In the middle of a historic season for fires in British Columbia, one man’s fire suppression business is taking off.
“When things get desperate, and buildings are directly threatened, and you do have a water source, they can provide instantaneous protection in minutes and they’re very easily set up,” says Rob Szasz, creator of the Firebozz.
The tool is based on a modified agricultural sprinkler, capable of spraying large volumes over a massive area. They can spray water, fire retardant or foam, and at 41 pounds, are portable enough to be a low-maintenance tool for fire crews. As water soakes into the ground, a fire break is established – a key component when battling interface fires.
“Take it away, put it where you need to take it, set it up and away it goes,” says Ray Delcourt, Ladysmith Fire Chief, who says they have already have two, and will probably purchase two more.
In total, 30 units are being used across western Canada. Whistler is currently ordering four more. And with this year’s warm weather showing no signs of abating, it likely means departments will be requesting a Firebozz of their own in the months ahead.
“We don’t see this weather pattern changing in the near future. We need to be more proactive. This is just another tool to add to what’s already existing,” says Ken Ruddick, president of ERT Training.
Which suits Szasz just fine.
“[If] they already a water source, they already got hoses that fit it, it’s dead easy to use,” he says.
“We believe the demand is there, that’s for sure.”