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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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Always Ready, Always There

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September 14, 2009


Photo Courtesy of The Oregonian

Welcome to the Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Fire Blog! My name is John Klum and I am one of the 750 proud members of PF&R.  Thank you for visiting our newest site. 

With support and direction from Commissioner Randy Leonard, PF&R has developed the Fire Blog primarily to communicate new ideas and news, provide an informal channel of communication, and get instant feedback from both internal PF&R members and the communities we serve.

We also hope to:

Emphasize PF&R’s Purpose

We want to communicate to the citizens of Portland what we stand for, what we're trying to accomplish, and what’s important to us as a bureau.

Develop Relationships 

We will provide information, resources, and tips to readers both inside and outside of PF&R.  We will ask for your feedback and what sort of things you would find valuable from the Fire Blog.

The blog will be used as a workspace to keep each other updated and maintain open dialogue. 

The Fire Blog will be a continual work in progress.  So, if you have a comment or suggestion, we always welcome your feedback.  Thanks again for visiting and supporting Portland Fire & Rescue.  Tell a friend.  And we hope you enjoy the site as much as we have enjoyed creating it.

John Klum, Fire Chief

October 19, 2009

Fond Memories of Chief Mel Brink - By Commissioner Randy Leonard

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Original Post on BlueOregon Guest Column


"It was quite a photo as I look at it today. I was 25 years old, tall and skinny with hair in places on my head long ago exposed bare by times relentless march. It was my photo ID as a new Portland Firefighter. Taken the day I was sworn in on January 25, 1978. 


But before I could be sworn in, I had to be interviewed by Assistant Chief Mel Brink. He was the second in command of the Portland Fire Bureau. As I arrived at the 55 SW Ash main headquarters one week before I was to be appointed a brand new Portland firefighter, I felt my stomach in my throat. My hands were sweaty and my field of vision was narrow. I had passed the written, the physical and now, for the final test, I was going to be “eye balled” by Chief Brink."  Click here for the rest of the column.


To learn more about Commissioner Leonard, visit his official City of Portland website at


October 19, 2009

Firefighters Extend a Helping Hand to Planet Earth

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When gas prices and utility costs were skyrocketing in 2007/2008, Captain Kevin Shanders and Principal Management Analyst Jay Guo, put their heads together and came up with a plan for reducing Portland Fire & Rescue's (PF&R) mounting utility costs.

The plan was innovative then, but became even more important once the recession materialized.  In February 2009, Captain Shanders and Jay Guo received approval to pilot their brainchild – the "Station Based Utility Budgeting and Incentive Program." Under the program, PF&R set a goal of reducing utility consumption and expenditures by 10% from the prior fiscal year.

All 30 station captains were enlisted to manage utility spending within targeted amounts for their station.

The results of the six-month long pilot are in! Stations 2/Training, 11, 13, 20, 25 and 29 had the biggest percentage savings saved a combined total of $8,994.  Congratulations to the winners and thanks to every station for making a great effort to reduce utility spending.

Station 11    

5707 SE 92nd Avenue Portland, Oregon 97266



Station 13

926 NE Weidler Street Portland, Oregon 97232



Station 2/Training & Safety

4800 NE 122nd Avenue Portland, Oregon 97230


How did they do it? Here’s just a few of the actions that Firefighters took to reduce PF&R’s utility costs and give planet earth a little CPR.


  • Installing motion-sensing light controllers in appropriate rooms
  • Increasing native plants and irrigating lawns for longer periods less frequently
  • Identifying inefficient appliances for replacement
  • Not allowing water hoses to flow unless in use
  • Turning off computers not being actively used
  • Checking washing machine settings to reduce hot water demands...and more!


Station 20

2235 SE Bybee

Portland, Oregon 97202


Station 25

5211 SE Mall Street

Portland, Oregon 97206



Station 29

13310 SE Foster Road

Portland, Oregon 97236


To find more information on the 30 PF&R Fire Stations located through the City of Portland, click here.

October 19, 2009

Portland Fire's New Arson Detection Dog Receives Special Donation from USI Northwest & Fireman's Fund Insurance

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On October 14, 2009, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) received a generous donation from Fireman's Fund Insurance and USI Northwest in the amount of $10,536 that will help fund training and living expenses for PF&R's new arson dog, Lila the Labrador.  Lila recently joined PF&R through a partnership with the Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and now works as a partner to an arson investigator.  Lila has already had an extremely high percentage of alerts come back as confirmed positive by the State Forensics Lab, and has responded to scenes where destructive devices were used on residences and motor vehicles, fire-related suicides, fatal fires, and intentional fires with the use of accelerants and initiators.  As part of the ATF's national response team, Lila and her handler, Lieutenant Jackson, can also be deployed to major events anywhere in the country. 

Those in attendance at Wednesday's donation acceptance ceremony couldn't help but smile as they watched Lila silently and methodically work the room, showing off her accelerant detection skills.  We want to extend a special thank you to Fireman's Fund Insurance and USI Northwest for their ongoing support of PF&R, the greater Portland community, and Lila the Labrador.  (Shhh - I hope Lieutenant Jackson didn't see me slip her those extra biscuits!)




October 19, 2009

Portland State University's Department of Architecture to Unveil Firefighter Memorial Design Competition Submissions

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On October 19, 2009, Portland Fire & Rescue, the Campbell Board of Trustees, and Portland State University’s Department of Architecture will host a Wine & Cheese Reception from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Shattuck Hall, Second Floor, located at SW Broadway and Hall Streets. At the event, submissions for the Campbell Memorial Design Competition will be unveiled.  The public is invited to view the designs and vote for their favorites.

Located at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge, the Campbell Memorial will be constructed once fundraising is complete as a lasting tribute to honor Portland firefighters’ bravery and sacrifice in the line of duty. Since 1881, 36 Portland firefighters have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Portland State University’s Department of Architecture alumni have been working steadily to develop designs for the memorial. After the reception, a jury panel including City of Portland Commissioners Randy Leonard and Nick Fish, Sho Dozono, Jeff Schnabel, Paul Corah, Worth Caldwell, and other arts and culture panelists will select the top three designs, which will be on display to the public in the City Hall Atrium from October 26, 2009 through October 30, 2009.

The memorial is named after David Campbell, who served as Portland’s Fire Chief for two terms between 1889 and 1911. On June 26, 1911, Chief Campbell gave his life in service to his beloved city while fighting one of Portland’s largest fires of the time. One of the first to respond, Chief Campbell was last seen silhouetted against the flames holding his arms up to brace himself against the falling roof of the Union Oil Company. He was found dead several hours later in a front-line firefighter’s turnout coat he had borrowed from one of his men; you could still read “F.D.” or "Fire Department" on one of the buttons.

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

Jeff Schnabel

Committee Member and PSU Architecture Professor



For more information about the Campbell Memorial Project, please visit

October 19, 2009