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The City of Portland, Oregon

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Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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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

1 Comment


Jen Clodius

September 14, 2009 at 4:59 PM

The commissioner emailed, "I appreciate you posting my old post on Chief Brink. That brought back a lot of good memories."

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