Images Of America Portland Fire & Rescue
Firefighting in Portland boasts many proud traditions and a long and storied history. In 1851, Col. Thomas Dryer, editor of the Oregonian newspaper, decided that it was in the best interest of the city to establish a firefighting force, and with that, he founded the Pioneer Fire Engine Company No. 1. Little better than a bucket brigade, this volunteer force of 37 men wearing red shirts started operations with just a single hand pump. From these humble beginnings, the organization grew to keep pace with a burgeoning city. From the great fire of 1873 and the colorful era of horse-drawn apparatus to technological innovations and community involvement, Portland Fire & Rescue as the department is now known has valiantly protected lives and property in Portland for more than a century and a half.
Author Bio: Brian K. Johnson is an Assistant Archivist for the City of Portland, which maintains a large collection of fire-department photographs and records. Don Porth began his career as a Portland firefighter in 1984 and joined the Prevention Division in 1990, where he has developed the Safety Learning Center and Fire Museum. In this volume, the authors have gathered a wide variety of images to document and illustrate the many compelling stories of Portland Fire & Rescue’s unique history.