Firefighters raise funds to purchase ‘Spirit of Oklahoma’ 9/11 memorial rescue unit

Calera Fire-Rescue members hope to bring the rescue unit, which is currently for sale on Facebook Marketplace, back to Oklahoma


By Janelle Foskett

CALERA, Okla. — Members of Calera (Okla.) Fire-Rescue are raising money to purchase and restore the “Spirit of Oklahoma” fire truck, which serves as a memorial to the FDNY members killed on 9/11. In 2020, the Spirit of Oklahoma was auctioned to a private buyer who recently put it up for sale on Facebook Marketplace.

Now firefighters hope to bring the truck back to Oklahoma.

Calera Fire-Rescue Lt. Jake Trujillo explained the bond between Oklahoma City and FDNY is rooted in the two cities’ experience with terrorism.

In 1995, after the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, 10 FDNY firefighters went to Oklahoma to assist in the aftermath. Those 10 firefighters died on September 11, 2001, and FDNY lost all its rescue units. First responders from Oklahoma went to New York to help in the aftermath of 9/11. Additionally, students from across Oklahoma donated money to purchase FDNY a new rescue unit.

According to a GoFundMe campaign for the Spirit of Oklahoma, the names of the 10 firefighters who had helped Oklahoma City in 1995 and were then killed on 9/11 are listed on the side of the truck, along with the following inscription:

“Spirit of Oklahoma”
As in Oklahoma, the strength of your people will not be measured in your buildings, but instead, in your hearts. For therein lies the spirit that defines your character.
Because of the senseless acts of terrorism on 4-19-95 and 9-11-01, a bond between our people has forever been forged. May we find strength from one another always.
Oklahomans are steadfast in our support of the FDNY. As this live saving memorial to the 343 heroes who perished on 9-11-01 is used on the streets of New York City, we join with all New Yorkers as you proclaim to the world.
“Our Spirit will never be Broken”

The truck was delivered to FDNY in May 2002, and for 18 years, the truck rotated through each of New York City's five boroughs as a memorial to the 343 firefighters

When the Spirit of Oklahoma was put up for sale, Calera Fire-Rescue members decided to work to raise $25,000 by June 15 to bring the Spirit of Oklahoma back to the Sooner State. The ultimate goal is to restore the truck and donate it to the Tulsa Fire Museum.  

Learn more about the story of the Spirit of Oklahoma.

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