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Always Ready, Always There

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NEWS RELEASE 01/08/12: Portland Fire & Rescue Responds After a Man Climbs a 50 Foot Tree in SE Portland

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January 8, 2011

8:29 PM

At 4:25 pm Portland Fire & Rescue responded, per police request, to SE 44th and Stark to reports of a man in a tree. At 4:30 pm, fire crews from Station 9 (Hawthorne District) and Station 1 (OldTown) arrived to find a man who had climbed roughly 40 to 50 feet up a tree and was yelling that he was Tre Arrow, a known activist.

Truck 1 positioned their apparatus for use of the aerial ladder, which has a bucket on the end that is used to transport firefighters and patients. After getting close to the man he claimed that he wanted media attention regarding a message he wished to communicate about nature and he did not want to leave the tree with the firefighters.

Crews quickly called for a representative from Project Respond, who works with mental health patients, to confirm that he was not suicidal. Once the representative was on scene firefighters accompanied her in the bucket back up to talk with the man. It was determined that he was not suicidal nor was he a danger to himself or others.

"Our number one priority is safety. Once we determined the man was not suicidal we did not want to take any action that could cause harm to him or to firefighters." said Chief Dan Buckner.

The owner of the property was contacted and gave permission for the man to be in the tree. Because he was not trespassing or a danger to anyone, fire crews soon returned in service but remain ready in case any changes occur at the scene. It is important for crews to return in-service and available for other emergencies as soon as an incident is stabilized. When a fire company is unavailable because they are on an incident in their own area, response times from adjacent stations increase due to travel times and other factors.

Fire crews cleared the scene at 5:47 pm. It was later confirmed by the man’s girlfriend that he was, in fact, Tre Arrow. More information will be given as it becomes available.

Pictures are courtesy of Dick Harris, Portland Fire & Rescue photographer.

  Portland Fire & Rescue

  We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

  January 8, 2012

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PF&R Incident Statistics: January 1 - 7, 2012

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Incident Statistics: 

Total Incidents: 1,357

Medical: 1,110

Fire: 46

Other: 201

Major Incidents: 5

  • 01/01/12@ 0137 hrs, Residential Fire, 15300 block ofSE Gladstone St.  Loss: $95,000 Cause: Undetermined at this time
  • 01/01/12 @ 0620 hrs, Residential Fire, 1200 block ofSW Spring Garden St.  Loss: $75,000.  Cause: Undetermined at this time
  • 01/02/12@ 0649 hrs, Residential Fire, 1900 block ofNE Pacific St.  Loss: $11,000 Cause: Undetermined at this time
  • 01/04/12@ 1008 hrs, Hazardous Materials response Level II, 10600 block ofN Swift Ct. Rail car leak of anhydrous ammonia, no injuries, leak repaired by Rail Company.
  • 01/06/12@ 1901 hrs, Apartment Fire, 2600 block of SE 145th Ave. Loss: $12,500 Cause: Electrical short or arc ignited nearby combustibles

    

  Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   January 9, 2012 

 

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Get to Know Your Neighborhood Firefighter: Battalion Chief Craig Funk

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COMMUNITY I SERVE

As the B-shift chief in Battalion 3, I serve the communities on Portland's Eastside.  My response area runs from the Columbia River south to Mt. Scott and runs east to west from approximately 75th Avenue to 162nd Avenue and includes Stations 2, 7, 11, 12, 19, 29, 30, 31 and the PF&R Training Center.

Battalion 3 is an active battalion for emergency calls and houses some of the busiest units in the City of Portland.  Battalion 3 stations enjoy a close working relationship with our neighboring fire agencies in Gresham, Clackamas, and the Port of Portland.

In fact, Station 31, located in the Rockwood neighborhood, is jointly staffed by both Portland Fire & Rescue and Gresham Fire & Rescue. You can identify Portland Fire Battalion Chiefs by our bright red Suburban marked "Battalion Chief" with a myriad of antennas jutting from the roof of the vehicle.

ARRIVING ON-SCENE

I began my career with Portland Fire in April 1988. This was a return to my home town after working for Douglas County Fire District #5 near  Roseburg,Oregon.

I spent the bulk of my years as a firefighter at Station 1, known as the "Big House".  I worked in the technical rescue program which provides rope rescue, trench collapse rescue, confined space rescue, and structural collapse rescue.  I promoted to Lieutenant in 1996, Captain in 2001, and Battalion Chief in 2008. 

FIRST SHIFT MEMORY

I remember being sworn in on the third floor of the Central Fire Station #1 by the Fire Chief.  During the ceremony, I could hear the bells steadily hitting and the sirens of fire apparatus as they left the station floor two floors below.  Even though I had already been a professional firefighter, I could not believe I was being given the opportunity to become a Portland Firefighter.  I was excited and nervous about the challenge that lay ahead.

