View Archived News Releases (From January 1 - June 30, 2013 )
News Flash Home
The original item was published from 12/7/2016 4:23:36 PM to 7/12/2017 12:56:01 PM.

News Flash


Posted on: December 7, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Fire District Ready for Cold Weather Operations

The nature of the fire service is preparedness; being ready to respond to whatever the community needs, whether it’s rendering advanced medical care, fighting fire, preventing emergencies or simply helping to solve problems. The current cold weather doesn’t change that mission, but adds to the steps taken to provide effective and reliable emergency response. For example, all TVF&R response vehicles are equipped with chains. 

How do operations change if a major weather event occurs?

  • If a major weather event occurs, staffing may be enhanced and additional 4x4 vehicles will be deployed to respond to hilly areas more susceptible to snow and ice.
  • During past winter storms, call volume has doubled during peak times. If incidents begin to increase, fire commanders may place a representative at the Washington County 9-1-1 dispatch center to assist with prioritizing calls in TVF&R’s service area. 
  • If call volume spikes, emergency agencies like TVF&R may have to prioritize response to focus on the most serious incidents (such as fires and incidents with known life-safety hazards). Lower priority calls involving basic first aid and public assistance such as wires down, welfare checks, and non-fire activations of commercial alarms could be  handled by 4x4 emergency operations vehicles staffed with call-back career personnel, volunteer firefighters, or fire prevention and training officers.
  • Creative tactics may be used to reach and transport patients (e.g., TVF&R once used a backboard to get a patient down off a hill and into an ambulance during a winter storm.)

  What types of calls increase during cold weather or snow events?

  • Motor vehicle collisions, falls, and sledding accidents.
  • Cardiac events may also increase during cold weather.
  • Fires related to space heaters and fireplace ashes.
  • Water problems caused by burst pipes (after they’ve frozen/thawed).

 How is firefighting affected by frigid weather?

  • Water is a lifeline at a fire incident, but water and freezing temperatures can create a small ice rink in a street.
  • Rooftops become treacherous, steps and running boards on the apparatus can be icy; and hand tools can be slippery.
  • Fire hoses (while they won't freeze with water running through them) have to be rolled up quickly after extinguishing a fire to avoid becoming brittle and hard to move.
  • Hypothermia and frostbite can quickly set in on an extended operation for responders and victims. (We will call for a Tri-Met bus to provide shelter if needed.)

 Can a Fire Hydrant Freeze?

  • Most hydrants in this region are a “dry” system = water is not stored in the hydrant itself, but below ground where upon demand flows through the valve and connectors to feed fire hoses. Note: Tualatin Valley Water District indicates that their most shallow point is 3 feet below ground.

Safety reminders during cold weather events:

  • It’s important to exercise safety with home heating equipment.
    • Never use kerosene, propane, or other outdoor-use heaters indoors due to the high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
    • Space heaters need space! Many units have exposed surfaces which become very hot. Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from combustibles such as bedding, furniture, and/or drapes.
    • Make sure your portable heater has a “tip switch” which automatically shuts off the heater in the event the unit is knocked over.
    • Never dry clothes or shoes by placing them on top of a heating unit.
    • Always turn off space heaters when you go to bed or leave the house.
    • Do not store combustibles too close to fireplaces or heaters.
    • With temperatures below freezing, pipes and faucets near or in exterior walls may be at risk of freezing and bursting, resulting in a water problem when warmer temperatures return.
    • Know how to shut-off the water to your home and unhook outside hoses from faucets.
    • Place foam covers over outside faucets and crawl space openings.
    • Leaving a trickle of water running from a faucet farthest away from the water meter can be helpful.
    • You can also wrap insulating material or electrical wire heating wrap around the pipes. This can be purchased at any home improvement store.
    • Never use a propane torch or an open flame to thaw a pipe due to the risk of igniting wood beams, flooring and other combustible materials around pipes.
  • Prepare for power outages and other problems that happen during the winter months. 
  • Gather necessary supplies including flashlights, extra batteries, water, food, blankets, cell phone (vehicle) charger, manual can opener, battery-operated clock, etc.
  • Stock up on food and water, as well as necessary medications. 
Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in TVF&R

Firefighter working at residential fire in Aloha

Aloha House Fire Claims One Life

Posted on: October 27, 2023
Put a Lid on Kitchen Fires - Firefighter slides lid over pan on stove

Cooking Safety Starts with YOU

Posted on: October 1, 2023
Volunteer Open House Flyer with photos of fire scene support and antique fire trucks

TVF&R is Recruiting Volunteers

Posted on: January 6, 2023

TVF&R is Prepared for Weekend Wind Event

Posted on: September 9, 2022

TVF&R Receives Superior Credit Rating

Posted on: February 15, 2022
Tuckerwood House Fire

Firefighters Battle House Fire in Beaverton

Posted on: September 16, 2021
Bureker Truck 56

TVF&R Promotes First Female Captain

Posted on: September 16, 2021

Fire Destroys Unoccupied Home in Beaverton

Posted on: September 7, 2021

TVF&R Receives COVID-19 Vaccines

Posted on: December 30, 2020
Preview of Safety First Newsletter Home Page

TVF&R Launches 'Safety First' Newsletter

Posted on: December 7, 2020
Burn Ban

High Fire Danger Burn Ban Lifted

Posted on: September 30, 2020

Notice of TVF&R Budget Hearing

Posted on: June 4, 2020
beaverton townhouse fire_65

Apartment Fire Displaces Eight

Posted on: April 17, 2020
Firefighters work to extinguish Tigard house fire

Person Found Dead in Tigard Home Fire

Posted on: March 24, 2020
COVID-19 image


Posted on: March 13, 2020
Crews complete hose drill with new training trailer

TVF&R Unveils New Training Trailer

Posted on: December 13, 2019
night rehab volunteers

TVF&R is Recruiting Volunteers

Posted on: November 26, 2019

Residential Fire in Tualatin

Posted on: November 2, 2019
Fourplex 1

Beaverton Fourplex Destroyed by Fire

Posted on: August 29, 2019

Beaverton Home Destroyed by Fire

Posted on: August 13, 2019

Firefighters Battle Aloha House Fire

Posted on: March 31, 2017