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Phone: 503-823-3700

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55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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Portland Fire & Rescue, Red Cross Teaming Up For Sept. 11 Mmeorial Blood Drive

Portland Fire & Rescue and the American Red Cross are joining together for the second consecutive year for a Sept. 11 Memorial Blood Drive to honor those lost during the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Portland Fire & Rescue and the American Red Cross are joining together for the second consecutive year for a Sept. 11 Memorial Blood Drive to honor those lost during the 2001 terrorist attacks. The annual Portland Fire & Rescue Blood Drive will be held on Friday, Sept. 11 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Station 1, 55 SW Ash St.

Building on the success of last year's event, the Red Cross is expanding the capacity of the drive this year - with a goal to collect 100 pints of blood. The blood drive is open to the public and members of the community are encouraged to roll up a sleeve to join Portland firefighters in donating blood in honor of the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives.

Portland Fire Chief Erin Janssens kicked off the blood drive last year because she wanted to offer an avenue of action for those marking this solemn day that has deep significance for first responders.

"On September 11th, our nation's resilience was tested. One way to honor the selfless act of our colleagues and to remember the nearly 3000 people who lost their lives is to join together as a community to strengthen our emergency resources," Janssens says. "Our drive last year was a great success and I know we can top it this year and bring in 100 pints of life saving blood."

Fire Commissioner Dan Saltzman encourages those who are able to sign up to donate.

"September 11th showed us that we must always be ready for the unimaginable. Our first responders train to face worst case scenarios such as we saw on that tragic day in 2001 and their bravery cannot be overstated," he says. "We as a community can also train for worst case scenarios; making sure we have plenty of life-saving blood on hand is one way that we can prepare. Please sign up to give blood on September 11th at Station 1."

"We are thankful for the opportunity to again partner with Portland Fire & Rescue in this lifesaving effort," said Jared Schultzman, communications manager for the Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Services Region. "Donating blood is a meaningful way to honor those whose lives were lost during the Sept. 11 attacks, while also helping those whose lives depend on blood transfusions today."

Donors of all blood types - especially O negative, A negative and B negative - are needed. The Red Cross encourages donors to schedule their appointments in advance, but walk-ins also are welcome.

What: September 11 Memorial Blood Drive
When: Friday, September 11, 7 am to 6 pm.
Where: Portland Fire & Rescue Station 1, 55 SW Ash Street
Sign up: www.redcrossblood.org and use the sponsor code PortlandFire or call 503-823-3700

To help ensure equal access to City programs, services and activities, the City of Portland will reasonably modify policies/procedures and provide auxiliary aids/services/alternative formats to persons with disabilities and provide language translation for persons with limited or no English. Call 503-823-3700, TTY 503-823-6868, or Oregon Relay Service at 503-735-2900 with requests or visit:
www.portlandoregon.gov/OMF/CivilRights
www.portlandoregon.gov/OMF/ADA

A Message From Chief Janssens on Wildfire Safety

You potentially live in a Wildfire Hazard Zone. Check the map to see if your residence is in the zone.

Dear Community Members,

Our wildland environment, though beautiful, creates significant fire hazards that threatens lives and property in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI).  

You potentially live in a Wildfire Hazard Zone. Check the map to see if your residence is in the zone:  http://www.portlandoregon.gov/fire/article/530161.

Studies show that as many as 80% of the homes lost to wildland fires could have been saved if their owners had only followed a few, simple, fire-safe practices.  

Our Ready, Set, Go! Action Guide, which provides the tips and tools you need to prepare, is available to help you. Some quick tips:

Ready! Be Ready. Prepare for the fire threat by creating defensible space around your home, assembling emergency supplies, and planning evacuation routes.

Set! Situational awareness. As a fire approaches, stay alert and know how to receive the latest news and information on the fire from local media, your local fire department and public safety. Pack your emergency items and prepare to evacuate if necessary.

Go! Act early. By leaving early, you have the best chance of surviving a wildland fire. You also support firefighting efforts by keeping the area and roads clear of congestion, which allows firefighters to best maneuver resources to combat the fire.

We urge residents in the WUI to prepare for a wildland fire threat by following the simple steps provided in the Ready, Set, Go! Action Guide available at your local fire station or download it from the Portland Fire & Rescue website at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/fire/article/531507.

