Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am writing you because I need your support in building a home for the “Spirit of Louisiana” fire truck. The “Spirit” was paid for completely through donations from Louisiana citizens and manufactured by Ferrara Fire Apparatus in Holden, LA for the New York City Fire Department immediately after the 9/11 attacks, and has served three cities during three catastrophes and is now serving the state as a tribute to both the fire service and those who served.
The Spirit served the city of New York from December, 2001 until September, 2005. When Hurricane Katrina devastated South Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2005, a call was made to the FDNY to determine if the department could provide the state with any help, considering that most of New Orleans’ fire equipment was under water. The next day, FDNY sent a delegation of 400 firefighters and 15 support vehicles to aid the state. Proudly leading the procession was the “Spirit of Louisiana,”
The New Orleans Fire Department used the “Spirit of Louisiana” for five years. In 2010, Ferrara Fire Apparatus rebuilt the engine and re-conditioned the truck so that it was almost like new. It was recommissioned and given to the State Fire Marshal to maintain as a rolling piece of history of our state.
After Hurricane Sandy, the “Spirit” was again sent to New York where it served for several months before returning to Louisiana. Today, the “Spirit” is again in the possession of the State Fire Marshal and is used by the agency as a funeral caisson truck and in public education and outreach events.
We are currently in the process of building a house for the Spirit on the grounds of the State Fire Marshal’s headquarters located in Baton Rouge. The building will be next to the Louisiana Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial.
I now humbly ask for your assistance in this endeavor. The building will be a replica fire house and will be a tribute to both the FDNY and the NOFD. Your support and friendship of the fire service in our state is greatly appreciated and will be recognized at the building. All donations are tax deductible through the Fire Marshal Association of Louisiana - Spirit of Louisiana.
Ideally, we would like to break ground on this exciting project by December, 2018.
Sincerely, Chief Butch Browning Louisiana State Fire Marshal