55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204
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A 100 years ago on May 30th, Portland Fire Marshal Stevens announced the appointment of three fire officers to a new Arson Squad.
A 100 years ago on May 30th, Portland Fire Marshal Stevens announced the appointment of three fire officers to a new Arson Squad. The three-person team was tasked with investigating any and all fires with suspicious circumstances. The first three members of the team were A. Groce (Captain), F.W. Roberts (Captain) and E.J. Treese (Lieutenant).
The unit, now known as Arson Investigations, has been in continuous operation since then, although tools and techniques have improved. In the 1970s, the Arson Squad members became certified police officers, allowing them to make arrests. In 1992 Investigators brought the first Accelerant Detecting K9 onto the team. Since then the team has had three dogs. Lila, the unit’s current dog, uses her nose to help confirm whether accelerants (flammable liquids) have been used to start fires.
The unit currently investigates approximately 1,000 fires per year. Today the unit has four field investigators who respond directly to fire scenes to determine the cause of fires. The unit also has two investigators assigned to follow up on arson crimes; this team is made up of one PF&R Investigator and one Portland Police Bureau detective. The unit currently boasts one of the best conviction rates in the country at 25%: the national average is 13%.
Learn what it takes to be a firefighter at Portland Metro Fire Camp for Young Women
The Portland Metro Fire Camp is slated for July 17-19 this year and applications are due by June 19th. Fill out the application here: www.Portlandoregon.gov/fire/firecamp.
Always stop at four if you have children near your windows
In Oregon during 2014, 24 children were injured and two died in falls from windows. Most (if not all) of these accidents could have been avoided. This is National Window Safety Week and it's a great time to examine your windows to make sure they are safe for children.
Window fall injuries are predictable and preventable. Portland Fire & Rescue encourages families to follow these safety tips and install window stops or window guards on windows that pose a fall risk.
-Keep windows locked and closed when not in use. Make sure the hardware on them is properly attached.
-Only allow windows to open four inches and install a window stop to keep children from opening them further. (Check out Stopat4.com, a site dedicated to window safety awareness.)
-Never try to move a child who appears to be seriously injured after a fall. Call 911 and let trained medical personnel move the child with proper precautions.
Visit the Historic Belmont Firehouse and Museum (900 SE 35th Avenue) on Wednesdays from 9 am to 3 pm or on the second Saturday of every month. We have window locks for sale and free window clings that remind you to stop at 4.
Hands-on practice and one-on-one education are also available at The Randall Children's Hospital Safety Center at Legacy Emanuel.
The Safety Center is located at:
Legacy Emanuel Medical Center atrium
501 North Graham Street
Portland, OR 97227 (Free curbside valet parking available)
Hours: M-Th 9 am - noon or by appointment. Closed Fridays through Sundays and holidays.
Today, the newly rebuilt station in the shadow of the Hawthorne Bridge celebrated its grand opening
Back in 2009, then Commissioner Randy Leonard made the determination that in order to respond effectively to increasing water emergencies in the core area of Portland, we needed to re-open Station 21 as a land-marine based fire & rescue station.
He then worked to pull together a General Obligation Bond that the voters passed in 2010 to fund the construction a station primed to tackle this century’s hazards. And it comes at just the right time: the waterfront areas of our city are experiencing increasing development: areas that were once barren or solely industrial and becoming whole new neighborhoods. Our rivers are also now clean and are host to more recreation than ever. And with all this activity comes more people who need protection and response from Portland Fire & Rescue. In the past five years, water related incidents have increased 51 percent.
Today, Station 21 celebrated its Grand Opening with cake, tours, and remarks by Commissioner Dan Saltzman, former Commissioner Randy Leonard, and Fire Chief Erin Janssens. Station 21 is staffed with a crew of four firefighters and it's equipped with a fire engine to address land emergencies in the area neighborhoods. This station has a small vehicle we call ‘the mule’ that allows us to respond quickly to medical emergencies along the esplanade, and then transport people on a backboard to an ambulance. In addition to being structural firefighting and rescue experts, the firefighters at Station 21 also respond to water rescues using our rescue boat housed in the boathouse below, accessed from the dock. In another couple of months, we’ll welcome our new fire boat that was also funded through the 2010 GO Bond. Our new boats can travel at an amazing 43 knots: (that’s almost 50 miles per hour). They can also pump over 8,000 gallons of water per minute: that’s more than five fire engines combined can supply.
Station 21’s not only highly effective, it’s also highly efficient. It was designed to serve the city well today, and will for decades into our future.
This wasn’t an easy project: the footprint’s relatively small and it sits on a flood plain. In order to provide both rapid land and marine access, the banks needed to be stabilized, and as an essential emergency facility, everything needed to meet strict seismic standards. In the event of an earthquake, you can be assured firefighters here can continue to function on land or water, to whatever the emergency may be. The building is designed with sustainability in mind and includes many green features, such as stormwater planters, green power, and water efficiency. The architects, contractor and City staff who worked so hard on the project were acknowledged.
From the bridge, or while viewing the west side, you can see the artwork on the building’s façade. The work is called "The Rippling Wall” and it was created by artist David Franklin. “The Rippling Wall” is inspired by two elements: the beauty of the Willamette river’s surface when the rains we’re known for pour, and ancient regional petroglyphs. Water means much to us. It sustains us and gives us life. For firefighters, it helps us snuff out fires, but it also presents a hazard from which people must be saved.
There have been many who have come before us who have watched over this waterway. The Willamette River is to be respected and guarded. From its banks, Station 21 stands ready to protect life, property, and the environment.
This Sunday is Daylight Savings Time and it’s a good reminder to assess your smoke alarm status
Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) has long been committed to reducing fire fatalities and property loss in the City of Portland and a first step is to make sure all homes have working smoke alarms installed. This Sunday is Daylight Savings Time and it’s a good reminder to assess your smoke alarm status.
Every Daylight Savings, test your smoke alarm and make sure it is functioning. If you need smoke alarms installed, Portland residents can take advantage of PF&R’s Citywide Smoke Alarm Program to receive them. All residents need to do is simply call PF&R’s Smoke Alarm Hotline and their local fire crew will schedule a visit to install alarms. Smoke alarms are necessary on every floor of your home and in every sleeping area.
Working smoke alarms save lives. Most fatal fires occur at night, peaking from midnight to 5 AM, when people are asleep. One-third (33 percent) of fatal residential fires occur during these five hours. Working smoke alarms wake you up, giving you time to escape. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
HOW TO RECEIVE A SMOKE ALARM:
WHO IS ELIGIBLE: