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Community Honors Idaho Fallen Firefighters

idaho fallen firefighters statue by rusty talbot
A bronze statue, created by Idaho artist Agnes Vincent "Rusty" Talbot, stands at the center of the Idaho Fallen Firefighters Memorial Plaza where communities from across Idaho gather to remember the firefighters who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

Firefighters from across Idaho gathered on Friday, September 6 to remember and honor their fallen comrades at the annual Idaho Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony. Both the ceremony and its venue, the Idaho Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park, were steeped in time-honored tradition, a moving tribute to the men and women who sacrificed everything to protect their communities.

The ceremony opened to the rousing call of pipes and drums. The Boise Fire Department Pipe & Drum Band and a statewide honor guard filed down the greenway to raise the flags of country, state, and community, marching past a wall of names. Speakers took the podium to honor and reflect upon the legacy of those names.

“They were the epitome of humility when it came to doing the job they did,” said Boise Fire Department Chief Dennis Doan. “Never wanting to bring the spotlight of attention on themselves for their work protecting others.”

It is only fitting, then, that they be honored and remembered for their selfless acts of courage. At the center of the plaza stands a life-size bronze statue of three firefighters, one fallen in the line of duty. His brothers support and mourn him. It serves as a moving representation of the unique bond shared among the fire community, and their incredible commitment and sacrifice.

idaho honor guard closes memorial ceremony
The honor guard marches back down the plaza to close the Idaho Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony.
ringing the bell to honor fallen firefighters
A member of the honor guard rings a bell to pay tribute to each of Idaho's fallen firefighters.

A Legacy of Tradition

Traditions are also shared among the fire community, and several were observed in the course of the ceremony. Pipes and drums, preceded by the “ringing of the bell,” concluded the ceremony in respectful remembrance. Two bells were rung three times for each name that was read, signalling honor to those who had fallen in the line of duty. Members of the Honor Guard laid roses at the foot of the statue for each of the fallen.

firefighters memorial salute
A member of the honor guard salutes in respect after laying a rose in memory of one of Idaho's fallen firefighters.

But there are other traditions, as Coeur d’Alene Fire Department Chief Kenny Gabriel pointed out, that are better left in the past. “In my career I’ve seen huge changes…the days where wearing a breathing apparatus was a show of weakness,” he said in a call for cultivating a “culture of safety” in the fire industry. Cancer, heart disease, roadway incidents, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have claimed far too many lives, and there are more steps, he urged the community, that can be taken to prevent them. 

Indeed, PTSD and suicide are both major threats facing first responders. A Ruderman Family Foundation study found that suicides were more common among firefighters and police officers in 2017 than line-of-duty deaths. It is an issue that the nation’s fire community has been increasing their efforts to tackle by providing resources for their comrades struggling with mental health. A number of those resources are listed below, including mental health and suicide prevention hotlines.

Supporting Idaho Firefighters

Support for the fire community continues to be an important part of local and statewide organizations. Boise Mayor Dave Bieter recounted the city’s efforts in securing a riverside location for the Idaho Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park eleven years ago, and extended the city’s support to the Boise Fire Training Facility. “Whatever we can do in the city of Boise to help you,” he said, “please don’t hesitate to call.” 

The Idaho Fallen Firefighters Foundation is another key supporter of the state’s firefighters. Their joint effort with the city of Boise founded the Idaho Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park in 2008. Tyler Roundtree, speaking at this park more than a decade later, summed up the foundation’s mission: “We believe it is our goal to touch the hearts of all family members, supporting you today, and providing you the recognition you all deserve.”

Today the Idaho Fallen Firefighters Foundation continues their mission to honor the lives of firefighters who have died in the line of duty, provide support for their families, and promote the health and safety of Idaho firefighters. The organization holds community events to fund these efforts, including the annual Boise Mustache Memorial Ride

At Boise Mobile Equipment, it is the unparalleled devotion and camaraderie of the fire community that inspires us to build safe and reliable fire apparatus. We are proud to serve this industry of heroes in our state and across the nation.