MEMORABLE CALL

Early in my career, I was caught in an explosion with two other firefighters while approaching the front of an old building located on Portland's lower east side.  The building was well involved in fire but was starved of oxygen.  As we approached, a big fireball erupted from the storefront windows knocking all three of us into Burnside Street. We all received burns and one firefighter sustained additional injuries. This experience taught me a new respect for the dangers of the job.

FAVORITE MEAL TO COOK

As a Battalion Chief, I do not get the opportunity to cook like I did as a member of an engine or truck company. I do however get to enjoy the cooking of our many fine firehouse cooks!  Occasionally, I get talked into making homemade caramel corn for the firefighters at Station 7 where I am quartered. 

MAKING MY WAY TO BECOME A FIREFIGHTER

The most enjoyable jobs I had prior to the fire service were working as a gondola supervisor at Big Sky of Montana Ski Resort in the Rockies and working in Yellowstone National Park.

The most difficult job I had before becoming a firefighter was working in a rock quarry crushing plant.  My earliest job was working with my father for a summer as a commercial fisherman in the dory fleet at Pacific City. 

BEING SUCCESSFUL

Attitude is everything. The job of a firefighter brings an endless number challenges and scenarios. The longer you do this job the more you realize there is no limit to what is out there that you have not experienced.  The firefighter that makes themselves a career long student of their position and approaches their work with humility and a positive attitude will set the standard for those that follow in their footsteps.

OFF-DUTY FUN

My summers are spent sailing and horseback riding with my family. We also enjoy going to the coast and taking the occasional road trip. In the winter, skiing takes center stage. Our family enjoys Mt. Hood Meadows and an occasional trip to Mt Bachelor with friends.  Music is also a huge part of my family’s life. My two girls Allison and Anna play piano and recorder like their mom. I try to keep up on the guitar.

ARRIVING ON AN EMERGENCY SCENE

When I arrive on scene, my first thought goes to the safety of my crews and the public.  As a battalion chief, it is my job to concentrate on the "big picture" while my firefighters get their job done. 

I am constantly evaluating the scene for hazards to life. This can include uncontrolled traffic, power lines down, structural issues or rapidly changing fire conditions.  We cannot be effective at helping others if we have not secured the emergency scene.

ADVICE TO LIVE BY

Treat others as you want to be treated yourself. 

 Portland Fire & Rescue

 We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

 January 13, 2012

 

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Firefighters Respond to "Cold Fire," Operational Smoke Detectors Save the Day

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Damage from fire to a kitchen appliance

At 10:15 am on Sunday, January 8, 2012, Portland firefighters from Portland Station 19 (Mt.Tabor) responded to a "cold fire" in SE Portland. Cold fires are fires that have been extinguished either on their own or by someone other than firefighters. Generally, cold fires are small in nature.

Upon their arrival, Engine 19’s crew found a two-story apartment that had severe smoke damage from a fire that originated somewhere in the kitchen. There was extensive fire and smoke damage to walls, appliances, and wood cabinetry. According to the tenant, her boyfriend had driven to work around 7:00 am and left their two daughters Hylah (11) and Sakirra (9) upstairs in their bedroom sleeping.

Firefighters use a Thermal Imaging Camera or TIC to help with surveying the area for any hidden smoldering material or undoused hot spots.

The fire did activate all the working smoke detectors in the apartment, waking the girls up. When they opened the doorway to the hallway they encountered thick, black smoke which had risen up the stairwell from the kitchen.  The girls were forced back into the bedroom where they immediately called their father who was already on his way back from dropping their mother off at work. He arrived back home a short time after, and extinguished the fire using a large dry-chem fire extinguisher.

Everyone is safe now, but this happy ending could certainly have ended in tragedy with even the slightest change in conditions. The fire in the kitchen could have easily erupted into something larger, but its growth was slowed by the lack of oxygen in the room.

"This 'cold fire' was larger than some smaller kitchen fires that get a full residential fire response," noted Station 19 Captain Joe Renhard.

Fully operational smoke detectors woke up the sleeping girls and alerted them to the problem. Portland Fire & Rescue does, however, recommend that 9-1-1 be called IMMEDIATELY in fire emergencies so that resources that may be needed won't be delayed.

Such as in this case, if you are an adult receiving the call for help from a child, hang up and call 9-1-1 immediately. Do NOT attempt to fight a fire by yourself. The smoke produced by today's fire did contain noxious chemicals that can quickly overcome a person not wearing proper equipment. 

The apartment is currently inhabitable due to smoke damage, and the family is being assisted by the Oregon Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross.

  

  Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   January 10, 2012 

 

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Keeping Your Business Safe & Sound

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Are you a business owner or manager? Click on the video below and learn why fire code inspections can help minimize the risk of life and property loss from fire.

Visit Portland Fire & Rescue's YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/PDXFireRescue

  

  Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   January 10, 2012 

 

Follow Portland Fire & Rescue on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube