Wildfire has been in business since the turn of the millennium and is one of the few manufacturers in the law enforcement, fire and EMS space that has relevant experience on its staff. Specifically, the company boasts more than 60 years of EMS and firefighting experience, so when it says that its products are made with first responders in mind, they mean it. But though the bulk of its work is with fire and EMS, the company’s storage solutions are appropriate for police vehicles as well.
Wildfire got its start as a dealer for a truck builder and started producing its own vehicles in 2004. That includes building EMS rigs and first responder rescue vehicles, so they have a clear grasp of how vehicle outfitting works. In all, Wildfire has produced more than 350 vehicles and 125 skid units, while remounting or custom modifying another 100 or so. That’s a lot of experience with vehicle interiors and equipment mounting, so it stands to reason that Wildfire is the kind of company that fleet managers should take seriously. And with its central Texas location, it can easily service fleets all over the state and beyond.
Wildfire’s Product Offerings
Again, Wildfire is best known for its work in the fire and EMS segments, where it does most of its custom work. However, police fleets can make great use of the company’s storage solutions, as they come in an impressive variety of designs. They are also built for particular vehicle models, so they produce a perfect fit every time. All of Wildfire’s products are manufactured in-house and with the most modern machining methods available.
All of Wildfire’s storage kits are made of high strength aluminum. One of the ongoing debates in the industry is whether or not steel or aluminum is the proper material choice for vehicle components. Steel offers maximum strength and the best protection from impact and wear. Aluminum is lighter and easier to machine, which means it is usually the more affordable alternative. Further, aluminum possesses an extremely high degree of natural corrosion resistance, as it forms an oxide layer when exposed to the air. This prevents further oxidization. There is no clear winner between the two, but aluminum tends to be preferred in regions where corrosion is a significant hazard, like areas along the coast.
How does Wildfire utilize this material to its utmost? Here is what the company’s storage solutions offer:
1. Multiple drawer layouts – Most Wildfire storage products are designed with at least a pair of drawers, though some are built with more. The WF-T340-PC model, for example, comes with a third drawer that is mounted to the top of the standard two-drawer layout. The WF-DPS-SCALE comes with five drawers and is designed to be used with a set of Haenni Scales. The WF-T1-TAHOE-PC, though, is built with just a single drawer, but it’s a sizeable one, allowing for larger equipment and weapon storage.
Every law enforcement, fire and EMS agency manages its fleet differently, so there isn’t a single best solution in terms of drawer layout and size.
2. Additional weapon cabinets – In addition to the many drawer layouts, Wildfire can add weapon cabinets on to its storage products. Most officers prefer to keep their firearms stored separately from their other equipment, and using a method that allows for rapid access and weapon removal. That’s because every second counts when weapon deployment is necessary.
Wildfire makes that possible with its weapon cabinets, which are designed to accommodate most shotguns and long rifles as snugly as possible. The weapon’s butt is mounted just inside the cabinet door, so it can be pulled out instantly, as well as its ammunition.
The manufacturer’s weapon cabinets are available in pairs, as well, and can be bolted to the bottom of the storage drawers to provide additional clearance for even more equipment storage.
3. Partitions and other extras – One reason why Wildfire products stand out so well is that they are extremely customizable. In other words, fleet managers can kit out their storage solutions beyond just adding an extra drawer or weapon locker. Wildfire storage products can also be finished off with some critical add-ons, like safety partitions. The company’s partitions are designed for use in the Chevy Tahoe, but they can be attached to any one, two or three drawer arrangement. Wildfire partitions are made from the same high strength aluminum that its storage drawers are, and are an excellent choice for added protection and vehicle organizing.
Wildfire also offers a weapon mounting kit for shotguns and AR-15 rifles. It is compatible with several of the company’s storage solutions and is designed for installation in the bottom cabinet. With the weapon mount, the firearm is held steady and secure while in transit, protecting it from damage due to abrasive forces or vibration.
Finally, Wildfire storage cabinets can be finished with a top rubber mat, which provides for a non-slip surface for holding items, and a black powder coating. The black powder coating enhances the durability of the cabinet, defending it against corrosion and scratches. It also looks nice and blends in with the vehicle’s aesthetic.