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Firefighters Raise Close to $6,500 for Muscular Dystrophy Association During March

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Firefighters Serve Lunch & Dinner on Rock Bottom


April 4, 2012 -- Firefighters in the Portland Firefighters Association (PFFA), Local 43 raised close to $6,500 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) during the month of March.

Over the course of several events held at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, firefighters donated and collected funds which will help local children and adults in Portland who are affected by neuromuscular diseases.

Portland Firefighter and Assistant Public Information Officer Tommy Schroeder coordinated several of the events, including off-duty Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters volunteering to serve lunch and dinner to customers at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery. The Rock Bottom Foundation then donated a portion the day’s proceeds to the MDA.  Schroeder feels strongly about supporting this cause.

“Firefighters are longtime friends and supporters of the MDA.” Schroeder goes on to say, “The funds we help raise support MDA’s services, including medical clinics staffed with specialists in neuromuscular disease, special summer camps for MDA kids, and worldwide disease research programs.”

Founded in 1950, MDA is a voluntary health agency working to defeat neuromuscular diseases through worldwide research, comprehensive services and far-reaching professional and public health education. In addition to funding ground-breaking research, MDA maintains hundreds of clinics nationwide. MDA is the first non-profit recognized by the American Medical Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award “for significant and lasting contributions to the health and welfare of humanity.”

The Association’s programs are funded almost entirely by individual private contributions.

You Can Help

Learn how to help through giving, matching gifts, advocacy, and volunteer and sponsorship opportunities at

Get to Know Your Neighborhood Firefighter: Lieutenant Jason Andersen

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I currently work as a Fire Lieutenant assigned to Pearl District Fire Station #3, affectionately nicknamed by the firefighters as the “Animal House”.  The Pearl District is a unique Fire Management Area which serves large commercial structures, industrial complexes, high rise occupancies, residential homes, and Jeld-Wen Field, the proud home of the Portland Timbers.

I was hired by Portland Fire & Rescue as a firefighter in 2003, assigned as Firefighter Paramedic in 2004, and was assigned as a Field Training Officer in 2007.  In 2008, I was promoted to Inspector and assigned as a Fire/Arson Investigator.  Three years later, I was promoted to Lieutenant.

It was my final shift as a recruit firefighter (black helmet) and the first minutes as a probationary firefighter (yellow helmet).  I had failed a testing station on our Truck 2 final.  My nerves were very intense.  I had completed my retake along with another recruit firefighter.  The time awaiting our results seemed forever.  All the efforts of the past 10 years of my life were hanging in the balance.  I was an emotional wreck.  Then two Training Lieutenants appeared, shook our hands, told us to call them by first name and not “sir”, and then congratulated us both on successfully completing the retake.  We entered the apparatus bay to see our shiny new yellow helmets with our names on it.  It was an emotional roller coaster, but the best day of my career.

The first call I responded to as an intern firefighter was a motor vehicle crash with one vehicle landing on its roof.  I recall being nervous, excited, scared, and full of adrenaline as the siren wailed and we navigated through heavy traffic in the pouring down rain.  As we arrived, there was so much chaos with people injured, bystanders gathering, and fluids leaking from the wrecked cars.  What impressed me the most was watching my senior firefighters take this chaotic event and bring it to a sense of order, which allowed us to successfully render patient care.  I was hooked from that moment forward.

My favorite meal to cook is Traegerized Pork Ribs.  I use a spicy dry rub, smoke them for 8 hours while intermittently spraying them with apple juice.  After smoking them, apply a tangy BBQ sauce while soaking them in Dr. Pepper.  Cook them at 350 for one hour.  The meat just falls off the bones.  Served with a spicy chipotle potato salad…and it is a sure winner.  I did forget just how hot they were.   It was my first shift back on the line….I had all of my crew pouring sweat and drinking gallons of water. 

Prior to getting paid by Portland Fire & Rescue, I started my fire service career in 1993 as an intern with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.  This experience progressed to a long term internship with the Portland Fire & Rescue from 1994 to 1997.  I attended Chemeketa Community College in pursuit of my AAS in Fire Suppression from 1994 to 1996.  I obtained my Paramedic certification and worked for American Medical Response from 1997 to 2008.  I participated in the Reach and Treat Wilderness Rescue Team, Swiftwater Rescue Team, and Critical Care Transport Team.  While working at Portland Fire, I worked part-time as a Flight Paramedic for LifeFlight of Oregon.

Self-motivation is the key to being a successful firefighter.  If you sit back and wait for things to happen, you will fall behind.  Success is based on how much effort you as the firefighter place into your daily performance.   

My favorite off-duty activity is spending time with my family.  My wife and I enjoy traveling to tropical islands to SCUBA dive and enjoy the sun, sand and relaxation.

I look for anything that could potentially harm my crew.  The safety of my crew and I is paramount to anything else.  This starts from the moment I get dispatched and get into the rig.  My worst fear is a fellow firefighter getting injured because I missed something.  It is a huge responsibility, but I want each member of my crew to go home to their families without injury.

Retired Fire Captain Mike Glenn always said, “Do the right thing!”  It seems so simple, but yet sometimes it can be the hardest thing to do.  Prior to making any decision, I consider that simple phrase.

