Firefighting in Portland boasts many proud traditions and a long and storied history. In 1851, Col. Thomas Dryer, editor of the Oregonian newspaper, decided that it was in the best interest of the city to establish a firefighting force, and with that, he founded the Pioneer Fire Engine Company No. 1. Little better than a bucket brigade, this volunteer force of 37 men wearing red shirts started operations with just a single hand pump. From these humble beginnings, the organization grew to keep pace with a burgeoning city. From the great fire of 1873 and the colorful era of horse-drawn apparatus to technological innovations and community involvement, Portland Fire & Rescue—as the department is now known—has valiantly protected lives and property in Portland for more than a century and a half.