Monday, December 17, 2012

We're Hiring - APP Deadline Jan 4, 2013

Hillsboro Fire & Rescue is hiring two firefighter/paramedics.  This is a rare opportunity to join a respected organization serving a growing city of 92,000.  Excellent pay and benefits for successful candidates.  $52,464 - $75,300. 

Contact Human Resources at City of Hillsboro, Oregon, 503-681-6444.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Stair Climb Fund Raiser Prelude

A group of Hillsboro firefighters spent a chunk of Saturday (9/15) practicing for the annual Portland Stair Climb to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  The volunteers brought a stair-type exercise machine to Saturday Market, set it up at the Civic Center Plaza, and worked out in full fire turnouts, air tank, and some even carried hose bundles.  They were training for the 4th Annual Climb for the Cure at the US Bancorp building.  They were also accepting donations from shoppers to help benefit the CF Fundation.  The firefighters raised more than one-thousand dollars!  A tip of our helmet to the firefighters and to all who donated.

On September 23rd, firefighters from around the region will gather to climb the 40 stories of the downtown Portland landmark building.  Each pays $50 to enter the competition and is encouraged to raise at least $50 more from supporters. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

HFD New Look for Summer

Hillsboro Firefighters have a new look this summer.  They are ditching the dark blue or black Nomex shirts with dark T-shirts beneath for a single layer polo shirt.  The change is a result of firefighters' requests for alternate apparell that would be cooler yet maintain a professional image.  After researching what departments in other areas of the country have for summer uniforms, our folks arrived at the light-colored collared shirt. 

Below is Firefighter Kabe Grant pausing while performing Monday morning apparatus checks on Brush-1.  Let us know what you think about the new shirts.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Open House Draws Hundreds!

More than 600 people poured through the doors at Hillsboro Fire & Rescue's Jones Farm Fire Station No. 5 on Saturday (6/23/12) at our open house.   The new station went into service in January.  But, we wanted a little warmer weather to hold the open house to bring more citizens out to see their  new neighborhood fire station. 

Citizens tour Truck 5.
 Families toured the station and the apparatus housed there.   They enjoyed hotdogs and lemonade.

At one time, the engine bay was crowded!  Yes, we had that many people stopping in between 11 am and 3 pm. 

The bounce house with its fire department theme graphics was a big hit with all the kids, too!

Everyone wants to know what we carry on fire engines--the tools, medical equipment, hoses, and the all-important "jaws of life."

Kids got to sit in the driver's seat of the engine or truck and see what it would be like to be in control of these 70,000 pound vehicles.

Not sure, but it was often difficult to tell who was having more fun--the firefighters or the kids!

And for the little folks, everything seemed so BIG!

And, I think the dad's were enjoying that just as much as their sons were!

We are grateful to the community for the support of Hillsboro Fire & Rescue.  This fire station is beautiful and we wanted to let the community know how much we appreciate working here.  Our thanks to the city leadership for guiding this project to completion, too!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hillsboro Home Goes Up in Smoke For Training

Hillsboro Fire & Rescue made good use of a donated century-old house on SE 18th Avenue on Sunday to train our firefighters.  The "burn-to-learn" training session involved setting a fire in a room and allowing it to reach a certain size before sending in rookie firefighters and volunteers inside for some hands-on experience with live fire in a controlled setting.  They rotated through the homes many rooms to ensure the maximum usage of the structure.

Prior to the exercise, fire trainers had ensured any asbestos, water tanks or other hazardous items had been removed.  The training staff prepared a training action plan that included not only the rotation of firefighters through each task, but also contingency plans for interrupted water supply, equipment failure or an on-scene injury. 

In this photo, you can see the Safety Officer monitoring a crew in an adjoining room.  Notice the smoke level is down to the Safety Officer's waist level.  And, this was in a room with an open door where I was located.  In a closed home, smoke levels will go nearly to the floor and are extremely black and deadly.

After all training evolutions are completed, the final fire is set and the home is allowed to burn to the ground in a controlled manner. 

Flames leap from windows and doors as the old house is consumed.

Firefighters surround the building and wet down the walls they want to preserve as long as possible.  This controls the direction of the final heat and helps preserve the trees that were located close to the home.

Additionally, one firefighter used the deck gun mounted on top of a fire engine to help control the blaze's intensity, reduce ember production and protect nearby trees. 

The home's owners are removing the structure to make way for a new residence.  The burn-to-learn is a win-win for the owners and Hillsboro Fire & Rescue.  They have the old structure removed with little materials going to the landfill and Hillsboro firefighters get some priceless training in real world conditions. 

We appreciate the neighbor's understanding and cooperation.  More that 75 people turned out to watch the home go up in smoke.  For fire and life safety information, visit

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What's It Like?

High school students from around the area gathered at Hillsboro Fire Department’s Ronler Acres Fire Station for the biannual Chamber of Commerce School to Work program. The program goes on through the year providing students with a day in different industries to help them determine their career path. The students heard from chief officers of the department about how they became a firefighter and learned what education is required for the career.

Of course, firefighters provided them with an up-close and personal tour of the fire station and the fire engines at the station.

After that, the students donned firefighting gear and engaged in a competitive timed event carrying fire hose up to a mezzanine, then hoisting a roll of hose to the second level and, then, returning to the first level with the original hose line.

 Students also learned about basic fire extinguisher operation.

Then, what many wait for, the chance to knock down a pylon with the fire hose stream.

Later, they worked in pairs to advance a hose line together.

And, finally, another competition to roll out a hose line, make and break a series of couplings, attach a nozzle to the end, and then, undo all the attached lines, roll them up and retun them to a neat stack at the finish line.

Organizers said that 14 out of the 15 attending said the demonstration and information made firefighting a much more attractive option than before they visited the station.

Monday, February 27, 2012

CSI South Meadows

Hillsboro Fire and Rescue showed off the technical side of the business at South Meadows Middle School Thursday, January 23rd. Inspector Martin Stapleton brought samples of items recovered from investigating hundreds of fires and challenged students to identify them. The items were either the cause or contributing factors in starting fires in buildings or vehicles.

“If you look carefully, these items all have characteristics that help us tell what caused the fire,” Stapleton said. Students pulled on gloves and got to touch and pick up the items that seldom resembled their former shape and purpose. From a melted coffee pot to an electrical conduit, all had evidence of fire or electrical arcing.

“Think C-S-I,” said Lt. Steve Erb referring to a popular television series about crime scene investigators. Erb is the officer aboard Hillsboro’s Engine 2 on this day. While Erb and his crew are tasked with extinguishing the fire, he notes that the Investigator’s role is to take a possible crime scene that’s had hundreds or thousands of gallons of water poured on it and maybe a dozen people trampling through it and figure out where the fire started and what caused it. After the investigation presentation, Erb took most of the crowd outside to the fire engine and discussed the science involved in operating a modern fire engine specifically and extinguishing fires in general.