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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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Fire Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty Names Ryan Gillespie Interim Chief

This morning Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty offered the post of interim fire chief to Deputy Chief Ryan Gillespie and he accepted this offer. 

Chief Gillespie will begin this post Feb. 1 after he returns from vacation. Chief Mike Myers has agreed to stay on an extra week, through the first week of February, to help Chief Gillespie with this transition.

Since Chief Myers made his announcement, Commissioner Hardesty had the opportunity to meet with many leaders from the bureau. “All of these leaders are impressive in their own way. I would have felt confident assigning any one of them the role of interim chief,” she said. “The one caveat I made to those who met with me is that the interim chief will be ineligible to be the next chief. It is my experience that allowing an interim to compete in the process provides an unfair advantage and discourages others from applying.”

Commissioner Hardesty says that Chief Gillespie impressed her with his knowledge of the bureau, his experience working in various divisions, and his support of Chief Myers’s vision. She noted that Chief Gillespie has been an early and ardent advocate on equity and can speak confidently and intelligently on the issue. Commissioner Hardesty also consulted with union leadership and they, too, support Chief Gillespie as interim chief.

Gillespie is currently assigned to Medical Services & Training Division. Projects and responsibilities in this assignment include: PF&R hiring and promotional processes, Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT), health and wellness program, EMS innovations, workplace assessment executive team, PF&R equity committee.

Chief Gillespie has been with PF&R since 1998 and has worked up the ranks from firefighter to deputy chief. He spent most of his emergency operations time as a firefighter, lieutenant, captain and battalion chief at fire stations in North and Northeast Portland. In addition, Chief Gillespie has worked at different ranks within PF&R’s training division with the responsibility of training and mentoring new PF&R recruits.

“One of my proud accomplishments has been working with Chief Myers and his team over the last 2 ½ years to evaluate PF&R’s culture, strengths, and weakness and to implement change to strengthen and improve the workplace and the services we provide to the community,” says Gillespie. “Chief Myers is leaving us with a legacy with which PF&R can continue to positively impact our community through his vision and innovation. I am excited for this opportunity to work closely with Commissioner Hardesty, the Executive Team from PF&R, and community members to continue Chief Myers’ vision until a permanent fire chief can be hired.”

Says Chief Mike Myers about Chief Gillespie: “I have long been impressed with Chief Gillespie’s intelligence, calm demeanor, passion for the fire service, and technical knowledge. He is a great leader and I think the commissioner has made an excellent choice.”


Commissioner Hardesty picks Division Chief Sara Boone as New Chief

Boone will take reigns in August

Fire Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty announced today that she has chosen Division Chief Sara Boone as the next Fire Chief for Portland Fire & Rescue. Chief Boone has been with Portland Fire & Rescue for 24 years, rising through the ranks from entry-level firefighter. Chief Boone has spent the majority of her career in emergency operations before transitioning into assignments as the Bureau’s Safety Chief, Logistics Deputy Chief, and currently, the Division Chief of Medical Services and Training. 

“Chief Boone impressed our interview panels with her commitment to community, her technical knowledge, her passion for the fire service, and her leadership style,” says Commissioner Hardesty. “Chief Boone is well-respected throughout the bureau and we have a great collaborative relationship. I know that she has the vision and experience to lead the bureau as it takes on new challenges. I am confident that she will make sure our city is safe and cared for under her watch.”

In 1995, Chief Boone became the first African-American female firefighter to enter the ranks of Portland Fire & Rescue since its inception in 1883 and will become the first African-American Fire Chief for the City of Portland. 

Chief Boone was raised in Northeast Portland and still calls the City of Portland her home. She attended Lincoln High School and excelled as an athlete, earning all-state and all-American honors in track and field. She earned an athletic scholarship to Boise State University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education. While completing her student teaching at Marshall High School, she had a chance encounter with a Fire Inspector who encouraged her to test for Portland Fire & Rescue’s first firefighter apprenticeship program.

“I am deeply honored to be the next Fire Chief of Portland Fire & Rescue, a bureau I hold in high esteem because of the men and women who serve with honor, integrity, and sacrifice.” says Chief Boone. “My mission has always been caring for the city where I was raised. I am committed to ensuring that our responsiveness and our professionalism live up to the highest ideals of service, integrity, and equity.”

When Commissioner Hardesty first took office, she planned to execute a national search for the fire bureau’s next chief. After receiving feedback from the members of the bureau and meeting department personnel, she decided to start with an internal search. “It was clear that there were many talented leaders within Portland Fire & Rescue already and I wanted to put my focus there,” she says. Commissioner Hardesty believes interim directors should not be in the running for permanent positions as it affects the candidate pool and the process. Deputy Chief Ryan Gillespie was selected as the interim chief with the understanding that he would not apply for the permanent position. “Chief Gillespie did an excellent job as interim chief. He managed the bureau during a time of extreme transition with grace and professionalism. I thank him for his leadership,” says Commissioner Hardesty.

Chiefs Boone and Gillespie will work together on a transition plan. A swearing in ceremony for Chief Boone is planned for the beginning of August.

