Operation Ignite - 1928 American LaFrance Fire Truck

"Operation Ignite" is a project to completely restore a 1928 American LaFrance Fire Truck that belongs to Osceola Volunteer Fire Department. This truck is very important to their history and holds a lot of promise for their future. Following is a write up by the Fire Chief about the truck.

A fire in downtown Osceola on November 22nd, 1917 at 1:00 am resulted in the deaths of Marshal Richard Eggleston and Firefighter George Griffin. During the fire at Frick's Drug Store on the south side of the Osceola square an explosion occurred causing a wall to collapse, resulting in the death of both men.

Nearly a decade later the City of Osceola was able to purchase the first water pumping fire engine, a 1928 American LaFrance. The much-needed upgrade allowed the Department to safely fight fires for many years until the Department upgraded to a newer and more modern engine in 1945. 

In 2018 the Department was able to relocate the original 1928 American LaFrance, and they raised funds to purchase it again. The vision and dream of the Osceola Volunteer Fire Department is to completely restore the truck to its original splendor. They plan to utilize the truck for parades, educational visits, and other public events. One of the visions of the Department is to fit the truck with detachable equipment that will be utilized to carry Fallen Firefighters to their final resting place during funerals.

Osceola Volunteer Fire Department has partnered with Farm Boy Garage to begin the complete restoration of the 1928 American LaFrance fire truck. Currently, enough funds have been raised by the Fire Department to allow for the complete disassembly of the truck and to prepare it for sandblasting to begin the actual restoration. They continue to have local events and collect donations. This project will require approximately $250,000 to complete and the hope is to complete it by 9/11/2020.

The Osceola Volunteer Fire Department, and Farm Boy Garage, are looking for sponsors that are interested in making this dream restoration become a reality. We are requesting that potential donors take a look at the Farm Boy Garage Facebook page, and also the website at www.farmboygarage.com

On those pages you will find what we do, and pictures that show the progress that has been made on the fire truck project. The Osceola Volunteer Fire Department is a registered 501.c.3 and they have an account set up where funds can be sent if you choose to donate to this project. They also have donation links so funds can be transferred electronically to their account for the restoration project through Venmo and PayPal.

We would like to see Corporate Sponsors receive recognition and publicity for their contributions to this project. One thought we have would be for Corporate leaders to come to Farm Boy Garage here in Des Moines and have their pictures taken with the Fire Chief and the owner of Farm Boy Garage. These pictures can be released to the press and social media, and possibly involve local Television News media.

We have designed a “Donation Ladder” that includes the following sponsorship levels for contributions:
  • $10,000 and up   Platinum Level
  • $5,000-$9,999   Gold Level
  • $2,500-$4,999   Silver Level
  •  $1,000-$2,499   Bronze Level 
  •  Contributions under $1,000- Honor Roll Level

Contributions can be sent to:

Osceola Volunteer Firefighters Association
C/O 1928 Account
PO Box 399, 135 West Washington Street
Osceola, Iowa   50213

Contributions can also be made in person, or by PayPal or Venmo accounts:

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Bryan Kratzer/ Owner


Farm Boy Garage
10660 E. County Line Rd.
Des Moines, Iowa 50320
Phone: 515-528-8904
Cell: 515-333-1238

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