Firefighters from all over the City of Portland have had the opportunity to practice a variety of drills over the past week on a city block of four different buildings donated graciously to Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) from Portland State University (PSU). The existing buildings include two different three-story apartment buildings, the Portland Bartending Academy, and an existing PSU classroom building. These buildings are located on SW College Street between 5th and 6th in downtown Portland, Oregon and are scheduled to be torn down at the beginning of next month to make room for a new 16 story high-rise with student housing, classrooms, and street level retail spaces.
Before being demolished, firefighters had the opportunity to use these buildings for several different types of training drills. The drills allowed firefighters to fine tune their skills in the area of search and rescue, roof ventilation, and forcible entry.
“We don’t get the opportunity very often to tear apart buildings so when we do we take advantage of it,” says Mark, one of PF&R's Battalion Chiefs.
The different construction of the donated buildings also helped firefighters prepare for different situations and practice various scenarios. For example, one of the apartment buildings is very similar to a residential building, while the classroom building is more similar to a commercial building. Having the ability to train with these buildings allows PF&R to become aware of building procedures and methods for fighting a fire quickly and efficiently.
Portland State and Walsh Construction were instrumental in providing access to these buildings. “Portland Fire and PSU have had a long history of working together” says Captain Joe of Station Four located on the Portland State Campus. “Some past services provided to PSU include detailed pre-fire planning of all buildings on the campus, fire safety training for student housing Resident Assistants, and frequent consulting around the campus fire lanes and buildings.”
This access proved to be beneficial to the training and preparation of firefighters across the city. PF&R would like to thank PSU and Walsh Construction for their generous access to these buildings.
Additional photos of this training have been posted on PF&R's Facebook page.
Fire Blog post and photos courtesy of
PF&R Summer Intern Jessica Budge.
Great job Jessica!
Portland Fire & Rescue We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
June 22, 2010