Issue No. 24
January 2012
Inside PF&R's Station 5
1505 SW DeWitt St.


Station 5 is nestled in the quiet neighborhood of Hillsdale in SW Portland. Originally built in 1960, Station 5 has undergone many changes throughout its history. For many years, Station 5 housed the only truck company in SW Portland. Due to budget cuts in the 1980's, Portland Fire and Rescue began operating a quint company at Station 5. A quint is a fire engine that carries extra ladders and tools to double as a ladder truck company. Quint 5 had six firefighters assigned to each shift to help staff the engine. Today, Station 5 has an engine with one officer and three firefighters per shift.


The crews at Station 5 consist of younger firefighters with the most senior firefighter having six years of experience at the station. Calls vary from fires to emergency medical (EMS) runs, with an average of about four runs per shift. As one of only three stations covering SW Portland, Station 5 is in a great location to respond to all parts of the area.


Also located at Station 5 is C-1, a Battalion Chief responsible for commanding emergency incidents in one-fourth of the city, and Rescue 99, a special unit assigned to help Portland Police in tactical events.


One thing that sets Station 5 apart is how connected its firefighters are with their surrounding community. The firefighters state that they get requests for tours every day. With the DeWitt Family Park right next door, Station 5 has lots of kids running about to keep things active around the station.


In 2003, the station underwent a major remodel that took about a year to finish. Next time you're driving down DeWitt Street in SW Portland, stop at the park and Station 5.

Firefighters Out and About

Next time you are out and about don't be surprised if you see your local firefighters grocery shopping or performing fitness activities in public.  Since firefighters work from 8 AM to 8 AM the next day, and provide their own meals, they must purchase the necessary supplies to prepare their own food throughout their shift.  Preparing and sharing meals together is a requirement for all firefighters at PF&R.  It reinforces that firefighters are a team that must work together, which we believe helps them do their jobs more safely and effectively.


During their 24 hour shifts firefighters also do physical fitness training at the station; however they also like to explore jogging at a local track, running outdoor stairs, etc.  Firefighting is an extremely stressful and physically demanding job and therefore firefighters must continually work to stay fit.


Portland Fire crews do not have to be located at their station to be dispatched to a call.  Whenever crews are away from the station, they are always within their assigned fire management area, have a fire apparatus, a full crew, and are always in contact with the dispatch center by radio and pager.  Emergency response takes precedence over everything else a firefighter does.


So if you see a fire apparatus in a grocery store parking lot or at the local track, know that Portland Fire & Rescue is always ready to respond at a moment's notice. 

Station 7 Stays Busy


When they're not fighting fires and saving lives, PF&R's Station 7 stays busy by doing their part to help out in the surrounding community.  


In December, they participated in a food drive with the Boy Scouts of America during which they were able to collect a great deal of food. A few weeks earlier, they were involved in a fundraiser put on by the local Classic Rides car club. Not only were the firefighters able to donate funds, but they also got to participate in the actual judging of the cars. 




On an ongoing basis, Station 7 actively supports the David Douglas High School football team. Recently, they contributed to a fundraiser that the players put on and on a different occasion hosted a BBQ for the team. Whenever possible, the firefighters try to attend games and support the players. "This gives us an excellent opportunity to be positive role models for these students. I really feel that this can and will make a difference in their lives," explained the Captain, Dave Davies.  


All of this involvement contributed to the station receiving a certificate of appreciation for their contribution to the community, presented by the president of the East Portland Chamber of Commerce, Judy Leach. Way to go, Station 7! 

Multnomah County Gatekeepers


The Multnomah Count Gatekeeper Program, established in 1987, is an organized outreach effort designed to provide community services to at-risk seniors and people with disabilities living in Multnomah County. For 25 years, this program has partnered with organizations such as PGE, Human Solutions, Multnomah County Aging Services, and others to provide training and resources for community volunteers. 


These volunteers, or Gatekeepers, are nontraditional referral sources who come into contact with seniors and people with disabilities through their everyday work activities. Gatekeepers come from a variety of occupations including firefighters, police officers, meter readers, bank tellers, mail carriers, etc. Gatekeepers are trained to identify signs that would indicate a need for assistance and in turn make referrals to the Helpline for follow-up assessment and service delivery.


Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters are an integral part of the Gatekeeper Program. Their frequent interaction with the community combined with their emergency medical training provides firefighters with a heightened sense of awareness for situations where vulnerable adults may need assistance. Each PF&R station has Gatekeeper business referral cards available for firefighters to distribute to seniors and disabled people in the community who they believe may have need of this program. 

New Truck 2 Has Arrived 


On December 20th, Portland Fire & Rescue welcomed the arrival of our first straight truck, the Pierce Aero XT Cab. It is currently at Logistics being outfitted and it will be sent to the Station 2 (Training) sometime in late February or early March. Pierce will be flying in one of their trainers to assist with maintenance and operational training at the end of this month.




Some of the highlights of the truck are:

  • 105 ft. rear mount aerial ladder
  • A cab that seats 8 passengers as opposed to the normal 6 seats
  • Stability control, anti-skid technology, rollover protection and frontal impact airbags
  • Cameras on all sides for 360 degree recording which is always on
  • A pre-plumbed waterway and electronic nozzle

To save on wear and tear on the new Aero XT Cab, old Truck 2 will be used for training purposes at Station 2.

In This Issue
Firefighters Out & About
Station 7 Receives Community Award
Firefighters as Gatekeepers
New Truck 2 Arrives
Monthly Statistics
Safely Disposing of Fireplace Ashes
Flood Safety
Fire Service Appreciation Day
Emergency Response Statistics (Dec.  2011)

Total Incidents:                     4,961
Medical:                                4,005
Fire:                                         165
Other:                                      791
Major Incidents:                         14
Safely Disposing of Fireplace Ashes

Every year numerous house fires are attributed to the improper disposal of fireplace ashes.  It is important to know how to safely remove ashes from your home in order to prevent them from becoming an ignition source for other materials. 


Ashes should always be cooled before transferring them to a metal container with an appropriate lid.  Never use containers made of plastic, paper, or anything flammable to move or store ashes.


After the ashes are placed into an appropriate container they should be dowsed with water and the lid should be tightly sealed.  The container should be located outside 10 feet away from your home, deck, woodpile, etc.  It should not be placed on anything flammable or inside of your garage.  Keep in mind that hot coals insulated by ashes can stay hot for days and then reignite with an adequate air supply or simple breeze. Always use extreme caution and be sure they are completely cool before removing them from the container. 

Flood Safety


With the winter weather causing rising water levels please keep these flood safety tips in mind.


Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for flood warnings and the National Weather Service for other important weather information

*  Develop an evacuation plan to move to higher ground, and make sure everyone in your family is familiar with it  


*  Have an emergency kit in case you lose power or water.  Click here for a list of these supplies  


*  If water is approaching your home shut off gas appliances and  turn off the electric supply to the entire premises.  Do not attempt to do this if you have to stand in water or on a wet floor!


*   Never touch anything that is plugged in with wet hands or if standing in water 


*  NEVER attempt to cross any water or drive on flooded roadways. You never know exactly how deep it is or what is underneath.  It only takes 6 inches of water to knock over an adult, and 2 feet of rushing water to carry away a car including trucks and SUV's 


*  Do not go in any rooms where water is covering electrical outlets or cords that are plugged in


*  Be especially cautious at night when you have poor visibility 
*  Watch out for downed power lines 


*  Be cautious and prevent fire related hazards by: Using generators and alternative heating devices properly, watching out for any kind of leaking gas, and not using appliances that have come in contact with water.  For more flood safety tips click here. 
Fire Service Appreciation Day

In January 2009, Governor Ted Kulongoski issued a proclamation designating January 27th as Fire Service Appreciation Day here in Oregon. The proclamation recognizes all members of the Oregon fire service who keep our communities safe from fire by stopping fires before they start through prevention, suppressing fires after they start, and by investigating fires to determine their cause. The Governor encourages communities throughout the state to show their appreciation by recognizing members of their local fire departments and districts for their dedication, commitment and sacrifice. 

On January 27, 2012 the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OFSM) will host a Fire Service Appreciation Day at the OSFM headquarters. Members of the fire service and general public are invited to come and recognize members of the fire service for their work in 2012.
About Us
Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) is the largest fire agency in the State of Oregon with 755 employees and serves a population of 582,000.  In 2010, PF&R responded to 65,403 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
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