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

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

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

“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.