Commissioner Randy Leonard announced the selection of Erin Janssens as Portland’s next Fire Chief. Janssens is a 24-year veteran of Portland Fire & Rescue and currently serves as the City of Portland’s Fire Marshal and Division Chief of Prevention. She will replace Fire Chief John Klum, who announced last month that he will retire in June.
"Erin’s rich experience, her outstanding political acumen, and the strength of her leadership and operational skills make her the right person to lead Portland Fire & Rescue," said Commissioner Randy Leonard, "Her career has been characterized by exceptional focus and consistent success, and I am thrilled by the opportunity to select Erin Janssens as Portland’s next Fire Chief."
Janssens brings a wealth of experience to her new role, having worked at every level of Portland Fire. A Portland-area native, Erin joined Portland Fire & Rescue as a firefighter in 1988 and was promoted through the ranks of Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief, Deputy Chief of Special Operations, and most recently Portland’s Fire Marshal.
Over the course of her career, Janssens has worked collaboratively with multiple agencies to improve PF&R’s emergency response efforts relative to lightrail, streetcar, and bicycle/pedestrian projects, green streets, and emergency response routes. She oversaw the Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) grant securing millions of dollars for regional firefighting equipment and chaired a regional group of fire chiefs to develop response strategies for human-caused and natural disasters. Erin also played an instrumental role in the transition of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) from Portland Fire & Rescue under the Office of Mayor Katz.
"Portland Fire & Rescue has an incredibly talented and highly trained group of people that I’m extremely proud of. Our job is two-fold; to create a safe environment for Portland’s citizens and protect life and property by helping people in their greatest time of need," said Janssens. "As Fire Chief, I face both challenges and opportunities. I look forward to leading Portland Fire & Rescue to a successful future."
Janssens will begin working immediately with outgoing Fire Chief John Klum to transition to her new post. Chief Janssens is expected to begin her tenure leading the 757-member bureau as Fire Chief in mid-June when Chief Klum retires.
About Portland Fire & Rescue
As the largest fire agency and emergency medical service provider in the State of Oregon, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) has 757 employees and serves a population base of 582,000 people. In 2010, PF&R responded to 68,000 emergency incidents, consistently demonstrating its commitment to be Always Ready, Always There for the citizens of Portland.