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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

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PF&R Divers Diverted to Emergency on the Columbia River

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Video courtesy of KOIN Local 6


A KOIN 6 news crew was expecting to watch Portland Fire & Rescue’s (PF&R) dive team take part in a routine training exercise on the Columbia River.  However, a real emergency call on the river came in before the training could begin. A caller had reported seeing a woman jump from the bridge into the Columbia River. 

PF&R’s Dive Team raced to the base of the I-205 bridge on the Rescue Boat with the KOIN 6 news crew on board.  PF&R’s Fireboat 17 was also in route to the scene. 

PF&R’s Rescue Boat arrived first on-scene and attempted to set a single anchor so a quick dive could be conducted.  However, the current was running fast and swung the Rescue Boat out of position.  The crew of the Rescue Boat radioed communication of the river’s conditions to the crew of Fireboat 17.  Fireboat 17 arrived just as the crew of the Rescue Boat began to place two anchors in the river for stabilization. 

Fireboat 17 set two anchors at the scene and then lowered the divers into position.  The divers searched for an hour and half in approximately 10 feet of water.  A Coast Guard helicopter assisted with searching the surface water and shoreline. The woman has not been found.   

Portland Fire & Rescue has an average of eight divers on duty every day for water emergencies.

Please call the crisis hotline 1-800-273-TALK if you or someone you know is feeling depressed or hopeless.

October 22, 2009

It's All About the Kids

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The Salvation Army’s All About Kids Annual Dinner was held last night at the Oregon Zoo Cascade Crest Ballroom. This event brought together hundreds of corporate, civic, and community leaders to learn about, celebrate, and raise funds for the Salvation Army's programs that target thousands of children and teens from the Portland metro area that are homeless, abused, or struggling to find their way. 

The event included an auction, musical performance, story sharing, and delectable food.

Portland Fire & Rescue showed support of this worthy cause by purchasing a table and sending representatives from our Chief’s Office, Emergency Operations, Management Services, and Prevention Division to the event. 


The Salvation Army: Did You Know?

Through 10 facilities across three counties, the Salvation Army serves those in need throughout the Portland-Metro area. The Salvation Army is able to serve in this way due to support and partnerships in the community. 

To learn more about the Salvation Army and their sponsors, upcoming events, causes, and how to volunteer, click here.

October 23, 2009

A Generous Donation from American Promotional Events, Inc.

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For the past three years in July, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) partnered with the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) and the Office of State Fire Marshal to conduct a “Operation Lower the BOOM” detail. 

“Operation Lower the BOOM” is a fire prevention program that places city fire inspectors in the field to confiscate illegal fireworks and identify persons using or possessing illegal fireworks and issue citations. July 2007 was the first attempt at an illegal use of fireworks abatement strategy using the citation concept in the enforcement process.

During the first “Operation Lower the BOOM” detail, PF&R and PPB confiscated an estimated $12,600 in explosives and wrote 33 citations for $100 each, making the first attempt an instant success.

To help offset the costs of “Operation Lower the BOOM” and other PF&R fire prevention programs, American Promotional Events, Inc. donated $5,000 to PF&R.  Part of American Promotional Events, Inc.’s mission is to actively support the safety of the Portland community and work with local government to implement safety and educational programs in schools.




Portland Fire & Rescue accepted the donation of $5,000 in October 2009 and sincerely thanks American Promotional Events, Inc. for their generous donation!


October 26, 2009 

Novelty/Toylike Lighters: Welcome in Oregon?

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As of June 2, 2009, Oregon law prohibits the sale, manufacturing, importing, or distribution of novelty/toylike lights within the state of Oregon. 

What are They?

Many of the novelty/toylike lighters look like animals, miniature cars, music instruments, game pieces, and other toys and have audio or visual effects that make them appealing to children less than 10 years of age.

  • Audio effects: includes music, animal sounds, whistles, buzzers, beepers or other noises not related to the flame-producing function of the lighter
  • Visual effects: includes flashing lights, color-changing lights, and changing images

These novelty lighters are dangerous because many children are unable to tell the difference between a toy and a novelty lighter.  By prohibiting their sale, children will be protected from a dangerous instrument that could encourage curiosity and invite unintentional misuse.

Examples of Prohibited Novelty/Toylike Lighters:

Below are photos of prohibited novelty/toylike lighters. Please note this is not a complete photo gallery of all prohibited novelty lighters.

Click here for more photos of prohibited novelty/toylike lighters.

Are there any Exceptions?

There are three exceptions to the Oregon Law (2009 House Bill 2365):

  1. Lighters manufactured before January 1, 1980.
  2. A lighter made permanently incapable of producing a flame or otherwise causing combustion.
  3. Standard lighters with logos, decals, decorative artwork, or heat-shrinkable sleeves.

What are the Civil Penalties?

  • Manufacturers & Importers: $10,000*
  • Wholesale Dealers: $1,000*
  • Retailers: $500*

*Violators may be fined separately for each day they sell novelty/toylike lighters.

Additional Information

For additional and more specific information on the rules and laws, visit the Oregon State Police – Office of State Fire Marshal’s website at or by phone at (503) 934-8264 or (503) 934-8285.  

October 26, 2009

Three Finalists Chosen for the Design of the David Campbell Memorial

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Members of the Campbell Board of Trustees, Portland Fire & Rescue, and Portland State University’s Department of Architecture announced Monday, October 26, 2009 the three finalists for the design of the memorial dedicated to David Campbell, Fire Chief 1893-1911, and other courageous Portland firefighters who died in the line of duty.


Members of the Campbell Board of Trustees present at the October 26, 2009 meeting included Randy Leonard (City Commissioner), Nick Fish (City Commissioner), Paul Corah (Portland Fire & Rescue), Jeff Schnabel (Portland State University Department of Architecture), Worth Caldwell (Eastside Industrial Council Representative), Terry Shanley (CEO of Start Making a Reader Today - SMART), and visitor Rudy Soto (Intern with Commissioner Fish's office). 

The proposed site for the new David Campbell Memorial is at the East end of the Hawthorne Bridge, overlooking downtown Portland and feet away from where Portland Fire Chief David Campbell died while fighting the Union Oil fire on June 26, 1911. He had gone into the burning building shortly before an explosion occurred which took his life.  The construction of the new memorial is to be funded through private donations and sponsorships. 

Seven alumni from Portland State University’s Department of Architecture submitted conceptual designs for the memorial, with three finalists selected by the members of the Campbell Board of Trustees. 



The three finalists will now have a set amount of time to fine-tune their concepts using feedback provided from the public and the Campbell Board of Trustees.  The finalists will present their plans for the memorial before the Campbell Board of Trustees in late November 2009.  The winning design will be unveiled in December 2009.

The goal of the Campbell Board of Trustees is to select a design, raise funds, and construct the memorial and dedicate it on the 100th anniversary of Chief Campbell’s death (June 26, 2011) as well as commemorate the 10th anniversary of the events of September 11th.

The current Campbell Memorial is located on West Burnside between SW 18th and 19th Avenues in Portland, Oregon.  The memorial was dedicated on June 26, 1928 and cost $35,000.  The memorial was designed by Paul Philippe Cret of Philadelphia, with Ernest F. Tucker, Architect, acting as the Portland representative.  The current memorial is showing obvious signs of age and deterioration and is unable to be restored.

All seven of the conceptual design submissions will be displayed for public viewing in the Atrium on the first floor of the City of Portland's City Hall located at 1221 SW 4th Avenue Portland, Oregon 97204 during the week of October 26, 2009. 

The design submissions will also be posted on during the week of November 2, 2009.

October 27, 2009