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The City of Portland, Oregon

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Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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Use 9-1-1 to Save A Life, Report a Fire, Stop a Crime

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Use 9-1-1 to save a life, report a fire, stop a crime. 9-1-1 is the right number to call in an emergency when a prompt response is needed. There could be a fight or an assault occurring right now, a fire burning, or a medical problem occurring now which could be life threatening. 

The person who answers your 9-1-1 call is a trained dispatcher. They will ask you questions to determine what kind of help you need - Fire, Police, or Medical. Be prepared to state the nature of the emergency, and please answer all the questions. Answering questions does not delay response. As they ask their questions, keep your answers as short and direct as possible.

Questions could include:

  • What happened?
  • What is the location?
  • Where are you calling from?
  • What is your name?
  • What is your phone number?

While on the phone with the call taker, EMERGENCY help is being dispatched. Staying on the line, if asked to do so, will NOT delay help from responding units. If it is possible and does not compromise your safety, do not hang up the phone until the 9-1-1 call taker says it is okay to hang up.

What if I call 9-1-1 by mistake?

Please stay on the line if you call 9-1-1 by accident, and tell the dispatcher that everything is OK. If you do not stay on the line we may have to send a police officer to your home to make sure there is not a problem.

When should I use the non-emergency number?

503-823-3333 is a ten digit non-emergency number which you can dial 24 hours a day in Multnomah County for non-emergency help. Using the non-emergency number keeps 9-1-1 available for true emergencies.

Some examples of times when you should call 503-823-3333 are: 

  • Your house or car was broken into yesterday.
  • Your runaway child has returned home.
  • You need to add additional items to the burglary report you made last week.
  • Your car was stolen sometime overnight.
  • Someone stole your bike while you were at school.


Citizens are reminded that a quick response in an emergency depends upon each of us using the emergency system and the non-emergency number properly.


  Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   January 24, 2012 


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Firefighters Spend Memorable Time with Young Burn Survivor

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Blog Story and Photo submitted by Firefighter Rob Kapuniai-Ryan

Fire Lieutenant Lee Etten & Firefighter Rob Kapuniai-Ryan visit burn survivor

A few months back, we took Engine 4 over to Emanuel Burn Center and visited a little girl that was being treated for burns. She was in the hospital for a few weeks by the time we had gone to see her. Many other fire crews from Portland Fire & Rescue had signed up to visit her as well.  We spent a few hours with her to give the nurses a break. Its very hard for one person to keep a child that is hurt and stuck in one room happy.

This little girl was so awesome! Even with her injuries, she was so excited that we were there that she insisted on getting us to pull her in the radio flyer wagon outside to see the engine with its lights on.  We even put it into pump and sprayed some water, which she liked!

After, we went back and read stories (her favorites was Dora the explorer which we read twice), then walked the cool garden they have there. All in all, it was a rewarding experience.

To anyone that has not been to volunteer at the burn center yet, do it! It is worth the time.  Not only do the kids love it, you will too.  Also, my hats off and a deep bow to the nurses and doctors at the Emanuel Burn Center. Takes a pretty amazing person to be able to do that job day in and day out. You are all amazing!


  Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   January 24, 2012 


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Accidental Grease Fire Injures Young Man, Firefighters Encourage Citizens to Stay Alert & Be Prepared

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On January 18, 2012 at just after midnight, Portland firefighters from Station 11 (Lents) were dispatched to a reported fire in SE Portland off 87th Avenue. While en-route to the scene, Engine 19’s Fire Lieutenant Tim and Firefighters Chris, Dion, and Steven were notified by a 9-1-1 dispatcher that an occupant had been burnt during an attempt to put out a grease fire.

Firefighters arrived and found two patients. The first, a young woman, was standing outside of the building coughing due to smoke inhalation. The second was a young man who was still inside the building running cold water on his arm.

As firefighters treated both patients, the young man explained that he was in his apartment and had decided to cook onion rings. He began to heat oil in a pot on the range top, walking away to allow time for the oil to heat. When he returned, the pot was on fire and the flames had expanded to the hood.  The young man panicked, and tried to extinguish the fire with rags and then a lid, both to no avail. Desperate, he picked up the pot and attempted to carry it outside. Unfortunately, the hot grease splashed onto his face and right arm and he threw the pot full of burning oil towards the back sliding door.

Both the young woman and man were treated by Portland firefighters and ambulance personnel, and then transported to Emanuel Hospital.  The young man received second-degree burns and was admitted to Emanuel’s Burn Center.

Portland Fire & Rescue Public Education Officer Scott Goetchius reminds citizens that grease fires are extremely dangerous because the fuel source is a liquid and easily splashed. “Grease fire burn very hot and can quickly spread to cabinets or other flammable areas of the kitchen,” he notes. “When a grease fire occurs, you may only have a few moments to either put out a grease fire or escape your home.”

Here’s how:

  1. DO NOT USE WATER ON A GREASE FIRE! Start evacuating everyone from the building. Fires spread extremely fast and can overwhelm victims in minutes. Treat burns only after evacuating the building.
  2. Call 9-1-1.  
  3. The easiest way to smother a grease fire is to cover it with a pan lid. Be careful with glass lids; they can break from the extreme heat of open flame.
  4. Grease fires can also be smothered with baking soda, but it takes a lot of baking soda to do the trick. Unless the baking soda is easily accessible, it's usually easier to quickly find a lid.
  5. A dry chemical fire extinguisher will also work, but it will contaminate your kitchen and food.  


