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The City of Portland, Oregon

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Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

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55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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Firefighters Teach Life-Saving Skills to Young Students at Gilbert Park Elementary

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Deputy Chief Harding and Firefighter Brian ask students what to do if they find matches

Excitement was in the air yesterday in the second grade classrooms at Gilbert Park Elementary School in SE Portland. All week, the young students had been studying about firefighters, the equipment they use, and the big red fire engines and trucks that respond to emergencies all over the City of Portland. 

Firefighter Brian explains each piece of the gear Portland firefighters wear

Students were more than ready to show off what they learned during a long awaited visit from a Portland Fire & Rescue deputy chief and firefighters from Portland’s Powellhurst Fire Station 29.  

Newly appointed Fire Captain Bill explains the different types of equipment housed on Fire Engine 29

Portland Fire & Rescue's (PF&R) Deputy Chief John Harding, Station 29 Fire Captain Bill and Firefighters Ed, Marc, Rod, and Brian arrived to the school in Engine 29 just after the lunch hour.  The visit began with a question and answer session with students from Mrs. Seashore’s second grade classroom. Deputy Chief Harding and Firefighter Brian sat with students and used scenarios and real life stories to illustrate the importance of calling 9-1-1 if there’s an emergency, giving matches to trusted adults, and wearing a seatbelt while in vehicle and helmet when riding a bicycle, scooter, or skateboard.

Firefigher Ed offers students a "tour" through Engine 29

Firefighter Brian demonstrated the personal protective equipment that firefighters wear, explaining how the boots, pants, jacket, face mask, helmet, and gloves protect him from the heat. Firefighter Brian also explained that firefighters are your friends and there to help you in the event of a fire or other emergency. He encouraged students not to be frightened of firefighters, and not to hide in the event of a fire.

Firefighter Rod aids students in spraying water from a booster hose

Firefighter Marc fields questions from eager students

After the question and answer, students donned their winter jackets and were ready to head outside and take a tour of Engine 29.  However, during educational visits such as this, firefighters remain “in-service” and needed to leave to respond to an emergency call. Luckily, the firefighters were able to return shortly to the elementary school where the students waited patiently to take a tour of the engine and spray water from a booster line hose.

Deputy Chief Harding proudly displays his present from young student

As the visit neared the end, a young student shyly presented a present he had made for Chief Harding.  It was a paper bag puppet of a firefighter, with the following words neatly printed on the back:

“Thank you Chief Harding.  NO FIRE!”

Safety Message

PF&R urges parents and caregivers to install and maintain working smoke alarms, safely store lighters and matches out of children's reach and sight, and practice a fire escape plan even with small children.  Practicing these fire-safe behaviors and knowing what to do in an emergency can give your family extra seconds to escape during a fire.


More about Station 29

Portland Fire & Rescue's Station 29 is located at 13310 SE Foster Road. Station 29 serves the Powellhurst-Gilbert and Pleasant Valley Neighborhood Associations and provides response coverage to a mix of residential, education, and commercial facilities from 111th on the west, to the City of Gresham on the east, Powell Blvd. on the north, and Clackamas County line on the south. Station 29 houses Engine and Brush Unit 29, and responded to close to 2,000 emergency incidents in 2011.

  Portland Fire & Rescue

  We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

  December 9, 2011

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NEWS RELEASE 12/9/11: Portland Fire & Rescue Responds to Fire in Downtown Portland High Rise

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December 9, 2011

11:02 PM


At 5:43 pm Portland Fire and Rescue responded to reports of something suspicious seen at the top and exterior of the Bank of America Building at 121 SW Morrison. Fire crews from Portland's Old Town Fire Station 1 arrived on scene at 5:46 pm and used binoculars to get a closer look at the exterior lighting on the 18th floor of the building.

As firefighters ascended the building to continue their investigation they began to smell smoke on the 16th floor and called for additional fire crews to respond. Once crews reached the roof they looked over the edge of the southeast corner and found flames coming from approximately 50 feet of the fixed lighting on the exterior of the building. Firefighters acted quickly and were able to put out the flames using a fire extinguisher. Before removing the lights to check if the fire had extended into the building, crews were placed on the sidewalk directly below, at SW 1st and Morrison, to make sure no people were walking by in case of any falling debris.


The fire was brought under control at 6:07 pm. A fire investigator was dispatched to the fire scene to determine the cause of the fire and damage estimates. Updates on the cause and damages will be given as they become available.


With the fire being on the exterior of the building and on the 18th floor, falling debris was a concern. Portland Fire and Rescue wants to remind citizens that, in order to keep safe, it is important to stay clear of fire scenes, behind fire line tape and out of the smoke.

Portland Fire & Rescue

We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

December 10, 2011

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NEWS RELEASE 12/11/11: Portland Fire & Rescue Responds to Smoking-Related Fire Death in SE Portland

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December 11, 2011

3:56 PM

At 10:25 pm last night, Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a 70-year old female who was reported to be unconscious and not breathing. Firefighters from Portland Fire (Rockwood) Station 31 arrived within 5 minutes to the Mobile Estates at SE 167th and Division to find a man performing chest compressions on his wife. The patient's husband had been gone and came home to find his wife lying on the floor. Firefighters quickly began an assessment of the patient and checked for signs of breathing and any heart activity but were unable to revive her. During his assessment, a Portland Fire and Rescue paramedic noticed burns on the patient's face and fingers. Also found was what appeared to be cigarette remains and melted oxygen tubing which the patient had originally been using for medical reasons. It appears that the oxygen tubing caught fire and the patient inhaled the toxic smoke and heat from the burning plastic.