Firefighter Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Resources

Wildland Fire Engines Around The World

fire engines around the world

Wildfires can happen anywhere in the world, but every country has their own way of tackling this threat. This includes their wildland fire engines, which can vary vastly across the world according to different geographical needs, types of structures being protected, firefighting tactics, and additional uses. Builds, classifications, standards, and striping are all different across borders. We scoured the internet to see what our global neighbors operate to fight their countries’ wildfires, whether it were unimogs or response vehicles or offroad ATVs, and compiled a list of our most interesting finds. 

Don’t see your country represented? Email marketing@bmefire.com with your country’s wildland engine and we’ll add it to the list.

Argentina

argentina wildland unimog
Photo by Patricio, fire-engine-photos.com

Unimog 416

Operated by Bomberos Voluntarios de Pinamar
Manufacturer: Mercedes-Benz

Australia

Unimog Tanker

Operated by Forest Fire Management Victoria
Manufacturer: Mercedes-Benz
Water tank: 1057 gal. / 4000 L

Bavaria

HLF 10/6

Operated by the Bavarian Gmain Fire Brigade
Manufacturer: Mercedes-Benz
Water tank: 159 gal. / 600 L

Belgium

Belgium forest firefighting engine
Photo by Marcel Sloover, fire-engine-photos.com

Heusden-Zolder MAN

Used for forest firefighting and military purposes
Manufacturer: MAN
Water tank: 1585 gal. / 6000 L

Canada

Canada wildland engine
Photo by Marcel Sloover, fire-engine-photos.com

Wildlands 19

Operated by Vancouver FD
Manufacturer: HUB Fire Engines
Water tank: 250 gal. / 946 L

Chile

Forestal de Magirus

The first forest unit in Chile built by Magirus
Manufacturer: Magirus
Water tank: 793 gal. / 3000 L

China

Forest Fire Control Truck

Small tank forest fire engine
Manufacturer: Hubei Jiangnan Special Automobile Co.
Water tank: 527 gal. / 1995 L

Costa Rica

Zetros 2733 6×6

All-emergency response engine, operated by the Benemérito Cuerpo de Bomberos de Costa Rica
Manufacturer: Mercedes-Benz
Water tank: Includes space for portable water tank

Croatia

Croatia wildland unimog
Photo by Dino Penić, fire-engine-photos.com

Mercedes Unimog U20 TLF

Operated by the Šibenik Professional Fire Brigade
Manufacturer: Ziegler
Water tank: 660 gal. / 2500 L

France

Forest Fire Tank Truck CCF

Forest fire and civil defense engine
Manufacturer: Sides
Water tank: 1188 gal. / 4500 L

Germany

Unimog U 5023

Operated by Kirchzarten Volunteer Fire Brigade
Manufacturer: Ziegler
Water tank: 1057 gal. / 4000 L

Hungary

Hungary forestry response engine
Photo by Terry Yip, fire-engine-photos.com

Forestry Response Unimog

Operated in Kecskemet, Hungary
Manufacturer: Rosenbauer
Water tank: 713 gal. / 2700 L

India

Quick Response Vehicle

Includes hoses, water and foam tanks
Manufacturer: Brijbasi Hi-Tech Udyog ltd.
Water tank: 92–159 gal. / 350–600 L

Indonesia

Matra Municipal Fire Truck

Includes pump and roll capabilities
Manufacturer: PT. Matra Perkasa Utama
Water tank: 793–1321 gal. / 3000–5000 L

Ireland

Ford Ranger 4×4

Operated by Elphin Fire Station
Manufacturer: Sídheán Teo

Israel

Israel forest fire unit
Photo by Richard Jud, fire-engine-photos.com

Forest Fire Unit

Operated in Jerusalem
Manufacturer: MAN
Water tank: 977 gal. / 3700 Liter

Italy

ABF 5000

Forestry fire truck / civil defense engine 
Manufacturer: Chinetti
Water tank: 1321 gal. / 5000 L

