Tag Archives: Heavy Rescue: 401

Production underway on Season 2 of Discovery’s original Canadian series Heavy Rescue: 401

From a media release:

Discovery today announced production is underway on a second season of its new, smash hit original Canadian series, HEAVY RESCUE: 401. With the Season 1 finale scheduled to premiere tomorrow night (Feb. 28) at 10 p.m. ET on Discovery, the network has confirmed 10 brand new episodes are already in production for broadcast in early 2018.

Debuting last month to a premiere episode audience of more than 760,000 total viewers, HEAVY RESCUE: 401 became the most-watched premiere in the network’s 22-year history. In all, nearly 3.5 million unique viewers – or one in 10 Canadians – tuned in to the first episode. To date, the series has an average audience of 627,000 viewers in its premiere timeslot.

Produced by Thunderbird Entertainment’s factual arm and the creators of Discovery’s HIGHWAY THRU HELL, Great Pacific Media, HEAVY RESCUE: 401 follows multiple major tow operators, rescue, and maintenance crews day and night along North America’s most intense stretch of highway, Highway 401. With the support of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, York Regional Police, maintenance contractors, and several other organizations, the series features the men and women who keep Ontario’s 400-series highways operating at any cost.

More than 300 people work on the production of HEAVY RESCUE: 401. The series is made possible with the support of the Ontario government’s film tax credit program, and the Canada Media Fund.

HEAVY RESCUE: 401 is produced by Great Pacific Media (a Thunderbird Company) in association with Discovery. Executive Producer is Mark Miller and Blair Reekie. The series producer is Todd Serotiuk.

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Ontario’s highways thru hell star in Discovery’s Heavy Rescue: 401

Anyone who relies on Ontario’s 400-series highways knows that, at the best of times, you’ll fly along to your destination. But throw in some weather or boneheaded move by a fellow driver and chaos ensues. That’s what’s captured in Heavy Rescue: 401.

Debuting Tuesday, Jan. 3, at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Discovery Canada—and from the same folks behind Highway Thru Hell, Heavy Rescue: 401 tracks the tow truck drivers, provincial police and emergency personnel who work long hours in dangerous conditions to keep cars and trucks full of precious cargo—human, animal and product—safe and on to their destinations. Yes, the west coast’s Coquihalla highway has snow and high peaks, but Ontario’s roads have their own challenges.

“I would fly into Toronto for meetings at Discovery and would drive from the airport and see guys smashing into each other in front of me,” executive producer Mark Miller says. “I’d get to Discovery and tell everyone about the hell I had just been through and they’d say, ‘Yeah, we go through that every day.’ We spoke to tow truck drivers that work the roads and quickly realized there was something there. It was different enough that it makes for a really cool series.” Miller likens the 401 to a spine with manufacturing plants and factories attached to it; the sheer number of tractor trailers needed to transport supplies along that route means jam-packed lanes and accidents waiting to happen.

“It’s all about time,” says longtime Abrams Towing driver John Allen (pictured above), one of several drivers featured in Heavy Rescue: 401. “You have auto parts going to Oshawa, auto parts going out to Windsor. If they get tied up, it’s costing GM or Chrysler or whoever is doing the manufacturing millions of dollars because they don’t have the storage capacity. Their storage is the trucks coming in.” Tuesday’s debut episode wastes no time showing what happens when snowy conditions and several lanes of traffic mix: a multi-vehicle accident has shut down part of the 401 and Allen is among the drivers rushing to the scene. Other companies followed in Season 1’s episodes include Herb’s Towing, Preferred Towing, Ross Services, Steve’s Towing, Classic Heavy Towing and Metro Towing.

Allen, with over 25 years in the towing business, has seen it all on Ontario’s roads and isn’t fazed by the fact he’s about to become a TV star. Instead, he’s more interested in educating viewers about the dangers involved in his profession.

“Part of what I want to get out of this show is for drivers to slow down, move over and give us a little space,” Allen says. “One tow truck driver is killed every six days in North America. That’s more than police officers, firefighters and ambulance drivers put together.” Injuries and death, he says, occur when a tow truck operator is crushed between vehicles or in what he refers to as “the 30 feet of kill zone” between his door and the back of the truck working in an active traffic lane and totally unprotected.

“Not even one in 10 drivers will move over and give me room,” Allen says. “I was watching the episode back and was getting scared! Give me some space in my workplace … that’s all I ask.”

Heavy Rescue: 401 airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Discovery Canada.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Production Underway on Discovery’s New Series Heavy Rescue: 401 from Highway Thru Hell producers

From a media release:

Discovery announced today that production is underway on HEAVY RESCUE: 401, a new original Canadian series set to debut in 2017 based on the network’s hit series HIGHWAY THRU HELL. With the support of the OPP, Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, York Regional police, maintenance contractors, and several other organizations, the new documentary series follows the men and women who keep Ontario’s 400-series highways operating at any cost.

Spanning the Greater Toronto Area and southern Ontario, HEAVY RESCUE: 401 follows multiple major tow operators, rescue, and maintenance crews day and night along North America’s most intense stretch of highway. From Sarnia eastbound to Toronto and north to Barrie, the cast of heroes work diligently to keep Canada’s most important and busiest series of highways open through any weather condition. From monster snow storms creating kilometers of mayhem to trucks spilling their loads, these efforts safeguard the country’s most important trade route with the U.S. from grinding to a crippling halt through the worst of the winter driving season.

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