Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Fire & Rescue

Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

PF&R Blog header image

NEW WEB FEATURE: read all of our news releases as they go out here:

Receive more info at our Facebook page here:

 Read our Past Blogs | Disclaimer


January is National Radon Awareness Month

1 Comment | Add a Comment

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deemed January as National Radon Awareness Month. During January, Portland Fire & Rescue will provide information and resources to increase your radon awareness.

Exposure to Radiation

Each of us is exposed to a certain amount of radiation each day, most of which comes from natural sources such as radon. Radon accounts for the largest percentage -- more than half -- of radiation exposure that the average person in the United States receives.

What is Radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is odorless, tasteless, and colorless.  Radon gas is found throughout the world in varying concentrations. Radon forms naturally from the radioactive decay of Uranium in rock, soil, and water.  When radon gas is formed, it migrates through the soil to the air above.

Why is Radon Harmful?

Radon breaks down into solid particles know as radon decay products. These decay particles can become trapped in the lungs and may damage tissue by emitting radiation. Over time, exposure to elevated levels of radon increases a person's risk of developing lung cancer. This is the only known health effect. For smokers, this lung cancer risk is even higher.

In fact, the World Health Organization and EPA identified radon gas as the leading cause of lung cancer in for non-smokers in 2010. They report that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of about 20,000 Americans each year.

Can Radon Enter My Home?

The major source of radon in a home comes from the ground beneath it. Radon moves up through the soil and enters through cracks and holes in the foundation. Radon gas can become trapped in a home and build to unhealthy levels. Radon can also enter a home through the water supply. Radon can be released into the air during showers and other household uses. However, radon from the water supply is most often minimal compared to ground sources. Any home can have a radon problem, including newly built, well-insulated, and homes with or without a basement.


Link here to the State of Oregon's Radiation Protection Services - Radon Gas official website for additional radon information and resources. 

What's Next?

Visit the Fire Blog each week during the month of January for information to help you determine if your home needs to be tested for radon levels, how radon tests are conducted, and a suggested course of action if tests show high levels of radon gas in your home.



   Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   January 10, 2011


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

Firefighters and Plumbers Face Off During Annual Broomball Match

0 Comments | Add a Comment



On Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 7:00 pm, the Portland Winterhawks hosted the Seattle Thunderbirds for a night of fun and hockey at the Rose Garden! Between periods, the Plumbers of UA Local 290 and Portland Firefighters Association (PFFA) Local 43 firefighters did battle in their annual Broomball match.

Broomball is a popular recreational ice game where players hit a small ball around the ice with a stick called a "broom." The object of broomball is to score more goals than your opponent by hitting the ball into your opponent's net using your broom.


Portland firefighters came dressed to win wearing turnout pants, bureau t-shirts, red suspenders, and fire helmets.

Despite the ruling of no checking, blocking or hitting, the firefighters and plumbers offered a seriously fun game, a spirited showcase of thrills and (lots!) of spills!


The firefighters and plumbers tied the ice game with a score of 0 to 0! Additional photos will be posted on Portland Fire & Rescue's Facebook page.


  Portland Fire & Rescue 

  We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

  January 10, 2011 


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

Winter EMS Training Block for Firefighters Focuses on CPR, Cardiac Arrest Management, & Skills Review

0 Comments | Add a Comment


Beginning in January and running through February, all sworn Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) will be required to attend the Winter 2011 Training block presented by the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) section.


Firefighters from Truck 13 practice setting up the cyanokit, used for the treatment of known or suspected cyanide poisoning. Cyanide poisoning to firefighters can be caused by smoke inhalation during closed space structural fires.

The training block, taught by PF&R's EMS Training Supervisor's Rene' and Don and Firefighter Krista, exposes firefighters to updated information about treatment of cardiac arrest patients and properly utilizing new EMS equipment.  Along with the presentation, firefighters will have the opportunity to practice running a cardiac arrest, setting up a portable ventilator, placing soft restraints on a patient, using pet masks, setting up the cyanokit used to treat cyanide poisoning, and ventilating an infant.


Firefighters from Engine 19 practice using an Automatic External Defibrillators (AED). AED's will automatically determine the heart rhythm of a pulseless victim and, if the victim is in ventricular fibrillation (v-fib), shock the victim's heart in an attempt to restore its rhythm to normal.

Before attending the training, firefighters were asked to prepare by reviewing Multnomah County EMS protocols on cardiac arrest, end-tidal carbon dioxide monitoring on cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and induced hypothermia.  These EMS protocols provide parameters to guide emergency personnel when providing medical treatment.