Firehouse Recipe of the Week: Healthy Reuben

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Healthy Reuben


Courtesy of the International Association of Firefighters "Fit to Survive" Menu



  • 1/4 Cup Sauerkraut Drained
  • 1 Tablespoon Crumbled Feta Cheese Low Fat
  • 1 Tablespoon Low Fat Thousand Island Dressing 
  • 2 Slices Rye Bread 
  • 1 Slice Low Fat Swiss Cheese 
  • 2 Slices Low Sodium Smoked Deli Turkey
  • Cooking Spray 


  1. Coat bottom of a nonstick skillet with cooking spray, heat over medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sauerkraut, feta cheese and dressing.
  3. Spread the mixture on one slice of the bread, top with turkey, swiss and other slice of bread.
  4. Place in skillet and cooking 2-3 minutes per side or until cheese is melted and sandwich is heated through.

Nutrition Facts:

  • Calories: 327
  • Total Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4 g
  • Sodium: 668 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 43 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 21 g

Mt. Tabor Firefighters Teach Young Students Important Life Saving Skills

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Firefigher Rob explains how a mask helps firefighters to breathe clean air during a fire

April 6, 2012 -- On Wednesday afternoon, firefighters from Portland Fire & Rescue’s Station 19 (Mt.Tabor) welcomed 19 kindergarten students from Vestal Elementary School into their station for a tour and safety talk.

Firefighters Rob Root, Casey Ray, Chris Foster, and Jon Harrell walked the students around the entire station, showing where the engine and rescue are housed and where the firefighters exercise, sleep, complete paperwork and reports, and cook and eat healthy meals.

Firefighter Rob teaches kindergartens to "get low and go"

The tour then gathered in the apparatus bay of the station for a fire safety discussion.  Students were taught by Firefighter Rob how to quickly drop to the floor and crawl to safety if smoke is present.  Firefighter Casey then donned full turnouts to show students that although the firefighter may look scary in their firefighter suit, it’s important not to hide from a firefighter during an emergency situation.

Firefighter Casey shows students what gear firefighters wear to keep protected

Much to their excitement, the kinders were finally treated to a tour of the engine and rescue. Firefighter Rob explained that engines carry water, that firefighters use hoses to spray water on the fire, and showed the students the tools commonly used to fight fires.

A big thanks for visiting goes out to the kindergarten students from Vestal Elementary School!

Photos are courtesy of Firefighter Jon Harrell.

Further Information on Requesting a Station Tour

All 30 Portlandfire stations are staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Guests are welcome at our stations by appointment most days at 10:30 am or 1:30 pm.  Please use our online forms at to request a fire station tour, a visit by a fire station, or a tour of our Historic Belmont Firehouse & Safety Learning Center at SE 35th & Belmont. Activities are planned based on the age and skill level of the audience. We look forward to your visit!

Questions about tours? Contact us at (503) 823-3741.

PF&R In The News: Portland Chief, Firefighter of Year both Women

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Portland Fire & Rescue - IN THE NEWS

By: Cathy Marshall


April 6, 2012


Click on the video above for viewing

Video courtesy of

Portland Chief, Firefighter of Year both Women 

It is one of the toughest jobs around. Wearing more than 50 pounds of equipment you’re asked to haul hoses, climb ladders and fight fires at any hour of the day.

“It’s physically demanding but you just have to believe you can do it,” said Aimee Rooney, a veteran firefighter with the Portland Fire Bureau. Rooney was recently selected by her fellow firefighters as the Bureau’s Firefighter of the Year.

She’s the first woman to ever receive the honor.

“Amy is a great team player who serves the community even in her off hours,” said Erin Janssens.

Janssens who in June will become Portland’s first female fire chief says Aimee’s success is a sign of progress.

When she stared in 1988 Janssens was one of two female firefighters. Now Aimee Rooney works with 47 other women in the Portland Fire Bureau.

“At first we had to share dorm rooms and rest rooms with the men but that has all changed,” explained Rooney.

At Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue Lydia Hachmuth has seen similar changes in her 10 years as a firefighter. She’s one of 17 TVFR female firefighters.

She does get frequent reminders that there’s still a ways to go in terms of public perception.

“Do you do all the cooking? Do you do everything the guys do?”

Hachmuth is often asked by the public. She does everything the guys do including wear the same clothing.

Hachmuth says she wears protective gear made for men and doesn’t know of a company making equipment for female firefighters. “The mask is loose because it’s made for a man so it’s hard to get a tight seal on the face,” she explained as she held a helmet which has to be tightened to fit a woman.

The Portland Fire Bureau and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue are both above the national average in terms of having female firefighters.

In Portland they make up 7 percent of the force, at TVFR they make up 5 percent, compared to 3 percent nationally. Both departments would like to recruit more women. In June the Portland Fire Bureau will offer a fire camp to women ages 16 to 19.

“Everyone, no matter what their size has something to contribute. There may be a crawl space that I can fit in because someone else can’t,” said incoming Chief Janssens.

It’s that teamwork and chance to serve the community that keep Lydia and Aimee coming back to work, along with the calls they never forget.

“In my early years I was working with a crew and together we pulled a child from a burning building.

That’s something you don’t forget. It was a life changing experience,” concluded Portland’s Firefighter of the Year Aimee Rooney.