Chapter 3.22 Portland Fire & Rescue

City Code Chapter

(Amended by Ordinance 180917, effective May 26, 2007.)

3.22.010 General Organization.

(Amended by Ordinances 136677, 149110, 150993, 158149, 160883 and 182105, effective September 12, 2008.) 

  1. Portland Fire & Rescue shall consist of the Chief Engineer (generally referred to as the Chief of the Bureau) and such other employees as the Council may provide.  The mission of Portland Fire & Rescue shall be to safely protect life, property, and the environment by providing excellence in emergency services, training and prevention.  Portland Fire & Rescue shall be comprised of the following divisions:
  2. A.  The Emergency Operations Division, which shall be responsible for the saving of life and property from fire or other disaster, emergency medical services, hazardous materials incidents, conducting a fire loss control program, training  and other miscellaneous public services;
  3. B.  The Fire Prevention Division, which shall be responsible for fire prevention inspections and Code enforcement (Title 31), fire and life safety plans review, fire and arson investigation, enforcement of harbor regulations (Title 19), and conducting an educational fire prevention program;
  4. C.  The Management Services Division, which shall be responsible for budget and finance, long range capital planning and program development, special projects, manual and automated management information systems, planning and administrative support services, and supplying logistical support which shall include facility and vehicle maintenance, operational supplies and services;
  5. D.  The Training and Safety Division, which shall be responsible for initial training of all newly hired firefighters, on-going training to maintain and improve the skills of all personnel, safety and risk management programs, accident and injury investigation and analysis, researching and developing new technologies and practices, and promoting training and educational opportunities for career development of all Bureau personnel.

3.22.020 Organized by Council - Subject to Civil Service.

(Amended by Ordinance 160883, effective June 9, 1988.) 

  1. Portland Fire & Rescue of the City shall be organized by the Council and the members appointed as provided by the Charter, subject to the Civil Service rules of the Charter, and thereafter, subject to the restrictions contained in the Charter.  All the powers of the City connected with and incident to the appointment, discipline, and government of its Portland Fire & Rescue shall be vested in the Commissioner In Charge of Portland Fire & Rescue.

3.22.030 Council Powers.

(Amended by Ordinance 160883, effective June 9, 1988.) 

  1. The Council shall have the power and it is hereby made its duty to organize, govern, and conduct a Portland Fire & Rescue for effective service within the City, and to that end may authorize the appointment of a Chief Engineer (Fire Chief) and as many other officers and employees as in its opinion are necessary.  It shall have the power to make, or power to delegate authority to the Commissioner In Charge of Portland Fire & Rescue to make, all necessary or convenient rules and regulations for the organization and conduct of the Bureau, for receiving and hearing complaints against any members, and for the removal or suspension of any member of the Bureau.  The Civil Service rules prescribed in the Charter shall apply to every officer and member of the Bureau and shall govern the actions of the Council in its organization and government of the Bureau.

3.22.040 Care of Property by Council.

(Amended by Ordinance 160883, effective June 9, 1988.) 

  1. The Council shall have the custody and management of all the public property, including the fire alarm telegraph, pertaining to Portland Fire & Rescue.  It shall have power and authority, subject to the limitations and appropriations made and expenditures authorized by the Council, to purchase and acquire all necessary apparatus, including fireboats, engines, hose, hose carriages, and all other personal property which the exigencies of an efficient Portland Fire & Rescue may require.  It shall have power and authority to sell and dispose at public sale under the provisions of the Charter relating to sales of public property of any portion of said personal property whenever the same is not required, or when it may be considered by the Council unfit for service in the Bureau.  The proceeds of any such sale shall be paid by the purchaser to the Treasurer of the City, who shall issue a proper receipt therefor, and all such monies shall be credited to the General Fund of the City.

3.22.050 Duties of Chief Engineer.

(Amended by Ordinance 160883, effective June 9, 1988.) 

  1. The Chief Engineer (Fire Chief) shall diligently observe the condition of the apparatus and property and workings of the Bureau and make an annual report in writing to the Commissioner In Charge of Portland Fire & Rescue.  The Chief Engineer (Fire Chief) shall also make recommendations from time to time with regard to the needs of the Bureau as he may deem proper.

