Doing Even More for Portlanders

We’re eager to expand our partnership with the City of Portland to meet the needs of even more Portlanders. This morning I delivered the following letter to Mayor Potter and Commissioners Saltzman, Leonard, Adams and Fish.

October 9, 2008

Portland City Council
1221 SW 4th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204

Mayor Potter and Commissioners Saltzman, Leonard, Adams and Fish,

I write on behalf of all of us at the American Red Cross Oregon Trail Chapter to outline our hopes for strengthening the partnership between our organization and the City of Portland. We want to build upon the good work that both of our organizations are already doing, and reach even more Portlanders in need by expanding our partnership beyond the work we do with the Portland Office of Emergency Management (POEM). Our ideas include the following:

Saving Lives in Severe Weather – Continuing our work with the Bureau of Housing and Community Development (BHCD) on Emergency Warming Centers for Portland’s homeless population, and expanding that concept to Emergency Cooling Centers for vulnerable Portlanders in severe summer weather.

Increasing our Emergency Response – Working with Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) and the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC) on increasing the frequency and timeliness of Red Cross’ notification of, and response to, families in emergency.

Preventing Emergencies in High-Risk Neighborhoods – Partnering with the Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) and PF&R on our “Together We Prepare our Neighborhood” program, providing door-to-door emergency prevention outreach in neighborhoods at highest risk of emergencies.

Equipping Portlanders to Save a Life – Increasing our partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation to reach more parents, families and youth in need of first aid, CPR and water safety training.

Helping Rebuild Lives Post-Disaster – Identifying emergency assistance resources through BHCD for low income families who unexpectedly lose their housing to an emergency or disaster.

Equipping City Employees to Save a Life – Becoming the City’s preferred vendor for First Aid and CPR training for employees, and emergency preparedness supplies and AEDs in City buildings.

I plan to visit with each of you and your staff in coming weeks to discuss these ideas, and others you may have. I look forward to our conversations.


Thomas Bruner

This morning I met with new Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish to discuss our ideas for partnering with the City. As Commissioner, Fish oversees Portland Fire & Rescue and the Bureau of Housing & Community Development – with which we contracted last winter to provide Emergency Warming Centers for the Homeless.

Commissioner Fish told me that he is a regular blood donor, and agreed to help us promote blood donations. Thank you, Commissioner!