About Us

Benchmarks in the wildland firefighting community, our trustworthy MARK-3® And bb-4® centrifugal fire pumps have been established leaders for generations.

WATERAX has a long, proud and exciting history of moving water around the world. WATERAX originated as Watson Jack & Company, which was founded in 1898 by Montreal, Quebec native John Colquhoun Watson Jack. Born on August 19, 1870, Jack was a Canadian inventor, businessman and trail-blazer.

In 1904, shortly after founding Watson Jack & Company, John Colquhoun Watson Jack became an agent for Sprague Electric, Sprague Elevator and Otis Elevators. He diversified his business holdings and by 1910 Watson Jack & Company was trading in metals, dyestuffs, chemical boilers and electrical supplies. In 1925, Watson Jack & Company became the manufacturer of a powerful 200 PSI portable fire pump called the WAJAX (an acronym of Watson Jack’s name).

After Watson Jack & Company and its FH Hopkins subsidiary were acquired by BJ Coghlin & Company in 1954, the operations of the two newly acquired businesses were merged to form a single subsidiary. This subsidiary was called Watson Jack Hopkins Ltd. until 1959 when it was renamed Wajax Equipment Ltd.

In 1964, Wajax Equipment Ltd. purchased Pacific Marine’s fire division and its name was changed to Pacific Pumpers Inc. This merger made the Canadian company North America’s leading producer of wildland firefighting equipment, with an offering that included the MARK-3® pump.

Since the 1960s, the MARK-3® series has been the gold standard in performance, reliability and durability. The MARK-3® is the standard wildland portable fire pump trusted by forestry agencies around the world and a truly innovative Canadian success story. Between the 1980s and 2010s the company continued to transform, operating under different banners until it was incorporated into WATERAX in 2014. Based in Montreal, Quebec, today the company exports wildland firefighting equipment to over 50 countries around the world.

WATERAX’s long and proud history


Montreal native John Colquhoun Watson Jack establishes Watson Jack & Co.


John Colquhoun Watson Jack introduces a powerful 200-PSI portable fire pump called the “WAJAX” (an acronym of his name).


Watson Jack & Co. and its FH Hopkins subsidiary are acquired by BJ Coghlin & Co.


The company is renamed WAJAX Equipment.


WAJAX acquires Pacific Marine’s fire division and is renamed Pacific Pumpers Inc. This move solidifies WAJAX's position as the leading North American manufacturer of forest fire protection products. The MARK-3® brand is introduced and rapidly becomes the standard portable fire pump for wildland, used by forestry agencies around the world.

1980s (early)

Pacific Pumpers changes its name to WAJAX-Pacific Fire Equipment. In the ensuing years, the company expands beyond wildland fire control to become an industry-leading manufacturer of firefighting equipment for the U.S. industrial and marine markets.


WAJAX sets up its Fire Control Division.


Wildfire Fire Equipment, a newly formed company, purchases WAJAX’s Fire Control Division.


Wildfire Fire Equipment is acquired by Tyco International.


Wildfire is acquired through a management buyout and renamed Wildfire Environmental.


The business is incorporated as WATERAX to reference the history and know-how of WAJAX.


WATERAX introduces the MARK-3® Watson Edition pump, the first ever purpose-built engine designed specifically for wildland firefighting.