Issue No. 3 April 2010
Division Spotlight - Emergency Operations
 
(PF&R Battalion Chief and Firefighter communicate during an  emergency response)
 
From the desk of Division Chief John Nohr...
 

Emergency response is Portland Fire & Rescue's (PF&R) most critical service to the community. It is the primary means by which PF&R saves lives and property for the citizens who live, work, and visit here.

 

Emergency Operations is the largest division at PF&R with 681 sworn-personnel.  The Division operates under the direction of the Division Chief, three deputy chiefs, 13 battalion chiefs, captains, and lieutenants assigned to each station. The Division is deployed through 30 fire stations strategically located throughout the city, 30 fire engine companies, nine ladder truck companies, one heavy rescue company, two fireboats, one Hazmat unit, five command staff (4 battalion chiefs and 1 deputy chief), two paramedic rescues, two heavy squads dedicated to Chemical/Biological, Radiological/Nuclear/Explosive (CBRNE) response, and various support and auxiliary equipment (e.g. brush units, air and rehab units, water rescue craft (wave runners), ATVs, water tender, foam unit, etc.).

 

Emergency response is the most recognized service that is provided by members of PF&R's Emergency Operations Division. PF&R responds to all fire, rescue, and medical aid calls for service in the City of Portland.  But what do PF&R firefighters do behind the scenes?  What is life like in the stations?   Read on to find out what a typical day in the life of a Portland Firefighter is like...

Inside PF&R's Station 28  

 (Station 28's B-shift crew - from right Capt. Jones, Firefighter Hinckle, Firefighter Lloyd, and Firefighter Owens)

I approached Station 28 on a rainy, windy spring day prepared with standard questions and seeking answers for this article.  From the minute I walked up, the questions flew out the window.  As Engine 28 pulled out of the apparatus bay, I climbed in.  It was there that I met the B-shift crew - Captain Jones, Firefighter Hinkle, Firefighter Lloyd, and Firefighter Owens and my "interview" began.  We rolled down NE Sandy Blvd. to a motor vehicle accident, where the crew efficiently and compassionately assisted an accident victim.

 

Back at the station, I walked into the kitchen and inhaled the most heavenly scent.  For those of you who have never been in a fire station, it always smells like home and I was secretly thrilled to have been invited during lunchtime.  Firefighter Hinkle went back to work preparing the best chicken salad sandwiches I've ever had.  At Portland Fire & Rescue, crews are required to shop, cook, and eat their meals together.  This builds relationships and camaraderie that is essential to the crew's ability to work together as a team to protect life and property.

 

Located at 5540 NE Sandy Blvd., Station 28 serves the Beaumont-Wilshire, Rose City Park, Roseway, and Cully neighborhoods.  Station 28's crews (A, B and C-shift) include one company officer and three firefighters.  During each shift, one of these personnel fills the role of paramedic, while the other three provide assistance as EMT-Basics.  Read on as firefighters extricate a victim from under a MAX train and talk about working with youth through the Explorers Program...
Station 18 Hits Home Run with Little League Coaching Staff 

 (Firefighters De Ruyter and Gershom teach first aid)
On March 17th, 30 members of the SW Portland Little League Association coaching staff gathered at Portland Fire & Rescue's Station 18 to learn more about basic first aid.  Firefighter Justin De Ruyter and Firefighter/Paramedic Roi Gershom provided helpful information about common musculo/skeletal baseball injuries, hydration guidelines, signs of heat exhaustion, signs of concussions, and common allergens that can cause a serious reaction (e.g. bee stings, insect bites).  Coaches also learned what player information to have readily available for responders during an emergency and how to triage an injury, determining whether or not to treat on the spot with a physician follow up or contact 911 for emergency response. Read more about Station 18's partnership with Little League...
Firefighters Use Google Earth for Pre-fire Drawings 
 
(Pre-fire drawings can be accessed en-route to an incident)
In April, PF&R implemented a new format for its pre-fire drawings.  Google Earth building images will now be used in place of hand-drawn Visio drawings.  The intent is to use this readily available technology to enhance and streamline the pre-fire process, especially as it relates to new pre-fires.  This format also provides for much more consistency with our pre-fire diagrams.      
 
