Portland Fire & Rescue
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News Releases
PF&R's Trench Rescue Team training
PF&R's Trench Rescue Team training
Portland Fire & Rescue Awarded Over $2 Million in Grants from Federal Government to Assist in Prevention, Community Risk Reduction, and Emergency Response (Photo) - 10/19/20

Since September 2019, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) has been awarded $2,355,612 in federal funding in areas ranging from firefighter wellness to community risk reduction to emergency response training. In a time when the effects of the pandemic on local economies continue to be felt, the success of PF&R’s grant-writing team in securing important funds to support the bureau’s mission to protect our region is all that more important.

“As an emergency response organization, we do not have the option to fail. At a time when General Fund dollars and budgets are constrained, we are always looking at other ways to finance critical programs. In order to respond to emergencies large and small, our effectiveness depends on our PPE, our equipment, our training, and our preparation. Our long-range planning fuels our successful grant program,” says Fire Chief Sara Boone. “I want to especially thank Trisha Schultz and Michael Wong, our grant writing team that collaborated with other PF&R personnel to identify and apply for grants that work toward supporting our highest mission of protecting life, property, and the environment.”

The winning grants, funded on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), are listed below:

2019 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG):

  • $1,167,544 in funding to install Source Capture Exhaust Systems in PF&R’s 31 stations. Source Capture Exhaust Systems remove diesel exhaust from stations to reduce carcinogenic exposures to firefighters.
  • $290,530 for technical rescue training. Rescue trainings will include rope, confined space, trench, and machinery extrication for the technical rescue teams at Stations 1 and 12.

 2019 Fire Prevention & Safety (FP&S) Grant

  • $238,095 to conduct a community risk assessment and staffing study. PF&R will be contracting with a consultant over the next year to complete this study.

 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program - COVID-19 Supplemental (AFG-S)

  • $659,443 for the purchase of PPE and related supplies (including reimbursements) to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.

Total grant dollars: $2,355,612

Arrest Made in Series of Early Morning Fires In East Portland - 10/18/20

From approximately 1:40 am until 4:15 am this morning, Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a series of 10 suspicious fires in the area of SE 161th and SE Alder, SE 160th and SE Stark, and several locations in this vicinity along E Burnside St. These fires included: a car fire that spread to a carport and threatened a residence; two other building fires; an additional car fire; one fire involving a homeless camp; two dumpster fires at an apartment complex; two garbage bin fires; and a mailbox fire. There were no injuries associated with any of these fires.


Portland Police Bureau officers, who were in the area investigating these suspicious fires, extinguished two of these fires using fire extinguishers carried in their patrol vehicles and arrested a female adult suspect early this morning in the area of SE 147th and E. Burnside St. This arrest was initially made on non-arson related charges; as of 12:30 pm today, after continued investigation by PPB and PF&R’s Investigations Unit, the suspect, Sierra Nicole Murdock, has been charged with two counts of Arson I with several more charges anticipated as the investigation progresses. 


PF&R would like to thank our PPB partners for their work in both quickly effectuating this arrest and extinguishing several of these fires themselves, thus potentially saving lives and property from further fires.


PPB and PF&R’s Investigations Unit are asking any witnesses to these fires or members of the public with any information on these fires to contact them via the contact information below.


Lt. Jason Andersen, PF&R: 503-823-3787

Tip Line: 503-823-INFO


Burn Ban Lifted Oct. 8, 2020 for Multnomah County - 10/08/20

Fire Defense Board Chief Scott Lewis has lifted the outdoor burn ban in all areas of Multnomah County on Oct. 8, 2020. The burn ban has been lifted due to the cooler overnight temperatures, increase in nighttime moisture, and anticipated rainfall, which has improved the moisture content of the local ground cover.

With the recent wildfires throughout Oregon, make sure outdoor burning is conducted with safety at the forefront.

Recreational campfires and fire pits are now permitted. Yard debris and open burning is not permitted in the City of Portland.

There are air quality burn bans that can still be put in effect in the Portland area by the Multnomah County Health Department. You can check the air quality/burning status here: https://multco.us/health/staying-healthy/winter-wood-burning-restrictions.  

Remember: regardless of a burn ban status, please take care with recreational fires.

Some safety information about legal, recreational fires:

1. A recreational fire located in a pit shall be no closer than 25 feet from a structure. Fires contained in fireplace-type receptacles or chimeneas shall be no closer than 15 feet from a structure or the distance listed in the manufacture’s instruction, whichever is less. When required by the Fire Marshal, outdoor burning device stacks shall be equipped with a spark-arresting, 12-gauge wire mesh screen with openings of not less than 3/8” nor more than 1/2”.

2. A responsible person shall be in attendance at all times and have approved fire-extinguishing equipment close at hand.

3. No garbage or similar material is to be burned in these fires.

4. Observe common safety practices while enjoying the recreational fire, e.g. cease burning if the wind picks up to 15 mph or higher, be careful with the consumption of alcohol by any persons around the fire, watch small children in the vicinity, etc.

More information about outside burning: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/fire/article/405003



Additional Reward Offered To Find Arsonist Responsible For Fires At The Chabad House For Jewish Life - 10/02/20

StandWithUs, an international non-profit organization whose core mission includes combating anti-semitism,  in partnership with Mizel family foundation, has pledged an additional $5000 reward on top of award money provided by Crime Stoppers (see below). This award is offered to anyone with information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the active investigation of two fires that happened at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life on August 14 and 19 (more info below). Portland Fire & Rescue and Portland Police Bureau investigators have and will continue to actively search for the facts in this case. 

You can visit the App Store and download P3 Tips to submit secure and anonymous tips. Online at https://www.p3tips.com/823Call 503-823-HELP (4357) Crime Stoppers of Oregon is funded 100% by community donations.

For additional info regarding Stand With Us and the reward they are offering: 

Randy Kessler 

Northwest Executive Director 




**orignal press release below**


PREVIEW News Release from Crime Stoppers of Oregon
Preview posted on FlashAlert: September 30th, 2020 9:39 PM

The Portland Police Bureau and Portland Fire & Rescue, in partnership with Crime Stoppers of Oregon, is asking for the public's help in an arson investigation at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life. On Friday, August 14, at 10:28 p.m., Portland Fire & Rescue responded to the report of a fire at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life, located at 2317 Southwest Vermont Street. On Wednesday, August 19, at 2:44 a.m., Portland Fire & Rescue responded to another fire at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life. Arson Investigators are asking for the public's help with any information related to these fires or video footage of activity in the area from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., on Friday August 14; and, from 1:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday August 19. At this point in the investigation, there is no suspect information. Crime Stoppers of Oregon offers cash rewards of up to $2,500 cash for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in any unsolved felony crime and tipsters can remain anonymous. Visit the App Store and download P3 Tips to submit secure and anonymous tips. Online at https://www.p3tips.com/823Call 503-823-HELP (4357) Crime Stoppers of Oregon is funded 100% by community donations. To support Crime Stoppers with a donation, or to view other unsolved cases, please visit http://www.crimestoppersoforegon.com/ ###CSO###