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Portland Street Response Pilot Adds Increased Areas of Service, Adds More Call Types

News article

Portland Street Response expanded its boundaries on April 1, 2021 to serve more areas and added additional call types.

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Portland Street Response (PSR), the pilot program from the City of Portland that offers a non-police response to assist people experiencing houselessness or low acuity behavioral/mental health crises, expanded its boundaries on April 1, 2021 to serve more areas. The pilot began using the boundaries in the Lents neighborhood serviced by Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Fire Station 11 and is now responding within eight Portland Police Bureau (PPB) districts in the greater Lents area.

Fire station service districts are called Fire Management Areas, or FMAs. After a month in service, an analysis of calls in consultation with PSR’s partners at the Bureau of Emergency Communication (BOEC) led program managers to see that the team was missing calls tied to police district areas just outside of the FMA. As part of the pilot, PSR is going to test assigning the areas to police districts rather than FMAs, which will result in expanded service to the greater Lents area.

Map showing the previous boundaries that were bordered by SE Powell Blvd. on the north, SE 82nd Ave. to the west, the Clackamas County and City of Portland boundary along Clatsop St. (roughly) on the south, and roughly SE 112th Ave. on the east. The map shows new boundaries that are primarily SE Division St. on the north, SE Clatsop St. (roughly) on the south, SE 62th Ave. (roughly) on the west, and Powell Butte along the eastern boundary.
Map showing previous boundary (shaded) and outline of new boundary in blue.

The previous boundaries were bordered by SE Powell Blvd. on the north, SE 82nd Ave. to the west, the Clackamas County and City of Portland boundary along Clatsop St. (roughly) on the south, and roughly SE 112th Ave. on the east. The new boundaries are primarily SE Division St. on the north, SE Clatsop St. (roughly) on the south, SE 62th Ave. (roughly) on the west, and Powell Butte along the eastern boundary. There is a new look up tool where you can plug in your address to see if it is within PSR’s program area. You can access that tool here: https://www.portland.gov/streetresponse/address-lookup-tool

With this expansion, the team will also be taking fire calls in additional FMAs that connect through the police districts. The team will be dispatched for certain non-life threatening, non-emergency fire medical calls in FMAs 25, 19, 7, 29.

As part of an evaluation on call types from the first month, on April 1 the PSR team started responding to calls for a person either outside or inside of a publicly accessible space such as a business, store, public lobby, etc. Prior to April 1, the team only responded to calls for a person outside. The team still does not currently respond within private residences. Additionally, the team will now co-respond with PF&R on certain public burning calls (such as outside warming and cooking fires) to offer wrap-around service assistance.

PSR has also created a dashboard so the public can access our call data. The data dashboard can be accessed here: https://www.portland.gov/streetresponse/data-dashboard

“After our first month in service we were able to see areas where we can increase our call load. We appreciate our partners at BOEC, PPB, and PF&R for offering helpful insight as we build this program,” says Program Manager Robyn Burek.

“I am so pleased to see that the Portland Street Response pilot is doing exactly what it set out to accomplish: experimenting with different ways to provide service by being nimble and responding to new information,” says Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. “The City of Portland invested in a pilot so we can create the best system possible and we are using that investment wisely.”