Portland Bureau of Emergency Management
Emergency Messages as of 1:34 pm, Tue. Jul. 23
No information currently posted.
News Release
PBEM NET Line Down photo
PBEM NET Line Down photo
Proclamation honors 30-Year Anniversary of Neighborhood Emergency Team Volunteers on July 10 (Photo) - 07/09/24

Portland City Council will celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) program with a proclamation at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 10. You can view the proclamation here.

NET volunteer Tyler B. Robinson will stage a preparedness-themed escape game Shaky Grounds at no charge at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 10, on Southwest Fourth Ave between Harrison and Hall streets.

In 30 years, the NET program grew from 73 trainees from 22 neighborhoods in 1994, to 1,124 volunteers representing 80 neighborhoods. Since 1994, 3,889 people have been trained. Since 2018, NETs have deployed 244 times, totaling 31,363 volunteer hours for activities including controlling perimeters at downed powerlines, engaging with communities, and training to save lives and property until professional first responders arrive. 

NETs are trained by the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) along with Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) to provide emergency assistance within their own neighborhoods. Some NET accomplishments are:

  • Initiating Oregon’s first and only Spanish-speaking CERT program
  • Supporting houseless people by serving as People-in-Charge at emergency shelters, and transporting guests to life-saving shelters during severe weather conditions.
  • Performing damage assessments for recovery after winter storms.
  • Holding preparedness and response courses for nonprofit and faith-based organizations serving communities of color
  • Launching a Mental Health First Aid certification program as part of NET training.
  • Establishing Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programs in area high schools.
  • Supporting dozens of vaccine clinics and embedding with Portland Mask Project during the COVID-19 pandemic to sew more than 20,000 masks for historically marginalized communities.

The Portland NET program began as a pilot in the spring of 1994 with training in basic emergency response. Reports from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) flagged the risks of a Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) earthquake. Understanding the potential damage of a severe quake, the City of Portland enlisted Portlanders to promote personal preparedness.

“It takes a community for a success like NET to happen. A community of compassion, DIY spirit, and foresight,” said Jeremy Van Keuren, PBEM’s Community Resilience Manager. “NETs arrive every time Portland asks them to. Every time NETs arrive, they make Portland stronger than it was before.” 

To learn more, visit https://www.portland.gov/pbem/neighborhood-emergency-teams/volunteer.

View more news releases from Portland Bureau of Emergency Management.