Fireblast Global Hosts Tour for Manufacturers Council


Fireblast Global Hosts Tour for Manufacturers Council

On June 24, 2024, the Manufacturers Council of the I.E. (MCIE) toured the Fireblast Global plant in Murrieta, CA.  The manufacturer makes devices for firefighter training that allows trainees to experience a variety of fire scenarios and conditions such as aircraft fires and building fires. Production skills for Fireblast products require metal fabrication, welding, bending, and industrial electrical panel assembly.

The company also manufactures hot rod kits and accessories, in a portion of the plant operating as Zipper Motors.

After Manufacturers’ Council introductions were made by Sandra Sisco, Director, Development & Strategic Partnerships, and Wallace Brithinee, President of MCIE, the corporate vision was shared by Tanner Egelin, Operations Manager for Fireblast. Later, he was joined by his father, Rick Egelin, CEO/President, who further elaborated on how the corporate culture came to be.

In the plant, approximately five employees spoke for their sections of the plant, describing how production is planned and executed. Rick Egelin explained that after several research trips to Japan, the principles of Five S Lean methodology were implemented company wide. Fireblast had moved to their Murietta facility in August of 2023, reducing the size of their plant by half, and had increased their profitability to double that of the year prior to their move.

To relate this to operational efficiency, they pointed out a particular steel fabrication that normally took 4.5 hours to build, and which now was produced in 40 minutes, by studying the motions of the personnel, identifying and eliminating wasted steps, and placing tools in very purposeful tool holders. Visual (photographic) aids were produced to guide the employees step-by-step.

In the wrap-up of the meeting, Rick Egelin described how they inducted new-hires, and looked forward to training them. Both father and son lamented the dearth of job applicants, but they persisted in finding employees who could help with plant tours by speaking clearly about functions and goals. They sought employees who fit the culture, clearly stating that the skills could be taught on-the-job.

Attendees included personnel from local manufacturers, Mt. San Jacinto College, the University of California Riverside, Perris Union High School District, LAUNCH Apprenticeship Network, and the County of Riverside. Each offered assistance in the quest for employees, training, and training dollars (from ETP). The meeting provided introductions between the educational community that serves Murrieta manufacturers and one of their newest constituents.

The Manufacturers’ Council was assisted by business consultant Roger Buttacavoli, who engaged the Manufacturers’ Council with City of Murrieta and Murrieta Chamber of Commerce executives before this meeting.

Manufacturers are invited to contact the MCIE to offer their plant for tours and to suggest topics of interest by contacting the Council through their website at


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