In the event of a citywide or regional emergency such as a severe winter storm, flood or major earthquake, households need to be prepared to be on their own for at least 72 hours or longer. Neighborhoods need to be prepared for self-sufficiency, too. Volunteers will naturally be the first on-the-scene emergency responders in their own neighborhood, especially when firefighters and police are overwhelmed with requests for help and could be slowed down by impassable streets and other damage.
Neighborhood Emergency Teams (NETs) are residents trained by the Portland Office of Emergency Management and Portland Fire & Rescue to provide emergency disaster assistance within their own neighborhoods. NET members receive basic training (Community Emergency Response Team) on how to save lives and property until the professionals can arrive. They have the skills to help their neighbors without getting hurt themselves. NET members are:
- Prepared for self-sufficiency for at least 72 hours or longer in any emergency.
- Able to provide emergency assistance to their family and immediate neighbors.
- Able to work as an emergency response team to save lives and property in their neighborhood in the event of a major disaster.
- Able to guide untrained volunteers who want to help others when disaster strikes.
The City of Portland offers the NET training at no cost to people who live or work in Portland and is committed to training and organizing a team in each of the city’s 95 neighborhoods. Over 1,000 citizens have already completed the training and teams have been started within the 30 Portland Fire & Rescue Fire Management Areas (FMA) and in 90 Portland neighborhoods.
The Portland Office of Emergency Management offers the free basic Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) training during the fall and spring of a calendar year. Fall semester runs from mid September into early November and the spring semester runs from mid March into early May. There is usually both a Wednesday night and Saturday morning class session per fall and spring semester, depending upon the number of registrants per class session. Passing the Final Field Exercise (FFE) is required.
To join a NET, participants complete a total of 21 hours of basic training in class with a Final Field Exercise of four (4) hours. The training includes the following topics:
Earthquakes and Other Disasters
Home and Workplace Preparedness
Neighborhood Preparedness and NETs
Gas, Electric and Water
Fire Extinguishers—Types and Uses
Disaster Medicine (I)
Treating Life-Threatening Injuries
Disaster Medicine (II)
Treating Common Injuries
Setting Up a Medical Treatment Area
Public Health Considerations
Light Search & Rescue (I)
Visual Assessment of Damaged Buildings
Light Search & Rescue (II)
Disaster Psychology and Trauma Intervention
NET Team Management
NETs in Action—Tabletop Exercise
NET Final Field Exercise,
a four (4) hour hands-on practical skill drill
Please remember that you must live or work in Portland and be at least 14 years old to take the NET training. You will need to pre-register for the training. Thanks again for your interest!