Japan

Red Ladybug

Off-road rescue for quick disaster response
Manufacturer: Morita Group

Luxembourg

Unimog U 20

Operated by The Civilian Protection Authority
Manufacturer: Gimaex-Schmitz 
Water tank: 528 gal. / 2000 L

Mexico

Mexico forestry fire unit
Photo by Carlos Alberto Camarena, fire-engine-photos.com

Unidad 9 SFR Forestry Unit

Operated by Bomberos San Francisco del Rincon
Manufacturer: GMC

The Netherlands

Mercedes-Benz 4×4 U530 Unimog Forest Fire Engine

Small brush truck for grassland and bush fires
Manufacturer: Ziegler
Water tank: 793 gal. / 3000 L

New Zealand

New Zealand smokerchaser fire unit
Photo by David Miller, fire-engine-photos.com

Smokechaser Vehicle

Operated by Christchurch City Council
Manufacturer: Mazda

Norway

Norway wildland unimog
Photo by Jan Scheele, fire-engine-photos.com

Unimog 416

In service 1972-2004 in Oslo, Norway
Manufacturer: Rosenbauer
Water tank: 330 gal. / 1250 L

Portugal

Forest Firefighting Vehicle (FFFV)

For rural and forest fire response
Manufacturer: Jacinto
Water Tank: 793 gal. / 3000 L

Russia

Floating Vehicle AZ-4,0

Fire engine that doubles as a rescue boat
Manufacturer: Fire Group Ltd.
Water tank: 793 gal. / 3000 L

Slovenia

Slovenia Pivka wildfire engine
Photo by Sandi Grzetič, fire-engine-photos.com

Pivka TAM 110

Wildfire engine with space for storing handheld equipment
Manufacturer: TAM
Water tank: 449 gal. / 1700 L

South Africa

Forest Fire Engine

Built to uniquely handle African bush and forest fire suppression
Manufacturer: Kinsey Steel Industries

South Korea

Firefighting Bike

For maneuvering rough or damaged roads
Manufacturer: Nanomedics

Spain

Spain wildland forestry tank
Photo by peterlbit, fire-engine-photos.com

Forestry Tank

Operated in Cartagena, Spain
Manufacturer: Iveco
Water tank: 1849 gal. / 7000 L

Sweden

Scania XT P 370 Fire Tanker Truck

Operated by Eksjö Rescue Services
Manufacturer: Scania
Water tank: 1585 gal. / 6000 L

United Arab Emirates

Iveco 4×4 Fire Truck

Built in 1996
Manufacturer: Magirus

United Kingdom

Incident Response Unit – Land Rover

Offroad unit designed to carry firefighting and rescue equipment
Manufacturer: Angloco

United States of America

BME CAL FIRE type 3 model 34 wildland apparatus
Photo by Boise Mobile Equipment

Wildland Type 3 Model 34

Operated by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
Manufacturer: Boise Mobile Equipment
Water tank: 500 gal. / 1893 L

Wales

Quad ATV

Operated by South Wales Fire and Rescue Service
Manufacturer: Polaris

We’re not perfect…See a mistake? Let us know by emailing marketing@bmefire.com.

Types of Fire Engines & Water Tenders

types of fire engines

We are often asked what the main differences are among the fire engines we build. Though Boise Mobile Equipment (BME) is largely known for safe and durable wildland fire engines, we manufacture a wide range of apparatus for virtually any fire incident.

So how does the fire industry classify different types of fire engines? You may have seen our blog outlining the seven main categories of apparatus and their functions. We wanted to display this content in an easy-to-read chart that can be seen at a glance. That’s why we took the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Typing Standards chart and gave it a face lift, making it more accessible to the average viewer.

standards for types of fire engines

But firefighting vehicles don’t stop there. There are several other types of rigs that firefighters use on the line, including Water Tenders. We’ve also listed the different models and requirements for water-transporting vehicles, as defined by the NWCG Typing Standards.

