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BME Receives Three Year BPA from the U.S. Department of Interior

BME Receives 3 Year BPA

Boise Mobile Equipment (BME) received a three year Blanket Purchase Agreement to produce Wildland Crew Carriers for the U.S. Department of Interior in March. BME will produce twenty-four crew carriers in its initial year of the Bid. 

“The Department of the Interior (DOI) conserves and manages the Nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people, provides scientific and other information about natural resources and natural hazards to address societal challenges and create opportunities for the American people, and honors the Nation’s trust responsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated island communities to help them prosper.” 

The Initial 24 Units:

The BME Crew Carrier is built to handle rugged terrain. This rugged durability allows firefighters to respond to wildland fires quickly, safely, and comfortably. The tubular skeleton increases roll-over protection and safety for your crew in all situations.

Structural Integrity Test

We build our bodies to the highest standards of safety and durability. In order to build the best crew carriers for the Department of Interior we have built a tubular steel constructed body that will be sent to Cape Testing with IMMI in Indiana to have a Structural Integrity Test to be performed on. This testing is being done to meet the NFPA 1906 Standards 10.4.1 Structural Integrity – Roof Loading and 10.4.3 Structural Integrity – Side Loading.

Development & Production Timeline

crew carrier production

Engineer Drawing

crew bus engineer drawing

Crew Carrier Specifications

  • Freightliner® M2 106 Conventional Chassis
  • Cummins® L9 330EV HP Engine
  • Allison® 3000 EVS Transmission
  • Seating for 10 Personnel
  • Tubular Steel Constructed Body
  • Air Horn
  • Battery Charger & Inverter
  • Multiplex Electrical System
  • Lighting Packages (vary on build)

If your department is in need of a Wildland Crew Carrier we have the best-looking, most comfortable, and safest vehicle in its class. Personal space, comfortable seats, and overall design make our Crew Carriers the right choice for your team. For more information on the BME Crew Carriers please visit this page or contact sales@bmefire.com 

Our Commitment to Firefighters

firefighters with bme fire truck
Photo Credit: South Metro Fire Rescue 2018

It’s no secret that firefighters face a unique set of hazards when responding to a fire, whether structure or wildland. Firefighting equipment or gear failing should not be a concern when operating in dangerous environments. We know that while each apparatus we build plays a role in firefighting efforts, it is ultimately the firefighters who put in the hard work, risking their lives to protect our communities day in and day out. For this reason we are invested in the safety and experiences of each individual firefighter and department that steps foot in a BME apparatus.

As a small family-run company, we believe in treating our clients as one of our own, from our initial meeting to thirty years down the line. We are dedicated and proud to build lifesaving equipment; nothing is more rewarding than seeing our apparatus perform in the field. We strive to innovate wildland apparatus, manufacturing processes, and the way we interact with each member of the BME family.

When you join the BME family you have the guarantee of apparatus safety and support long after delivery. Throughout the years we have built connections with the firefighters that use our apparatus, listening to each client and using their feedback to guide our innovations. Our inspiration for safety comes from following the stories of the men and women on the front lines.

We Are Wildland

To bring our family together we have created a motto: We Are Wildland. This is more than just a slogan we use, it’s a statement that represents the firefighters we are proud to serve and a precedent we have set as a manufacturer. We offer the safest wildland apparatus on the market and it’s a result of the brave men and women who operate them. When you see the BME logo or We Are Wildland on an engine, shirt, hat, or sticker, you’ll know it has been built to the utmost standards of quality and durability. 

Firefighters wearing the BME badge is a great honor. We wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for agencies like the US Forest Service or CAL FIRE trusting in us. Support from municipal departments has allowed us to grow in our custom apparatus capabilities. As proud as we are to see others wearing the BME badge, we believe firefighters are proud to be a part of our family. Our annual calendar wouldn’t be possible without the support of departments who have purchased our apparatus and captured photos of them in the field. 

We would like to personally thank each employee, department, agency and vendor that has contributed to the growth of Boise Mobile Equipment. Amazing vendors like WhelenTomarDarleyHannay Reels, Cox Reels, Elkhart BrassUPFFoam ProHale and many more allow us to build quality products. Our marketing efforts are supported by great companies like Silverline FilmsSOLVUprintingBSN Sports, Firehouse Magazine, Fire Engineering Magazine, and Sticker MuleCustom vinyl stickers have allowed us to show off our BME logo but also design items focused on the firefighters we serve.

FROM OUR BME FAMILY

Safety Starts Here

Safer, more effective firefighting begins with a dependable, high-quality BME Wildland Fire Apparatus. We continue in our commitment to not only build the best in the industry, but also, the safest. We are often asked what makes a BME fire engine different from other manufacturers, we made this video to show you what sets us apart from the competition. Thank you to Silverline Films for creating this video.

Firefighters Have Twice the Risk to Develop Mesothelioma, Says Study

Firefighters Have Twice the Risk to Develop Mesothelioma, Says Study

Guest Post By: Mesothelioma Guide  

Written By: Andrew Devine

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have teamed up to study the causal relationship between firefighting and diseases such as mesothelioma. The study found that firefighters have a substantially higher risk of developing mesothelioma than the general population.

