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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

Sedona Fire District Purchases a Model 34 BME Fire Apparatus

cal fire wildland trucks

Sedona Fire District recently purchased a Model 34 (Cal Fire Spec) from BME through HGAC. At this time we are offering our Cal Fire Spec at an affordable price with Tag-On Opportunities for California Departments and through HGAC for any out-of-California departments wanting this truck. Below is an article published by the Sedona Red Rock News about the acquisition of this BME Fire Apparatus.

“It’s like getting a really great Christmas gift — but one that you have to wait until the following Christmas to open.

By a unanimous vote, the Sedona Fire District Governing Board on Aug. 14 approved the purchase of a new Type 3 fire engine in the amount of $313,405.57. However, delivery of the new truck would be 10 to 12 months from the signing of the contract.

“It’s an apparatus that will carry us for a long, long time,” Chairman Dave Soto said. “It’s definitely a work horse.”

According to a staff report, the district plans for timely replacement of fire apparatus and sets aside funding for the ordering and purchasing of vehicles. The current Type 3, which is assigned to Station 4 in Uptown, has been taken out of service and is due for replacement. The engine being replaced is a 1999 E-One Type 3 four-wheel-drive with 78,100 miles and more than 3,700 engine hours.

The truck was originally purchased in February 1999 for $188,525 with a planned service life of 15 years and was the Oak Creek Canyon fire engine staffed by the canyon volunteers. Fire Chief Kris Kazian said this vehicle has been bumped down in the priority replacement list for several years in the capital replacement plan. Due to the continued and increasing costs of maintenance for this vehicle, it has been taken out of service and is recommended for removal from the SFD fleet, he said.

“We’re replacing a 1999 unit, so it’s run its course,” Kazian said. “It’s see a lot of miles and been a lot of places.”

The report states that failure to buy this replacement vehicle leaves the district without a four-wheel drive Type 3 engine used for both in and outside district wildland fires and may see on average a decrease in the range of $50,000 to $60,000 per year paid to SFD when its assistance is requested. As an off-district Type 3 engine, it has generated in excess of $273,000 of revenue over the the past three years combined.

The manufacturer, Boise Mobile Equipment, has a joint purchasing agreement with California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. This allows other jurisdictions to purchase from the CAL FIRE purchase order contract through the Houston-Galveston Area Council. The HGAC is a nationwide, government procurement service awarded through public competitive procurement process compliant with state statues.

Sedona Fire Battalion Chief Dave Cochrane said he’s not sure how must SFD will save by going this route but that the pricing for the new fire engine being requested is at a significant savings over trying to purchase this truck as an individual agency.

“We’ve come to the point where we can no longer kick the can down the road,” Cochrane said in terms of the engine’s need. Cochrane said the Type 3 engine holds about 500 gallons and being that it is four-wheel drive, is most often used in wildland and forest fires, especially those being battled in California.

SFD has a second Type 3 engine, but it is two-wheel drive and will stay local. A Type 6 engine, which is much smaller and pays less in terms of a daily rental by other agencies, is out of state with a Sedona crew.”

BME Receives 3 Separate Awards from USFS

USFS fire trucks

In the month of September, Boise Mobile Equipment (BME) has received three separate awards totaling over $15 million for production of firefighting apparatuses for the United States Forest Service (USFS). BME will produce 60 wildland engines for the USFS with an option for a 25% increase.

On the order? Type 3’s, Type 3 Heavy, and Type 4’s; which will be ready for delivery in 2019. These wildland fire trucks will be delivered to multiple locations across 10 western states.

Boise Mobile Equipment is a fire truck manufacturer located in Boise, Idaho who has been servicing the nation’s fire, police, and emergency response professionals since 1990. BME fire apparatuses are manufactured to perform in rough terrain and extreme firefighting conditions. BME is dedicated to providing departments with custom design options, superior craftsmanship, and rugged durability. BME offers various types of emergency vehicles including pumpers, tenders, rescues, Wildland Type 3’s, 4’s and 6’s, and a variety of command vehicles. In addition, BME provides equipment and services to law enforcement with its command vehicles, complete up-fitting, and K-9 units.

Aside from its work with US Forest Service, BME has manufactured fire apparatus for CAL FIRE, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS) and multiple municipal and county fire departments throughout the United States.

Interested in purchasing a BME wildland apparatus? Feel free to email us at sales@bmefire.com or visit our wildland page for more information!

CAL FIRE Type 3 Wildland Update

Cal Fire Wildland Firetrucks

In August of 2017, Boise Mobile Equipment (BME) was awarded roughly $10 million to produce over thirty Type 3 wildland firefighting apparatuses for the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, better known as CAL FIRE. Since the initial contract CAL FIRE has now ordered 60 Wildland Type 3 trucks from BME. Here is a brief look inside our production timeline:

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Escalon Put’s Xtreme Type 6 Brush Truck to Work

Xtreme type 6 brush truck

The very first Xtreme Aggressive Type 6 ever built by Boise Mobile Equipment (BME), was recently added to the Escalon Fire Departments fleet. The Xtreme Type 6 pushes the ability of Quick Attack for emergency vehicles. BME wanted to create a custom manufactured brush truck that could exceed the capabilities of current trucks on the market. This brush truck was being used as a demo unit prior to being purchased by Escalon Fire Department. This brush truck was put into service on July 30 and utilized the same day on a grass and brush fire in Escalon.

