Portland, Ore. Hires First African American Fire Chief

Sara Boone, who served for 24 years with the Portland Fire & Rescue Bureau, was appointed fire chief by Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty on June 13.

Boone’s story is a tale of hard work and determination.

She entered the force as an entry-level firefighter, the first African-American woman to join the Portland department, and worked her way up through the ranks to working in emergency operations, then safety chief, and finally to division chief of medical services and training, the position she held before being named fire chief.

“Chief Boone impressed our interview panels with her commitment to community, her technical knowledge, her passion for the fire service, and her leadership style,” said Commissioner Hardesty in a prepared statement. “Chief Boone is well-respected throughout the bureau and we have a great collaborative relationship.”

Not content with making history as the first African-American woman to become a Portland firefighter, Boone has again made history by becoming Portland’s first African-American fire chief. Congratulations, Chief Boone!