55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204
If you asked fire service leaders 200 years ago what their greatest challenges were, they would have told the story of fire. Every large urban city in America faced the danger of large conflagrations that uncontrollably burned to the ground large swaths of commercial and residential neighborhoods. These tragic fires negatively impacted commerce and made refugees of entire communities. Today, these large urban fire no longer occur. The fire service, along with city planners, policy makers, building designers, and manufactures all worked together to solve the great fire problem of our past.
However, our cities are still on fire. Not by the combustion of buildings, rather we face a threat equal to, or greater than this. Our "fire" today is specifically public health. It is intertwined through poverty, blight, drug addiction, mental health, and homelessness. This is the great challenge of the modern fire service today and just as in the past, the solution will involve many key partners.
How does a modern metropolitan city maintain its vibrancy and assure the health and welfare for its residents? How do we eliminate fire deaths, pedestrian deaths and reduce violent crime? It is the goal of Portland Fire & Rescue to positively impact all of these societal issues through micro-planning efforts aligned with each neighborhood fire house.
Our micro-planning efforts are captured through a project called Blueprint for Success. This document will help a fire house understand the societal impacts within their Fire Management Area (FMA) and is the basis for the development of a Blueprint for Success. This is just the beginning, and we realize the magnitude of the issues we face. Together, with our partners in other City of Portland bureaus, Multnomah County Public Health, private non-profits, and our internal team, we believe we can better meet the challenges of our great city.
Mike Myers, Chief
Portland Fire & Rescue