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Portland Appoints First African American Fire Chief

By Danielle Dorsey

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Last week, Portland Fire & Rescue promoted four firefighters at a swearing-in ceremony at City Hall. What made this moment historic was the promotion of Sara Boone as fire chief, becoming the first African-American to hold this position at PF&R.

She was announced in her new role by Jo Ann Hardesty, who became the city’s first Black City Councilor in January.

Hardesty said that the interview panel was impressed with Boone’s “commitment to community, her technical knowledge, her passion for the fire service and her leadership style.”

Boone said in a statement that her, “mission has always been caring for the city where I was raised.”

Boone became Portland’s first Black woman firefighter in 1995 before climbing the ranks to division chief leading medical services and training. In 2014, Boone was promoted to Batallion Chief, making history as the first African-American chief officer at PF&R.

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