At BME, we’re dedicated to providing departments with the right apparatus, whether it be a Type 3 Fire Engine, a Type 6 Brush Truck, or a Type 1 Pumper. Need something that falls outside these categories? We offer completely custom builds to meet the specific requirements of every department, like this Emergency Response Unit for Santa Fe Springs. BME builds a wide selection of apparatus to tackle any situation.

How to Prepare and Evacuate for a Wildfire

evacuate for a wildfire

Prevention

No matter where you live, you may be at risk for wildfires. Several steps can be taken to ensure you are prepared for the unexpected circumstance of a fire while safely evacuating your family from your home. One of the simplest ways for minimizing or preventing wildfire damage to your property is known as fire mitigation.

The most effective strategy to improve your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire is by creating defensible space around your property. It is recommended that you create two defensible space zones; a 30 foot and 100 foot zone, within this area you can take steps to reduce potential exposure to flames and radiant heat. Each zone will create a buffer between structures on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland surrounding it.

Homes built in pine forests should have a minimum safety zone of 100 feet. If your home sits on a steep slope, standard protective measures may not suffice. Contact your local fire department or forestry office for additional information. 

wildfire preparedness week

Whether you live in a fire zone or live in the city it is important to have defensible space around your home. Along with defensible space it is also important to consider the following to protect your property and home:

Property Checklist

  • Rake leaves, dead limbs and twigs, and clear out all flammable vegetation
  • Remove leaves and rubbish from under structures
  • Thin a 15-foot space between tree crowns, and remove limbs within 15 feet of the ground
  • Remove dead branches that extend over the roof
  • Prune tree branches and shrubs within 15 feet of a stovepipe or chimney outlet
  • Ask the power company to clear branches from power lines
  • Remove vines from the walls of the home
  • Mow grass regularly
  • Clear a 10-foot area around propane tanks and the barbecue
  • Place a screen over the barbecue grill—use non flammable material with mesh no coarser than one quarter inch
  • Regularly dispose of newspapers and rubbish at an approved site and follow local burning regulations
  • Place stove, fireplace and grill ashes in a metal bucket, soak in water for 2 days; then bury the cold ashes in mineral soil
  • Store gasoline, oily rags and other flammable materials in approved safety cans, and place the cans in a safe location away from the base of buildings
  • Stack firewood at least 100 feet away and uphill from your home, and clear combustible material within 20 feet
  • Use only wood-burning devices evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
  • Review your homeowner's insurance policy and also prepare/update a list of your home's contents

Prevention Checklist

  • Design and landscape your home with wildfire safety in mind: select materials and plants that can help contain fire rather than fuel it.
  • Use fire-resistant or noncombustible materials on the roof and exterior structure of the dwelling, or treat wood or combustible material used in roofs, siding, decking or trim with fire-retardant chemicals.
  • Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees (for example, hardwood trees are less flammable than pine, evergreen, eucalyptus or fir trees)
  • Regularly clean roof and gutters.
  • Inspect chimneys at least twice a year. Clean them at least once a year. Keep the dampers in good working order. Equip chimneys and stovepipes with a spark arrester that meets the requirements of National Fire Protection Association Standard 211.
  • Use 1/8-inch mesh screen beneath porches, decks, floor areas and the home itself. Also, screen openings to floors, roof and attic
  • Install a dual-sensor smoke alarm on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms; test monthly and change the batteries at least once each year
  • Teach each family member how to use a fire extinguisher (ABC type) and show them where it's kept
  • Keep handy household items that can be used as fire tools: a rake, axe, handsaw or chain saw, bucket and shovel
  • Keep a ladder that will reach the roof
  • Consider installing protective shutters or heavy fire-resistant drapes
  • Clear items that will burn from around the house, including wood piles, lawn furniture, barbecue grills, tarp coverings, etc. Move them outside of your defensible space
  • Identify and maintain an adequate outside water source such as a small pond, cistern, well, swimming pool or hydrant
  • Have a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of the home and other structures on the property
  • Install freeze-proof exterior water outlets on at least two sides of the home and near other structures on the property. Install additional outlets at least 50 feet from the home.
  • Consider obtaining a portable gasoline powered pump in case electrical power is cut off

