Brett L’Esperance will lead Dauntless Air into its next phase of growth
Appleton, MN – April 18, 2018 – With a commitment to accelerate the industry’s transformation to a modernized approach to aerial firefighting, Aero Spray Inc., the leading U.S. operator of AT-802F Fire Boss aircraft, has rebranded as Dauntless Air. The company also today announced the expansion of its fleet and the recent naming of a new CEO, Brett L’Esperance. Dauntless Air now owns and operates 11 Fire Boss and one wheeled AT-802F aircraft, which feature the latest in firefighting technology, including onboard thermal imaging units and gel blending systems, and serve as early strike tools for containing wildfires.
Mr. L’Esperance commented on the changing dynamics of today’s wildfire environment: “Today’s firefighters are facing an uphill battle, with far fewer resources to fight larger, increasingly difficult to contain, fast-moving fires. We are proud to offer a highly effective, cost-efficient, technologically advanced aerial resource to support the ground forces putting their lives on the line. Our new brand reflects our deep dedication to making a difference. We don’t back down when the mission is daunting; we are resolute in our efforts – we’re in until the fire is out.”
With more than 20 years of private equity investing and operating roles, including time at Bain Capital Credit, Woodside Capital Management and the Watermill Group, Mr. L’Esperance took the company’s helm as CEO in June 2017. Over the course of his career, he has spearheaded growth acceleration, strategy implementation and operational excellence initiatives for dozens of companies and has served in management capacities ranging from CEO to Board Member.
Since joining Dauntless Air (formerly Aero Spray), Mr. L’Esperance has overseen a variety of updates to the business, including the addition of two new aircraft and six new ground support vehicles to its fleet in preparation for the 2018/2019 fire season, the relocation of its corporate offices within Appleton, Minnesota, and the implementation of new administrative and technology support systems to serve as the foundation for a stable, growing business.
As part of the transition to Dauntless Air, the company recently launched its new website – www.dauntlessair.com – and a new tagline, “We Fly to Win,” which conveys the company’s determination to win the war against wildfires. The new Dauntless logo combines a classic firefighters badge and the international sign of emergency response, reflecting Dauntless Air’s commitment to protect people, land and property from the devastation of wildfires.
Also today, Dauntless published a new vision paper outlining why today’s aerial firefighting strategies and aircraft mobilization tactics must be revisited given the intensifying threat of US wildfires and mounting pressure to control costs. The paper maps out how to use initial attack and direct response strategies that utilize a network of cost-effective aircraft on the front lines to better contain fires, keep them small and reduce suppression costs and the associated devastation to people’s lives, land and property caused by these large fires. Download the full paper here.
Since 1996, Dauntless Air (formerly Aero Spray) has partnered with federal and state wildland agencies to fight fires across the United States and Canada. Since acquiring its first Fire Boss in 2007, the company has continuously worked to enhance the capabilities of the aircraft and add innovative firefighting technology to quickly and effectively contain or minimize wildfires. Dauntless’ proven air attack strategies and unmatched safety track record have led to federal and state exclusive use and on-call contracts that have allowed the company to battle wildfires in Minnesota, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Oregon.
About Dauntless Air
Dauntless Air is an aerial firefighting company deeply dedicated to protecting people, land and property from the devastation of wildfires. The company works tirelessly to give firefighters the support they need to put out fires faster and at a substantially lower cost than traditional tanker methods. Armed with the country’s largest and most advanced Fire Boss fleet featuring the very latest in firefighting technology, Dauntless is resolute in its commitment to safety, to its customers and to winning the wildfire missions it undertakes. Learn more at www.DauntlessAir.com.