Firefighters are a group of people that have one of the more notable risks for developing mesothelioma. These risks aren’t hard to imagine when considering the amount of debris and toxins released into the air when an older building burns down.

The smoke and dust generated from these fires are likely to contain unsafe levels of asbestos. When structures are on fire and when they collapse, asbestos fibers present in the structure become airborne.

There are also unforeseen risks that firefighters serving prior to the 1970s may have incurred. Such a risk is the use of asbestos in the protective materials worn by firefighters prior to this period. Since the risks of asbestos were not widely known, it seemed logical at the time to manufacture helmets, coats and pants with fire-resistant asbestos.

While firefighters today have protective equipment, such as masks and respirators, it is not always a requirement for them to use the equipment. This obviously puts firefighters at risk of exposure if asbestos is present.

Background of the Study

The idea behind the study was to create a more conclusive understanding of the occupational risks of firefighting and developing cancer. By increasing the amount of participants in the study, researchers hope to back up previous studies with a more scientifically significant analysis.

The study consisted of nearly 30,000 career firefighters who served between 1950 and 2009 in San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia.

While the research does not consider factors such as smoking, personal health and consumption of alcohol, they did determine that firefighters are twice as likely to develop mesothelioma compared to the general population.

This was the first study ever to identify higher rates of mesothelioma among firefighters in the United States. It also found that firefighters have a higher rates of developing several other types of cancer.

The study is projected to have a second phase in which researchers will look at the occupational history of the firefighters in this study to gain more specific information about the relationship of firefighting and the development of cancers like mesothelioma.

9/11: A Recent Example of Asbestos Risks for Firefighters

One of the most infamous asbestos exposure risks for firefighters were those who served at Ground Zero on 9/11. The lower floors of the Twin Towers were coated in tons (estimated between 400 and 1,000 tons) of asbestos that was released into the air when the buildings collapsed.

The dust cloud resulting from the collapse swamped lower Manhattan, engulfing skyscrapers and people. Those without respirators were sure to inhale the toxic dust.

A study released a year after 9/11 by the American Thoracic Society highlighted the risks associated with asbestos exposure for firefighters at Ground Zero.

Although the study wasn’t speculative about firefighters developing mesothelioma in the future, it determined there was a significant amount of asbestos released in the air after the collapse.

The study did, however, determine that firefighters at Ground Zero had immediate respiratory side effects, including pleural effusions and pleural thickening. These are serious symptoms, which illuminate the risks firefighters must face.

There isn’t any event comparable in magnitude that posed risks to firefighters quite like 9/11. However, it does go to show that firefighters responding to calls involving buildings containing asbestos face an inevitable risk of being exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos.

Why Is This Study Important?

The study released by the USFA and NIOSH is important for many reasons, but one reason stands out in relation to mesothelioma: awareness. Knowing that firefighters have two times the risk of developing mesothelioma than the average American is powerful information.

This is information that can be used to help protect firefighters from unseen, airborne risks such as asbestos. It may also encourage firefighters who are tempted to remove their respirators to protect themselves.

Many people are still unaware of the potential threat of asbestos exposure. The toxic fibers are regulated in the U.S., but they still aren’t banned. Firefighters, especially, need to be aware of these risks.

 

About the Writer, Andrew Devine

Andrew Devine is a contributing writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He has developed an interest in educating patients and their families on everything from new treatments to what to expect after diagnosis.

Boise Mobile Equipment | We Are Wildland Video

Wildfires are a force of nature that threaten everything in their path, yet brave men and women risk their lives to keep this force contained. Boise Mobile Equipment Wildland Fire Apparatus are designed and manufactured to the utmost demanding performance and durability standards. We continue in our commitment to not only build the best in the industry, but also, the safest. We are often asked what makes a BME fire engine different from other manufacturers, we made this video to show you what sets us apart from the competition. 

Tubular constructed bodies provide an added layer of safety and durability in some of the harshest and most rugged environments. Safer, more effective firefighting begins with a dependable, high-quality BME Wildland Fire Apparatus. Thank you to Silverline Films for creating this video.

BME Statement on Coronavirus

To our valued clients, 

As the landscape regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, we are closely monitoring the situation and are adhering to the governments, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization’s guidelines on all aspects of safe working, quarantine and traveling. Our highest priority is the health and safety of our employees and the first responders we serve. We will continue manufacturing fire apparatus as long as it is safe to do so and supplies are available. We have prepared for a number of contingencies to minimize the risk and disruption to our business operations, employees, and customers.

In an effort to protect Boise Mobile Equipment employees, visiting personnel and client receiving engines we have implemented the following:

  • No tours of the facilities at this time
  • Limiting number of personnel visiting for meetings at our facility
  • Shortening time spent on the shop floor of visiting departments
  • Delivering engines with a pilot vehicle to eliminate flying
  • Preventative measures for at risk employees

We will assess the situation daily and update our manufacturing plans accordingly during this time. Please be assured that we will continue to work diligently to ensure the processes, infrastructure and safeguards we have in place, to continue delivering a quality fire apparatus and customer service.

From the team at Boise Mobile Equipment

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.

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