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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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NEWS RELEASE 11/1/11: Portland Fire & Rescue Responding to HazMat Incident at 6701 NE Prescott

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November 1, 2011

10:31 PM

At 8:25 pm approximately 15 people were congregating inside the Northeast Baptist Church located at 6701 NE Prescott. Because of the cold weather, the church's furnace was turned on for the first time this season. Shortly thereafter people began experiencing symptoms of nausea, dizziness, redness of the skin, and fainting. Everyone evacuated the building and called 9-1-1.

Upon arrival, Portland firefighter/paramedics began treating patients and preparing them for transport. A total of nine individuals were transported to area hospitals and two more were treated at the scene.

Upon investigation of the source of the problem, specially trained HazMat firefighters determined that exceptionally high levels of carbon monoxide were coming from the area of the church's furnace. 


"In the basement, carbon monoxide levels were at 1,400 ppm, which can be deadly after prolonged exposure," said HazMat Coordinator Grant Coffey. "Elsewhere in the church, levels were at up to 400 ppm, which can also make people extremely sick."

Because carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know that they are being exposed. It is important to have home/building heating equipment serviced regularly, particularly prior to turning it on for the upcoming cold weather season. Portland Fire also urges citizens to install a carbon monoxide alarm on each level of their home or business.

Photos by Dick Harris, Portland Fire & Rescue.

Portland Fire & Rescue

We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

November 1, 2011

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Ice and Cold Water Safety

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Each winter, people are injured from exposure in cold water incidents. Cold water is defined as any water that is cooler than normal body temperature (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Cold water drains away body heat 25 to 30 times faster than air! Cold water just has to be colder than you are to cause hypothermia. The lower the temperature of the water, the faster the onset of hypothermia can be.

Click here to learn more about preventing and helping someone with hypothermia as well as what to do if someone falls through ice.

 Portland Fire & Rescue

 We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

 November 2, 2011

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Budget Season FY 2012-13 is Underway!

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The new fiscal year is barely underway and Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) has already started gearing up for the City’s FY 2012-13 budget process by gathering together the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC).  The BAC is comprised of citizens, stakeholders, employees, labor representatives, and PF&R’s leadership team.

This committee is an integral part of PF&R’s budget process, and makes recommendations to the Commissioner-in-Charge about the budget request, provides feedback on current and future budget issues, assists in the development of strategies to make the best use of our limited resources and helps communicate the budget to City Council, the public, and other employees.

The official kick-off of PF&R’s budget process has already begun.  The next step will be to hold a BAC orientation meeting on November 10, 2011 where members can gain a better understanding of PF&R’s budget and the City’s budget process.  The next BAC meeting will be mid-December during which the BAC will discuss, develop, and rank decision packages.

PF&R anticipates this year’s budget process will again be challenging as the City of Portland continues to face financial uncertainty because of the national and local economies.

Additional information about the FY 2012-13 budget process will be posted online at

 Portland Fire & Rescue

 We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

 November 3, 2011

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PF&R Encourages Testing Smoke Alarms with Time Change

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Daylight Savings Time comes to an end this weekend; it's time to move your clocks back an hour at 2:00 am on Sunday, November 5th! 

Portland Fire & Rescue is also encouraging citizens to use the opportunity to test the smoke alarms in your home. However, many citizens have smoke alarms with 10-year batteries so the old slogan, ‘Change your clock, Change your battery' may not be correct for all households.

According to the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office, from 2005 through 2009 there was not a smoke alarm present or working in 39% of the residential fires here in Oregon. That resulted in $105 million in property loss, 283 injuries, and 46 fatalities.

Portland Fire & Rescue reminds you that working smoke alarms provide an early warning to a fire, in turn allowing you vital minutes to escape. 

Smoke alarms

increase you

and your family’s chances

of surviving a fire.

To maintain smoke alarms in your home, simply test each alarm it to be sure the battery is working, vacuuming the alarm to get rid of dust and cobwebs, and inspecting the alarm to determine if it is 10 years old or older. If so, PF&R recommends that you replace the entire alarm.  If you do need to replace your battery, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure you replace it with the correct type.

Smoke alarm laws in Oregon are different from most other states. Since 1999, law requires ionization-only smoke alarms sold in the state to have a hush feature; and if an ionization-only smoke alarm is also solely battery-operated, it must also come with a 10-year battery.

Remembers and practice these safety tips:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside each sleeping area
  • Replace smoke alarms 10 years old or older
  • Hard-wired alarms (those connected directly to home electrical systems) should have battery back-ups
  • Never disconnect or remove batteries from smoke alarms for other uses
  • Make a home escape plan and practice it

For more smoke alarm and fire safety information, contact Portland Fire & Rescue at (503) 823-3700.

 Portland Fire & Rescue

 We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

 November 4, 2011

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