Portland Fire & Rescue, Red Cross Teaming Up Again for Sept. 11 Memorial Blood Drive

Portland Fire & Rescue and the American Red Cross are joining together for the sixth consecutive year for a Sept. 11 Memorial Blood Drive to honor those lost during the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Portland Fire & Rescue and the American Red Cross are joining together for the sixth consecutive year for a Sept. 11 Memorial Blood Drive to honor those lost during the 2001 terrorist attacks. The annual Portland Fire & Rescue Blood Drive will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 11 from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm at Station 1, 55 SW Ash St.

The blood drive is open to the public and members of the community are encouraged to roll up a sleeve to join Portland firefighters in donating blood in honor of the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives on September 11th.

Portland Fire & Rescue kicked off the blood drive because the bureau wanted to offer an avenue of action for those marking this solemn day that has deep significance for first responders.

“For the past six years, Portland Fire & Rescue has hosted a September 11 blood drive because we wanted to offer an avenue of action for people to acknowledge this day of deep significance for first responders. On September 11th 2001, our nation’s resilience was tested,” says Fire Chief Sara Boone. “One way to honor the selfless acts of police, fire, and countless community members is to join together to strengthen our emergency resources. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood and one donation can potentially save up to three lives. Please join us at Station 1 on September 11th to roll up your sleeve to donate if you are able.”

Fire Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty encourages those who are able to sign up to donate blood.

"Our first responders train to face worst case scenarios and their bravery on September 11, 2001 cannot be overstated,” says Hardesty. “As fire commissioner, I see our first responders here in Portland always ready and responsive. We as a community we can do our part to make sure we have plenty of lifesaving blood on hand. Please sign up to give blood on September 11th at Station 1."

Donors of all blood types - especially O negative, A negative and B negative - are needed. The Red Cross encourages donors to schedule their appointments in advance, but walk-ins also are welcome.

“We appreciate Portland Fire & Rescue responding to the call to help patients in need year after year,” said Amie Rawson, director of Donor Recruitment for the Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Services Region. “The annual Sept. 11 Memorial Blood Drive offers a way for area residents to support these local heroes and help save a life by giving blood.”

What: September 11 Memorial Blood Drive
When: Wednesday, September 11, 7:30 am to 5:30 pm.
Where: Portland Fire & Rescue Station 1, 55 SW Ash Street
Sign up: and use the sponsor code PortlandFire or call 1-800-REDCROSS

September 12, 2019: Burn Ban Lifted

Fire Defense Board Chief Scott Lewis has lifted the outdoor burn ban in all areas of Multnomah County.

Multnomah County fire departments/districts lift fire ban

September 12, 2019

Fire Defense Board Chief Scott Lewis has lifted the outdoor burn ban in all areas of Multnomah County.

The burn ban is lifted due to the recent rainfall and moderate temperatures, which has improved the moisture content of the local ground cover.

Recreational campfires, fire pits and agricultural burning is now permitted on DEQ-approved burn days.

Yard debris and open burning is still not permitted; the usual start date for these is on or around Oct. 1.

Check with your local fire department/district for more information. For updated information, call the burning information line at:

  • 503-618-3083 for Gresham, Troutdale, Wood Village, Fairview, Fire District 1
  • 503-695-2225 for Corbett Fire District 14 
  • 503-621-1242 for Sauvie Island District 30
  • General Information for Portland Fire & Rescue, 503-823-3700

The 2019 Fire Prevention Month Coloring Contest Accepting Applicants

Poster Submission Deadline: Oct. 31st

A child's drawing about two ways out of any room


Welcome to PF&R’s 2019 Fire Prevention Month Poster Contest! We hope you have fun while creating art that encourages fire safety in the home, school and community.

1. Each poster should be about one of the fire safety messages listed below.

2. Posters can be on any type of paper or poster board, and size can range from 8.5”x 11” to 18”x 24.

3. Crayons, markers, pencils, etc. can be used.

4. The back of the poster must clearly include:
• Name of student
• Grade and age of student
• Name of School and program (for example, SUN at Vestal School)
• Class or Teacher’s name

5. All posters must be turned in to Portland Fire & Rescue by Oct. 31st at 5:00pm. To submit posters, either mail them in or call us and we will pick them up at your school.
* Mailing address: 55 SW Ash St. * For pick up at school – call (503)823-3550
Portland, OR 97204

6. Posters will be judged in 2 categories: Grade K-2 and grades 3-5. Winners will be announced by early December 2019.


Create a poster using an idea from one of the messages below. You don’t have to include words, but you can if you want.

1)  “Not every hero wears a cape. PLAN and PRACTICE your ESCAPE.”
• Listen for the sound of a smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds.
• Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.
• Have a meeting place. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.

2) “Every Second Counts – Plan Two Ways Out”
• Have 2 ways out.
• Get low and go! Smoke is poisonous; the clean air is down low. When you crawl or stay low, you can breathe the clean air that is below the smoke.
• In case of fire, Get out and stay out! Accidents happen when people try to go back inside a burning building.
• Have a “Safe Meeting Place” – so family and firefighters know you got out safely. It could be a nearby tree, a mailbox, a sign or fence that is a safe distance from the home, and where firefighters can see you.

3) “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom needs a working smoke alarm”
• When you are asleep, you cannot see, hear or smell fire.
• Smoke alarms let you know when there is a fire, so you can get outside and stay outside.
• Smoke alarms should be located in every bedroom, outside every bedroom, and on every level of your home.