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Spirit of Oklahoma firetruck returns to Oklahoma soil

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 7:02 PM CDT
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CALERA, Okla. (KXII) - The Spirit of Oklahoma firetruck just completed its journey from the northeast all the way back to its home state of Oklahoma. It’s a truck that connects fire departments from here at home all the way to New York City.

After 9/11, this truck was given as a gift from the state of Oklahoma to the New York City Fire Department for their sacrifice and strength. Now the Spirit of Oklahoma is officially back on Oklahoma soil. The journey from Massachusetts began earlier this week by an Oklahoma man who says the trip was personal.

“Finally it’s here, it’s happening, it’s not gonna go to scrapyard, it’s not gonna go you know just away with history,” said Brian Norton, Calera fire chief.

Shortly after 9/11 Oklahoma students raised money to buy a firetruck as a thank you to the New York City Fire Department. 10 of the New York firefighters who helped in the Oklahoma City bombing died in 9/11.

“I think it was just a little under $400,000 that they raised and some other donors gave the remaining amount that they needed. The state of Oklahoma bought this firetruck,” said Norton.

“I can remember donating money to help buy this truck when I was in school,” said Ray Foster who owns and drives for R&A Farms.

Foster said he saw the request on Facebook for transporting the Spirit of Oklahoma back home.

“Really honored to be able to do it,” said Foster.

The historic truck sat just outside Upton, Massachusetts after 18 years in service in New York City. Foster called the 3 day cross country trip the experience of a lifetime.

“We’re a small trucking company based out of Northeast Oklahoma. We normally haul liquid cattle feed. I reached out to them told them that I would furnish the truck to go get this truck and they called me back and said we need you to do it,” said Foster.

Now back on Oklahoma soil, the truck will undergo restoration in Calera to reinstall lights, replace original decals and repair wear and tear from the streets of NYC.

“The truck kind of hits home for me. I’m also a 20 year veteran of the fire service, so you know, gotta help the brothers out,” said Foster.

Calera Fire Chief Brian Norton said they’ve already had requests for the Spirit of Oklahoma to go on tour before its final ride up to Tulsa.

“It’s pretty humbling you know that little itty-bitty Calera, Oklahoma was able to go to New York City and talk to the firemen up there and get this truck back here because of everything that it means,” said Norton.

Once restored, the truck will make its way to the Tulsa Fire Museum so everyone can enjoy it.

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