Bronco Wild Fund Donates Customized SUV to Help Coordinate Firefighting Crews Across Rough Terrain in Bandelier National Monument

June 30th, 2023 by


  • Ford, through its Bronco Wild Fund, is donating a customized Bronco® SUV with advanced communications gear, creating a go-anywhere wildland firefighting command rig to help coordinate firefighting crews across rough terrain in Bandelier National Monument
  • Modified by Darley, a global manufacturer and distributor for defense, fire and rescue vehicles, the vehicle will aid National Park Service firefighters in protecting Bandelier’s 33,000 acres that include ancient native lands and sacred sites
  • Integrated satellite, cellular and radio-based communications equipment, a tablet computer and a drone to survey situations from above, plus front and rear locking differentials, 35-inch off-road tires, an integrated winch and more will help manage and coordinate emergency response

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A Bronco Badlands SUV with Sasquatch off-road package is donated to the National Park Service from Ford Motor Company and the Bronco Wild Fund. The Bronco will be used in Bandelier National Monument to operate as a firefighting command vehicle. The Ford Bronco Wild Fund works to increase access, preservation and stewardship of public lands.

Bandelier National Monument is located in northern New Mexico and composed of rugged canyons and mesas. The park has a history of natural fire occurrences and is experiencing more repeated fires as the fire season grows longer.

Bandelier lacks infrastructure due to two-thirds being designated wilderness, making it difficult to access. The command rig will enhance it’s fire fleet and expand their current capabilities. The rig is equipped with a state-of-the-art government communication system with satellite and antenna connections. Firefighters will be able to establish a real-time backcountry command and control position with the crews during emergency operations. And a drone is included in the vehicle with live feed screens, tablet computer and special software. This will provide first response teams with improved aerial reconnaissance, detection capabilities and improved situational awareness. A grille guard, a factory-installed winch, a set of bead lock wheels, and a roof rack fitted with a lightbar, search and emergency lights and sirens are amongst some of the other specialized hardware included. All these high-tech solutions help provide safer operations when responding to wildland fires.

Ford is helping out in many different ways in regards to wildfires on top of the Bronco Wild Fund.

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Dave Rivers (Ford Enthusiast Brand Manager):
For more than a century Ford has supported fire response and disaster relief efforts by deploying vehicles to provide emergency transportation and power and deliver essential goods. Bronco Wild Fund was created because of our passion for the outdoors, and we’re excited to donate the Bronco wildland firefighting command rig to Bandelier to help protect this National Monument for generations to come.”

“The Bronco wildland firefighting command rig is like the ultimate communications hub with G.O.A.T. modes®,” said Rivers. “It’s a four-door mountain goat made to carry firefighting rangers so they can quickly coordinate where emergency units need to be.”

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Patrick Suddath (Superintendent of Bandelier National Monument):
“I want to thank Ford for this generous donation. Over the last 20 years, warmer temperatures and stronger winds have resulted in bigger fires that are harder to predict and manage. These more resource-intensive fires have a real impact on Bandelier’s firefighting corps, and this donation will help us manage fires better. It will also help to minimize impact to the park’s affiliated tribes, who have traditionally used park land for cultural, economic, and spiritual reasons.

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Kimberly Brown (Darley Chief Marketing Officer):
“Henry Ford and W.S. Darley worked together in the 20th century. We are honored that a hundred-plus years later our companies are still working together to serve our national heroes and sustain our beautiful spaces. Everything we do is built for performance and powered by technology with a relentless focus on the human experience.”

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