Wildfire season is unpredictable in Arizona and Southeastern California. Luckily, our states have amazing heroes who step in to fight the fires every season. One of those heroes happens to be Empire Cat client, Mann’s Clean Up Service.
Here's Their Story...
At 23 and only 5’4”, Cortnee is currently the youngest female heavy equipment operator in our region for wildland fire. Many ask, “What’s this little kid doing out here?” but Pat wouldn’t have it any other way.
“My bond with my daughter is very strong. When we’re at fires, I’m more comfortable as an operator knowing she’s aware and has my best interest,” Pat said.
Dennis McGrath is Mann’s Clean Up Service’s Product Support Representative, ready to tackle their needs as they arise.
“It is great to work with a company and family that takes pride in the same values that Empire represents,” Dennis explained. “There is not a more unpredictable career than firefighting and we are built for 24/7/365. Our team is built to help keep Mann’s Clean Up Service second to none in their field.”
Good communication, efficiency and astonishment are the keys to ensuring Mann’s Clean Up Service success. If a machine goes down, they only have 24 hours to ger things back up and running or they get released.
“I blew a hydraulic line in my Cat excavator at the Mangum Fire and Dennis had the line ready to go in the morning for the next shift” Cortnee said.
Added Pat, “I just dropped off our dozer on returning from California to get it serviced and Dennis and Mike Rayala squeezed it in so we could get right back out. Dennis likes to remind us that these machines weren’t made to handle what we do but he has helped us build them better, stronger.”
Firefighting may not be on the task list for Cat machines, but Pat has taken great lengths to care for his machines from running higher weight oils to combat the heat, to frequent oil sampling.
In January 2019, the Empire Fluid Analysis lab received a high particle count in the transmission on Pat’s Cat dozer.
“In Pat’s world, there is no room for error. We removed the transmission and sent it to our Component Rebuild Center (CRC) Shop. After failure analysis, we found the bevel gear to be chipped and cracked on multiple teeth. To say that this dozer was living on borrowed time is an understatement,” Dennis said. “I cannot think of a higher honor than Pat trusting our Conditioning Monitoring team, CRC specialists, and General Construction shop. He allowed us to monitor and take responsibility for the health of his machine, which is responsible to keep our land, Hot Shots, and Northern homes safe!”
Empire has also wowed Mann’s Clean Up Service with our genuine support for their business. When Mann’s Clean Up Service hosted a fire safety class for the Mesa Interagency Hot Shot Crew, Dennis, Billy Pikula and Casey Lincoln also attended.
“Casey took time out of his day to explain blind spots in the dozer and excavator to the boots on the ground as many of the Hot Shots had never been in the equipment,” Dennis said. “It was our pleasure to assist the men and women that put their lives on the line to protect our state.”
It doesn’t look like Mann’s Clean Up Service’s spark will be going out anytime soon.