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The City of Portland, Oregon

Fire & Rescue

Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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An Open Message from Chief Boone to Portland Fire & Rescue Crews and Public Safety Teams

Fire Chief Sara Boone speaking at podiumLast night, the City of Portland saw unrest unlike any I have experienced in my lifetime in this city. Portland Fire & Rescue was put to the test in a night full of emergency calls. I want to personally thank every member of Portland Fire & Rescue, including the Rapid Response Team, for their dedication, compassion, professionalism, and courage on every call. I am humbled by your continuous commitment to all communities that make up Portland and I feel these words fall short of how proud I am of the firefighters who braved the frontlines last night. 

When I became Chief of Portland Fire & Rescue, I made a promise to your loved ones that I would do everything within my power to ensure your safe return to the station and then back to the place you call home. But, I cannot fulfill that promise alone. Your dedication, your training, and your ability to make critical decisions brought you home safely to your loved ones by this morning. 

Last night, this city’s public safety teams worked together to back each other up and support the security of our community.From the 9-1-1 dispatchers at the Bureau of Emergency Communication who managed high-call volumes with technical expertise to the Portland Police Bureau teams that ensured our safety as we fought fires and attended to medical emergencies, I offer my heartfelt gratitude.

When I was sworn in less than a year ago, I could have never predicted what lay before us all in 2020. Although I couldn’t see what challenges we had before us, I had unwavering faith in the skill and commitment of the public safety professionals I have worked with side-by-side for my entire career.

I saw the best of our public safety professionals last night and I could not be prouder to put on my uniform again today. Thank you all for your exceptional service to the community.

Chief Sara Boone 

Portland Fire & Rescue’s Meds on Wheels Program Goes Live

This innovative assistance program will help some of our most vulnerable community members during a time of crisis.

picture of pill bottle and words Referral line number: (971) 288-7687

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R), in partnership with Multnomah County Aging, Disability and Veterans Services is going live with an innovative assistance program to help some of our most vulnerable community members during a time of crisis.

Portland Fire & Rescue’s Meds on Wheels outreach program is designed to offer community members within the City of Portland a prescription pick-up and delivery service of vital, life sustaining medications. The program is specifically geared toward community members 65 and older and those individuals with disabilities who desperately need life sustaining medications from a pharmacy but leaving their home poses a substantial risk to their health and the health of the community.

Portland Fire & Rescue’s Meds on Wheels program will be available to Portlanders during the time period of Governor Brown’s Stay Home, Save Lives executive order.

Details of the program:

  • Portland Fire & Rescue will deploy the Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT) for this initiative. The team will pick up and deliver medications using proper PPE and social distancing. The team will also engage and encourage this population who may be lonely, fearful and isolated. The team will also deliver a community resource flyer that lists places the community member could call for help with basic needs during this citywide state of emergency.

  • Referral line number: (971) 288-7687

  • Hours of operation- 9am-3pm, Monday - Friday.

 Program Criteria:

  • Vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19.

  • 65 years of age and have a life threatening pre-existing medical condition.

  • Disabled community member unable to leave house.

  • Community members with no other means of obtaining prescriptions. (If family members can pick-up and drop off prescription, please use available resources.)

  • Critical, chronic health-related prescription medication only.

  • Referral line number: (971) 288-7687

Regional Health Officials and First Responders Launched a Covid-19 “Symptom Checker” Tool

People can pull info up on their laptop or smartphone for advice on COVID-19

Regional health officials and first responders launched a simple “symptom checker” tool people can pull up on their laptop or smartphone for advice on COVID-19. The (link is external) application, customized for use in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties, helps people determine if their illness is serious enough to require immediate emergency care.

c19 tool to check for symptoms of COVID-19

“This puts a valuable tool in the hand of anyone with a phone... to make informed decisions about their health,’’ said Multnomah County Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines.

The tool offers an online checklist to help people decide if their symptoms and underlying health conditions are serious enough that they should go to the hospital, visit their provider at a clinic, or can recover at home.

The application is available in 15 languages.

Developers from Vital Software in Atlanta worked with Emory University School of Medicine (link is external)and the Emory Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (link is external) to create the free (link is external) site last month. 

Long-time collaborators Lt. Rich Chatman of Portland Fire & Rescue and Multnomah County Emergency Medical Services director Dr. Jon Jui learned of the tool and advocated for support and funding for local developers to hone a custom version for the tri-county area.

By providing their zip code, users can see the nearest hospitals with space available. It also alerts people to the steps they can take depending on their risk level, from calling a physician, to an advice nurse to 211 for other support. 

“If people need medical help and their local hospital is experiencing a surge, the tool will send them to another facility where they can get treated quickly,’’ said Lt. Chatman. “The goal is to have C19oregon direct the right resources to the right place at the right time to help the people in greatest need.”

Dr. Ritu Sahni, EMS Medical Director for Clackamas and Washington Counties, said, "Additionally, the tool may give us insight into which portions of our community may see a rise in infections before it becomes visible to the health care system." 

“It’s a resource that can match patients’ complaints and decreases stress on the entire system,’’ said Dr. Jui.

Dr. Jennifer Vines said that the statewide effort to stay home and use social distancing has made her cautiously optimistic that our collective action is making a difference in slowing the spread.

“We need people to keep doing what they’re doing because it’s protecting one another, and keeping our healthcare system in a good place.’’

Dr. Vines also reminded people that if they do not have a provider, or lack insurance, there are community health centers that are taking new patients and can help people stay healthy. A list of those centers is being added to the tool to further support health.

A Message to FMO Customers

With mounting concerns of COVID-19/Coronavirus in our community, we want to communicate our efforts to minimize the potential for exposure at the Fire Marshal’s Office. We are now following this protocol to help our customers stay safe and healthy:

  • Hand sanitizer is available in the Permit Center lobby.
  • Staff have been instructed to wash and sanitize their hands as thoroughly and as often as possible.
  • Staff are encouraged to stay home if they are feeling sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.


We are also counting on you, our Permit Center customers, to help us keep our facility a safe and healthy environment for everyone. We request that you:


  • Interact with us remotely, rather than in person, whenever possible. For example, if you have questions about a property or project, we encourage you to call 503-823-3712 or email us  We will respond to all voicemails and emails within 24 hours.
  • If you need to submit a permit in person, please leave your plans on the counter and we will contact you via phone for a credit card payment.  Check payments are also accepted.
  • Stay home if you are feeling sick or experiencing symptoms.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water (or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer).
  • Maintain a reasonable "social distance", when possible (6 feet).
  • Cover up any sneezing or coughing using a tissue, or your sleeve. If you're sneezing or coughing, we request that you stay home until you are well.


As of now, we are maintaining our in-person services in the Fire Marshal’s Office. We are closely coordinating with other City bureaus, the Mayor's office and other local agencies and health authorities as well as preparing our own Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) should this situation worsen. The COOP plans to addresses how the Fire Marshal’s Office staff can continue serving our customers should schools be closed and staff are instructed to telework, etc. Should our processes change, more information will be provided. You can always check our homepage.

Thank you and be well.