To ensure the most effective service at the time of an emergency, Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters must remain in their designated response area with their fire engines and trucks during their entire shift.
Portland firefighters work 24-hour shifts with no scheduled breaks, and meals are not provided. Firefighters on each shift must purchase their own food and prepare their own meals, so they usually make a daily trip to the grocery store within their fire management areas to buy whatever they need to prepare their meals for the entire shift.
Portland Fire crews do not have to be sitting in the fire station to be dispatched to a call. Since all fire companies maintain constant radio contact and the entire crew must always be together with their fire apparatus, they are always ready to respond to any emergency, regardless of their current location.
Very often, Portland firefighters spend long periods of their day running calls, without returning to the station or stopping to eat, and they frequently have to return to the grocery store several times to finish purchasing food that they might not get a chance to cook during the shift.
So if you see your local firefighters at a grocery store near you, stop and say hi! And remember, they're still on-duty and ready to respond to emergencies!
Portland Fire & Rescue
We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
December 15, 2011