3.22.060 Destroying Buildings to Check Fire.

  1. The Chief Engineer, or, in his absence, any Assistant Chief Engineer, may during a conflagration, cause to be cut down, or otherwise removed, any buildings or structures for the purpose of checking the progress of such conflagration.

3.22.070 Appointment of Temporary Employees.

  1. The Council, in case of any general conflagration or great emergency, may appoint such temporary employees as it may deem necessary and to whom Civil Service rules shall not apply.

3.22.080 Assignments of Disabled Members.

  1. Members and officers of a higher grade who have done faithful service and have been disabled so as to unfit them for serving in the position occupied when so disabled may be assigned to other duties suitable to their physical abilities and shall always have preference in such assignments.

3.22.090 Rules and Regulations and Administrative Orders.

(Amended by Ordinance 160883, effective June 9, 1988.) 

  1. The rules and regulations of Portland Fire & Rescue shall be promulgated by the Chief Engineer, subject to approval by the Commissioner In Charge of the Bureau, and the Chief Engineer shall have authority to issue general and special orders which shall be administrative in nature and shall be in addition to or supplemental to the rules and regulations as promulgated by the Chief Engineer and approved by the Commissioner In Charge.  The rules and regulations and the general or special orders shall govern the conduct of the members of Portland Fire & Rescue and shall be designed for the efficient and effective functioning of the Bureau.

3.22.100 Uniforms.

(Amended by Ordinance 160883, effective June 9, 1988.) 

  1. The following rules shall apply to uniforms for employees appointed to Portland Fire & Rescue who are members of the Fire and Police Disability and Retirement System:
  2. A.  The Chief of the Bureau shall, subject to the approval of the Commissioner In Charge, prescribe specifications for fire uniforms and establish rules, regulations and conditions of wearing thereof.
  3. B.  Upon report of the Commissioner In Charge of Portland Fire & Rescue, the Council shall designate which items of the uniform specified by the Chief of the Bureau under subdivision A above shall be furnished by the City to those employees required to wear the prescribed uniform in performance of their normal and usual fire duties.  Each new employee shall be furnished a complete set of designated items of uniform.  All other employees shall be furnished designated items of uniform on the basis of replacement when needed as determined by the Fire Chief.  Items furnished by the City shall remain property of the City.  The Fire Chief shall establish the rules, regulations and conditions for issuance and control thereof;
  4. C.   The Chief of the Bureau shall have the authority to designate duty assignments which require dress other than the prescribed uniform.  For such designated duty, no items of uniform shall be furnished, and those employees affected shall receive an annual cash clothing allowance in lieu of the items of uniform furnished by the City.  Clothing allowances shall be paid in accordance with Section 5.08.070.

3.22.110 Fire Prevention and Suppression Contracts.

(Amended by Ordinances 132356, 160840, and 160883, effective June 9, 1988.) 

