On October 28th, the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation conducted its final winter preparedness training exercise for field employees and incident managers. Maintenance Operations employees and equipment were mobilized and participated in a “dry run” event to ensure that winter snow and ice plans are understood and complete.
Why prepare early? Winter weather and road conditions in the Portland area can change quickly and without warning, making travel unpredictable.
The exercise consisted of about 50 trucks being fitted with chains, plows, and sanders. Trucks were inspected, and equipment was then removed in order for trucks to travel service routes identified in winter snow and ice plans.
According to the Bureau of Transportation, during extreme winter weather the City’s plows and sanders focus on bridges, overpasses, and streets that generally follow TriMet’s major bus routes, support MAX light rail and Streetcar, and connect Police and Fire stations, hospitals, and major districts in the city.
Just as the Bureau of Transportation is readying their equipment, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) is preparing fire apparatus, equipment, and stations for cold weather operations in anticipation of heavy snowfalls this winter.
Station captains are verifying the condition and fit of tire chains for all apparatus in their respective station. Repair and replacement equipment is being inventoried, so firefighters can repair broken cables and chains in the field or replace with spares if necessary. Firefighters are also monitoring their apparatus’ antifreeze quantity and foam tanks if applicable.
Engine 15 (stationed at 1920 SW Spring, Portland, Oregon)
outfitted with chains and studded tires during Arctic Blast 2008
In late November, PF&R’s Auto Shop will begin to install studded tires on all front-line fire apparatus in order to improve tire-road friction in snow or ice conditions.
Stay tuned for additional information and photos detailing how PF&R is preparing our firefighters, equipment, and apparatus in advance to safely respond to emergencies during severe conditions during the upcoming winter months.
Portland Fire & Rescue
We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
October 29, 2010