Community members tour revamped Russell firehouse

Learn why the crew of Portland Fire & Rescue Station 30 proudly showed off their firehouse, and what the improvements mean to the community …

Portland Fire & Rescue firefighter Kyle MacLowry shows the engine to future firefighter Cooper White, being held by his mom, Tracy.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Rescuing and firefighting is a serious profession. Members of Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) are ready to save lives and put out fires at any time of any day.

But on November 27, the staff of PF&R Station 30, at 13313 NE San Rafael Street, couldn’t resist throwing a party to celebrate their firehouse’s reopening.

“After being closed for about 18 months,” says Captain Fred Ellison, “We want to celebrate our reopening.”

Ellison told us the station underwent a major remodeling. The building was made more structurally sound to resist the effects of earthquakes and other natural disasters. “Also, our living areas are more gender-friendly, providing private showers and rooms for our firefighters. Our giant dorm has been broken into very nicely-sized rooms.”

In addition to the new look inside the station, the firehouse got a new name –or, we should say, number. “We are the home of Engine 30, formerly known as Engine 43,” Ellison says. “We also house a call-back rig Engine 30R. It is fully prepared for greater-alarm fires. Crews can be called in to take it to a fire when needed. We have no ladder trucks here.”

An active member of many community organizations, Jon Turino Farmer’s Insurance agent, says he’s never been in a fire engine before. So, Captain Fred Ellison helps him climb into the driver’s seat. Ellison explains the function of the controls of Engine 30. Yes, the lights were flashing!

Ellison says he’s pleased with the community’s response to the open house.

“We’ve had a couple hundred visitors here today, including some school groups. Some retired firefighters came by to look over their old station,” Ellison reports. “Some of them told stories about life in the dorm, and commented on the change to having individual bedrooms. They said it looks like we’ll be comfortable here.”

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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