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Many stories and elements of Portland Fire History don't fit a category so they've been placed here.  They often fill the gaps between the other pages being shared.  

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Badges and Patches

Badges and Patches


Badges and patches are one of the most collectible, and recognizable elements of the fire service.  Portland Fire was no exception.  The PDF shares the story and images of Portland's badges and patches. 

2010 General Obligation Bond


2010 may not seem like history, but one day it will be.  This is the documentation behind the General Obligation Bond that overhauled fire stations, purchased apparatus, purchased a radio system, and created an emergency response center.  Most notable is that voters approved it, which speaks to the importance and popularity of Portland Fire in the eyes of voters.  

2010 General Obligation Bond

1998 Fire Bond


The 1998 Fire Bond was responsible for many significant changes to the landscape of Portland Fire.  Here is the document with progress update reports 14 years after.    

1998 Fire Bond

Portland Fire Ladders

Portland Firefighters would have a love/hate relationship with ladders.  They were great tools and well kept ladders were a source of pride.  However, wooden ladders, in particular, would require a great deal of care and maintenance.  Most wooden  ladders are gone now, but certainly not forgotten.  This story shares some memories of ladder practices of the past.    

Portland Fire Ladders

Chief Gilman Letter to New Hires

Chief Dale Gilman served as Chief from 1962 to 1968.  This was his introductory letter to new hires to prepare them for a career with Portland Fire.  It offers in-depth qualifications in the day, many of which have changed dramatically over the years.  Some parts of the document were illegible when scanned.  If the original is found, it will be updated.    

Chief Gilman Letter to new hires

A Portland Firefighter

The Portland Fire training manual back in the 1960s shared what a Portland Firefighter would face in the job.  It is listed in this document.  This is what would set the expectation for firefighters of the day. 

A Portland Firefighter

Firefighter In The City Of Portland

In 1968, James Riopelle would become Chief and provide this letter to create his expectations for firefighters in the city of Portland.   

Firefighter In City of Portland

Firefighter / Maltese / Florian Cross.  Which is Right?

The universal symbol of the fire service in Portland and across the United States is distinctive and powerful.  However, it has been called by many names.  Which one is correct?  Read this article and make your own decision.   

Firefighter Cross

The Tillerman

Portland Fire bought its first tilllered fire apparatus in 1892, although it was pulled by horses.  As motorized apparatus took over beginning in 1911, the tillered truck company would become a standard in Portland.  Even today, tillered trucks continue to ply the streets of Portland.  On March 20, 1989, Firefighter Billy Ladd lets the Oregonian Newspaper ride along and he speculates that tillered apparatus may be going by the wayside.  That hasn't happened...yet.   

The Tillerman
Station 34 - The Webfooter

Station 34 - The Webfooter Newsletter 4/2022

A Portland historian named Mark Moore publishes a newsletter called the Webfooter.  In April 2022, he featured the story of Station 34, which still exists on NE 33rd Avenue.  It has interesting details about its life during and after the fire service.    

Members in 1862

Members of Portland Fire in 1862

1862 is a long time ago.  This 1915 article from the Oregonian Newspaper shares who the key members of Portland Fire were back in those days and even includes a photo.  This article is like stepping into a time machine. 

Three Organizations Remaining

3 Organizations Remaining After The Volunteer Era

In what was arguably the early versions of a health care program for firefighters, this article tells about the Exempt Firemen's Association, The Veteran Volunteer Firemen's Association, and the Multnomah Engine Company #2 Benevolent Fund, all efforts to care for Portland Firefighters who fell on misfortune. 

Portland Fire's Work Schedules

The shift schedule worked by firefighters is unusual compared to most jobs.  Portland Fire is no different.  But the schedule has evolved considerably from what began as simple volunteering when an emergency occurred to around the clock coverage.  This article tells the story of how Portland Firefighters have managed to provide continuous protection to Portland citizens since 1853. 

Portland Fire's Work Schedules
Portland Fire' Pension Evolution

Portland Fire's Pension Evolution

The Portland community has long valued the service of Portland Firefighters and worked to provide benefits that care for them when disabled and in retirement.  But the evolution of the system used today traveled a long way to become what it is.  This article shares the story to take care of Portland Firefighters, that began in 1875.

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