On the afternoon of Saturday, March 20, 2010, firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue (TVF&R) responded to a nearly 100 year old large barn about two miles north of the Bethany neighborhood. When TVF&R firefighters arrived, they reported flames spilling from the windows and doors of the 40 foot by 126 foot barn. As the barn began to collapse in on itself, TVF&R determined this was a defensive fire and the focused changed on protecting nearby structures.
Firefighters from Portland Fire & Rescue and Hillsboro Fire Department responded as well to the scene to provide additional emergency response support. The firefighters from the three fire agencies coordinated efforts to pour thousands of gallons of water on the fire and protect nearby structures.
HELPING OTHER FIRE AGENCIES THROUGH MUTUAL AID
When fire agencies provide emergency response and protection support to one another such as the situation described above, it is called “Mutual Aid.” Portland Fire & Rescue currently participates in mutual aid agreements with all fire agencies bordering the City of Portland including the Port of Portland Fire Department, Vancouver Fire & Rescue, TVF&R, Clackamas County Fire District #1, Lake Oswego Fire Department, and Gresham Fire & Emergency Services. The goal of mutual aid is to lend or receive fire protection and emergency medical services assistance across jurisdictional boundaries.
HOW DOES MUTUAL AID WORK?
The City of Portland Bureau of Emergency Services (BOEC) receives a request by a neighboring fire jurisdiction asking for mutual aid assistance. Portland Firefighters are then contacted through normal dispatch procedures to respond to the structure fire or other significant event (e.g. hazardous materials, confined space, dive rescue) outside the City of Portland. When PF&R needs assistance, the same process is used in reverse.
We trust and rely on the fact that if we do have a large scale incident here in the City of Portland, other surrounding agencies will provide further resources if called upon. In addition, Fire personnel here at PF&R are committed to supporting and assisting other fire agencies that surround the City of Portland when in need.
March 24, 2010