  1. The Commissioner In Charge of Portland Fire & Rescue and the City Auditor hereby are authorized to enter into contracts under the provisions of the State Rural Fire Protection District Act.  Contracts authorized by this Section are subject to the following conditions:
  2. A.  The City shall provide both fire prevention and fire suppression services and will not provide fire suppression services only.
  3. B.  Payment for services by individuals and private organizations, having no tax levying authority under State law, shall be in advance, excepting those contracts in excess of $25,000, which may be paid on a quarterly basis in advance.  The Auditor shall execute such contracts only upon receipt of such payment;
  4. C.  Contracts with political subdivisions of the State shall be entered into only upon certification to the Auditor by the governing body of such political subdivision that there will be assessed upon the taxpayers of such political subdivision an amount not less than:
    1. 1.  The contract price.
    2. 2.  Unpaid balances, if any, owing the City on previous fire prevention and suppression contracts.
    3. 3.  An estimated amount sufficient to compensate for the delinquencies, based upon previous experience.
  5. The Auditor shall execute such contracts only upon receipt of such certification, unless specially authorized by ordinance.  Payment upon such contracts shall be due in equal semi‑annual installments on or before January 1 and June 1 of the year in which the contract is in effect;
  6. D.   As used in this Section:
    1. 1.   “Effective year” means the fiscal year in which the contract is operative,
    2. 2.  “Previous year” means the fiscal year first preceding the effective year.
    3. 3.  “Property owner’s assessed value” means the assessed value in the previous year of land, improvements and personal property of the individual, organization or political subdivision contracting for City fire prevention and suppression, provided, however, that for political subdivisions, the City Auditor shall decrease such assessed value to adjust for changes in boundaries which become effective during the previous year as the result of annexations to the City.  If property or a portion thereof, which is included in the determination of property owner’s assessed valuation, be outside Multnomah County, the assessed value shall be adjusted so as to bear the same ratio to true cash value as the ratio of assessed value to true cash value in Multnomah County, as determined by the State Tax Commission.
    4. 4.  “Assessed value of City property” means the assessed value, in the previous year, of land, improvements and personal property in the City.  The assessed value of those portions of the City lying outside Multnomah County shall be adjusted so as to bear the same ratio to true cash value as the ratio of assessed value to true cash value in Multnomah County, as determined by the State Tax Commission.
    5. 5.   “Cost to City taxpayers” means the sum, to the nearest dollar, of:
      1. a.  Portland Fire & Rescue General Fund budget of the previous year,
      2. b.  A portion of the budget for Fire and Police Disability and Retirement Fund based upon the ratio of the number of firemen to the number of policemen employed on January 1 of the previous year, and;
      3. c.  Ten percent of the total of a. and b. to allow for payroll taxes and other expenditures outside the Portland Fire & Rescue General Fund budget;
  7. E.  The charge for City fire suppression and fire prevention services by contract authorized under this Section shall be computed by the following formula:
  8. (Cost To City Taxpayers)
  9. Multiplied by
  10. (Property Owner’s Assessed Value)
  11. Divided by
  12. (Assessed Value of City Property)
  13. F.  Each application for a fire suppression and/or fire prevention contract under this Section, and for renewal of a previous contract under this Section, shall be forwarded to the Chief of Portland Fire & Rescue.  The Chief shall attach thereto his report upon the accessibility, water supply, distance from the City fire equipment, and other conditions pertaining to the area to be protected.  The Chief shall then submit the application to the Commissioner In Charge of Portland Fire & Rescue for approval or disapproval before a contract is entered into.

3.22.120 Renewal Notices.

(Amended by Ordinance 132356, effective April 1, 1971.)

  1. On or near February 15 of each year the Auditor shall mail to each individual, organization and political subdivision then under contract with the City for fire suppression and/or fire prevention, letter stating the dollar amount the City will charge for renewal of the contract in the next succeeding fiscal year. This amount will be computed by the formula in Section 3.22.110. The letter, if directed to a political subdivision contracting under Section 3.22.110 B, will also state the amount owed the City and then in arrears, if any, under preceding contracts or the contract then in effect. Such letter shall not operate as a waiver or estoppel of the right of the City to refuse renewal of any contract under Section 3.22.110 B because of delinquencies or other good cause.

3.22.140 Mutual Assistance Agreements.

(Amended by Ordinance 160883, effective June 9, 1988.) 

  1. The Mayor and the Commissioner In Charge of Portland Fire & Rescue may enter in agreements with agencies of the federal government and with political subdivisions of a state in which each party agrees to provide mutual assistance, in the form of men and equipment, in combating large fires within the boundaries of the other party or parties to such agreements.

3.22.150 Use of Fire Boats for Pumping Water Out of Boats and Barges.

(Amended by Ordinance 160883, effective June 9, 1988.) 

  1. Upon the approval of the Chief of Portland Fire & Rescue and of the Commissioner In Charge, the fire boats of Portland Fire & Rescue may be used for the purpose of pumping out water from boats and barges which ply the Willamette or Columbia rivers.

3.22.160 Fees for Pumping Water from Imperiled Vessels.

(Amended by Ordinance 160883, effective June 9, 1988.) 

  1. The fees for the emergency pumping services permitted by Section 3.22.150 shall be $200 per hour.  The owner, owner’s agent, or master of the vessel requesting the nonfire emergency pumping service shall be advised that the pumping fee shall be $200 per hour before a fire boat is dispatched to the emergency location.  The fire boat officer, on arrival, shall obtain written agreement from the owner, owner’s agent or master of the vessel in peril to pay the City $200 per hour for salvage pumping before beginning operations.  When the service of the fire boat is completed, the Chief of
  2. Portland Fire & Rescue shall certify to the Commissioner In Charge the exact time employed by the fire boat, and the Commissioner shall thereupon make a final charge for such service and require payment of such charge by the applicant.  In the event salvage efforts fail, and if so recommended by the Chief Engineer (Fire Chief), the Commissioner In Charge of Portland Fire & Rescue may reduce or omit the pumping fee.

3.22.180 Forested and Wildland Interface Areas Fire Protection Plan.

  1. A.  General Provisions.
    1. 1.  Title.  This plan shall be known as the Forested and Wildland Interface Areas Protection Plan of the City.
    2. 2.  Scope.  This plan is primarily designed for the detection and suppression of forest and brush fires in forested, rural and urban areas of the City, and in all areas with which the City has contracted to furnish fire protection.  Additionally, the fire suppression provisions of this plan may be activated when a fire outside the City becomes a threat to areas within.
    3. 3.  Purpose.  The purpose of this plan is to establish operational responsibilities of departments and bureaus of the Portland municipal government and supporting agencies within the scope of this plan.
    4. 4.  Participation required.  Participation is required of the Bureaus of Parks, Portland Fire & Rescue, Police, Waterworks, General Services and Maintenance Operations.
    5. 5.  Participation voluntary.  Voluntary participation by nongovernmental agencies, having emergency capabilities in areas of disaster relief, is authorized and encouraged; provided, however, that each voluntary agency shall submit an operational program to this plan as hereinafter provided.
  2. B.  Plan Coordination.
    1. 1.  Coordinator.  The Chief of Portland Fire & Rescue is known as the coordinator of this plan.  He shall see that the operational programs of departments, bureaus and supporting agencies are submitted and made a part of this plan and kept current from year to year.
    2. 2.  Operational Programs.  The head of each participating bureau, office and/or agency shall submit an operation program to the Coordinator and keep him/her informed of changes at all times.  Such operational programs shall be a part of this plan.  They shall include the names and telephone numbers of key alerting personnel, a listing of other personnel by number and job classification, and a listing of all mobile and special equipment.  Additionally, operational programs of Portland Fire & Rescue and the Bureau of Parks shall contain descriptive details of routine maintenance and regulatory responsibilities.  The operational programs shall be respectively identified as follows:
    3. PROGRAM I:  Bureau of Parks
    4. PROGRAM II:  Portland Fire & Rescue
    5. PROGRAM III:  Bureau of Police
    6. PROGRAM IV:  Portland Water Bureau
    7. PROGRAM V:  General Services
    8. PROGRAM VIII:  Maintenance Operations
    9. PROGRAM IX:  Reserved for Nongovernmental
    10. PROGRAM X:  Reserved for Nongovernmental
  3. C.  Command Responsibility for Fire Fighting.
    1. 1.  In all forested and rural areas lying within the City, and in all areas for which the City has a contract to furnish fire protection, overall command of fire fighting operations shall be the responsibility of the Chief of Portland Fire & Rescue.
    2. 2.  Operating units will in all cases be under the direct control of their own commanders or foremen, superintendents, etc.  However, such units will function in conformity with the tactical fire-fighting plan established by the sector commander to whom they are assigned.
  4. D.  Activation and Response.
    1. 1.  All participants and resources listed in the plan will be activated in accordance with the plan at the request of the Incident Commander.
    2. 2.  All participants in the plan will send liaison personnel to the field headquarters, support command headquarters, and the Emergency Operations Center as requested by the Incident Commander.
  5. E.  Personnel alerting.
    1. 1.  The Bureau of Emergency Communications will initiate the alerting of participating services as outlined in the plan.  The person contacted is then to complete the calls required by his/her bureau, office or agency.
    2. 2.  For the purpose of alerting as required in 1 above, the head of each participating service shall establish and maintain master‑call lists or a key‑alerting system.