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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 Teach Life-Saving Skills to Young Students at Gilbert Park Elementary


Deputy Chief Harding and Firefighter Brian ask students what to do if they find matches

Excitement was in the air yesterday in the second grade classrooms at Gilbert Park Elementary School in SE Portland. All week, the young students had been studying about firefighters, the equipment they use, and the big red fire engines and trucks that respond to emergencies all over the City of Portland. 

Firefighter Brian explains each piece of the gear Portland firefighters wear

Students were more than ready to show off what they learned during a long awaited visit from a Portland Fire & Rescue deputy chief and firefighters from Portland’s Powellhurst Fire Station 29.  

Newly appointed Fire Captain Bill explains the different types of equipment housed on Fire Engine 29

Portland Fire & Rescue's (PF&R) Deputy Chief John Harding, Station 29 Fire Captain Bill and Firefighters Ed, Marc, Rod, and Brian arrived to the school in Engine 29 just after the lunch hour.  The visit began with a question and answer session with students from Mrs. Seashore’s second grade classroom. Deputy Chief Harding and Firefighter Brian sat with students and used scenarios and real life stories to illustrate the importance of calling 9-1-1 if there’s an emergency, giving matches to trusted adults, and wearing a seatbelt while in vehicle and helmet when riding a bicycle, scooter, or skateboard.

Firefigher Ed offers students a "tour" through Engine 29

Firefighter Brian demonstrated the personal protective equipment that firefighters wear, explaining how the boots, pants, jacket, face mask, helmet, and gloves protect him from the heat. Firefighter Brian also explained that firefighters are your friends and there to help you in the event of a fire or other emergency. He encouraged students not to be frightened of firefighters, and not to hide in the event of a fire.

Firefighter Rod aids students in spraying water from a booster hose

Firefighter Marc fields questions from eager students

After the question and answer, students donned their winter jackets and were ready to head outside and take a tour of Engine 29.  However, during educational visits such as this, firefighters remain “in-service” and needed to leave to respond to an emergency call. Luckily, the firefighters were able to return shortly to the elementary school where the students waited patiently to take a tour of the engine and spray water from a booster line hose.

Deputy Chief Harding proudly displays his present from young student

As the visit neared the end, a young student shyly presented a present he had made for Chief Harding.  It was a paper bag puppet of a firefighter, with the following words neatly printed on the back:

“Thank you Chief Harding.  NO FIRE!”

Safety Message

PF&R urges parents and caregivers to install and maintain working smoke alarms, safely store lighters and matches out of children's reach and sight, and practice a fire escape plan even with small children.  Practicing these fire-safe behaviors and knowing what to do in an emergency can give your family extra seconds to escape during a fire.


More about Station 29

Portland Fire & Rescue's Station 29 is located at 13310 SE Foster Road. Station 29 serves the Powellhurst-Gilbert and Pleasant Valley Neighborhood Associations and provides response coverage to a mix of residential, education, and commercial facilities from 111th on the west, to the City of Gresham on the east, Powell Blvd. on the north, and Clackamas County line on the south. Station 29 houses Engine and Brush Unit 29, and responded to close to 2,000 emergency incidents in 2011.

  Portland Fire & Rescue

  We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

  December 9, 2011

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