Team Rubicon, an international non-profit disaster response organization, utilizes the skills and experiences of military veterans, first responders, and civilians. Members of the team can deploy at a moment’s notice to communities affected by disaster or humanitarian crisis. Around 70 per cent of the team is made up of military veterans.
What initially started in the US, now maintains about 70,000 volunteers across the globe, with affiliates in Canada, UK, Australia, and Norway. Justin Wright, launch manager for Team Rubicon Canada, said Denmark and Netherlands will likely be the next countries to start organizing affiliated organizations.
“This brand expansion is stewarded by Team Rubicon Global who is responsible for incubating new Team Rubicon Affiliates,” said Wright.
This past February when Brantford, Ont., became flooded, Team Rubicon was there to provide essential recovery operations to the community. The Grand River rose seven meters and flooded multiple communities along the river. This forced the Municipality of Brantford to call a state of emergency. The flooding forced 5,000 people out of their homes and destroyed many low-lying parks and green spaces.
“Our team deployed 16 volunteers making up five Chainsaw teams, who were able to clear 1600 meters of trail. During this time, our volunteers put in approximately 660 volunteer labour hours and were successful in clearing 660 cubic meters of debris from D’Aubigny Creek Park and the Gilkison Flats, making both trails walkable again,” said Wright.
Team Rubicon members were on site working for eight days.
Wright added they are always looking for volunteers. While skills learned in the military are beneficial to the team, Wright said they will take anyone with a commitment to service.
“Our volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, which is a key to our success. If you are willing to step up and help those in need, we are ready to welcome you to our team,” said Wright.
Recently, General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada has announced their support of Team Rubicon. This support comes in the form of EmergencySHIELD communications equipment, designed specifically for disaster zones. This will ensure the members of Team Rubicon will be able to provide more effective disaster and humanitarian response missions at home and abroad.
EmergencySHIELD is a deployable, dedicated, and secure broadband (LTE/4G) communications system. The system can be deployed with Team Rubicon, or any disaster relief team, anywhere in the world. EmergencySHIELD provides a reliable and accessible network that can easily and effectively share video, voice, data and location information.