It is not a question of IF, but WHEN, the next major wildland fire will occur. Advance planning and preparation are our best defense. I appreciate your efforts in creating a safer WUI environment for you, your family, and firefighters.

Sincerely,

Erin Janssens
Fire Chief
Portland Fire & Rescue

Burn Ban Status: July 27, 2015

Burn ban continues until further notice

Until further notice, based on the continuation of high temperatures and dry weather, the burn ban in effect for Multnomah County, including Portland, still holds. This ban will likely be in place for the rest of the summer. This includes no open fires, including any ceremonial and recreational fires. In Multnomah County, within the boundaries of Portland, Gresham, Corbett and Sauvie Island, follow these provisions:

  •   No fires, including recreational.
  •   BBQs in approved devices professionally designed and built for such use will be allowed, but not in any natural areas.

PF&R Busy Over July 4th Weekend with Fire Response and Illegal Fireworks Enforcement

Illegal fireworks inspire dialogue and action

PF&R was especially busy over July 4th weekend with fire response and illegal fireworks enforcement. The new (503) 823-BOOM number took more callers than the earlier non-emergency line alone and improved the Bureau of Emergency Communication's ability to handle emergency 9-1-1 calls.

Portland Fire & Rescue responded to 118 fires over the 4th of July weekend, (ten of which were structure fires) and wrote 84 citations for illegal fireworks use. Most of the fires over the weekend occurred in bark dust, grass and/or bushes. The cause of these fires varied, but the number one source was smokers' carelessness with 59 fires caused by improperly disposed of smoking materials while fireworks caused 33 fires.

Portland Fire & Rescue continued their 4th campaign of Lower the Boom with education using multiple media outlets and enforcement that included citations up to $1000 along with confiscation of illegal fireworks.

"Illegal fireworks are an enormous problem for not only fires and injuries, but they traumatize our veterans with PTSD, cause anxiety for animals, and add pollution, measured in noise, air, and litter," said Portland Fire Chief Erin Janssens. "Portland Fire & Rescue has been taking the lead on restoring safety and peace to our community. I knew from the beginning that this would take time, but I believe together we're making progress."

Chief Janssens added: "What I've heard from most people is that while illegal fireworks are clearly still a problem, we're seeing a reduction, which is a good thing. We need to continue our efforts to educate, expand our ability to take calls in a timely manner, and increase enforcement for people who are choosing to disregard the law and their neighbors."

This year, PF&R staffed a dedicated hotline (503-823-BOOM) with firefighters taking reports of illegal fireworks during peak hours. This additional staffing allowed 9-1-1 dispatchers to focus on calls for actual fires, police, and medical emergencies. The 503-823-BOOM line fielded over 1,000 calls. Dedicated dispatchers were then able to relay to police and nine patrol teams of fire inspectors paired with police officers to respond.

"Having the overflow on 823-BOOM was a life-saver. BOEC staff were able to process the true emergencies throughout the night," said Lisa Turley, Director of the Bureau of Emergency Communications for the City of Portland. "When so many calls come in per hour - and it will be interesting to see those statistics - it doesn't matter how many staff you have on duty, they cannot keep up with demand. Having our people free to concentrate on the calls that only they can handle ensured that emergencies were managed effectively all night long."

The popularity of the new hotline shows how much communities want action when it comes to illegal fireworks in their neighborhoods and the successes of Lower the Boom is helping bit-by-bit to chip away at this problem. Division Chief Merrill Gonterman estimated that up to 20% of the calls to (503) 823-BOOM were from people outside of Portland looking for a way to report fireworks in their area, ranging from as far north as Battleground, to Salem, Washington County, and Gresham.

