Boardman Rural Fire Protection District got a welcome boost recently with an extensive donation of equipment from Portland General Electric.
The energy company closed down the Boardman Generating Station, Oregon’s last coal-fired power plant, in October as part of the deal with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Steven Corson, a PGE spokesperson, said in an email that the plant and fire district have had a long-standing relationship.
“The donated items were previously used for fire protection and readiness at the coal plant,” he said. “Since it’s no longer needed there or at our other plants, we thought donating it to support the local community would be the best thing we could do with it.”
Boardman Fire Chief Mike Hughes said the large donation of vehicles, personal protective equipment and other supplies was “invaluable.” He said about 90% of it had already been inventoried and put to use.
“We didn’t waste any time,” he said.
Among the donations was a brush truck that will be put to use at the district’s Butter Creek station, and an ambulance that has been outfitted specifically to respond to crashes and traffic rescues. PGE also donated 40 sets of turnouts, the heavy-duty clothing worn by firefighters for protection at fires.
“It’s about $2,000 per full set, so that’s going to save us a significant amount of money on replacement,” Hughes said.
Also on the donation list was dozens of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) tanks, and an air compressor to fill the tanks, which Hughes said will replace their “very old” and worn-out one.
He said PGE has always been a good partner to Boardman Rural Fire Protection District as they have trained together and planned together to keep PGE’s facilities in the area safe, and the district is extremely grateful for the generosity of their donation.