This weekend saw the departure of the New Orleans Fire Department Ladder Truck No. 5 from the Arabella Fire Station. A final effort to save Ladder 5 came to naught when Mayor Landrieu’s office rejected an alternative plan proposed by affected Uptown residents.
The reason for the change was, of course, budgeting. The city, facing a tight budget, lost $4 million in funding to the NOFD with the lapse of the three-year federal grant. The NOFD wanted to keep all its pumper trucks, so two ladder trucks had to go. Of the ladder trucks serving the Uptown area, Ladder 5 was the most expendable.