Typically, show and concept vehicles are carefully transported to and from shows in an enclosed carrier, and detailed several times a day. But not Ford's F-550 Rescue Truck concept, a heavy-duty pickup equipped with tens of thousands of dollars of specialty rescue and fire equipment.

On display at the Houston Rodeo when tornadoes touched down in Arlington, the truck was quickly drafted into duty to help in the search and rescue efforts. Unlike many other concept vehicles, the truck is fully functional and outfitted with extra-heavy-duty equipment to help it deal with the circumstances it was about to face in real life.

The Granbury, Texas volunteer fire department advised NewScope on the building of the truck, and contacted the company saying the Arlington Fire Department was requesting outside assistance. The truck was driven from Houston to Arlington by Brad Snyder, vice president of marketing for NewScope Marketing, the company that built the project for Ford. The truck showed up unannounced on-scene, and was immediately put into duty entering areas inaccessible to normal fire trucks.

Source: New York Times "Wheels" Blog