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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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NEWS RELEASE 07/23/12: Investigators Seeking the Public's Help on Fire Investigation

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July 23, 2012

12:09 PM

Portland Fire & Rescue and Portland Police Arson Investigators are seeking the public's help in identifying three persons-of-interest in a fire investigation at the Hotel Vintage Plaza in Downtown Portland.

Two small fires were set in the employee area of the Hotel Vintage Plaza/Pazzo Ristorante, located at 422 Southwest Broadway, on July 9, 2012, at 6:26 p.m. There were no injuries as a result of the fires and they were extinguished by employees.

The persons-of-interest in the video were in the area of the fires just prior to and after the fires were set. All three persons eventually joined up with a female seated outside of Pazzo Ristorante. These persons-of-interest may have information regarding the fire.

The three are described as:

#1: African American male, approximately 13 to 15 years of age, glasses, tan pants, wearing a plaid shirt.

#2: African American male, approximately 9 to 11 years of age, black t-shirt with "Just Do It" logo, multi-colored shorts and a pick or comb in his hair.

#3: African American female, approximately 9 to 11 years of age, pink pants and shirt or jumpsuit, hair in a braid.

Surveillance video is available for viewing at:

Anyone who has information on the identity of these people is asked to contact Det. Joe Luiz at (503) 823-3408 or

The Diver - Lieutenant Rich Tyler (from Portland Monthly Magazine)

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Featured in Portland Monthly Magazine, August 2012

By Jill Davis


Photo credit:  William Anthony


WITH ITS 12-FOOT ROLLING GLASS doors opening onto Gov.Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Fire Station 1 commands an enviable view of the Willamette River—so it makes sense that this is also the home of Portland Fire and Rescue’s Dive Team. A 12-year veteran of the team and one of its master-level divers, Lt. Rich Tyler is one of very few people to have experienced the murky netherworld that lies below the Willamette’s surface. Tyler’s job is to rescue and recover people from Portland’s waterways—and yes, it’s just as dangerous as it sounds.

• • • • • • • • • •

I LEARNED TO DIVE IN THE COLD, dark waters of the Puget Sound. But what we do is not about pleasure diving. The Willamette River is dangerous. It’s full of debris. And you’re not looking for fish. You’re looking for people.

MANY OF THE SITUATIONS we respond to are cries for help, when someone feels like they have reached their limit in life. The bridge jumpers.

TEN FEET FROM THE SURFACE of the river, you’re at zero visibility. You enter that state of hyperawareness. You can’t see anything. You can hear your breathing. You have no other sense other than what you can feel through thick gloves.

THE FIRST TIME I RAN INTO A GROCERY CART, I didn’t know it was there until I was inside of it. I swam in head first. The current was forcing me, pushing me into the cart, and the wire mesh was holding me inside.

I BUMPED INTO A STURGEON ONCE. It kind of freaked me out, because it felt hard and scaly like a dinosaur. At first I thought it was a log. The guy was probably as big as I was. He got out of the way in his own sweet time. It’s his bottom of the river, not mine.

THERE ARE PARTS OF THE WILLAMETTE where the silt layer is endless. You put your arm into it or your leg into it or you try sitting in it, and it just feels soft and spongy—it’s so light you never hit bottom, you don’t feel a solid bottom. When you start searching for a person, sometimes you are just swimming in silt.

OUR SUITS ARE DRY SUITS. Water doesn’t touch our bodies, which means we aren’t being exposed to contaminants. But dry suits aren’t armor. Eddies swirl around big objects and can pull you into them. You don’t want to get impaled on a piece of rebar. You don’t want to bang your head on a piece of rock.

ONE RECOVERY CAUSED ME a little more thought process than normal. When I first got onto the dive team, we spent about a week looking for a duffel bag full of a teenage girl’s body parts in the Kelley Point slough. When you spend a week looking for something and you aren’t able to find it—it was difficult to walk away. Later, they found the duffel bag all the way out on Long Beach.

THERE ARE SOME DIVERS who go into that zero-visibility, highly technical environment and decide it isn’t for them and turn their gear in. We’ve had searches underneath barges, so you can’t just go to the surface and get fresh air. You have pilings, where you have to weave with a line—and then unweave the correct way in reverse to get yourself out. It can be overwhelming … overwhelming is definitely the appropriate word.

