Volunteer to be a Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) Member

Anyone who lives or works in Portland is invited to take NET training for free. There are over 2,000 Active volunteers in Portland. Join them today, with the four steps below!
Portland Neighborhood Emergency Team training

A few minutes for the application form, and approximately 28 hours for Basic NET Training.

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 a week. Neighborhoods need to be prepared for self-sufficiency, too. Volunteer neighborhood rescuers will likely be first on-the-scene when firefighters and police are slowed by impassable streets or overwhelmed by calls for help.

Neighborhood Emergency Teams (NETs) are Portland residents trained by PBEM and Portland Fire & Rescue to provide emergency disaster assistance within their own neighborhoods. NET members are trained to save lives and property until professional responders can arrive. These volunteers are specially trained to help others without putting themselves in harm’s way. NET members are:

  1. Prepared to be self-sufficient for two weeks during any emergency.
  2. Able to provide emergency assistance to their family and immediate neighbors.
  3. Able to work within an emergency response team to save lives and property in their neighborhood. 
  4. Able to guide untrained volunteers who want to help others during a disaster.


  • FREE training that will provide you with the core skills you need in order to respond safely and effectively in a major disaster.
  • An introduction to a network of neighbors, emergency response professionals, and other community leaders concerned with preparing for a major disaster.
  • After completing basic training, access to advanced training opportunities, exercises, and classes such as CPR/AED certification, Mental Health First Aid, De-escalation Training, Wilderness First Aid, HAZMAT awareness, radio comms training, and much more.


  • About 28 hours for basic training, usually done over the course of four Saturday or Sunday classes.
  • At least twelve hours of volunteer time every calendar year. This can include anything from talking with neighbors about emergency preparedness, participating in training exercises and simulations, incident deployment, team organization and management, and taking advanced training classes. There are no minimum physical requirements, and there is an important role for everyone!
  • Deployment opportunities (always optional) such as down power line safety perimeters, public outreach events, event first aid stations, emergency evacuation shelters, severe weather shelters, emergency transportation dispatch, and Logistics operations.

1) Complete the registration form

NET Volunteer Application
When the page loads,
use the form on the left

When you complete this step:

  • You will be added to the NET database as an "Applicant" to the program, and be able to proceed to Step 2.
  • The weekly NET Bulletin will be delivered to your email in-box containing updates about the program, trainings, and news.
  • You are welcome to contact your local Team Leader and get to know your team, who can help encourage and guide you during your training. See the interactive map with contact info.

2) Complete the preparedness video training and pass the quiz

Log in to MyImpactPage using the account you created in Step 1, and complete the Online Preparedness Training which is a series of 17 videos on basic preparedness. All together, they add up to about two hours of viewing time.

Once you have finished watching the videos, take the brief 25-question quiz. After passing it you will be able to enroll in Basic NET Training.

3) Enroll in Basic NET Training (BNT)

After passing the quiz, the NET Coordinator will add you to the list of Applicants eligible for Basic NET Training. You will receive emails about new scheduled classes until you find one that fits your schedule.

Basic NET Training takes about 28 hours and may be completed two ways:

  • Entirely in-person: Classroom courses over three weekend days, plus a Final Field Exercise. Registration for the Jul-Aug 2023 cohort has closed. The next in-person cohort is being planned to begin in January 2024. After you complete Step 1 above, you will be notified automatically when dates are finalized and announced.
  • Hybrid: Online via onlinecert.org, which is self-paced and requires 20 hours online, plus 4.5 hours of in-person classes, plus a half-day outdoor Final Field Exercise. If you complete the online portion of training, please send your certificate to net@portlandoregon.gov for further instructions.

After you complete in-person or online classes, you will finish your training with a half-day Final Field Exercise, where you combine your new skills and knowledge with hands-on practice at the Portland Fire & Rescue Training Center. Note that this is an exercise, not a test! NET trainees should expect to make mistakes and learn from them.

4) Later, complete a criminal background check

In compliance with City code, all BEECN and NET volunteers are required to complete a criminal background check every three years because they come into contact with vulnerable populations, use city-owned equipment, and have access to sensitive information. Do nothing now; PBEM will contact you when it is time to fulfill this requirement in one of three ways:

  1. Provide a copy of a license or permit that requires a criminal background check, such as a medical license or concealed weapon permit.
  2. Provide a copy of a criminal background check conducted by a third party within the past 18 months.
  3. Use PBEM's background check service, at no cost to you.

Portland NET training is open to everyone, regardless of past offense records; no one will be barred from taking basic training. However, persons whose record includes a conviction(s) for a felony, sex crime that requires registration, stalking offense, person crime misdemeanor committed less than ten years ago, or non-person misdemeanor committed less than three years ago may not be certified as a NET/BEECN volunteer and permitted to join a team.

Basic NET Training Resources