When the Bambi Bucket went into production 27 years ago, its Canadian inventor, SEI Industries founder Don Arney, couldn’t have possibly foreseen that his big orange bucket would become a brand name synonymous with helicopter firefighting worldwide.
Don’s legendary bucket has been pictured on more footage around the world than any other firefighting tool, with the exception of the helicopter itself. International news cameras have long zeroed in on the distinctive orange globe delivering a dense 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.
The original Bambi Bucket was introduced by SEI Industries Ltd., in 1982. Back then, fire fighting buckets were not new but what SEI was able to perfect was a collapsible bucket with pilot-controlled valve and delivery of a concentrated column of water from the helicopter to the fire.
Fast forward to more than two decades later and Don was honored by induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his invention of the Bambi Bucket. The ceremony took place Thursday evening, 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.