Friends of Portland NET

Friends of Portland NET aims to garner awareness of current issues that could impact the future of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and the Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) program. We work to mobilize NET members, NET program applicants, and other supporters to urge our elected and appointed officials to support volunteer emergency responders.

As a NET member or concerned member of the community, you may have heard there are current issues that could impact the future of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) program. A few of us have decided to create an advocacy group, Friends of Portland NET, to raise our collective voice for the NET program.  Together we can  make a significant impression, mobilizing NET members, NET program applicants, and other supporters to urge our elected and appointed officials to support volunteer emergency responders. The organizing committee is assembling, consulting with experienced advisers, and working on a plan about how best to garner awareness of, and support for, the NET program.

  • There will be significant turnover in PF&R and Portland Police Bureau leadership in the coming year.  We need to make it known that NETs have relied on the excellent working relationship we have enjoyed in the past, and replacements should have knowledge of, and experience with, the NET program.
  • State programs, such as the funding policies of the Oregon State Office of Emergency Management (OEM) State Homeland Security Grant (SHSG) Program and the US Department of Homeland Security’s Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) directly affect what resources are available to PBEM and to NET members. More than half of PBEM’s budget revenue stems from such grants.  We have specific concerns about the equity and sustainability of those sources.
  • We have witnessed the value of NET turnout when the City reviews of priorities and support for its bureaus.
    Michael Schilmoeller

    Michael

Glenn

Glenn

The case for ongoing vigilance and organized action is clear.  We need to establish ways to scan for and identify emerging issues that could impact the welfare of the NET program.

We plan to send an email to all 1100+ registered NETs asking them to participate in FPN. We have already contacted NET Team Leaders to request they support and guide FPN efforts.  Anyone with questions about or have interest in FPN involvement, please contact us directly.

Thanks for all you do to prepare your neighborhoods, and each other!

 

Note: This effort is being coordinated by NET members on an independent, volunteer basis. It is not endorsed, directed, or supported by PBEM.  This is your organization.

Sincerely,
Michael Schilmoeller (former Argay/Parkrose TL, NET Radio Training Liaison, Michael@FriendsOfPortland.NET)
Glenn C. Devitt (Sunnyside TL, Glenn@FriendsOfPortland.NET)

Current Activities and Issues

Update: Friday, March 17, 2017

2017-2018 Budget Work Sessions

PBEM
More than a dozen NETs were in the audience for City Council’s PBEM Budget Work Session on Tue, Mar 14, 2017. Thank you! Our presence, especially in our vests, made an impact on the Council and demonstrated our volunteer commitment to the program. The Mayor and Commissioners again gave shout-outs for the work NETs did during the winter storm and gas explosion deployments. And Commissioner Chloe Eudaly announced that she is enrolled in the next Basic Training class and will soon join our ranks! There are two upcoming hearings where public commentary will be possible. We will notify NETs via email if we think we need to show up at those sessions too.

PF&R
Glenn was invited by PF&R Chief Mike Myers to testify at a Council session on Thu, Mar 17, 2017 as a citizen member of the Bureau’s Budget Advisory Committee (see below for more info). His testimony focused on the value of training volunteer emergency responders, and how well the work of NETs integrates with the Chief’s vision for resilient communities and collaboration of Bureaus to achieve common goals.

Achievements

Friends of Portland NET (FPN) has been busy!

  • In addition to serving on the PF&R BAC, Glenn C Devitt served on the group that advised Commissioner Saltzman on the selection of Fire Chief Erin Janssens’ replacement, Fire Chief Mike Myers
  • FPN has attended several meetings concerning the PBEM 2016-2017 budget.  Michael Schilmoeller attended a March 31 meeting at City Hall, where Carmen Merlo presented the PBEM budget proposal and decision package (DP). The DP is what the City Council will use to make decisions about fiscal support.
  • Michael and several other NET members also appeared and gave testimony at a Community Budget Forum in support of PBEM and the NET program to Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioners Steve Novick and Amanda Fritz.
  • Friends of Portland NET provided written testimony to all City Commissioners on the 2016-2017 budget.
  • Glenn served on the PF&R Budget Advisory Committee in Winter 2016 for the 2017-2018 budget

Thanks for all you do to prepare your neighborhoods, and each other!

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