PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone has announced her retirement from Portland Fire & Rescue, effective July 12.

“Together we have experienced some of the most challenging times in the history of Portland Fire. Considering all that we’ve faced over the past four years, I couldn’t be prouder and more honored to have closed out my career by leading one of the nation’s premier fire agencies,” Boone said in the June 15 announcement.

Public Safety Commissioner Commissioner Rene Gonzalez named 25-year PF&R veteran Ryan Gillespie as interim fire chief. He will serve until the city administrator takes operational responsibility for PF&R in 2025 under the City Charter reforms approved by Portland voters in 2022.

“As we bid farewell to Chief Sara Boone, let us acknowledge the formidable path she has walked for others to follow. Making history as Portland’s first African American female fire chief, she has steered our fire bureau through the most difficult moments in living memory. To Chief Boone we extend our gratitude for her years of sacrifice and selfless commitment to the Portland Fire Bureau. As her duty comes to an end, a legacy of excellence and resilience remains,” said Gonzalez.

According to the announcement, Boone started as a line firefighter with PF&R in 1995, working her way up the ranks in Emergency Operations, holding positions as lieutenant, captain/staff captain, battalion chief, and bureau safety chief. She also served as the deputy chief of the Logistics/Management Services Division and the division chief of Medical Services & Training.

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