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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 Reminds You To Stay Safe During Hot Weather

Keep your cool when the temperature rises

Weather forecasters are predicting temperatures nearing 100 degrees this weekend. When the mercury rises, so do assorted risk factors that can put you or your family in danger. Dial 2-1-1 or go to to find out if cooling centers are open and where the nearest one is located.

PF&R asks that you take some time to make sure you stay safe when it comes to window falls, heat-related illnesses, grilling, and water play during the hot weather season.


Dehydration occurs when water intake is less than water loss and symptoms range from mild to life-threatening. The young and the elderly are especially susceptible to dehydration.

*Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.
*Don't drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar--these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
*Call 211 to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
*NEVER leave people, children or pets in a parked vehicle. Even with a window cracked, pets and children can suffer heatstroke and die in a short period of time.

Find out more:


Window falls account for about eight deaths and 3,300 injuries among children 5 and younger each year. Here are some tips to avoid a tragic incident:

*An open window may pose a hazard to an unsupervised child. If you need ventilation, open windows that children can't reach.
*Don't rely on insect screens to prevent a fall. Insect screens are designed to provide ventilation while keeping insects out; they will not prevent a child's fall from a window.
*Keep furniture such as beds -- or anything children can climb -- away from windows. Children may use such objects as a climbing aid.
*Consider installing window guards that have easy release mechanisms that they do not impede emergency escape and rescue.

Find out more:


Firing up the grill in the summer is a national pastime. But every time you play with fire, you need to be careful.

* Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
* The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
* Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
* When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Find out more:


Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death, yet the number of deaths by drowning could be reduced drastically if everyone would wear a personal flotation device. Our local swimming holes are often made up of water bodies fed by snow melt that makes them extremely dangerous.

Here are just a few tips to stay safe:
* Personal flotation devices should be worn at all times while on the water.
* State boating regulations require all boats to carry at least one U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device for every person on board. All children age 12 and under must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times while on boats, this includes sailboats, canoes, kayaks and rafts.
* Be careful jumping out of boats without knowing what is in the water, like rocks, current and the temperature of the water.
* If swimming in a lake, pond, or river, wade into the water feet first, never jump or dive.

Find out more:

Fire Commissioner Dan Saltzman selects Mike Myers as Portland’s next Fire Chief

The new chief starts June 30.

Commissioner Dan Saltzman announced Monday the selection of Mike Myers as Portland’s next Fire Chief. “Mike is an innovative, community-minded leader with a strong vision for the Bureau, and brings the right combination of leadership and experience for Portland Fire and Rescue,” Saltzman stated. Chief Myers retired as the Fire Chief of the City of Las Vegas in 2013 after a 26-year career with the Department. Upon retirement he spent time traveling with his wife before returning to work as Fire Chief for the City of St. Charles, Missouri.

Chief Erin Janssens announced her retirement earlier this year. Commissioner Saltzman conducted a national search for her replacement. “Portland Fire has a highly talented team of command staff who create a strong foundation for the organization, and I am especially appreciative of Chief Ken Burns who has done an outstanding job leading the Bureau as we selected a new Chief,” stated Saltzman. Interim Chief Ken Burns, along with other command staff will assist Chief Myers with his onboarding and transition.

“Chief Myers has the right skill-set to approach the complex challenges our Fire & Rescue Bureau is facing with rapid growth and changing demands and, specifically, would be able to bring a cutting-edge approach to the Emergency Medical Services side of the Bureau,” said Saltzman.

“­­­­­­­­­­­­Portland Fire & Rescue is one of the most respected departments in the country and it is an absolute honor to have the opportunity to lead the fine men and women of this organization. My wife Tara and I find Portland to be completely aligned with our lifestyle. We look forward to interacting with and serving our new community,” Chief Mike Myers stated.

Chief Myers is expected to begin his new post on June 30th.


PF&R Unveils New ‘Watch Your Butt’ Campaign Against Careless Smoking/Cigarette Litter

On March 30, 2016, Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman and Portland Fire & Rescue Chief Erin Janssens released the bureau’s new aggressive prevention campaign: Watch Your Butt. Though the campaign’s tagline is playful, the topic it covers is not: careless smoking and cigarette litter are the number one cause of fires and fire deaths in Portland.

In the city of Portland, we had 3,117 confirmed fires and over 1,400 of them were smoking related. In 2015, Portland had 11 fatalities from fire: the highest number of deaths in 18 years. Of the 11 deaths, five were from either careless smoking, or improperly disposed of smoking material. The goal with PF&R’s new program is to prevent tragedies like these from occurring in the future. 

PF&R hopes Watch Your Butt attracts the public’s attention and makes smokers take a second to consider what can happen if they aren’t careful and don’t dispose of their cigarettes properly.

 To get the message out, PF&R had drink coasters made up for bars to use and posters were made to share with any business that sells cigarettes or sees cigarette litter as a problem.

Beginning May 2nd, we’re taking this message to billboards and bus tails across the city. Community members can download their own poster, learn more about the dangers, and find out more about this issue at

PF&R keeps a close focus on prevention: by doing inspections, plan reviews, and educational outreach, the bureau works hard to make sure bad things don’t happen in the first place. Fire Chief Erin Janssens believes prevention is one of the main functions of a successful fire department.

