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Progress for the Gresham Fire Department

December 6, 2023

Gresham City Council recently voted to allocate an additional $240,000 of American Rescue Plan Act dollars (ARPA) for the Gresham Fire Department to install new HVAC systems in the four fire stations owned by the City of Gresham. In total, the City has designated $1.78 million in ARPA funding to the Fire Department since 2021.  

“The health and safety of our public safety personnel is paramount. We recognize that the growth of our community has exacerbated the operational and capital needs of our Fire Department,” said Gresham City Manager Nina Vetter. “While I’m grateful for the historic investments by our current Council, and the improvements we’ve made over the past few years, our Fire Department’s needs and the safety of our community is one of the fundamental drivers behind the City going back out for a Safety Levy in the May 2024 election.” 

To date, the following actions have been taken to alleviate the most immediate safety concerns within the Gresham Fire Department: 

  • In collaboration with IAFF, annual voluntary cardiac and cancer screenings have been implemented for fire personnel. 
  • A radon mitigation service was performed at Station 74. 
  • Filtration systems for drinking and cooking water at two fire stations have been installed.  
  • City Council approved ARPA funding for new HVAC fans to remove vehicle exhaust from stations. 
  • City Council approved ARPA funding for four firefighting personnel positions. 

“It’s important to know that the actions taken so far were to resolve the most urgent risks to our staff. We understand that many of Gresham’s fire stations are in disrepair and in need of being rebuilt,” said Gresham Fire Chief Scott Lewis. “I’m encouraged by the options and strategies City leadership continues to explore in order to develop the long-term solutions we need.” 

In addition to the repairs and hires made to date, City staff are looking to renegotiate current contracts impacting fire services, pursuing the Gresham Safety Levy in the May 2024 election, and analyzing a potential bond for capital needs in 2025.  

 Learn more about ARPA funding