  1. DO NOT PUT WATER ON A GREASE FIRE! This can not be stressed enough. Pouring water on burning grease or oil will not extinguish the fire. It will only cause the burning oil to splash, spreading the grease fire around.
  2. DO NOT TRY TO CARRY THE FIRE OUTSIDE! Trying to carry a pot or pan full of burning oil will just slosh and splash the grease fire.
  3. Treat burns only after the fire is contained or the building is completely evacuated.  
  4. If clothes are caught on fire; STOP, DROP, and ROLL to extinguish them.


  Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   January 24, 2012 


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PF&R In the News: Southeast Portland's Fire Station 21 may be demolished and replaced with a new facility

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Portland Fire & Rescue - IN THE NEWS

By: Steve Beaven

The Oregonian

January 25, 2012

The Portland fire bureau has proposed renovating or replacing FireStation 21, at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge. The estimate for rebuilding the station is about $7.9 million.

The Portland fire bureau is considering demolishing the fire station on the Eastbank Esplanade and rebuilding it as part of a seismic upgrade — work that could begin as soon as the fall.

The station, at 5 S.E. Madison St., sits at the foot of the Hawthorne Bridgeacross from downtown Portland. Because of its location, Station 21 is crucial for access to the river for the fire bureau and other agencies.

And because it was closed when other Portland fire stations got seismic upgrades in recent years, it’s outdated, said Deputy Chief Marco Benetti.

On Tuesday morning, Benetti will join the architect on the project and others to talk about the project in a pre-construction conference with the Portland Bureau of Development Services.

For the moment, the fire bureau is considering three options.

  • Renovate the one-story station by adding a second story.
  • Demolished it and replace the facility with a two-story building.
  • Demolish and replace with a larger one-story building.

But because rebuilding the station could cost about $1 million more than a remodel, Benetti said, it makes more sense to build a new facility. A preliminary estimate from 2009 for renovating the station was about $6.8 million, he said. A recent estimate for construction of a new station was about $7.9 million.

The money would come from the 2010 Public Safety Bond, from which the fire bureau will receive $27.7 million. In addition to the station, the bureau also wants to build a new boathouse and an extension to the existing dock, according to the Bureau of Development Services.

The project remains in the planning stages. But Benetti said he hoped to see “substantial construction” under way by fall.

The station is part of the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood, and Joanne Stainbrook, the land use chairwoman for the neighborhood, said it’s too early to judge the project.

She added, however, that she hopes the work at Station 21doesn’t reduce the area’s level of fire service.

The bureau will have a temporary, fully staffed, 24-hour facility nearby during construction, Benetti said. Because staffing in the neighborhood will remain the same, Benetti doesn’t believe delays in service will occur, he said.

The current facility operated as a fire station from 1961 to 1990, when it was converted to an administrative facility for the emergency medical services office and the investigations unit, according to the bureau.

The station was reopened in 2008 to serve as the temporary home of Station 1, when that building was renovated. In June 2010, Station 23 was closed as part of Station 21’s reopening, and its crews moved to the riverside facility.

But, Benetti said, in the event of an earthquake Station 21 would likely be destroyed in its current state.

“We don’t want to worry about rescuing people who are supposed to be rescuing everybody else,” he said.


  Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   January 25, 2012 


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Get to Know Your Neighborhood Firefighter: Lieutenant Brad Cullison

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I am currently am assigned to provide coverage at stations to the Cathedral Park,St. Johns, and Linnton neighborhoods in North Portland.



I was hired as a line firefighter when I was 20 years old in October 2000 and promoted to a Fire Lieutenant nine years later.  In spring 2006, I was selected to join the Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) as a paramedic.  SERT team members respond to incidents involving uncooperative armed suspects (such as barricaded subjects or hostage situations). As a paramedic, I provide advanced life support for SERT team members that are in harms-way.


My crew was very fresh at Station 2 and we were sent to the North Portland Bluff Fire that eventually went 5 alarms.  When we arrived on-scene, people were packing their cars with valuables and fleeing, fearing all their houses were going to burn like a scene out of southern California.  Eventually, we had Blackhawks above us performing water drops.  I remember thinking that is one thing I never thought I would see working for a big city. 


We were sent to a young boy reported to have some time of hand injury.  Unfortunately, there was a language barrier and the 9-1-1 dispatcher was unable to get any further information.  We found a 5 year-old boy who stuck his hand up the ice cube dispenser of the fridge that his parents believed to be inoperable.  Unfortunately, the machine engaged and trapped the young boy’s hand. 

The crew and I were unable to even fully open the door of the fridge to take apart the machine since his hand was through the chute and stuck towards the back.  Working as a tea, we weighed all options to free his hand and manage his pain.  It took 45 minutes of working to dismantling the fridge and plan "B", plan "C", etc.  There was no training guide on this situation.  It showed the importance of having good communication within your crew and having members with different backgrounds or skills.


Fish tacos or buffalo chicken burgers.  There are a lot of other things I like to make, but they definitely don't fall into the "healthy" recipe book which has become a lot more popular.


I worked for the pools of a park district.  I lifeguarded and taught swimming lessons including our lifeguard training programs.


Integrity.  A successful firefighter wants to do their best just because and for no other reason. 


During the summer, I enjoy boating or camping anywhere on the water.  I live on a floating home, so mostly I enjoy any hot weather where I can relax on my deck, jump in, and swim in my backyard. In the winter time, I look forward to fishing when it's wet and golfing when it's dry (there's nobody else on the course when it's 40 degrees)!


I always try to make a rapid assessment of what we have and what/who we need.  When you need some support, you want it quick!


KNOW YOUR JOB AND ORGANIZATION. That's one of my former advisors' ten rules of the fire service.  You should strive to learn every aspect and be the best at your position.  But not only be educated in your position, but strive to know what others are doing or things going on in your department.  Knowing those things can only make you better at being a solid piece of the puzzle.



   Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   January 26, 2012


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