Spacer Clackamas Fire District #1  

Clackamas Fire


Last five answered questions (Click on a question to reveal the answer)

How do I dispose of unused medications?
Click HERE for a brochure.
Is there any code regarding bedroom windows being blocked by shrubbery in ground floor apartments?
There is no fire code that addresses shrubs or plants in front of the windows. However, keeping a clear path in front of the window will allow for a safer egress in the event of a fire. We always advise people to keep those windows clear as often times windows become an exit in an emergency.
Can I get my small (about 1,500 gallons) above-ground pool filled with water? Is a way to do this or pay a fee for the service?
We do not provide this service anymore, but you might contact your local water district to find out if they do.
If I were to volunteer, would I have to live near the fire station? and of so how close would I have to be?
In order to apply to the Volunteer program, you do not need to live near a fire station.
Does the Fire Department install or assist with child safety seats?
The Fire District no longer installs or assists with Child Safety Seats. This is due to the amount of recertification and training that it takes to remain a Child Safety Seat Technician. For information regarding Child Safety Seats, please visit www.childsafetyseat.org or call them at 503-643-5620 (or 1-800-772-1315).

Categories

Career

I am in high school right now and i am planning on becoming a paramedic, what should i do to prepare myself for this career?
There are a few things you need to do. Contact a community college as they offer Basic EMT Classes- although I think now there actually may be a class that you have to take before that one. Once you take your Basic EMT Class and pass the State Test you will be able to apply for a Paramedic Class. Simply Google "Paramedic Programs" and you’ll find at least three around the metro area. The classes end up taking 1-2 years to complete with all of the hospital and ambulance rotations you will have to complete. You can then apply for Paramedic positions with an ambulance company or fire department.
If someone is interested in a job with the fire department, other than being a firefighter, is there a web page that lists these jobs? If yes, is there a description of the jobs?
The is not a list of non-firefighter positions, nor job descriptions of positions, within Clackamas Fire District #1 on our website. However…when a position is open, detailed information about the position is posted along with the job announcement. Check the Job Openings webpage for current openings.
Has Clackamas Fire District #1 ever let a person with a felony conviction become a volunteer or hired said person?
Yes, but standards and expectations have changed. After an application is submitted, everyone is considered on a case by case basis. Please refer to our website, under employment for verbiage related to this question.
What is District policy on visible tattoos for volunteer and career staff?
At this time, we do not have a policy regarding tattoos.
What is the best route to take to become a firefighter?
The minimum requirement to becoming a firefighter is that you have to be an EMT-Basic, and this is an industry standard. That would be the first step...so check out your local community college to get enrolled into an EMT-Basic class.

Then I would try to become affiliated with your local fire department or fire district by applying to become a volunteer firefighter. This will help you see if it’s the job you thought it was going to be by exposing you to that “world.” You don’t have to become a volunteer, but it is helpful. You can always look into doing a “ride along” with your local fire department to see what you think, also.

After you get your EMT-Basic certification you would want to start taking every fire department entry-level test possible. Generally these jobs are posted in your local newspaper. Here at Clackamas Fire, you can sign up through our website (click HERE) to be notified when we are planning on hiring. The testing process is generally the same everywhere and the more of these tests you take, the better you will perform at them.

A final consideration is whether you want to become a Paramedic or not. We occasionally hire Basic-EMTs but we are an Advanced Life Support Agency so we prefer to hire Paramedics when possible. A Paramedic certification costs around $10,000 and takes approximately 1-2 years to complete.

I hope this gets you started on a path to becoming a firefighter. Our website is a great resource for people considering a career in firefighting. Click HERE to learn more about becoming a firefighter or click HERE to learn more about our volunteer program.

Emergency Response

How would I find out what fire station responded to a particular incident?
The Fire Prevention Division keeps track of all Clackamas Fire District #1's public records. They can be contacted at 503-742-2660 or through the website (click HERE).
How and where can our neighborhood get the green and white address markers? Many homes are at the end of long driveways and the addresses are hard to find, which is a concern in case of fire or medical emergency.
Here at Clackamas Fire District #1, we have an address program which is designed to help us find your home in case of an emergency. This program is intended for rural properties that are either down a long driveway or somehow hidden from the road. By having us place one of these green and white address markers on the road, we will be able to locate your home much quicker. We'll sometimes even measure how far off of the road it is to your home so that we know how much hose we would need to lay out in a fire emergency.

To learn more about our address program (also called the 100/100 program) click "About Us --> Special Programs --> Address Program" (or just click HERE) and this will explain the program and allow you to request a sign through our website.