Firefighters from Engine 18 practice placing soft restraints on a patient.

Training blocks such as this one help position firefighters to quickly deliver critical care to citizens in distress.

As first responders trained in emergency medical services, firefighters administer Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) to people having cardiovascular emergencies. Here firefighters from Engine 4 practice this life-saving technique.



  Portland Fire & Rescue 

  We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

  January 11, 2011 


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

UPDATES -- NEWS RELEASE 01/11/11: Portland Fire & Rescue Responding to Apartment Fire on NE Everett

1 Comment | Add a Comment


January 11, 2011

3:29 PM

Portland Fire & Rescue has responded to an apartment fire at 7610 NE Everett Street. Initial reports stated that one unit was "fully engulfed".

Engine 19 arrived three minutes after the call was dispatched and reported a single-story building with flames showing and fire spreading. Fire crews immediately began verifying that people were evacuated and then started fighting the fire. Fire did get into the attic space, but did not extend very far.

Firefighters are evaluating one person for possible smoke inhalation.

Fire attack was complicated by difficulty in finding an electrical panel to shut off power to the building. All responding crews waited on standby until PGE could shut off power to the building. An investigator is on scene.

A "rehab unit" was also called to the fire due to the cold weather. Rehab units are used to support firefighting efforts by bringing additional equipment, such as additional air bottles and heaters, to the scene.

Portland Fire & Rescue reminds you that all homes should have working smoke alarms. Everyone should plan and practice a fire escape plan. If you have a fire, get out and stay out. Going back into a burning building can be deadly.

Photos by Alisa Cour and Dick Harris, Portland Fire & Rescue.




January 11, 2011

2:56 PM

Portland Fire & Rescue is responding to a fire at a four-plex on NE Everett. One unit is reported to be fully involved. PIO is enroute, media staging will be announced when he arrives.



  Portland Fire & Rescue 

  We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

  January 11, 2011 


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


2010 Holiday Season a Success for PF&R Toy N Joy Makers

2 Comments | Add a Comment

Thanks to the generosity of the public and the hard work of volunteers and Portland firefighters, the 2010 holiday season was a success for the Toy N Joy Makers!

Established in1914, Portland Fire & Rescue’s (PF&R) Toy N Joy Makers helps provide Portland’s needy children and low income families with toys, books, and other gifts during the winter holiday season. The Toy N Joy Maker’s toy program is the largest in Oregon and has a history of working alongside local and state agencies.

Dean Johnson, Toy N Joy Makers President

Dean Johnson, Toy N Joy Maker’s President, spearheads the holiday toy drive each year. In December, Johnson and his team of volunteers placed over 259 toy boxes at each of the PF&R fire stations and Fire Bureau administrative buildings, local organizations and businesses, and other town hot spots where citizens could easily drop off toys. 

Volunteers then picked up the toys to take them back to Santa’s Workshop at the Toy N Joy Makers headquarters off NE Going Street, where they were sorted according to age and gender. From there the volunteers filled requested toy orders from families by placing toys into huge bags, ensuring that no children were able to get a peek at their gifts before the big day.  Toys were then distributed to the families before Christmas, just in time for parents to nestle the packages under the tree.

Firefighters from Station 30 fill a toy order for a needy family.

During this holiday season, Toy N Joy Makers distributed an approximate 67,856 toys to close to 16,000 children.  Johnson calculates that the estimated toy value given out this season was over $1 million dollars.

Johnson credits his wonderful volunteers, as well as Portland Fire & Rescue, for making the toy drive an annual success. Over 20 volunteers helped from mid-November to December 27th, volunteering 4,320 hours.  Even Portland firefighters chipped in close to 1,000 hours this holiday season to pick up, sort, package, and deliver toys.

Volunteers and Portland Firefighters sort and organize donated toys.

But the toy drive wouldn’t occur if not for the citizens who donate the gifts. “I’d like to thank the residents of Portland for helping us make this possible,” Johnson said. “They’ve really come through for us over the years, and I just can’t say enough about how great they are.”


Firefighters from Station 24 and 28 unpack a toy-filled truck.

For the next couple days, volunteers and Portland firefighters will meet once again and work side by side at the Toy N Joy Headquarters to finish sorting and organizing left over donated toys. 

Firefighters and volunteers sort toys according to gender and age. 

If you are interested in volunteering to help during next year’s toy drive or would like to learn more about Toy N Joy Makers, visit  



  Portland Fire & Rescue 

  We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

  January 11, 2011 


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