Protests over the May 2020 death of George Floyd and police brutality have been ongoing in the City of Portland for more than two months. While the protests are now largely peaceful in nature, several in July led to rioting, endangering Portland Local 43 members and other public safety personnel.
Early on, Local 43 members responded to fires set by looters. Several members served as part of a rapid response team (RRT) and were embedded with police to provide medical care to anyone hurt or injured during the protests.
“I want to commend the Local 43 leadership for holding a steady head during this difficult period and keeping its members and citizens safe,” says 9th District Vice President Ray Rahne. “I am very proud of their professionalism and dedication to duty.”
“Our RRT team members were responding in a very dangerous environment. Protestors were tossing projectiles at them and pointing lasers into their eyes,” says Local 43 President Alan Ferschweiler. “ They were extremely lucky to walk away with no serious injuries.”
Some of Portland’s fire apparatus and fire stations were also damaged during the unrest. But the priority was on the safety of Local 43 members.