“This focus, for me, comes from years of responding to fires throughout my career and seeing the devastation that occurs when people lose a family member, their pets, their homes, an irreplaceable photo or other mementos that can’t be replaced. All are all life-shattering,” Janssens says. “Once you experience a fire, you’re never the same. We want to keep our city and our community safe. With your help -- together -- we can make a difference.”

Portland Fire & Rescue Receives $95,239 Grant to Purchase and Install Specialized Smoke Alarms for City’s Deaf & Hard of Hearing Residents

The program is ready to accept applicants to receive these life-saving devices

Portland Fire & Rescue has been awarded a $95,239 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for an outreach campaign to increase home safety for Portland’s deaf and hard of hearing community. PF&R will contribute an additional $4,761, making the total project amount $100,000. Applications are now being accepted.

PF&R’s education and outreach campaign using this grant emphasizes the importance of proper installation and use of special smoke alarms for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Those who wear hearing aids or cochlear implants that they remove when sleeping also require these specialized alarms in their homes. These alarms utilize bed shakers and strobe lights to warn those who can’t hear audible alarms that there is either fire or carbon monoxide danger. This type of alarm has proven to be effective because of its close proximity to sleeping residents. Thanks to this grant, PF&R will be able to install these life-saving alarms free of charge in qualifying homes in the City of Portland.

This program is purely voluntary and is offered to people with qualified disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act, specifically those who are deaf or hard of hearing. This program is only for persons living in the City of Portland. There are a limited number of these specialized smoke alarms available and they will be provided on a first come, first served basis given in order to those qualified individuals who submit an application with all appropriate paperwork.

“I’m very happy both that technology exists to provide a reliable method of alerting people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and that Portland Fire & Rescue will be able to assist them,” said Portland Fire & Rescue Chief Erin Janssens. “This is another great step towards ensuring all residents in Portland can increase their chances of escaping a fire in their home by having working smoke alarms.” 

PF&R has partnered with local deaf organizations and is being advised by a committee of members from the deaf community on how to best build a successful program. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 29,000 people with hearing loss reside in Multnomah County, the majority of whom live in the City of Portland. “The Oregon Association of the Deaf is pleased to support Portland Fire & Rescue in implementing this grant,” says OAD President Chad A. Ludwig. “This program will support the deaf community in staying safe in their homes and help educate those who can’t hear audible alarms why it’s so important to have one installed in their home. This grant is important and indispensable.”

Interested people who are deaf and hard of hearing can find out more and apply here right now: Those with questions can contact grant administrators at or call 503-823-3752 with questions.

As part of the bureau’s Community Risk Reduction program, deaf and hard of hearing residents will also be able to request free fire & life safety home inspections when firefighters install their alarms. “Thanks to this grant, we will be able to provide crucial safety equipment to otherwise vulnerable Portlanders,” says Portland Fire & Rescue Commissioner Dan Saltzman. “Equity means ensuring equal access to city services and this program will help us achieve those goals.”


PF&R Introduces New Arson Dog Zeus

PF&R's arson dog Lila retired in November and the bureau has a new top dog to welcome into its ranks

In November, Portland Fire & Rescue’s arson dog Lila retired after seven years of stellar service. Immediately following her retirement party, her handler Lt. Fabian Jackson left to go to the Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosive (ATF&E) Accelerant Canine Detection Team (ACDT) training center to start working with her replacement. At a press conference today, PF&R Chief Erin Janssens and Lt. Jackson introduced Zeus, PF&R’s newest top dog, to the media.

Zeus is assigned to Lt. Jackson, who also functions as an ATF Taskforce Agent. The duo returned to PF&R in December after training.

An arson dog can be conditioned to detect and alert hydrocarbons found in petroleum-based fuel in exchange for a reward in food.  Like Lila, Zeus won’t eat out of a bowl until he retires.

Experienced canines are capable of detecting accelerants such as gasoline, diesel, kerosene, paint thinner, and charcoal fluid and can alert as well on over 20 different hydrocarbons.

After his training was complete, Zeus was certified by a chemist as being able to tell the difference between varieties of hydrocarbon scents in small quantities necessary to start a fire. This certification is crucial when evidence is uncovered by canines and their handlers, as they become a key point in criminal and civil trials.

Zeus will assist Lt. Jackson with fire scene investigations, especially in determining the origin and cause of a fire. All alerts by Zeus are verified by the Oregon State Crime Lab. To keep their skills sharp, the team trains at random intervals 2-3 times per day. PF&R’s Accelerant Canine Detection Team not only responds to incidents within the City of Portland, they are also members of the national response team and can be called to anywhere within the U.S.

Accelerant detection canines usually work a minimum of five years and no more than nine years of age. Zeus is co-owned by PF&R and the ATF through a mutual agreement until he retires, at which time he will be signed over to Lt. Jackson. Lila now resides with Lt. Jackson as a family pet, as Zeus will after his retirement.