Baton Rouge – The "Spirit of Louisiana" fire truck was dispatched this afternoon by the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office to Long Island, NY to support public safety efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The State of Louisiana received a request for support via the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) from the State of New York. The request was for emergency assistance to the City of Long Beach Fire Department due to the devastating damage to the department's fire apparatus. Damage from Hurricane Sandy has affected the department's ability to respond to emergency calls for service. The "Spirit of Louisiana" is a fire pumper that can easily be placed into service because it is built to the City of New York specifications.
The history of the "Spirit of Louisiana" began with the September 11, 2001 terrorists' attacks on America. The citizens of Louisiana raised funds to provide for the replacement of fire equipment for the FDNY. The first fire engine was commissioned and labeled the "Spirit of Louisiana." This truck was delivered in December of 2001. It was used for years fighting fires and protecting the people of New York.
Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, the FDNY dispatched 300 firefighters to assist Louisiana in the response and recovery efforts. Upon learning that the City of New Orleans lost many fire trucks to the storm, it was determined that the "Spirit of Louisiana" was needed back in its birth state to help fight fires. The truck spent many years responding to emergency calls in New Orleans and was decommissioned in 2010.
State Fire Marshal Butch Browning and Chris Ferrara, President of Ferrara Fire Apparatus worked with NOFD Fire Chief Charles Parent to have the truck completely refurbished and transferred to the State Fire Marshal's Office to be preserved and ready for future disasters. "We are proud to be of help to our friends in New York as we have built such a family since 9-11. This fire truck was and continues to be our hands on the healing process," said Fire Marshal Browning.