City of Portland's official page about the NET

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: 

  1. Prepared for self-sufficiency for at least 72 hours or longer in any emergency.
  2. Able to provide emergency assistance to their family and immediate neighbors.
  3. Able to work as an emergency response team to save lives and property in their neighborhood in the event of a major disaster.
  4. 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:

Session 1:

Disaster Awareness—

Earthquakes and Other Disasters

Home and Workplace Preparedness

Neighborhood Preparedness and NETs

Session 2:

Utility Control—

Gas, Electric and Water

Fire Extinguishers—Types and Uses

Hazardous Materials

Session 3:

Disaster Medicine (I)

Treating Life-Threatening Injuries

Medical Triage

Session 4:

Disaster Medicine (II)

Treating Common Injuries

Setting Up a Medical Treatment Area

Public Health Considerations

Session 5:

Light Search & Rescue (I)

Visual Assessment of Damaged Buildings

Search Techniques

Session 6:

Light Search & Rescue (II)

Rescue Techniques

Patient Transport

Session 7:

Disaster Psychology and Trauma Intervention

NET Team Management

NETs in Action—Tabletop Exercise

Session 8:

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 trainingThanks again for your interest!