From forest fires to military ship fires, firefighters must be prepared to face a growing flame from all angles. Having support equipment on hand to tackle a blaze from both the ground and from the air is imperative in an emergency.
The USS Bonhomme Richard, a Navy warship designed to support Marine Corps operations, caught fire while docked at Naval Base San Diego on July 12. The same teams putting out California wildfires provided aerial firefighting support to battle the blaze aboard the amphibious assault ship.
Bambi Buckets from SEI Industries flying below MH-60S Knight Hawk helicopters dumped over 1,500 buckets of water in order to quickly slow the spread. Military and civilian fire crews spent 4 days extinguishing the fire.
An MH-60S Knight Hawk helicopter from the Merlins of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3 provides aerial firefighting support to the fire aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) on July 14, 2020. (US Navy Photo.)
A helicopter from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron and Federal San Diego Firefighters combat a fire aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Russell Lindsey)
As fires raged in California through the summer of 2020, Bambi Buckets were used to quickly battle more than a dozen locations under fire. Designed specifically for aerial firefighting, this unique bucket can hold up to 11,000 pounds of water at a time.
Bambi Bucket Capabilities
- Provide highly cost-effective water delivery.
- Offer compact, lightweight and portable convenience.
- Stand up to field conditions thanks to our unique Bambi Bucket fabric – designed for maximum durability and strength.
- Can be enhanced with our many innovative accessories to create the ultimate aerial firefighting weapon.
- Offer variable fill capability and foam injection systems.
- Offer fast fill and shallow water capability.
- Provide pilot-controlled dump patterns.
- Feature a dump valve that opens instantly.
- Can fit any size helicopter
During fire season, many of the existing natural water sources such as rivers, creeks, stream beds or alpine meadows are too shallow to fully dip a bucket. The PowerFill Snorkel gives the ability to fill the bucket in shallow water sources including streams, ponds and low-profile dip tanks. It also provides additional functionality for load regulation and quicker dips.
The Sacksafoam™ Heli-Case is a foam-injection system designed for use with larger helicopters and additional flight personnel. Storage for a 5 USG pail allows the large, built-in reservoir to be refilled on-the-fly with the dip tube and transfer pump. It is designed to be paired with a Sacksafoam Plus for more capacity.
The mobility sled is convenient for allowing one person to load and unload even the largest Bambi Buckets. The four-wheeled mobility sled comes equipped with 16″ foam filled, all-terrain tires, tow bar and a braking system. It can be quickly dismantled for shipping. Roll, winch and go. A three-wheeled version is also available.
The ADS Aerospace team specializes in solving problems by connecting customers with the right suppliers. With industry knowledge and expertise, our team can source and deliver innovative products like the Bambi Bucket for your aerial firefighting needs.