Citizen Corps

Columbia County Citizen Corps logo

Citizen Corps harnesses the power of individuals through education, training, and volunteer service, making our community safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to threats and disasters of all kinds. Citizen Corps asks you to embrace personal responsibility: be prepared, get first aid and emergency skills training, and volunteer to support local emergency responders, disaster relief, and community safety.

Search And Rescue logoSearch and Rescue (SAR) is vital to the Sheriff's commitment to preserving the peace in our community. Columbia County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) commanders oversee a predominantly volunteer fore of SAR team members, a very professional-minded group. SAR volunteers lead the day-to-day preparations for when {not "if") the team's services are required.

SAR team members search for and aid people in distress or imminent danger. SAR team members must complete minimum yearly training to be certified. Citizens across the county need to be trained and prepared for search and rescue missions when duty may call.

Sheriff's Mounted Posse logoThe Columbia County Sheriff's Mounted Posse (CCSMP) is a non-profit volunteer group committed to projecting pride, promoting civic involvement, and serving the community at the Sheriff's direction. CCSMP members are not law enforcement personnel and do not enforce laws. Volunteers use their personal horses and equipment for duties, such as: participating in local parades; providing county fair parking lot security; attending public, community, and charity events; and public relations. Members practice year-round and attend classes throughout the Northwest.

Applications for SAR and the CCSMP are available online at Completed applications can be mailed or delivered to the Sheriff's Office (901 Port Ave., St. Helens, OR 97051).

Search And Rescue Coordinator
(503) 366-4611

Posse Captain
(360) 747-4942.

Amateur Radio Emergency Service logoThe Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is a volunteer corps of trained, licensed amateur radio operators who register their qualifications and equipment with the local ARES leadership to assist in public service and emergency communications.

ARES volunteers help their communities in good times and bad during community events, disaster response, and various programs. Communication failures have been a defining part of natural and even some human-generated events, such as the September 11 attacks in New York City.

ARES provides a quality backup emergency communications system in response to the needs of the Columbia County Office of Emergency Management and the people of Columbia County.

Columbia County's ARRL Emergency Coordinator
Ed Bodenlos, W7EWB
(503) 397-9102 /

Community Emergency Response Team logoThe Columbia County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a group of trained citizens that volunteers year-round to educate our neighbors about emergency preparedness and provide them with basic disaster survival skills for events such as earthquakes, floods, storms, fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. CERT members also provide services at special community events such as parades, runs, festivals, and more.

CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own, and their actions can make a difference. CERT is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety, and "doing the most good for the most people as quickly as possible" when responding to a disaster."

CERT programs exist in all 50 states, including many tribal nations and U.S. territories. Over 2,700 local CERT programs exist nationwide, and over 600,000 people have trained since CERT became a national program. Each is unique to its community and essential to building a Culture of Preparedness.

Columbia County CERT
Cindy Becker
(503) 779-4501 {call or text} /

Clatskanie CERT
Jolene Day
(360) 430-6963 {call or text} /

Grange logoFounded in 1867, the Grange is a national organization with a local focus, a family and community organization rooted in agriculture. The Grange is a non-profit, nonpartisan, fraternal organization that advocates for rural America, agriculture, and legislative issues like transportation, farm programs, rural economic development, public power, and rural mail deliveries.

Grange members meet, talk, work, and act together for mutual protection and advancement. Members strive to secure harmony, goodwill, and brotherhood and to make the Order perpetual. Faithful adherence to these principles ensures the mental, moral, social, and material advancement of Grange members. These efforts ensure that members learn and grow to their full potential as citizens and leaders.

Grange County Deputy
Eva Frost
(503) 816-8904 /

Other Columbia County groups that need volunteers

American Red Cross logo (email)

Medical Reserve Corps logo
503-397-7247 (Columbia County Public Health)

Emergency Management Quick Links
General Information
Phone Numbers
Fax: 503-366-4904
Emergencies: Dial 911
230 Strand St.
Columbia County Courthouse Annex
St. Helens,

Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.