Bambi Bucket inventor included in hall of fame class

 Nebraska National Guard crew members of Company C 2nd-135th General Support Aviation Battalion use a Bambi Bucket to dump water onto flames in Larimer County, Colorado. Staff Sgt Tate Petersen Photo

Nebraska National Guard crew members of Company C 2nd-135th General Support Aviation Battalion use a Bambi Bucket to dump water onto flames in Larimer County, Colorado. Staff Sgt Tate Petersen Photo

Don Arney, inventor of the Bambi Bucket for aerial firefighting, is included in the 2017 induction class of the National (U.S.) Inventors Hall of Fame.

Arney, who is also owner and founder of SEI Industries in Delta, British Columbia, is set to be inducted in a ceremony on May 4 in Washington, D.C. He joins five other living inventors in the 2017 class and nine who will be inducted posthumously, including Earle Dickson, inventor of the Band-Aid adhesive bandage.

“This literally came right out of the blue,” said Arney in an email to Vertical. “Totally unexpected. Of course, it is satisfying as an inventor to have one of your ideas recognized in this way but I also know it’s recognition of the world class team at SEI that make the Bambi Bucket a day to day reality.”

The Bambi Bucket was introduced in 1982 and was seen as a significant step forward in aerial firefighting technology.

Back then, firefighting buckets were well-established, but Arney and SEI Industries were able to do what others had not: perfect a collapsible bucket that used a pilot-controlled valve that could deliver a concentrated column of water from the helicopter to the fire.

“It’s gratifying to see the Bambi becoming better known outside the industry,” said Arney. “When we see television coverage of the Bambi at work, all firefighting first responders are being recognized, and this is the really satisfying part – plus, knowing that I’m a significant contributor to this dedicated worldwide team of firefighters.”

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