stake in the company. The sharks are impressed by the innovative idea, but sadly, everyone’s out.
Rescue Ready is a start-up company that manufacturers fire escape ladders to help people escape fire homes in 2-3 minutes.
With much experience in the said field, the team of firefighters is committed to saving lives through their innovative product.
Rescue Ready aired in Season 11, Episode 23 of Shark Tank, and even though they exited without a deal, the idea garnered mass attention from the public.
The company is still in business with a revamped product, thanks to Barbara Corcoran!
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What Is Rescue Ready?
Every second is crucial when there is a house on fire. Imagine being stuck inside the room because the escape ladder is under the bed, and you can’t reach it!
Experiencing such situations and keeping people’s emotions in mind, Rescue Ready originated to help fire homes!
The company manufactures window escape ladders that easily fit into a window’s frame and allows people to climb down a building during a fire or any dangerous event per se.
The ladder comes with strong nylon webbing and is made of aluminium that can carry individuals weighing over 750 pounds. The ladder can be folded and kept hidden in a small compact area below the window frame for quick access whenever necessary.
Rescue Ready is based in California and has been in business for 4 years now, with much love from the public over time. The duo works hard to change their product with better designs and ideas.
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|Company Name||Rescue Ready|
|Entrepreneurs||Eric Hartsfield and Brett Russel|
|Product||Fire Escape Ladder|
|Investment Asking For||$75,000 for 15% equity in Rescue Ready|
|Final Deal||No Deal|
|Episode||Season 11 Episode 23|
|Business Status||In Business|
Who Is The Founder Of Rescue Ready?
Rescue Ready was founded in 2017 by Eric Hartsfield and Brett Russel, who are also co-founders.
Eric and Brett are firefighters by profession with over 25 years of experience, and the duo hails from Norfolk, Virginia. After seeing many lives being lost in fire homes, the duo felt motivated to invent a product that could save thousands of lives in America.
Both the men studied at the College of Business, James Madison University but their paths collided only when they started working in the same fire department.
Apart from their job as firefighters, both have other businesses- Eric installs windows while Brett owns a landscape company.
The duo specializes in rescuing people from burning buildings through techniques such as confined space rescue, vehicle extrication, structure fires, and rope rescue.
Their zeal to save more lives encouraged them to team up with engineers, fire survivors, and other entrepreneurs to design a product such as this.
Rescue Ready Before Shark Tank
Rescue Ready is truly a venture start-up company that manufactures fire escape ladders. The company didn’t have any sales before coming to the show and entered Shark Tank with hopes of getting a shark to invest in their business.
According to Eric and Brett, most house fires in the US take place between 10 PM to 7 PM, and it becomes hard for occupants to reach a ladder kept under a bed.
After repeatedly experiencing many fire incidents, with most of them losing lives because of their inability to escape, Brett and Eric thought of designing Rescue Ready ladders.
The ladder is made out of canvas rope that can coil up and fit any window frame. It takes only thirty seconds to deploy the ladder and use it. It is kid-friendly and appropriate for senior citizens too.
Eric and Brett come to Shark Tank hoping that a shark will sign their deal and help them scale the business. They are hoping for a $75,000 investment for a 15% stake in the company.
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How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of Rescue Ready?
Brett Russel and Eric Hartsfield come to the 23rd episode of Season 11 of Shark Tank, seeking a $75,000 investment for 15% equity. The two firefighters are nervous but begin by introducing themselves.
Eric starts by saying how 2,500 lives are lost in the US every year because of house fires and that a room can be completely engulfed in flames in just two minutes. The sharks are impressed by the facts and listen more closely.
Russel continues by stating that finding a ladder in the closet or under the bed is impossible when it is pitch-dark. He further states that many ladders found in depots are impractical and have failed to save lives.
The duo introduces their product and showcases a demo of how the fire escape ladder works. All the sharks are highly impressed by the innovative and thoughtful idea of the two men.
Eric further explains how the fire escape ladder can fit into a small area below the window frame and takes only thirty seconds to deploy.
They even show a short demo on how the ladder is deployed and where it is installed, among other things. The sharks seem impressed by the quick demo.
Then the team goes on to share their idea on how they wish to partner with manufacturers in the window industry to fix the ladder in their windows for a 6% royalty. On listening to this, the sharks seem doubtful about the idea.