Fire Code/Law

Where can I find a copy of the Oregon fire code on the Internet?
Click HERE
Is there a county code requiring fire sprinkler systems on residential buildings in Clackamas county, and if so what size dwelling requires them?
This question doesn’t have a simple answer at this time because there are so many variables. Please contact the Fire Prevention Department directly at 503-742-2660.
How far from buildings does an outdoor fire pit (in ground) need to be?
A recreational fire (also known as a camp fire, cooking fire, or warming fire) is a small, occasional (less than four per month) fire which is no larger than three feet in diameter and two feet high, burning only dry, cut firewood. For fire safety reasons, recreational fires shall be 25 feet from any structure or combustible material, or only 15 feet if contained in a non-combustible fire pit less than four feet in diameter and a minimum of 12 inches high.
Are small propane grills, or electric food smokers that use wood chips, allowed to be used on apartment balconies?
Charcoal briquette BBQ’s are no longer permitted on combustible balconies or within 10ft of combustible construction. The exception to that rule is when buildings, balconies or decks are protected by an automatic sprinkler system. Propane tanks, five gallon or smaller are permitted. A smoker would fall under the same requirements as the charcoal briquette BBQ. With all this said, the apartment owner does have the final say and they may have their own policy regarding BBQ’s and grills on balconies.
Are there any fire code laws for driveways 800 feet long, or for a dedicated power source, in case of fire?
If the driveway is in a housing development, then it would have met fire department access requirements. In most cases, if it is a new driveway to a new home, then the county or city driveway standard is the requirement, in which case, the county or city usually asks for input from the local fire department. Most of the time, the concern for a residence is the grade of the driveway as anything greater than 10 percent requires approval.

I am not aware of any dedicated power source requirements for a private residence.
When does the 2011 burn season end in Clackamas County?
Burn season goes from March 1st through June 15th, and from October 1st through December 15. Here is the link to the webpage regarding the burn rules. You must be outside the DEQ burn ban area in order to burn legally. There is a lot of information regarding outdoor burning so it may take a little reading, but it’s worth it in order to not have a fire engine show up and educate you regarding the rules.
We have a neighbor with about 6 foot high grass and we are concerned with the hot and dry weather. Is there a height restriction for grass in a person's yard and if so, what should we do about it?
Sorry to hear you’re having an issue with your neighbor, but this is an issue you would have to take up with your city or county. We don’t have any enforcement powers when it comes to high grass. Generally this is a code enforcement issue, so try contacting your local code enforcement officer.
What is the requirement for assisted care facilities smoke and fire detection systems and alarms be monitored by two telephone lines for communicating the alarm to the alarm response center?
This is a very detailed answer, so please click HERE from an excerpt from NFPA 72.
What is the required clearance in front of electrical panels?
These come out of the Oregon Fire Code Book. If this doesn't fully answer your question, please contact our Fire Prevention Office through our website HERE.

Oregon Fire Code 605.3 (Working Space And Clearance)
A working space of not less than 30 inches (762 mm) in width, 36 inches (914 mm) in depth and 78 inches (1981 mm) in height shall be provided in front of electrical service equipment. Where the electrical service equipment is wider than 30 inches (762 mm), the working space shall not be less than the width of the equipment. No storage of any materials shall be located within the designated working space.
What is the required clearance around sprinkler system control areas, fire hydrants, and fire department inlet connections?
These come out of the Oregon Fire Code Book. If this doesn't fully answer your question, please contact our Fire Prevention Office through our website HERE.

Oregon Fire Code 508.5.4 (Obstruction)
Posts, fences, vehicles, growth, trash, storage and other materials or objects shall not be placed or kept near fire hydrants, fire department inlet connections or fire protection system control valves in a manner that would prevent such equipment or fire hydrants from being immediately discernible. The fire department shall not be deterred or hindered from gaining immediate access to fire protection equipment or fire hydrants.
Is there a hazmat or other permit required prior to installing a paint spray booth?
Before putting a paint booth in you need a permit (mechanical, electrical and possibly building permit) from the city or county building official. The primary code reference from the Oregon Fire Code is Chapter 15, link HERE

For additional information:
You will find additional detail on requirements in National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) Bulletin 33, which you can download for a small fee. You can also find the regulations under various OSHA regulations which are also available for downloading. Start with 29 CFR 1910.107, 29 CFR 1926.66, 29 CFR 1910.94

Depending on the quantity of hazardous materials you will have on hand you may need to complete the State Fire Marshals, Hazardous Substance Information Survey. Also there are storage requirement that should be picked up during the building permit process. I would suggest using an independent consultant, this can become very complicated and more expensive if done incorrectly.
What is the penalty for parking too close to a fire hydrant?
Not very likely...but this could result from parking too close to a hydrantBesides the financial penalties by parking in front of a fire hydrant, you are delaying the firefighters from getting water into a burning building. In Oregon City, the fine would be $160.00 but each city is different.

