The Bambi Bucket went into production 32 years ago. Its Canadian inventor, Don Arney, couldn’t have foreseen that his big orange bucket would become a brand name synonymous with helicopter firefighting worldwide.
The original Bambi Bucket was introduced by SEI Industries Ltd., in 1982. Back then, fire fighting buckets were not new. However, what SEI was able to perfect was a collapsible bucket with a pilot-controlled valve. This allow helicopters to drop a concentrated column of water, from the helicopter, to the fire.
Don’s legendary bucket has been pictured on more footage around the world than any other firefighting tool. Of course, this is with the exception of the helicopter itself! International news cameras regularly zoom in on the distinctive orange globe, dropping a column of water onto a raging fire below. It’s an image that has been broadcast from natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina to enormous fires like the ones that savaged Australia in 2007.
Fast forward to more than two decades later: Don was honored by induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his invention of the Bambi Bucket. At a ceremony on Thursday May 4, 2017, in the majestic central hall of the National Building Museum, in Washington, D.C. This was the 44th year of the awards with Don becoming the 14th Canadian to be inducted.
To learn more about Don’s entrepreneurial spirit and long history of invention, please visit his website.