Issue No. 38                                                                               March 2015 

Station 21 Celebrates Its Grand Opening



Back in 2009, then Commissioner Randy Leonard made the determination that in order to respond effectively to increasing water emergencies in the core area of Portland, we needed to re-open Station 21 as a land-marine based fire & rescue station.


He then worked to pull together a General Obligation Bond that the voters passed in 2010 to fund the construction of a station primed to tackle this century's hazards. And it comes at just the right time: the waterfront areas of our city are experiencing increasing development: areas that were once barren or solely industrial are becoming whole new neighborhoods. Our rivers are also now clean and are host to more recreation than ever. And with all this activity comes more people who need protection and response from Portland Fire & Rescue. In the past five years, water related incidents have increased 51 percent.



On March 6th, Station 21 celebrated its Grand Opening with cake, tours, and remarks by Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Fire Chief Erin Janssens, and former Commissioner Randy Leonard. Station 21 is staffed with a crew of four firefighters and it's equipped with a fire engine to address land emergencies in the area neighborhoods. This station has a small vehicle we call 'the mule' that allows us to respond quickly to medical emergencies along the esplanade, and then transport people on a backboard to an ambulance. In addition to being structural firefighting and rescue experts, the firefighters at Station 21 also respond to water rescues using our rescue boat housed in the boathouse below, accessed from the dock. In another couple of months, we'll welcome our new fire boats that were also funded through the 2010 GO Bond. Our new boats can travel at an amazing 43 knots: (that's almost 50 miles per hour). They can also pump over 8,000 gallons of water per minute: that's more than five fire engines combined can supply.


Station 21's not only highly effective, it's also highly efficient. It was designed to serve the city well today, and will for decades into our future.


This wasn't an easy project: the footprint's relatively small and it sits on a flood plain. In order to provide both rapid land and marine access, the banks needed to be stabilized, and as an essential emergency facility, everything needed to meet strict seismic standards. In the event of an earthquake, you can be assured firefighters at Station 21 will continue to function on land or water, to whatever the emergency may be.


The building is designed with sustainability in mind and includes many green features, such as stormwater planters, green power, and water efficiency. The architects, contractor and City staff who worked so hard on the project were acknowledged.



From the Hawthorne bridge, or while viewing from the west side of the river, you can see the artwork on the building's fašade. The work is called "The Rippling Wall" and it was created by artist David Franklin. "The Rippling Wall" is inspired by two elements: the beauty of the Willamette river's surface when the rains we're known for pour, and ancient regional petroglyphs. Water means much to us. It sustains us and gives us life. For firefighters, it helps us snuff out fires, but it also presents a hazard from which people must be saved.


There have been many who have come before us who have watched over this waterway. The Willamette River is to be respected and guarded. From its banks, Station 21 stands ready to protect life, property, and the environment.




Poisoning is now the leading cause of death from injuries in the United States, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. In its recent report, the CDC noted that in 2008 the number of poisoning deaths exceeded the number of motor vehicle traffic deaths for the first time since at least 1980.


A poison is any substance that can harm someone if it is used in the wrong way, by the wrong person or in the wrong amount.


Check out these tips brought to you by members of the National Poison Prevention Week Council.


Carbon Monoxide Safety:

Protect Your Home From This Invisible Poison


Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas that can make a person feel sick and can be deadly. Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, bright red skin, mental confusion, loss of muscular coordination and loss of consciousness. In the home, heating and cooking devices that burn fuel can be sources of carbon monoxide.


CO Alarms

  • CO alarms should be installed outside each sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. It is best to use interconnected alarms. When one sounds, all CO alarms in the home sounds.

  • Follow the instructions on the package to properly install the CO alarm.

  • Test CO alarms at least once a month.

  • Replace CO alarms according to the instructions on the package.

  • Know the sounds the CO alarm makes. It will sound if CO is detected. It will make a different sound if the battery is low or if it is time to get a new CO alarm.

  • If the battery is low, replace it.

  • If the CO alarm sounds, you must get fresh air. Move outdoors, by an open window or near an open door. Make sure everyone in the home gets to fresh air. If anyone is experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning, call 9-1-1 from a fresh air location. Stay there until help arrives. If no one has symptoms, ventilate the building and call a qualified service technician.

 Prevent CO Poisoning

  • When warming a vehicle, move it out of the garage. Do not run a fueled engine indoors, even if the garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not blocked. Clear snow away.

  • During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.

  • Clear all debris from dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace vents.

  • A generator should be used outdoors. Use in a well-ventilated location away from windows, doors, and vent openings.

  • Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO. Only use them outside.

  • Have heating equipment and chimneys inspected by a professional every year before cold weather sets in.

  • Open the damper when using a fireplace for adequate ventilation.

  • Never use your oven or stove to heat your home.

(Source: NFPA)



PF&R in the News

Feb 10: Crews dodge drug needles at NE Portland motel fire


Feb. 11: Suspicious powder sent to Moda Health deemed not a threat


Feb 21: Portland fire crews rescue person pinned underneath car


Feb. 22: Unattended candle starts SE Portland apartment fire


Feb. 27: Evacuation order lifted after NW Portland gas leak


Feb 28: Weird behavior: Naked man jumps over seawall railing next to Portland's Saturday Market  


March 1: Fire crews pull dead body from Willamette River


March 4: Portland Firefighters Seek Training On Oil Train Fires And Transportation Accidents


March 6: Portland fire crews rescue woman from bottom of embankment in Powell Butte Nature Park 


March 8: Firefighters rescue pet in N. Portland fire 


About Us
Portland's fire service history began in the spring of 1851, with the founding of the Pioneer Engine Company, the same year the City of Portland was officially incorporated. No more than a bucket brigade, it was a volunteer force of 37 fire fighters wearing red shirts with a single hand pump.
Today, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) is the largest fire and emergency services provider in the State of Oregon with 725 employees and serves a population of 610,000. In 2013, PF&R responded to 70,386 emergency incidents.
Portland Fire & Rescue
55 SW Ash St
Portland, Oregon 97204
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