A fire doubles in size every minute, according to National Fire Protection Association, so any delay can injure or kill civilians and firefighters and increase property damage.

The Ordinance:
811.550 (16) Within 10 feet of a fire hydrant. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing and parking) (2) and (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.

811.560 (2) When applicable, this subsection exempts vehicles stopped, standing or parked momentarily to pick up or discharge a passenger.

(4) When applicable, this subsection exempts vehicles owned or operated by the state, a county or city when stopping, standing or parking is necessary to perform maintenance or repair work on the roadway.

(7) When applicable, this subsection exempts the driver of a vehicle that is disabled in such manner and to such extent that the driver cannot avoid stopping or temporarily leaving the disabled vehicle in a prohibited position.
What is the law regarding moving for lights and sirens (any emergency vehicle?)
1. When you hear or see lights or sirens on a emergency vehicle, immediately pull to the right and stop

2. When an emergency vehicle is along the side of the roadway with their emergency lights on, move over to the left and slow down

The Ordinance:
811.147 Failure to maintain safe distance from emergency vehicle or ambulance; penalty.

(1) A person operating a motor vehicle commits the offense of failure to maintain a safe distance from an emergency vehicle or ambulance if the person approaches an emergency vehicle or ambulance that is stopped and is displaying required warning lights and the person:

   (a) On a highway having two or more lanes for traffic in a single direction, fails to:

       (A) Make a lane change to a lane not adjacent to that of the emergency vehicle or              ambulance; or

       (B) Reduce the speed of the motor vehicle, if making a lane change is unsafe.

   (b) On a two directional, two-lane highway, fails to reduce the speed of the motor vehicle.

(2) The offense described in this section, failure to maintain a safe distance from an emergency vehicle or ambulance, is a Class B traffic violation. [2003 c.42 §2]

Fire Extinguishers

What can be done with an old, possibly non-working fire extinguisher?
There are two options to get rid of your old fire extinguisher:

1) Contact the fire extinguisher company and ask if they will take it back
2) Recycle the extinguisher through Metro (click HERE)
Where is a good place to buy a fire extinguisher and a smoke detector?
Any hardware-type store, such as Lowes or Home Depot, carry many different types of fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. They carry carbon monoxide detectors as well.
What is in a fire extinguisher, is it toxic? If you have a small house fire how do you clean up the mess from the extinguisher?
The dry powder in ABC fire extinguishers is non-toxic but can cause skin irritation. You can check the manufacturer's website but this info is from the Kidde user guide for their fire extinguishers and should be accurate. The chemicals used vary by model and manufacturer but if they sprayed toxic chemicals they'd never be licensed for home use. I would try to minimize your exposure using a surgical mask or at least the kind sold for yard work or painting, but unless you have respiratory problems like asthma there shouldn't be much risk if you have no mask. If you're trying to clean up after use, use a vacuum and wet cloth to remove the residue.
Where do I go to have a fire extinguisher refilled? Can I get it refilled at a fire station?
If you have a fire extinguisher that needs servicing or needs to be refilled, we recommend that you look up fire extinguisher service companies on the web or in the Yellow Pages as we don't have the capabilities to refill at our fire stations. Most of the time people just get a new one, but that’s up to you.

For more information on extinguishers, click HERE. That page will give you much more info than I can type and there are even two brochures you can print.
How often should a fire extinguisher be replaced/serviced?
Business...
If an extinguisher is brand new, it needs to be visually checked monthly by the business owner. If the owner does not want to take on that responsibility, they need to have it serviced annually. Every 6 years a full servicing should be done, and every 12 years a hydrostatic test should be done. It is often a better deal to buy a new extinguisher at the 6 and 12 year marks.

Residential...
There are no requirements for personal residences, but it is recommended that they be visually checked every year to make sure there are no cracks or rust and to make sure the pin is still in the green. After 10 years or so the extinguisher should be replaced.

