September 22, 2022

Wyden, Merkley: Three Oregon Fire Departments to Receive About $3.8 Million in Federal Aid

Scappoose Rural Fire District, cities of Albany and Portland to benefit

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that the Scappoose Rural Fire District as well as the cities of Portland and Albany will receive a total of about $3.8 million in federal funds to support local firefighting operations.

“Firefighters put their lives on the line protecting Oregon communities, and deserve both modern equipment and properly staffed departments to do the risky work that Oregonians count on,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified these communities have secured this crucial federal investment, and will keep fighting to secure similar resources that protect lives and livelihoods throughout the state.”

“Oregon’s firefighters are on the front lines of protecting our homes, communities, and businesses when fires and emergencies happen, and it is crucial they have enough staff and the right up-to-date equipment to safely and effectively do this important work,” said Senator Merkley. “This funding will help ensure that the dedicated firefighters in Albany, Portland, and Scappoose are well equipped and staffed to keep Oregonians safe year round.” 

From the Department of Homeland Security, the city of Albany has secured a $1.33 million award from the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program to hire firefighters, and the city of Portland has secured $2.07 million from the same SAFER program also to hire firefighters.

“The City of Albany is experiencing significant growth, and we continue to face pressures on our budget,” said Albany City Manager Peter Troedsson.  “We’re grateful for these federal funds which will help us to keep up with growth and continue to provide important emergency services to the people of our community.”

“Portland Fire & Rescue is grateful to Portland City Council, Portland Firefighters Association, and Senators Wyden and Merkley for their support of our 2021 SAFER grant application,” said Portland Fire & Rescue Chief Sara Boone.  “These funds will enable PF&R to hire six firefighters to fully staff Station 23 with an engine company which will strengthen our system of emergency response service delivery.  Station 23 was shut down in 2010 and partially reopened in 2017 with a two-person rescue unit to address priority medical calls. With the SAFER grant we will be able to restore fire protection capabilities to this fire management area.”

“Our firefighters step up in every way they are asked to serve Portlanders, so I am incredibly excited that we will be bringing in over $2 million in federal funds to Portland Fire & Rescue,” said Portland Fire & Rescue Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. “Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden have once again delivered for our city and have my thanks for securing dollars that will allow us to fully reopen Station 23 in Southeast Portland, as well as hire six new firefighters to bolster our ranks.”

The Scappoose Rural Fire Department has earned a $399,038 grant for vehicle acquisition from the federal Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program.