Outside of the numbers, one of the most significant impacts of the campaign is the dialogue it has opened up about the effects of illegal fireworks in our community. People and groups feel more comfortable sharing their concerns and sometimes outrage, not only about people disregarding the law, but people disrespecting their neighbors. Illegal fireworks are not something someone does quietly in the privacy of their own home. It is not a victimless crime.
Some statistics from the July 4th weekend:

Fires:
July 3rd: 27 Fires (19 caused by discarded smoking material and 3 caused by fireworks)
July 4th: 50 fires (20 caused by discarded smoking material and 17 caused by fireworks)
July 5th: 41 fires (20 caused by discarded smoking material and 13 caused by fireworks)

Illegal Fireworks
84 citations
Total citation amount: $57,000.00
Total amount of confiscated illegal fireworks: $14,000.00

Portland Fire & Rescue wants to remind everyone to please take special care; we are at the beginning of our summer here in the Portland Metro region and expect the moisture content of fuel loads to become increasingly dry. We want to continue to caution everyone to always dispose of smoking materials properly and that any fireworks that fly into the air or move more than 6' horizontally are illegal in Oregon.

Please visit our website for more safety tips: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/fire/safety

New number to call for illegal fireworks, burn ban in effect

This morning, Portland Fire Chief Erin Janssens announced a new number to call and report illegal fireworks and offered information on a burn ban in immediate effect.

This morning, Portland Fire Chief Erin Janssens announced a new number to call in order to report illegal fireworks and offered information on a burn ban in immediate effect.

Oregon law bans possession, use, or sale of any fireworks that fly, explode, travel more than one foot into the air or more than six feet on the ground. These fireworks are illegal. Fireworks not purchased from an approved vendor in Oregon are most likely illegal.

During peak fireworks periods, a new number 503-823-BOOM (2666) will be staffed by PF&R firefighters working with emergency dispatchers. If it is an emergency, such as a fire or emergency medical problem, as always, call 9-1-1. But to report illegal fireworks (without fire/injury), call 503-823-BOOM.

Having this specialized number helps on two fronts: by increasing the number of people who can take calls and help dispatch our teams of enforcement officers, we can better respond to this issue. Additionally, call takers at dispatch can focus more of their time dealing with emergency 9-1-1 calls.

Today, until further notice, based on the continuation of high temperatures and dry weather, we're placing a burn ban in effect for Multnomah County, including Portland. This will include no open fires, including any ceremonial and recreational fires. In Multnomah County, within the boundaries of Portland, Gresham, Corbett and Sauvie Island, follow these provisions:

  •   No fires, including recreational.
  •   BBQs in approved devices professionally designed and built for such use will be allowed, but not in any natural areas.
  •   Legal fireworks will be allowed, providing people exercise caution and follow safety protocols, such as:
  •   Use only in open areas over non-combustible surfaces, such as concrete or asphalt.
  •   Have water on hand to extinguish fire or to cool burns.
  •   Make a clean, metal bucket available to place expended fireworks.
  •   Never attempt to re-light a dud.

Note: If conditions were to change, ie, if we start to experience strong winds, this policy could evolve.

Illegal fireworks -- those that fly in the air, cause loud explosions and disseminate sparks or mortars over distances are banned -- and are always banned.

PF&R, working with our partners at the Portland Police Bureau, will be responding to calls of illegal fireworks, issuing citations and confiscating illegal fireworks. But we need your help: use the 503- 823-BOOM number to report.

This Fourth of July, we continue our fourth successful regional campaign to educate area residents about the problems illegal fireworks cause. We're also continuing our efforts with Portland Police to enforce the law by confiscating illegal fireworks and issuing citations to offenders.

The cost of citations for using or possessing illegal fireworks is significant: violators face steep fines can be held liable for any damages they've caused.

Over the past three years, we've issued 403 citations. Over the past two years, PF&R issued 282 citations totaling nearly $150,000 and confiscated over $100,000 worth of illegal fireworks, therefore keeping those fireworks out of our neighborhoods.

Another way the campaign is working is the number of fireworks caused fires is decreasing.

o We are in the fourth year of our campaign against illegal fireworks.
o The three years after Operation Lower the Boom was in effect saw a 30% decrease in the number of fires caused by fireworks during the period of June 23 – July 6, when compared to the three years prior to the campaign.
oThe three years after Operation Lower the Boom was in effect saw a 40% decrease in the number of fires caused by fireworks during July 4th, when compared to the three years prior to the campaign.

Portland Fire Chief Erin Janssens notes: "Fortunately as more people are becoming aware of the physical, emotional, environmental, and economic costs, it's becoming increasingly clear that illegal fireworks in the hands of amateurs are no longer a 'patriotic' act. I suggest to show our patriotism, fly U.S. flags, not fireworks."