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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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Firefighters Move Up the Ladder

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Eligible firefighters at Portland Fire & Rescue participated in the Fire Lieutenant Promotional Exam yesterday in hopes to further advance their careers.

Fire lieutenants at PF&R are first inline of supervising firefighters in a fire station. Under the direction of fire captains, they are responsible for drilling and instructing firefighters in fire fighting, fire prevention, rescue techniques, and conducting hydrant and building inspections in their stations Fire Management Area (FMA). At the scene of an emergency, a fire lieutenant is responsible for the effective performance of the entire operation until relief of command by a superior officer.

The Fire Lieutenant Promotional process consists of a video-based written exam and an assessment center designed to measure candidates’ knowledge, skills, and abilities as a Fire Lieutenant.  Candidates who successfully pass both the written and assessment center will be placed on a ranked eligibility list for future employment consideration.


The rank structure at PF&R is as follows (in ascending order): Firefighter, Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief, Deputy Chief, Division Chief, and Fire Chief. Promotions to all ranks below Battalion Chief are decided strictly by scores on written exams and assessment centers. Promotions above the rank of Battalion Chief are determined by Fire Chief. 

Below is a brief description of PF&R’s rank structure responsibilities.  The rank structure denotes the hierarchy of PF&R’s operational management.


Fire captains are responsible for a single company, or one fire apparatus such as a truck or engine and its crew, but also is the ranking officer at a station that may have several companies. Under the direction of a battalion chief, fire captains work alongside and supervise one or more lieutenants at the station. The captains are often the initial command at emergencies and can be called upon to fill in for the battalion chief during his or her absence.  Click here to read the City of Portland Fire & Rescue’s Fire Lieutenant job description.


Under the direction of a deputy fire chief, a battalion chief has command responsibility for all fire, rescue and emergency medical service activities within one of the four battalions or specified geographic region within the City of Portland. Click here to read the City of Portland Fire & Rescue’s Battalion Chief job description.



Deputy fire chiefs supervise and coordinate the activities of the four fire battalions in the delivery of fire suppression, rescue, hazardous materials, and emergency medical services operations. Click here to read the City of Portland Fire & Rescue’s Deputy Fire Chief job description.


Under the general direction of the Fire Chief, division fire chiefs performs responsible administrative work in planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and evaluating the activities the four major divisions of PF&R.  The division fire chiefs also commands department operations at major emergencies and acts as Fire Chief as assigned. Click here to read the City of Portland Fire & Rescue’s Division Fire Chief job description.


The Fire Chief is the chief administrative and operations officer of Portland Fire & Rescue. The Fire Chief plans, organizes, and directs the activities of the bureau that provides a full range of fire services in the City of Portland. Click here to read the City of Portland Fire & Rescue’s Fire Chief job description.

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April 28, 2010

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May 27, 2021 at 9:50 AM

Here is an outline of the firefighter ranks in order:

Probationary firefighter.
Driver engineer.
Battalion chief.
Assistant chief.
Fire chief.

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Spam Prevention In the Pacific Northwest, what state is Portland in?