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Disaster Exercise Trained Spanish Speakers in Emergency Response

News Article
Photos by Ernest Jones
Published
Two women looking to the side wearing hard hats and vests
Group of people in safety vests

Oregon’s only Spanish-language Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in Oregon, known as Verde NETs (Neighborhood Emergency Teams), trained last weekend at Scenario Village, which is among the highest quality trainings available to NET volunteers. Neighborhood Emergency Teams are Portlanders trained by the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) and Portland Fire & Rescue to provide emergency disaster assistance within their own neighborhoods. 

Nearly 70 NET volunteers, including four guests from the Community Emergency Response Team in Woodburn, attended this bilingual training to practice comprehensive response exercises in search and rescue, triage, medical treatment, radio communications, SUV management and leadership. This training is only available to NETs four times each year. 

This training was a partnership with Portland Police Bureau and PBEM. Scenario Village, owned and operated by the Portland Police Bureau, is a 13,400 square foot indoor mock town. 

“This comprehensive exercise was the place to put all different parts of their training together to rescue

people,” said PBEM Community Resilience Manager Jeremy Van Keuren. “It was remarkable to see the English and Spanish speakers learning to work with each other.” 

Learn more about Neighborhood Emergency Teams here: www.portland.gov/net. Verde, a community resilience partner with the City of Portland, coordinates the Spanish-speaking NET volunteers.