Though the sharks love the product, they are dubious of the royalty offer since it will require window manufacturers to alter their design formula and make an adjustment to make room for the ladder.
Barbara Corcoran goes on to advise Eric and Brett to improvise on their product to make it more attractive for window manufacturers. Also, according to Barbara, she doesn’t foresee Rescue Ready partnering with any window company in the future.
Every shark agrees to the fact that the 6% royal offer for the manufacturers doesn’t seem feasible or sustainable. They believe that Rescue Ready’s pitch would have been more attractive if they partnered with a window manufacturer prior to coming to the show.
Mark Cuban says upfront that he thinks this would be a 506 years haul and that some sharks would be better suited for such an investment. He is out.
Lori Greiner, on the other hand, expresses her respect and a soft spot for firemen and other heroes, but she thinks the business is not investable for her, so she is out too.
The team tries harder to convince the sharks on how they are a start-up company and will soon begin sales. Kevin is thoroughly impressed by the product since it saves lives, but he can’t be part of the business and wishes them great success.
Lastly, Rohan Oza gives his opinion on how he thinks Brett and Eric are running uphill with a backpack full of rock despite being truly quality people. He wishes they had come with interest from a window company.
After a failed interview session with the Sharks, Brett and Eric looks into the camera and make an appeal to the viewers of the show to help and support their product so that they can enable Americans to live safer lives at home.
The duo expects the public to help them since they are a new start-up and will need much help from the people of America to help them get into business.
Final Deal: Eric Hartsfield and Brett Russel walk over to the show with no deal.
What Happened To Rescue Ready After Shark Tank?
Eric and Brett smartly use their television exposure on Shark Tank and start a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds amounting to $225,000 from the public.
The duo tells TV channels how they received a positive response for their product after the show and even received over 130 emails of pre-orders for the ladders.
Unfortunately, the Kickstarter campaign couldn’t reach the desired amount but collected only $66,608 from 287 backers. However, the team is optimistic about future orders and sales from supportive customers.
The failed campaign did not deter the duo from furthering their business. Instead, after taking Barbara’s advice into consideration, the team introduced a revamped product called “Rescue Ready Retrofit” in July 2020.
Unlike the previous product that needed window manufacturers to install the ladder into the window frame, the RetroFit is free-standing and doesn’t need that dependence. It is free-standing and can be installed under an existing window.
The new ladder comes with improved design and quality making it sturdier and better than before. The independence of the ladder doesn’t make Rescue Ready dependent on any window manufacturer to run their business.
Eric and Brett have expanded her team to include other people, such as Lindsay McKinnon, who lost two kids in a house fire accident and is a survivor. They have included more engineers and entrepreneurs to bring in new ideas to the business.
The team commits to spreading awareness on fire safety, with Hartsfield commenting on how the topic isn’t fun to talk about, but it is something to talk about.
Rescue Ready Update
The company currently focuses on selling their new product- “Rescue Ready retrofit,” which, according to them, is not the same product pitched on Shark Tank.
Rescue-ready RetroFit exceeds ASTM quality and safety standards, and each step is designed with an anti-slip rung to reduce slippage while coming down.
The ladder is suitable for up to 2 stories buildings, and the company is working on increasing the length to 3 stories very soon.
The latest product has new changes such as an extendable height and better-quality raw materials used.
Eric and Brett are working with Lindsay to launch a children’s book that shows how pets can escape using Rescue Ready’s escape ladder, thus spreading awareness to many people.
The book is named “Be Rescue ready With Dottie and Cruz.” Cruz and Dottie are two shepherd dogs from Australia and are proud survivors of a house fire incident.
The company’s worth in 2021 is estimated to be $5 million.
Is Rescue Ready Still In Business?
Rescue Ready is still in business with an expanded team and is working on bringing new and better changes to its product. Their Rescue Ready retrofit ladder is currently available for sale on Amazon and their official website for $189.
The official website mentions how the company is still looking for partnerships with potential window manufacturers. Eric and Brett have become safety advocates and keep posting fire safety videos on their Youtube channel.
The company’s business came to a halt in 2020 due to COVID-19 and the forest fires in California since the company is based in California.
However, according to the latest news, as of March 2022, the company is suffering supply chain issues and is having trouble shipping its products to its customers.