Firehouse Recipe of the Week: Spicy Peanut Chicken

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Courtesy of Firefighter AJ Schaffer - Station 25 (Woodstock)

- 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (boiled and shredded)
- 1 bundle of cilantro (chopped)
- 1 bundle of green onion (chopped)
- 6 Tbsp peanut butter
- 5 Tbsp white distilled vinegar
- 8 Tbsp olive oil
- 8 Tbsp soy sauce
- 8 Tbsp white sugar
- 2 Tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 Tsp cayenne pepper

Just boil the chicken, shred it, and combine with the other ingredients.  Serve over your favorite kind of rice and enjoy!

Station 27 to Partner with Local and State Agencies to Display Safer Living in the Wildland/Urban Interface

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Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) is working to expand upon a FEMA grant that Portland Parks and Recreation received in 2006 to begin a fuel reduction project at Station 27 (Skyline). 

The goal of the funding is to reduce the hazardous wildfire fuels and construct a demonstrative landscape display that educates nearby homeowners about the techniques of fire safe landscaping.  Station 27’s location in the Wildland/Urban Interface (WUI) of Forest Park provides an excellent setting to exhibit the balance of hazardous fuel reduction while conforming to the environmental overlay zone requirements.  These zoning requirements protect natural resources and native plant communities.  This demonstration project was identified as a high-priority in the recently adopted Multnomah County Community Wildfire Protection Plan

For the next two days, a six-member crew from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will be removing vegetation on the fire station property located at 3130 NW Skyline Blvd.  The ODF personnel have been instructed to cut, trim, and remove the dead and dying vegetation, as well as non-native and invasive species which may contribute to potential ground and tree-top fire spread.  Wildfires are much more manageable to suppress when contained to ground vegetation. 

Large trees near the fire station will be limbed and pruned up to eight feet from ground level to reduce the potential of ground fires extending into the heavy fuels of the large trees.  Once a wildfire has progressed into the upper sections of these large trees it is classified as a “crown fire.”  These fast moving fires are extremely difficult to extinguish allowing the fire to quickly travel from treetop to treetop or crown-to-crown of large non-deciduous trees.  Burning embers can travel great distances in wind driven conditions potentially igniting multiple structures.

Once completed, this project will provide the public an informative exhibit that will showcase Fire Wise best practices utilizing fire resistive plants, ground cover, hardscapes, and building construction

Additional information on how to keep your home safe in the Wildland Urban/Interface can be found at

Station 13 Firefighters Lend Their Support for the "Click for Babies" Campaign to Raise Awareness of the Period of Purple Crying

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Firefighters from Portland Fire Station 13 (Lloyd Center) were on hand at the Randall Children's Hospital at Emanual on Thursday, July 26th to suppport the “Click for Babies: Period of Purple Crying” campaign by donating purple yarn for baby caps that will be knit between now and October and then given to parents of newborns.

The effort is to educate parents about the difficult stage that every baby goes through called “purple crying”. Doctors refer to purple crying as the time when a baby is unable to be soothed, and almost constantly cries. This stage—which usually happens from the time a baby is a few weeks old up until they are three months old—is when parents are most apt to have a momentary loss of control due to their frustration and possibly put their child at harm.

All community members who enjoy knitting are being called on to knit purple baby hats between now and October. Legacy Emanuel hopes that these hats will serve as a constant reminder to parents that infant crying is normal, it is important to ask for help from a loved one, friend, etc. when you are frustrated by your baby's constant crying, and it is never okay to shake or harm a child. 

If you are a knitter or know someone who is and would like to participate please follow these guidelines:

  • Caps should be made using clean and new yarn
  • Other colors can be incorporated, but cap should be more than 50% purple
  • Yarn and threads labeled “Baby Friendly” should be used
  • Infant heads come in a variety of sizes: caps should fit a circumference of between 11-13.5” and a height of 3.5-6”
  • Very securely attach any flowers, stems, leaves to the caps
  • Refrain from including “pom-poms” or any type of strap, they are a potential choking hazard
  • For patterns and more information please go to

 Send your PURPLE newborn baby caps no later than October 1, 2012 to:

Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel

c/o Thonna Vela, Mgr Volunteer Services Suite LL-B856

2801 N Grantenbein Avenue

Portland,OR 97227