The Story of SPIEDR Sprinkler Trailers
SPIEDR Structure Protection Equipment was born out of necessity. The summer of 2003 was one of the worst on record for fires in British Columbia. The fires caused more than 45,000 people to evacuate and over 260 thousand hectors of high-value forests were destroyed. Something had to be done to minimize the impact of wildfires on communities throughout the province. The estimated total loss from the summer was more than 700 million dollars.
A Provincial review team was tasked with finding answers to the question of what to do and provide actionable solutions. The review team eventually concluded that sprinklers should be used as a way for people to protect themselves. They stated that communities and homeowners in the wildland urban interface (WUI), where community development meets forest, should use sprinklers to defend themselves from wildfire.
But who could obtain this kind of equipment? Enter Bob Swart, founder of Firestorm Enterprises Ltd. Bob became involved with the provincial review team as a fire equipment consultant. He was tasked to build sprinkler protection units (SPUs) as a resource for the Province. Thus, began the birth of SPIEDR, with the development of the first four Sprinkler Trailers.
The trailers were designed as mobile units that could easily be towed by a full-sized pickup truck to transport equipment directly to the affected areas. With all the sprinkler equipment, neatly stored, easily accessible, and ready for transport, structure protection equipment could now be taken and utilized to protect structures threatened by wildfire all over the Province.
The first set of trailers were built and ready by mid-July 2004. They were delivered in time for a ribbon-cutting ceremony meant to take place in Kamloops BC. This ceremony however, never took place.
The night before at around 10:30 PM, Bob Swart received a call from Doug Carey. He was from the BC Office of the Fire Commissioner for Fire Emergencies regarding structure protection duties. Doug needed Bob’s help: there was a fire emergency.
So Firestorm, or Bob and a 5 person crew, departed that evening for the 18-hour journey to the Lonesome Lake Fire. They, of course, had a Sprinkler Trailer in tow. Over three different days, Firestorm deployed sprinkler kits to save the structures threatened by the fire. All 24 structures were saved through Firestorm’s collected effort and through the innovative design and functionality of the Sprinkler Structure Protection Trailers used.
Ever since, Bob and the crew at Firestorm have been developing and manufacturing SPIEDR - Structure Protection Sprinkler Trailers. These enclosed trailers are self-contained comprising of specialized equipment such as portable pumps, 3 types of low GPM sprinklers, bladders, hoses, and accessories.
SPIEDR has benchmarked the innovation and technology of Structure Protection Sprinkler Trailers utilizing their 14-year history of operational experience with 20+ years in wildland equipment development.
SPIEDR proudly states that we have manufactured 98% of all purchased Structure Protection Trailers in Canada and continues to be the "GO TO COMPANY" via communication within the fire service.
These Fire Agencies now inventory yet another useful resource in their tool box to mitigate WUI fires. Because one SPIEDR unit protects up to 50 homes, while one fire engine only protects one home at a time.