Team Rubicon - Anyone Know this Organization?

Skeptic

Adventurer
I've seen ads for this organization on the Expo homepage -

http://teamrubiconusa.org/

Looks interesting, and just curious at this point, but I can't find any comments in this forum doing a quick search. Anyone familiar with it?
 

Ruined Adventures

Expo Poser
I've been curious about this group too.

We were passing thru OKC on our way back from the Expo to NC. We heard about the tornados in Oklahoma and we wanted to volunteer with the relief efforts. We saw that they had deployed volunteers to help in Moore so we signed up the other day (they have opportunities for military vets and medical personnel). Since the Mrs. and I both have medical and rescue training we hoped we could use those skills, but we haven't heard back from them yet. Tick tock
 

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madmax718

Explorer
I don't know much about them, but did run into a few of them during hurricane sandy.

The volunteers were definitely willing to get out there and help. They did a lot of pre- survey of damage and what was needed and was sending that data in real time back to the office- where they were deploying teams to help clean up and what not.

They seemed to be very passionate about what they were doing.

I know we burned a lot of supplies (unnecessarily) during Hurricane Sandy- most of it to waste.

edit: What I meant to say was their organization helped minimize waste. There was a lot of willing and eager people with supplies and labor... but no effort to coordinate them efficiently. Consequently, able bodies were turned away, or used for non priority tasks.
 
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Ramjet

Explorer
Its actually retired and ex service members of the US Military. It's on a voluntary basis and you're deployed depending on your geographic area. You have to live within 250 miles of the disaster or get special permission from HQ to deploy into the disaster area. There is a process you have to go through to get accepted as a member. One and the most important. Ex-Military. Hope this helps.
 

crismateski

American Adventurist
I dont know much, but "signed up" with them a couple of months back and am slowly going through some of the process and trying to learn a bit more about the program
 

Ruined Adventures

Expo Poser
Its actually retired and ex service members of the US Military. It's on a voluntary basis and you're deployed depending on your geographic area. You have to live within 250 miles of the disaster or get special permission from HQ to deploy into the disaster area. There is a process you have to go through to get accepted as a member. One and the most important. Ex-Military. Hope this helps.
That seems to be their focus, but they also incorporate "disaster professionals" such as first responders, medical professionals, and emergency managers. Since most everyone receives NIMS and ICS training, they all coordinate well.

We signed up with Team Rubicon and contacted them to tell them that we were already in the area of the tornado damage in Moore, OK. A couple days passed and after the rescue efforts were finished we were able to find a local volunteer opportunity just assisting with cleanup via ServeMoore (they STILL need help BTW).

I believe the third day after I sent Team Rubicon an email, they emailed me back and I received a phone call about helping out with them. Unfortunately, that was on our last day there so we didn't get a chance to do anything thru them. They seemed well organized and eager to have the help. We are working on updating our info for them so that next time we'll be ready to deploy when we're able. The fact that they do an After Action Report after each incident, shows that they've got their heads in the right place.
 
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It's a good group. I have a bit of background in disaster relief and have Team Rubicon on my radar to possibly work with in the future.

The original model of working with retired military members is a good one - most of those men and women know how to handle themselves in a disaster situation. I've seen civilians melt down even in training for disaster response. Their model at least minimizes much of that.

Overall, they do a stellar job, and seem to be well-respected in the disaster response community.
 

Ruined Adventures

Expo Poser
They just sent out an email to their volunteers yesterday, calling all credentialed medical professionals...looks like they're going to do a deployment to the Philippines.
 

T1mH

New member
That seems to be their focus, but they also incorporate "disaster professionals" such as first responders, medical professionals, and emergency managers. Since most everyone receives NIMS and ICS training, they all coordinate well.

We signed up with Team Rubicon and contacted them to tell them that we were already in the area of the tornado damage in Moore, OK. A couple days passed and after the rescue efforts were finished we were able to find a local volunteer opportunity just assisting with cleanup via ServeMoore (they STILL need help BTW).

I believe the third day after I sent Team Rubicon an email, they emailed me back and I received a phone call about helping out with them. Unfortunately, that was on our last day there so we didn't get a chance to do anything thru them. They seemed well organized and eager to have the help. We are working on updating our info for them so that next time we'll be ready to deploy when we're able. The fact that they do an After Action Report after each incident, shows that they've got their heads in the right place.
I worked with ServeMoore last summer for a week and we are going back in 2014 to work with them for another week. Still a lot to do there but it's on the recovery/rebuilding side.

