HELiFIRE Buckets


About Us


"Freestanding Collapsible Aerial Firefighting Systems"





Founded in 1996, Rural Fire Service (Ltd) a private wildfire contractor that specialises in the provision of fire prevention, suppression, compliance and training services to support landowners, farm forestry and other rural businesses in New Zealand and overseas.  As a private wildfire contractor we also maintain a volunteer rural firefighting crew and equipment through the Ruahine Forest Industry Brigade, which are available nationwide, but most commonly in Hawkes Bay. Through our engineering division manufacture and supply a range of innovative Helicopter role equipment that allow Pilots to support rural firefighting operations and fuel reduction burns. Rural Fire Service is proud to be an Australian Defence Force veteran owned and operated business. We are honored to have served our country and now to serve you.





Our mission is to provide Helicopter operators with innovative, high quality solutions that outperform expectations, improve safety and increase the productivity. This idea has been the foundation of our success in continually introducing innovative new product technology in helicopter firefighting and live fire training simulators.





The HELiFIRE™ Bucket was designed and is still built by Fire Captain and Director Simon Osborne who is a fully licenced Pilot (PPL), "A" Grade Automotive Engineer (Diesel) and Fitter and Turner by trade.


Simon decided in his capacity as an operational rural fire fighter to use his experience and knowledge of the Wildfire (rural fire) industry to good use and come up with a practical and effective Helicopter Monsoon Bucket to do the job “the Fireman’s solution”.


He rapidly came up with the concept of a collapsible HELiFIRE™ Monsoon Bucket that could be carried inside the cockpit of a H300 and R22 for deployment to wildfires…. or be used as an emergency cage to extract people from the fire or flood affected areas. 


He made models to prove the concept, as it had to fold compactly for storage in a Helicopter. Convinced by the models he then manufactured a prototype collapsible HELiFIRE™ Monsoon Bucket and enlisted the late Chris Gibbs a local Commercial Agriculture Helicopter Pilot to trial the original prototype.




Simon identified a few weight issues with the prototype HELiFIRE™ Bucket but carried on, undaunted, to get another HELiFIRE™ Monsoon Bucket fabricated with improvements to resolve the initial issues.


Three more HELiFIRE™ Monsoon Bucket prototypes were eventually made as improvements were identified and resolved. Some radical changes to the design were implemented which resulted in the manufacture of a simple, lightweight but strong helicopter monsoon bucket. The HELiFIRE™ Monsoon Bucket takes only seconds to erect, is very compact and the team sent it off once again for flight-testing.


The 180 Litre HELiFIRE™ Monsoon Bucket had passed all tests better than the team could have hoped. Great stability in the worst flight conditions that a fire could produce.





As the HELiFIRE Monsoon bucket is underslung from a Helicopter Hook (which is STC'd), there are no structural and electrical modifications required for the installation for a HELiFIRE Bucket on any Helicopter, and as such there is no requirement for HELiFIRE Bucket to have a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC).


In saying that our range of HELiFIRE Monsoon buckets are built to and operate under the New Zealand Civil Aviation Rule (CAA) Rule Part 133 – Helicopter External Load Operations and the National Rural Fire Authority (NRFA) Fire Equipment Standards for helicopter firefighting Buckets. 





Explore our product pages for more information or Click Here to arrange an operational demonstration.