Preparation

Before a wildfire it is crucial to protect your home and prepare for evacuations. If you live in an area under threat by wildfire, pay attention to official channels for evacuation orders. Make sure every member of your family has a bag packed with essential items to last you multiple days away from home. Along with each members disaster supply kit, make sure you have a family emergency plan and a means of transportation standing by. 

wildfire evacuation preparedness
  • A 3-day supply of water (one gallon per person, per day) and food that won’t spoil
  • A 3-day supply of water and food for each pet in your household
  • One change of clothing and footwear per person
  • One sleeping bag or blanket per person
  • A first aid kit that includes your family’s prescription medications
  • Emergency tools including a battery-powered radio, flashlight, and plenty of extra batteries
  • An extra set of car keys, credit card, cash, or travelers checks
  • Sanitary & hygiene supplies
  • Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members
  • An extra pair of eyeglasses

Once you have each kit packed, maintain them on a yearly basis by replacing expired items and rethinking the necessary contents. Food and cans should be packed and kept in cool, dry places. Keeping emergency kits at home, in your car and at work are all good ideas since you never know where you’ll be when you need to evacuate.

Evacuation

Depending on your evacuation orders, an immediate evacuation of your home may be necessary. If there are evacuations in your area you should monitor local radio and news stations. Be prepared to leave at any time and if asked to evacuate, do so.  If you have time prior to evacuating the following four steps will aid in protecting your home and assisting fire fighters in their efforts. 

  1. Keep all doors and windows closed in your home.
  2. Remove flammable drapes, curtains, awnings or other window coverings.
  3. Keep lights on to aid visibility in case smoke fills the house.
  4. If sufficient water is available, turn sprinklers on to wet the roof and any water-proof valuables.
wildfire evacuation
Along with these items it is important to have an evacuation plan prepared that you and your family members are all familiar with. The checklist below will help your family  create the right plan. Each family’s plan will be different, depending on a variety of issues, needs, and situations. Create an evacuation plan that includes:
  • A designated emergency meeting location outside the fire or hazard area. This is critical to determine who has safely evacuated from the affected area.
  • Several different escape routes from your home and community. Practice these often so everyone in your family is familiar in case of emergency.
  • Have an evacuation plan for pets and large animals such as horses and other livestock.
  • Family Communication Plan that designates an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact to act as a single source of communication among family members in case of separation. (It is easier to call or message one person and let them contact others than to try and call everyone when phone, cell, and internet systems can be overloaded or limited during a disaster.

The 6 P's

In the event of a quick evacuation, remember the 6 P’s! By having these items prepared ahead of time, you can grab them on a moments notice and evacuate safely. 

  1. People & pets
  2. Papers, phone numbers, & important documents
  3. Prescriptions, vitamins, and eye glasses
  4. Pictures and irreplaceable memorabilia
  5. Personal computer, hard drives, and disks
  6. “Plastic” (Credit Cards, ATM Cards, and Cash)

Prevention is Key

Every year across the U.S., major wildfires test homeowners and firefighters, some homes survive while many others do not. Those that survive almost always do so because their owners had prepared for the eventuality of fire, which is an inescapable force of nature in fire-prone woodland areas. Another way we think of it as, if it’s predictable, it’s preventable!

The best way to protect your home and family during a wildfire is by adding prevention and preparation into your routine. There is a lot of steps to take to be prepared but they can make the difference between saving your home and potentially your life. 