The Xtreme 6 recently made an appearance in the Escalon Times along with firefighters Connor Coker and Ron Gur. Escalon Fire Chief Rick Mello commented on the departments new truck saying, “Essentially it carries 300 gallons of water and has a smaller capacity pump; it is built for wildland firefighting, it’s able to get to areas that are not accessible to larger engines. It carries hand tools, it has a portable pump so we can get water on site … it gives us a few more options.” Read the entire article here on the Escalon Times website.

We believe the Xtreme Type 6 is a great example of BME’s passion to build fire trucks that are ‘go anywhere’ vehicles. For more information, photo’s, specs and engineering behind this Aggresive truck visit our Wildland Xtreme 6 Page. Ready to add an Xtreme 6 to your department or having question? We can be reached at sales@bmefire.com or by phone at (208) 338-1444. 

 

Wildfire Prevention & Preparedness

wildfire prevention and prepardness

As more individuals build their homes in woodland settings — in or near forests, rural areas or remote mountain sites, they enjoy the beauty of the environment but face the very real danger of wildfire. 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!

Wildfires often begin unnoticed; usually triggered by lightning or accidents. They spread quickly, igniting brush, trees and homes. Reduce your risk by preparing now — before wildfire strikes. Meet with your family to decide what to do and where to go if wildfires threaten your area. Follow the steps listed below to protect your family, home and property.

Protect Your Home

It is recommended that you create a 30 to 100 foot safety zone around your home, within this area, you can take steps to reduce potential exposure to flames and radiant heat. 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.

Create a Perimeter 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

Plan Ahead

  • 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 structure on the property. Install additional outlets at least 50 feet from the home.
  • Consider obtaining a portable gasoline powered pump in case electrictrical power is cut off.

Emergency Supplies

When wildfire threatens you won’t have time to shop or search for supplies. Assemble a disaster supplies kit with items you may need if advised to evacuate. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers such as backpacks, duffle-bags, or trash containers.

Below are some essential items to include:

wildland fire prepardness
  • A 3-day supply of water (one gallon per person, per day) and food that won’t spoil
  • 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
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members
  • An extra pair of eyeglasses

During a Wildfire

If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Take your disaster supply kit, lock your home and choose a route away from the fire hazard. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of the fire and smoke. Tell someone when you left and where you are going. If you see a wildfire and haven’t received evacuation orders yet, call 9-1-1. Don’t assume that someone else has already called. Describe the location of the fire, speak slowly. Describe the location of the fire, speak slowly and clearly, and answer any questions asked by the dispatcher. If you are not ordered to evacuate and have time to prepare your home, FEMA recommends you take the following actions:

  • Arrange temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area in case you need to evacuate
  • Wear protective clothing when outside — sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothes, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves and a handkerchief to protect your face
  • Gather fire tools such as a rake, axe, handsaw or chainsaw, bucket and shovel
  • Close outside attic, eaves and basement vents, windows, doors, pet doors, etc. Remove flammable drapes and curtains
  • Close all shutters, blinds or heavy non-combustible window coverings to reduce radiant heat
  • Close all doors inside the house to prevent draft
  • Open the damper on your fireplace, but close the fireplace screen
  • Shut off any natural gas, propane or fuel oil supplies at the source
  • Connect garden hoses to outdoor water faucet and fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs or other large containers with water
  • Place lawn sprinklers on the roof and near above-ground fuel tanks, and leave the sprinklers on, dowsing these structures as long as possible
  • If you have gas-powered pumps for water, make sure they are fueled and ready

If asked to evacuate…

  • Place a ladder against the house in clear view to aid firefighters
  • Disconnect any automatic garage door openers so that doors can still be opened by hand if the power goes out, and close all garage doors
  • Place valuable papers, mementos and anything “you can’t live without” inside the car in the garage, ready for quick departure
  • Any pets still with you should also be put in the car
  • Place valuables that will not be damaged by water in a pool or pond
  • Move flammable furniture into the center of the residence away from the windows and sliding-glass doors
  • Turn on outside lights and leave a light on in every room to make the house more visible in heavy smoke

Practice Wildfire Safety

Every year wildfires destroy thousands of homes and businesses all over the United States. This is why it is so important to be aware of the potential for wildfires and to always take steps to prevent a fire from spreading. People start most wildfires, find out how you can promote and practice wildfire safety.  

california wildifres using bme firetrucks
  • Contact your local fire department, health department, or forestry office for information on fire laws.
  • Make sure that fire vehicles can get to your home. Clearly mark all driveway entrances and display your name and address.
  • Report hazardous conditions that could cause a wildfire.
  • Teach children about fire safety, be sure to keep matches out of their reach.
  • Post fire emergency telephone numbers.
  • Ensure adequate accessibility by large fire vehicles to your property.
  • Plan several escape routes away from your home, both by car and foot.
  • Talk to your neighbors about wildfire safety. Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a wildfire. Make a list of your neighbors’ skills such as medical or technical. Consider how you could help your neighbors who have special needs such as elderly or disabled persons. Make plans to take care of children who may be on their own if parents can’t get home.
  • Keep important family documents in a waterproof container. Assemble a smaller version of your kit to keep in the trunk of your car.
  • Wildfires often begin unnoticed. They spread quickly, igniting brush, trees and homes. Reduce your risk by preparing now before a wildfire strikes. Meet with your family to decide what to do

Wildland Firefighter Week of Remembrance

Wildland Firefighter

Over many decades, lessons learned from accidents and fatalities that have occurred on wildland fires have led to significant improvements in firefighter education, training, operational practices, and risk management processes. Unfortunately, wildland firefighting remains inherently hazardous, and we continue to experience accidents and fatalities.
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