08-21-2017  9:05 am      •     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' Screens at New Performing Arts Center, Federal Way

Free screening follows the day after official ribbon cutting of the arts center ...

Join a Book Club at Your Neighborhood Library

At North Portland Library, Pageturners Black Voices focuses on books written by and about African and African American authors ...

Meeting of the NE Community Development Oversight Committee

The fourth meeting will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 23 ...

Health Share of Oregon Invests $3M in Community Health Workers

Investment will improve health care access, quality and outcomes for Oregonians who face barriers to care ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

SEIU’s President: No Place for White Supremacists in the White House

Mary Kay Henry makes following statement on Trump’s remarks after violence in Charlottesville ...

It’s Time to Show “Middle Neighborhoods” Love, Before It’s too Late

Middle Neighborhoods, School Rehabilitation and Food Insecurity are key action items for the policy agenda of the CBC. ...

Despite Unequal Treatment, Black Women Will Rise

NNPA Newswire Columnist Julianne Malveaux talks about Black Women’s Equal Pay Day ...

PCC Cascade President on Free Tuition Program

Any student who qualifies for the Oregon Promise can attend most in-state community colleges tuition-free ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT


 

 

Neighborhood Emergency Teams are ordinary men and women, who have been trained to help out their neighbors in an emergency. Pictured here are members of the Woodlawn NET. You don't need to be specially fit or strong. If you are 14 or older, you can sign up to train as a NET volunteer.

You know you have what it takes to save lives during a disaster.  All you need is a little knowledge, a chance to practice your skills and some tips from the experts. That's the big idea behind the Neighborhood  Emergency Team program, which offers free training to anyone aged 14 and older who lives in Portland. Funded through the city's Office of Emergency Management and run by seasoned firefighters, the program offers eight sessions of concentrated hero training.
"It's absolutely critical that people get trained," said the program's coordinator, Lawrence Behmer. "This is about neighbors helping neighbors when it has to count."
The trainings are held at a large firefighter training campus in Northeast Portland, and usually run for eight weeks on either Wednesday evenings or Satu-rdays.   Firefighters teach NET volunteers essential disaster skills such as how to act quickly to secure homes and streets by turning off unsafe utilities, and how to deal with hazardous materials. Volunteers learn how to assess injuries and administer first aid. They even learn how to pull people out of wrecked buildings safely.
Clarence Harper, a former youth counselor who is now a volunteer dispatcher for the Red Cross, has been an emergency volunteer since 1995.
"I would recommend people to call the NET program," he said. "It's a really valuable training: you get first aid training and it's a good confidence builder. I'm really happy, it's been a very positive experience for me."

Harper said that thanks to his training he has been able to help others – possibly saving their lives. On the scene when a stranger collapsed with a heart attack, he was able to administer CPR until an ambulance arrived. On another occasion, Harper saw smoke coming from an apartment.
"I broke the glass and grabbed a fire extinguisher," Harper said. "I put my hand on the door to make sure it wasn't hot — and it wasn't so I went in. The bed was on fire so I just used the fire extinguisher to put it out.
"A guy had passed out in the bathroom and I could smell alcohol on his breath.  He was unresponsive so I dragged him out of there." When firefighters arrived they joked he was putting them out of a job.

 
Clarence Harper, a longtime volunteer with the Neighborhood Emergency Teams program, has received several awards for his service. Here Harper is pictured with Carmen Merlo, director of the Portland Office of Emergency Management

Ethan Jewett, who heads the Woodlawn Neighborhood Emergency Team, said he hopes more people in North and Northeast Portland find out about the training and join up.
"The whole point of NET is that no city could have enough firefighters on hand waiting in case of an emergency. It's just not possible."
Diversity is the key to an effective team, Jewett said, because it makes trust and communication possible during a crisis. He's keen to work with more people of color and people who speak Spanish, for example.
"It's not like I just want some Spanish speakers on my team: it's that I need them on my team," he said. "NET teams need people who can communicate with people in their own languages."
The next NET training starts Sept. 17 and is open to anyone over 14. Sign up at the Web site http://www.pdxprepared.net or call Lawrence Behmer at 503-823-4421.

LINKED STORIES
Prepare, Survive a Disaster
When Disaster Strikes It's Up to You
72-hour Emergency Kits and Family Plans
Wanted: Heroes
What Do You Do When All the Lights Go Out
Disasters Are Not Rare, FEMA Count 69 a year
Multnomah County Info and Trainings
Oregon Lottery PM Home
Calendar
Carpentry Professionals

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Hood to Coast Relay

The Skanner Photo Archives