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Portland Fire Chief Announces Retirement

The End of a Stellar Career

Interim Fire Chief Ryan Gillespie with retiring Fire Chief Sara Boone


Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone announced her retirement from Portland Fire & Rescue, effective July 12, 2023.


Starting as a line firefighter with PF&R in 1995, Chief Boone earned her way up the ranks in Emergency Operations, holding positions as Lieutenant, Captain/Staff Captain, Battalion Chief, and Bureau Safety Chief. She also brought executive level experience to the job, having served as the Deputy Chief of Logistics/Management Services Division and the Division Chief of Medical Services & Training.


During her tenure, Chief Boone led PF&R through a series of unprecedented events, from the global COVID-19 pandemic to civil unrest for social justice, and then from record breaking wildfires to the humanitarian crisis among our unhoused population. Under Chief Boone’s leadership, the bureau also launched the Community Health Assess & Treat (CHAT) pilot program, which responds to lower-acuity medical calls and provides much needed relief to emergency responders.


“Together we have experienced some of the most challenging times in the history of Portland Fire,” said Chief Boone. “Considering all that we’ve faced over the past four years, I couldn’t be prouder and more honored to have closed out my career by leading one of the nation’s premier fire agencies.”


Commissioner Rene Gonzalez: “As we bid farewell to Chief Sara Boone, let us acknowledge the formidable path she has walked for others to follow. Making history as Portland's first African American female fire chief, she has steered our fire bureau through the most difficult moments in living memory. To Chief Boone we extend our gratitude for her years of sacrifice and selfless commitment to the Portland Fire Bureau. As her duty comes to an end, a legacy of excellence and resilience remains.”

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