Pre-fires can be seen by emergency responders on their Mobile Data Computers (MDCs) in the apparatus en-route to an incident.  The image presented by Google Earth is an aerial view of a building(s), and includes roof features, streets, access and other easily identifiable landmarks.  This allows responders to access information about buildings they are going to before they get there. Read on to find out why pre-fires play an important role in protecting firefighters and the public...
In This Issue
Inside Station 28
Station 18 Hits Home Run with Safety for Little League
Google Earth Used for Pre-Fire Drawings
PF&R Monthly Statistics
New Carbon Monoxide Alarm Rules
Safety Saturday at Belmont
PF&R Receives $17,000 in Grants
Most Common Accidental Fire Causes
Strategic Planning Update
Station 1 Design Award
Fire Camp Applications Now Being Accepted
About PF&R
Emergency Response Statistics (March 2010)
Total Incidents:                              6,684
Medical:                                        5,311
Fire:                                                 264
Other:                                            1,109
Major Incidents:                                 23
New Carbon Monoxide Alarm Rules Take Effect July 1, 2010

The 2009 Oregon Legislature passed HB 3450, the Lofgren and Zander Memorial Act, requiring the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in specific residential applications with a carbon monoxide source. These rules take effect on July 1, 2010. 

Find out more about how this bill will impact you and save lives... 

Safety Saturday at Belmont
On Saturday, May 8th, pack up the kids and visit the Historic Belmont Firehouse Safety Learning and Fire Museum located at 900 SE 35th Avenue (at Belmont). Open from 10:00am - 3:00pm and housed in an original firehouse, the museum  offers displays and stories of the history of firefighting in Portland and fun interactive hands-on exhibits such as an 1860 house cart, 9-1-1 call simulator, the fire pole, and a realistic emergency response on the "Fire Engine Experience" simulator.  We hope to see you there!
PF&R Receives $17,000 in Life Saving Grants
On April 7th & 8th, Portland Fire & Rescue received $17,000 in grants from Wells Fargo Insurance Services, Firemans Fund Insurance, and Liberty Mutual Insurance.  How will these grants be used to save lives?
Most Common Accidental Fire Causes in Portland

In 2009, Portland Fire & Rescue responded to 1,663 that were determined by PF&R investigators to be accidental.  This month kicks off an E-newsletter series highlighting the most common accidental fire causes in Portland.  Grease, oven, and microwave fires in the kitchen are a common cause of residential fires.

Find out about simple precautions you can take to prevent kitchen fires...

Strategic Planning Update
Portland Fire and Rescue (PF&R) continues to make progress on its 2010-2015 Strategic Planning Development project.  Tasks completed in February and March include an Environmental Scan, internal and external Focus Groups, internal and external surveys, and a SWOC (strength, weaknesses, opportunities, challenges) Analysis.   The Strategic Planning Steering Committee will receive reports on the completed tasks at its April 21st meeting. You are welcome to follow the Strategic Planning Development process and activities on PF&R's Strategic Planning web page
Station 1 Design Award
Degenkolb Engineers were honored at the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Engineering Excellence dinner for their design of the seismic upgrade of Portland Fire & Rescue's Station 1.  In attendance to help accept the award was PF&R Deputy Chief Glen Eisner, PSE Architect Kent Yu-Degenkolb, and President of the ACEC Oregon Hans Ettlin. More about the Station 1 Remodel and Award...
Applications for Fire Camp 2010 Now Being Accepted

Are you a young woman between the age of 16 and 19? Are you interested in gaining confidence and leadership skills?  Would you like to learn what firefighting is all about?

 

Portland Fire & Rescue, in partnership with other metro-area fire agencies, is offering a 3-day fire training camp specifically for young women ages 16 to 19.  
Check out the Fire Camp website for more details...
About Us
Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) is the largest fire agency and emergency medical service provider in the State of Oregon with 755 employees and serves a population of 582,000.  In 2009, PF&R responded to 69,000 emergency incidents, consistently demonstrating its commitment to be Always Ready, Always There for the citizens of Portland.
 
Portland Fire & Rescue
55 SW Ash
Portland, Oregon 97204
503-823-3700
 
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