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Always Ready, Always There

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55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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January 2012 E-Newsletter

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Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) has launched our newest issue of our E-Newsletter! The E-Newsletter focuses on the following topics:

  • Firefighters Out & About 

  • Station 7 Receives Community Award 

  • Firefighters as Gatekeepers 

  • New Truck 2 Arrives 

  • Monthly Statistics 

  • Safely Disposing of Fireplace Ashes 

  • Flood Safety 

  • Fire Service Appreciation Day 

To read the previous month's newsletters, please click on the links below:

Link here to read the entire January 2012 E-Newsletter issue and learn more about the above topics. Click here to subscribe and receive PF&R’s monthly newsletter via email!

    

  

   Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   January 26, 2012

 

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NEWS RELEASE 01/26/12: Portland Firefighters Perform Perilous Nighttime Water Rescue in Willamette River

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January 26, 2012

8:05 AM

At 11:15 pm, Dan Sinclair was riding his bicycle along the Eastbank Esplanade headed southbound when he heard a voice calling for help from the river below.  Upon scanning the water, he spotted someone splashing in the Willamette River about 25 yards off shore. 

Sinclair immediately rode his bike the short distance to Portland Fire Station 21 (Eastbank/Hawthorne Bridge) to alert firefighters that someone needed help.  Also on shore were two men, Sam Policar and Justin Wisdom, who were sturgeon fishing.  While Sinclair went for help, Policar and Wisdom attempted to hook onto the man with their fishing lines to pull him to shore.  Fortunately, the river’s current pushed the struggling man closer to shore.  Wisdom took off his coat, poked one of his coat sleeves through a fence, and the man was able to grab on.

Portland firefighters responded fromStation 21with the Eldon Trinity rescue boat and from Station 1 (OldTown) with a rescue craft, which is operated by a driver and a rescue swimmer.  Rescue Craft 1 spotted the man in the water where Wisdom was struggling to hold onto the man and water rushed over his body. 

As Rescue Craft 1 driver Mike Held came alongside the man, Bill Schimel, a 12-year veteran of Portland Fire & Rescue, slid into the water and attempted to pull the man onto the platform of the water craft. 

With the current running swift and high, Schimel began struggling to hang onto the man and pull him to safety.  As the craft drifted along with the current, Held called upon Policar to assist him in steadying the craft from shore while he helped Schimel pull the man onto the rescue craft.

"I knew that if I lost my grip on him, he would drift under a massive debris field of logs that was floating just 100 yards downstream and likely be pulled under," said Schimel.  "In my 12 years as a firefighter, this was the most dangerous rescue I’ve ever taken part in."

Firefighter Held immediately returned toStation 21where firefighter/paramedics administered aid to the man and he was transported to Oregon Health Sciences University.  It is unknown how the man in his 30’s ended up on the water.

    

  

   Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   January 26, 2012

 

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Firefighters Help Assemble Classroom Emergency "Go Kits"

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Fire Inspectors Salisbury and Rouse,  Lieutenants Silva and Jackson, and Senior Fire Inspector Seifert

On Tuesday, January 17, 2012, volunteers from across the community descended upon Marshall High School’s Campus to help assemble 3,000 emergency kits for Portland Public School (PPS) classrooms. 

Among the faces in the assembly line were Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Battalion Chief Mark Kaiel, Lieutenant Anjanette Jackson, Senior Fire Inspector Michael Silva, and Fire Inspectors Trudi Salisbury, John Seifert, and Ron Rouse. At the event, PPS administrators recognized individuals including Lieutenant Jackson with plaques for their assistance, participation, and support of PPS emergency preparedness efforts.

Lieutenant Jackson receives an award from PPS

The kits are part of the school district's effort to become better prepared for emergencies. PPS is currently utilizing a Readiness and Emergency Preparedness for Schools (REMS) grant to update school and district response plans and increase awareness and preparedness. Portland Fire & Rescue is a partner agency that supports PPS’s grant efforts.

Senior Fire Inspector Seifert and Fire Inspector Salisbury build emergency kits

The Emergency Go-Kits are a portable five-gallon bucket that can be used inside the classroom during a lock-in and taken with the class during an evacuation. The buckets contain the following items:

  • 1 (5) Gallon Bucket
  • 1 Toilet Seat Cover (Bucket can double as a portable bathroom for emergency situations)
  • 1 Pack of Toilet Bags (12 each)
  • 1 Emergency Shake Light (No batteries required)
  • 1 Medium Sized First Aid Kit
  • 1 Whistle with Lanyard
  • 3 Pack of emergency water packets
  • 2 Emergency Blankets
  • 2 Rolls of toilet paper
  • 1 Deck of cards

Just as the schools are assembling kits to utilize during an emergency, Portland Fire & Rescue encourages citizens to put together their own home emergency supply kits. Click here for recommended items and ways to prepare for an emergency.

NEWS RELEASE 01/26/12: Portland Firefighters Battle Early Morning House Fire in NE Portland

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January 26, 2012

12:05 PM

At 1:55 am, Portland Fire & Rescue received reports of smoke and flames coming from a house on fire at 409 NE 126th. Upon arrival, Portland Fire Station 7 (Mill Park) encountered heavy fire inside the structure. Firefighters discovered a 5 foot by 5 foot hole in the floor that extended into the crawl space. The Incident Commander was concerned for firefighters' safety and stationed a firefighter to watch over the space to ensure that no firefighters were injured while battling the blaze.

Ladder truck crews cut a hole in the roof of the home to vent the heat, smoke, and flames and used forcible entry to open the garage door, allowing engine crews to bring the blaze under control in about 15 minutes.

It was determined that the home was vacant and undergoing an extensive remodel at the time of the fire. Fire Investigators are investing the fire's cause and estimate damage to the home to be approximately $75,000.

Photos and fire cause will be released as they become available.

    

  

   Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   January 26, 2012

 

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Stress Test of Portland Emergency Notification System Reveals Serious Flaws

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At 11:00 a.m., January 26th, the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) initiated the first-ever, citywide test of Portland’s relatively new community notification system operated by Louisiana-based vendor First Call. Despite previous small-scale successes activating the system for neighborhood emergencies, First Call was able to reach less than one percent of the targeted population during today’s citywide test. 

“Clearly, this failure is a disappointment. If First Call cannot adequately and immediately resolve the problem, we’ll have to reevaluate our service contract with them,” said PBEM Director Carmen Merlo. “We expected some room for improvement with this ambitious test. We did not expect this high degree of failure.”

First Call President Matthew Teague issued this statement in reaction to the failure: “The City of Portland’s notification system is a highly customized and powerful portal which has been built from scratch to meet the needs of the City. With any new software, load testing under live conditions is necessary to reveal issues that internal or small scale testing will miss and the problems encountered today are currently being addressed.”

During this citywide test of the First Call-operated system, PBEM attempted to send a single message via landline phone, cell phone, text, and email to about 317,000 Portlanders as quickly as possible. First Call reached only about 2,100 during the test.

Once these issues are resolved, PBEM is committed to testing the system again to ensure it is working properly at any scale. Greater participation in future tests will ensure a larger sample group and help PBEM gauge the system’s functionality. Merlo encourages Portlanders to register for future notifications by signing up at www.PublicAlerts.org. Personal contact information provided during registration is kept private and used only for the purpose of sending geographically tailored emergency messages.

    

 

  

   Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   January 26, 2012

 

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