BME Receives $9.8 Million Dollar Tag-On from Cal OES

Cal OES

Boise Mobile Equipment (BME) received a $9.8 million dollar tag-on to produce Wildland Model 34 engines for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). BME will produce twenty-five CAL FIRE spec Model 34 apparatus to be delivered in 2020.

Cal OES coordinates fire mutual aid resources throughout the state of California. The agency responds to a wide range of disasters, making the Model 34 engine a highly important asset.

The BME Model 34 apparatus is built to handle the toughest terrain. Its rugged durability allows firefighters to respond to both wildland fires and provide structure protection in the wildland-urban interface, navigating rough roads and narrow driveways that pose problems for urban pumpers.

BME has over twenty-nine years of experience producing wildland apparatus for state and federal government agencies. BME engines have become essential in the fleets of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the United States Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Interested in tagging on to the CAL Fire order? Email us at sales@bmefire.com or visit our wildland page for more information.

Ad Campaign Highlights the Durability of BME Apparatus

type 3 fire apparatus

Last month we kicked off Boise Mobile Equipment’s 2019 ad campaign. Today marks our second ad in the series, featured in the March issue of Firehouse Magazine. While the first ad highlighted BME’s safety innovations, this month we focus on the durability of our wildland apparatus.

Wildland firefighting offers a unique set of challenges that are very different from structural firefighting. The roads are much rougher in the wildland, if there are roads at all. Wildland apparatus must be designed to handle these hazards when responding to fires in some of the country’s most inaccessible areas. BME trucks are built to withstand the worst the wildland can throw at you, taking you where other vehicles can’t go.

type 4 fire engine, type 6 fire engine, type 3 fire engine

Built for the Wildland

Every detail of a BME wildland apparatus is carefully considered in the context of the environment it will be used in. One of these details is our signature tubular body construction, the feature that makes our engines the safest on the market. The steel framework also increases the apparatus’ rugged durability, allowing it to handle the toughest fire response.

The secret to the body’s durability is in its materials. We build our tubular bodies with strong structural steel that withstands vibration far better than aluminum. The body is then mounted on the chassis in a flexible manner that allows for maximum twist without stressing the truck components. This is an essential part of any wildland apparatus since uneven terrain forces the truck to go through extreme twisting action that it doesn’t encounter on city roads.

Another aspect of BME rigs’ durability lies in their heavy duty doors. While most manufacturers build their fire trucks with roll-up doors, we choose to use formed and welded doors that are better suited for the wildland environment. The doors are attached with piano-style hinges with oversized pins, reducing wear and the amount of dirt that gets in. To keep dust out of the compartments, we dovetail the doors into the body and use neoprene bulb seal. These two inch thick doors are so strong that once a customer accidentally left the overhead doors of his apparatus open and they ended up slicing through five palm trees before they noticed.

Size is also an important factor that determines where a truck can go. Because of the varying kinds of wildland fire incidents, we offer a wide selection of wildland apparatus to tackle any situation. Our most popular build is the Type 3, but we also produce many Model 34s, Type 4s, Type 6s, Tactical Tenders, and Crew Carriers. Our Xtreme 6, an aggressive version of a Type 6, is especially suited for hard to access areas that larger engines can’t reach.

Type 6 fire engine

Peak Performance

We make conscious decisions during every step of the building process to ensure that our apparatus perform to maximum capacity. As BME vice president Larry Segreto explains, “[our] unique body design provides the lowest mounting of the mass of the water tank, maximizing stability for improved high-speed handling, side hill operation, and full use of available water.” We refuse to take shortcuts because we know that lives depend on how our trucks perform in the field.

That being said, accidents do happen and maintenance is sometimes required. That’s why we’ve made minor repairs easier than ever so you can fix your apparatus on the field and get right back into action. Our apparatus are hardwired with very little use of Multiplex systems or Nodes, making them simpler to repair on the go.

Type 3 Brush Truck
Photo by South Metro Fire Rescue

Longer Service Lifespans

Nothing proves the durability of our apparatus more than our customers. Some of our regular customers have large fleets of BME rigs, including the US Forest Service, the National Parks Service, and CAL FIRE. Many of our trucks have been in the field for over twenty years. You can still see BME Type 3s from the 90s responding to fires in west coast forests.

Our trucks have longer lifespans than our competitors because we refuse to take shortcuts. Building the BME way means we put thought into every step of the process, constructing high quality apparatus that get the job done year after year. That’s the BME difference.

New Ad Campaign Highlights the Significance of Safety Innovations

February 1 marks the official launch of our new ad campaign in Firehouse Magazine. This ad, featured in the February 2019 issue, is first in a series highlighting the aspects that make Boise Mobile Equipment (BME) stand out from competitors. We kick off the campaign with the feature we prioritize daily when building our trucks — safety.

It’s no secret that wildland firefighters face a unique set of hazards when responding to a fire. Falling trees, rough terrain, and vehicle rollovers are only a few of the dangers we take into consideration when designing our apparatus. Thanks to our tubular body construction, cab protectors, and enhanced tilt capability, every BME fire truck is guaranteed to get you there and get you home.

The Steel Skeleton

Just as a human body can’t function without a skeleton, and a building can’t stand without a frame, a truck’s body is only as strong as its framework. Most manufacturers in the industry construct their bodies from formed sheetmetal only, leaving it vulnerable to crushing if an accident occurs. That’s what makes BME different. The safety of our nation’s firefighters is our number one priority, so we aim to build the strongest body in the industry.

Our signature tubular constructed bodies are MIG and TIG welded aluminum, galvanneal, or stainless steel. First we start with 2”x3” tubing to form the body skeleton, wrapping it with 12 gauge stainless steel, galvanneal, or 3/16th inch aluminum. This adds a vital layer of protection for firefighting personnel and reinforces the cab and chassis. In the event of a rollover accident, the cab will not be crushed.

You’ll have an opportunity to interact with this safety feature at Firehouse World 2019.

Proven to Save Lives

On July 15, 2015 a U.S. Forest Service Type 3 was en route to the High Sierra Ranger District in Prather, CA when it was sideswiped by an SUV. It was forced off the road, rolling four times before landing on its side. Since it was a BME-built truck, its tubular constructed body prevented the cab from being crushed and the structural integrity of the body remained intact, resulting in zero fatalities. Nine months later, one of the five firefighters involved in the accident visited our facility to express his gratitude for the tubular constructed body. He believed it helped in saving his and the others’ lives. We were thrilled that our steel framework played a role in his protection.

Rollover accidents don’t always have such happy endings. According to a study conducted between 1990 and 2009, vehicle accidents are shown to be the second leading cause of death among wildland firefighters. The fatality risk only increases when seat belts are not worn, which is sadly not uncommon. That is why we strive to reduce this fatality statistic, building a safer apparatus with tubular body construction.

Photo by California Highway Patrol

Other Safety Innovations

Though our steel framework already greatly increases structural integrity, we are always looking for new ways to improve the safety of our apparatus. That’s why we recently added 4”x4” steel tubing cab protectors to our U.S. Forest Service Water Tenders.

With the fire body protected by a steel framework, we turned our attention to the chassis for our next innovation. Since firefighters spend much of their time in the cab, we added a key safety feature to the chassis to increase occupant protection. Our Water Tenders seemed like the natural place to start, their low bodies making them especially susceptible to rollover damage.

Our 4”x4” steel tubing cab protector has cross-braces that prevent the cab from being crushed level to the tank during a rollover. Its triangulated points, or gussets, provide increased strength and reduce crushing points. The rack is solidly secured to the chassis with triple passed welds, beveled joints, and grade 8 hardware. We also use rubber body mounts to eliminate the vibration caused by traveling over rough terrain or at high speeds.

Another focus of our safety innovation program is the tilt table. We build our trucks with a low center of gravity to allow for a steeper tilt, making them more maneuverable over wildland terrain. While NFPA standards require a tilt of 26.5 degrees, BME apparatus can achieve a tilt of 35.2 degrees. This is just another reason why Boise Mobile Equipment has become the go-to apparatus manufacturer in the wildland industry.

Although we continue to add new innovations, the secret to BME’s superior safety lies chiefly the strength of our material. With options like stainless steel, galvanneal, and 3/16th inch aluminum, you can be certain you’re getting the sturdiest apparatus on the market. Through our collaborative design process, we leave it up to you to decide what materials suit your needs the best. With your safety on the line, we never take shortcuts.

USFS Water Tenders

Keeping You Safe for 20+ Years

Because of the quality that goes into every step of the building process, our trucks have stood the test of time. Some of BME’s earliest apparatus, including a few U.S. Forest Service trucks from the early ’90s, are still in use to this day. Satisfied with their BME trucks’ performance over the last two decades, USFS is continuing to add more BMEs to their fleet.

Other vintage BME models are being auctioned in excellent working condition. Older BME apparatus are quite popular among volunteer fire departments looking for a reliable, cost-effective workhorse. We recently donated a 1980 Western State Pumper to a volunteer fire department in Owyhee County.

Our trucks are built to last because safety is our top priority. Building the BME way means we put thought into every step of the process, constructing high quality apparatus that get the job done year after year. That’s the BME difference.

BME Recap of 2018, What’s to Come in 2019

2018 was a year of record growth for Boise Mobile Equipment. New facilities, multi-million dollar bids, production increase and 40 new employees is driving us into 2019 with big goals and the tools to achieve them. Our main focus for 2019 is to hit 100% capacity at each of our manufacturing facilities. Before we look to the future, we’d like to take a quick look back at BME in 2018. 

2018

In the past year BME was awarded bids from California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, multiple municipal departments and county fire departments throughout the United States. Receiving these awards increased other departments’ interest in BME allowing us to showcase our wildland fire truck stature. 

Winning the U.S. Forest Service bid for Type 3, Type 3 Heavy, and Type 4’s  was truly a highlight of the year. This particular bid was 3 times higher than the average bid for USFS, allowing us to increase our capacity and deliver the first 28 trucks early. 

Innovation and redesign was a focus of BME in 2018. We were able to innovate the USFS water tenders to have better roll over protection with a custom manufactured cab protector. Along with the tender innovation we redesigned the USFS Type 4’s to provide better occupant protection while in transit. 

This year we established our place in the wildland firefighting community and will continue to improve, innovate, and support with our above industry standard wildland apparatus. 

2019

The theme of 2018 was growth in every aspect of the company, so what’s in store for BME in 2019? We have BIG plans, involving custom trucks, a company launch, further innovation, efficiency and hitting 100% capacity! Here is a quick look at how our new facility will help get us to where we need to go. 

Aside from hitting our production goals, here are a few additional items to keep an eye out for in 2019 from BME: 

  • First 34 CAL FIRE trucks will be in the field end of January ‘19
  • Extended bodies on USFS Type 4 delivery end of February ‘19
  • Introducing our new Xtreme (on International GMC chassis)
  • Building 4,000 gallon pumps for CA Dept of Corrections
  • SLIDEOUT up & running with focus on fire compartments

Local Manufacturer Brings Jobs to Boise

bme is moving
local manufacturer brings jobs to boise


Career Opportunities

Interested in joining the team at Boise Mobile Equipment? Boise Mobile Equipment consists of two fire apparatus manufacturing facilities in Boise, Idaho. Combined, the facilities employ individuals specializing in auto body, welding, fabrication, electrical, sales and support. We are seeking employees who would be proud to build life-saving equipment and become involved with a great company. Please visit our Career Opportunities page for more information or send an email to inquire about openings to employment@bmefire.com

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