Fire Prevention

Is it legal to burn paper mail in your fireplace? We live in unincorporated clackamas county.
Yes, you can burn paper mail in your fireplace. We recommend that you have a cap on your chimney so that the paper doesn’t float out and carry an ember onto some dry grass, other vegetation, or your roof. Also, watch the quantity that you burn as chimney fires have been known to happen if you burn too much, too hot, too fast.
Do you give out free smoke alarms?
We generally give out smoke alarms to anyone that can’t afford one. With that said, if you came in and asked for one or two we would never say no. We want everyone to be safe. If you need us to install it, we can also do that for you. Any fire station will have a smoke alarm to give to you.
I am currently living in a rooming house and I was wondering if every room in the house have to have a working smoke detector?
We always recommend that there is a working smoke alarm outside of every sleeping area and on every level of a home. Under the circumstances that you live in, I would think one in every room would not be a bad idea, especially if anyone is a smoker. At least follow my first suggestion and you should be good.
Do I need a carbon dioxide detector? If so where/how do I mount it?
Click HERE to go to our "Carbon Monoxide Information" webpage.
What is the difference between a photoelectric smoke alarm and an ionization smoke alarm?
An ionization smoke alarm uses a small amount of radioactive material to ionize air in the sensing chamber. As a result, the air chamber becomes conductive permitting current to flow between two charged electrodes. When products of combustion enter the chamber, the conductivity of the chamber air decreases. When this reduction in conductivity is reduced to a predetermined level, the alarm is set off. Most smoke alarms in use are of this type.

Ionization models are best suited for rooms that contain highly combustible materials that can create flaming fires. These types of materials include flammable liquids, newspapers, and paint cleaning solutions.

A photoelectric type smoke alarm consists of a light emitting diode and a light sensitive sensor in the sensing chamber. The presence of suspended products of combustion in the chamber scatters the light beam. This scattered light is detected and sets off the alarm.

Photoelectric models are best suited for living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens. This is because these rooms often contain large pieces of furniture, such as sofas, chairs, mattresses, counter tops, etc. which will burn slowly and create more smoldering smoke than flames.

Firefighters

Are fire stations allowed to receive small gifts such as a gift certificate to a grocery store? If so, is there a limit as to the amount?
Our firefighters are not allowed to receive any type of donation that has a value related to it. They are happy to receive store bought food items if you would like to treat them as a thank you for a job well done.
Why does it take three firefighters to go shopping? Why are they shopping?
It’s because we all have to stay together at all times in case we have to respond to an emergency. We don’t want to waste time looking for each other when someone is having an emergency, as seconds count! Mission readiness is our #1 priority.

Since our meals are not provided for us, we have to shop and buy our own food. The taxpayers do NOT buy our food, we do. We are on shift for a 24 hour period and, of course, we have to eat during that time.
Why do so many firefighters respond to a medical call?
There is a minimum of three people on an engine company and most medical emergencies require a lot of work, such as taking care of a patient and getting their medical history- all at the same time. If a patient’s condition worsens, then there is usually enough people on hand to help.

Generally speaking, one engine company and one ambulance can handle most medical calls but more severe problems do require many people to help a patient who may have had a heart attack or is having difficulty breathing.
Why does a fire engine respond to a medical call?
The reason a fire engine responds to a medical call is due to the type of 911 system that we have here in Clackamas County (and it is the same in Washington and Multnomah County). This system puts a fire engine and an ambulance in route to a medical call for the safety of the citizens. Generally, this will get more than one paramedic on scene to provide patient care and many times calls become a manpower issue. This means that if someone needs to be carried out of their home or their condition worsens, there are plenty of people there to help- as opposed to calling for more and having to wait longer for assistance.

Often after assessing the situation, one of those units are cancelled and sent back to their station. Another reason that a fire engine is called along with an ambulance is that there is always more fire engines working than there are ambulances at any given time. This makes for a much quicker response when seconds count.
What kind of shifts do the career firefighters work?
Firefighters work 24 hours on duty and 48 hours off duty, broken down into three shifts- A, B & C which averages out to a 53 hour work week.
Why do fire engine crews do business inspections?
Because there are so many businesses in the area, the Fire Prevention Office cannot get into every single business once every two years as required. This also allows the crews to become familiar with their first response area and helps them connect with our citizens.
What are firefighters breathing from their air tanks?
Firefighters breathe compressed air, NOT oxygen when using their self-contained breathing apparatus. The cylinders are filled with air using a filter system to obtain the cleanest air possible. The mask has what is called a “demand valve” which only brings air into the mask during inhalation (breathing in). The air is cool, which makes the firefighter more comfortable during a hot fire fight.

Misc

I was wondering if you do children's birthday parties i have a son who loves fire trucks
Based on our Standard Operating Guidelines we do not allow children’s birthday parties to be held at our fire stations. We would be happy to be a part of the festivities by allowing a tour of the fire station and the fire engines before or after the celebration, however, the actual party would have to be held off site.
Can I call the fire department for a cat stuck up a tree?
Clackamas Fire District #1 has a policy, as do most fire departments, that we do not get cats out of trees anymore, due to a career-ending firefighter injury. For domestic animals, such as your cat, call Jose Villasenor (Quality Tree Service) at 503-222-1438.

