Sara Boone on Teamwork, Vulnerability in Leadership, and Showing Up

Sara Boone

In The Interview: Episode #22, Ciara Pressler interviews Sara Boone, Fire Chief of Portland Fire & Rescue.

Sara and Ciara talk about…

    • The unique challenges and opportunities of leadership during Covid
    • Her vision for a more equitable fire department
    • Social change
    • Working with Pregame to sharpen her executive leadership
    • The intricacies of fire emergencies
    • Showing up as a leader while making space for vulnerability and compassion

Sara Boone became Portland’s fire chief in 2019, 24 years after she joined the bureau. Born in California, Sara Boone was adopted by a couple from Portland, and graduated from Lincoln High with a plan to pursue a career in athletics. Instead, she became Portland’s first black female firefighter. She went on to work in many roles over her two-plus decades in the department, climbing the ranks to battalion chief in 2014. The first African American and second woman to serve as Portland Fire & Rescue’s chief, she’s been lauded as an advocate for colleagues, a cool head in times of stress, and a leader with a tireless commitment to service. Said City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty upon her appointment: “I am confident that she will make sure our city is safe and cared for under her watch.”

Where to find Sara:

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