"It is extremely important for people in our communities who use supplemental oxygen to understand how they can keep themselves and their loved ones safe from fire," said Portland Fire & Rescue Lieutenant Sam James.

Oxygen is needed for fires to start. A spark that would not normally burn can start a fire because of supplemental oxygen. It is very important to protect yourself, your family and your home by exercising caution when using oxygen equipment. The following are tips on how to stay safe while using supplemental oxygen:

  • Never allow yourself or others to smoke near supplemental oxygen.      
  • Never use oil, lubricants or any other grease on/around oxygen equipment.
  • Never use electrical appliances, such as a hair dryer, while you are using your oxygen.
  • Never use anything flammable, such as gasoline, alcohol-containing sprays or paint thinners, while using your oxygen.
  • Keep your oxygen equipment away from any open flames, such as candles, fireplaces, hot water heaters, gas stoves, etc.
  • Make sure to turn oxygen equipment off when not in use.
  • In case of fire, get out, stay out and call 911.
  • If you hear a hissing sound from your oxygen container make sure to call the company who supplies your oxygen right away.

A Portland Fire Investigator was dispatched to the scene to determine the cause of the fire. The cause of death and the fire are still under investigation and updates will be given as they become available.

Portland Fire & Rescue

We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

December 11, 2011

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Fire Chief Klum Set to Compete Against Police Chief Reese in Salvation Army Celebrity Bell Ringing Challenge

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Look for Fire Chief Klum tomorrow in front of Nordstrom and make a donation to support the efforts of The Salvation Army!

The head honchos of large corporations' in Portland will be showing their support for The Salvation Army in an annual Celebrity Bell Ringing Challenge.

On Tuesday, December 13, 2011, top executives from competing companies will be ringing next to each other in downtown Portland to see who can fill their kettle with more money.  From 11:00 am until 1:00 pm, charisma and enthusiasm will fill the entrances to the downtown Nordstrom (Broadway entrances), the downtown Macy’s (Morrison entrances) and the 5th & Morrison entrance to Pioneer Square Mall as each executive tries to convince Portlanders to donate to their kettle; each will be competing with other celebrity bell ringers who will be working the same crowd!  

Going head-to-head on December 13th are the following executives:

  • Chief of Fire and Rescue John Klum vs Chief of Police Mike Reese
  • Don Pearson, Region President of Wells Fargo vs Brian Rice, Regional President of KeyBank
  • Bob Lamb, President of Lamb’s Thriftway vs Steve Frisby, Regional President of  Safeway
  • DJ Wilson, President and General Manager of KGW vs John Tamerlano, General Manager of KATU
  • Bob Proffitt, General Manager of Alpha Broadcasting vs Erin Hubert, Vice President and General Manager of Entercom Radio

The executives will earn bragging rights and be able to say that their friendly competition contributed to The Salvation Army’s biggest fund-raiser of the year.  Last year, this competition raised $17,832.84! 

The money raised each year in the Red Kettle Campaign goes directly to The Salvation Army’s 10 social service centers (Corps) and programs in the Metro area which serve everyone from babies to seniors.  Actually, more than 60% of all funds raised by The Salvation Army during the year comes during the last quarter of the year, primarily through these kettle efforts.  Last year’s Red Kettle Campaign raised nearly $700,000 in the Portland-Metro area.

Citizens are encouraged to stop by one of these stores on December 13th and drop a few coins or dollars into the kettle you want to support (hint hint – Portland Fire’s Kettle)!

Who knows?!  Perhaps, with your support, these celebrities can help the 2011 Red Kettle Campaign by bringing in $50,000 themselves!

  Portland Fire & Rescue

  We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

  December 12, 2011

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Breathe Easy and Use Home Oxygen Safely

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The use of home-based and portable oxygen systems in the home continues to increase.  Sources suggest it’s mostly due to a growing older adult population, shorter hospital stays, and more advanced home healthcare services.

Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) wants you know that it is important to understand how oxygen can contribute to home fires. Under normal circumstances, room air contains approximately 21% oxygen. Oxygen can steep into clothing, fabric, hair, and beards. Contrary to popular belief, oxygen is not flammable but can cause other flammable materials to ignite more easily and to burn more quickly.  

Oxygen is of great benefit to those home healthcare patients in need of supplemental oxygen therapy.  Please remember, however, that oxygen should always be handled with caution and complete awareness of potential hazards. Oxygen can be used safely at home. Below are suggested guidelines to follow:

  • Never smoke while using oxygen.
  • Warn visitors not to smoke near you when you are using oxygen. Encourage visitors to smoke outside.
  • Post at least one NO SMOKING sign in a prominent place at the entrance to your home.
  • When you go to a restaurant with your portable oxygen source, sit in a section away from any open flame such as candles or warming burners.
  • Stay at least eight feet from gas stoves, candles, lighted fireplaces and other heat sources.
  • Keep oxygen cylinders and vessels in a well-ventilated area (not in closets, behind curtains, or other confined space). The small amount of oxygen gas that is continually vented from these units can accumulate in a confined space and become a fire hazard.
  • Keep oxygen cylinders and vessels a minimum of 8 feet from heaters, heat producing and electrical appliances.
  • Secure oxygen cylinders and vessels to a fixed object or place in a stand.
  • Oxygen cylinders and vessels must remain upright at all times. Never tip an oxygen cylinder or vessel on its side or try to roll it to a new location.
  • Always operate oxygen cylinder or container valves slowly. Abrupt starting and stopping of oxygen flow may ignite any contaminant that might be in the system.
  • Turn the cylinder valve off when not using your oxygen.
  • Only use a properly grounded wall outlet for your oxygen concentrator.

Click here for further ways to safely use oxygen at home.


   Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   Decembe 12, 2011 


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