For wildlife issues (squirrels, raccoons, opossums, etc...), Affordable Wildlife Response is available at 503-408-WILD (9453) and more information can be found at www.affordablewildliferesponse.com
What is the difference between a fire chief and a fire captain?
At Clackamas Fire District #1, as with most departments or districts, the Fire Chief manages the entire department. But, there are different levels of chiefs.

There are Battalion Chiefs which manage day-to-day operations and Division Chiefs which manage different divisions- such as Training, EMS, Operations and Prevention.

A Captain is part of a regular crew working on either an engine, truck or rescue unit. He also oversees his particular fire station, which includes maintenance, personnel, the budget, etc...

Another difference is that a Chief wears a white helmet and a Captain wears a red helmet.
What do different colored fire helmets signify?
Yellow = Firefighter
Red = Lieutenant or Captain
White = Chief Officer
What is the difference between a fire truck and a fire engine?
A truck has a BIG ladder on top and an engine doesn't. Also, engines carry more water.

Open Burning

When does the spring burning season end?
The burning seasons are March 1st to June 15th (may be shortened due to high fire danger between October 1st to December 15th. You can also visit our Outdoor/Open Burning webpage HERE for more specifics.
Is it legal to burn garbage or paper in a burn barrel in your back yard? If i have a problem with a neighbor doing this who do i call?
It is illegal statewide to burn garbage. Paper is okay outside the burn ban area but during a burn ban there is NO burning whatsoever. Burn barrels are not an effective way to burn anything due to the amount of smoke they produce since there is no air flow.

If you have a neighbor burning during a burn ban, you need to call 911 and we would respond because of the possible fire danger. Then you need to call DEQ at 888-997-7888, or visit their website, to report it. If they are burning garbage on a burn day during the burning season, you would need to report that to DEQ. If you have other questions regarding burning feel free to call our Fire Prevention Office at 503-742-2660.
I had a large cedar tree cut down and i was wondering if i can burn the tree limbs in my backyard? I live about 1/2 mile outside the Oregon City limits.
We are currently in a “burn ban” period and this burn ban will not be lifted until Oregon Department of Forestry lifts the “Regulated Use Restriction.” The word from them is that they will lift it when there is enough rain to “soak” the canopy. You are allowed to have a recreation fire, which is a small fire pit-type of fire for roasting marshmallows or keeping warm. We are still in a very dry weather pattern so it may be a while before we see the ban lifted. For now, I would stack your branches and cover them to keep them dry so that when you do burn them, they burn clean and hot. You can always call the Burn Line at 503-632-0211 to get updated burning info or visit our website HERE which has open burning rules.
Are fire pits, like for a small campfire, legal to have in backyards in Oregon City?
Fire pits are allowed and can be used during non-burn bans. Complete burn bans are generally in effect from July to October. Other rules regarding fire pits are: you must burn dry seasoned fire wood. NO lumber. Have a water source nearby and be up to 25 ft away from structures. If smoke complaints are generated you will be asked to extinguish your fire. Multiple complaints from neighbors will be considered nuisance complaints and it could lead to financial penalties.

Public Records

How do I find out if there had been any hazardous materials incidents at a property I would like to purchase?
If you would like to find out if a property has had a hazardous materials or other incidents take place there, you will need to call our Fire Prevention Office at 503-742-2660 or contact them through our website HERE. Our records extend back to 2001 and the Fire Prevention Office will need the property address. They will only be able to tell you “yes” or “no” over the phone. If you would like a copy of the incident report, you would need to submit a written request (along with $12.00) to:

Fire Prevention Office
2930 SE Oak Grove Blvd.
Milwaukie, OR 97267

Safety

I found some old fireworks that I want to dispose of properly. What would be the best way to do that?
Contact the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office at 503-373-1540 ext 264. They have jurisdiction and can help coordinate proper disposal for you.
Can i drive over a fire hose at the scene of a fire?
You should never, ever drive over a fire hose at a fire scene. That hose could and probably is supplying water to firefighters that are inside fighting fire. If that hose was to burst as they do when drove over, those firefighters would not have any protection between them and the flames and they could be killed or injured. The only exception to this rule is when we place hose ramps on the hose for vehicles to drive over without damaging the hose.

Volunteer

How do I become a Volunteer Firefighter?
Everything you want to know, and need to know, about becoming a volunteer with Clackamas Fire District #1 can be found on our website. Click on “Divisions & Stations” and then select “Volunteer Services” (or just click HERE).
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