I am a member of a search and rescue team. After a disaster hits is the wrong time to sign up with a disaster relief organization. Even if you are already on scene. If your serious about wanting to help you need to sign up ahead of time, make preparations and get some training. Those are the people who are going to get tasked first when this stuff happens. A disaster organization does not have time to check out your credentials in the middle of a disaster. They just don't have time for it so they don't know what you can do or how they can use you. Some basic training makes you far more valuable and easier to deploy.
 

FortyTwo

Observer
Hi guys,

I've been a TR volunteer for a few years and am a member of our region's leadership team. I been to a number of deployments this year; most recently the Philippines after Haiyan and Washington, IL after tornadoes struck the area.

While we're mostly ex-military and have an ongoing interest in the reintegration mission, TR is open to other first responders, medical, and SAR personnel. We strive to put trained, motivated, and disciplined people on the ground in an effort to make a positive impact. Almost all of us freely give up a lot of time to help.

I can't speak for the entire organization, but I'd be happy to field questions you guys might have about Team Rubicon and our disaster response efforts. Feel free to post or PM me. Thanks for the interest!

-Chris
 

Ruined Adventures

Expo Poser
I am a member of a search and rescue team. After a disaster hits is the wrong time to sign up with a disaster relief organization. Even if you are already on scene. If your serious about wanting to help you need to sign up ahead of time, make preparations and get some training. Those are the people who are going to get tasked first when this stuff happens. A disaster organization does not have time to check out your credentials in the middle of a disaster. They just don't have time for it so they don't know what you can do or how they can use you. Some basic training makes you far more valuable and easier to deploy.
Yes, showing up onscene to help out can be taxing on relief efforts and make it difficult for organizations to focus on their job. Of course anyone can show up claiming they have XYZ experience, but the organization has to be cautious and validate credentials of potential volunteers, otherwise it can be a huge liability. As medical professionals with a background in emergency care we both understood this, however that day we were placed on a disasters doorstep in OKC.

We contacted Servemoore, the local organization, after the rescue efforts were finished. We figured we could at least help with the cleanup process while we were in town. Before then, I had never heard of Team Rubicon. Sign-up for TR is done using an online system, so it's not taxing on their relief efforts and you actually have to upload relative credentials to OrgAction before they will contact you to help. There's also a list of minimum training that you're obligated to fulfill beforehand but luckily we both have this already. Surprisingly, they called us up in OKC and asked if we could help out while we were there. Unfortunately, we had already committed our time there to helping out thru ServeMoore. Either way, we have signed up for future opportunities and look forward to what comes next whether it be at home or elsewhere.

Chris, thanks for posting! Can you tell us more about what it has been like on the regional leadership team? I've been seriously thinking about applying for a regional position for Region 4, but I'd love to hear someone's feedback. We received the emails about the Philippines and I was chomping at the bit, but we were all the way in Patagonia when we found out about the deployment.
 
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EricM

Standard American Mutt
I just registered with TR. I am also registering with my local county SAR and ARES.
 

FortyTwo

Observer
Chris, thanks for posting! Can you tell us more about what it has been like on the regional leadership team? I've been seriously thinking about applying for a regional position for Region 4, but I'd love to hear someone's feedback. We received the emails about the Philippines and I was chomping at the bit, but we were all the way in Patagonia when we found out about the deployment.
The development of the organization and leadership over the years has really been substantial. TR is divided into 10 regions to mirror FEMA, and in 2013 regional positions were introduced in these areas: Field Operations, Resources, Planning, Programs, and Comms. Each is very different from one another, and will suit everyone differently. In our region that we work together very well, though, and there is a lot of crossover. There will be a further push to have those positions at a state level as well.

The biggest difference in having a regional role and being a standing TR member is just what we do in the "off time." I typically put in 10-20 volunteer hours a week trying to help build up our little corner of the world. Match that with full-time+ work and all that comes with typically daily life, and it can be a lot. It might not be for everyone, but I like to be pretty involved.

We've always been great (in our short existence) of putting in work when a disaster strikes. We have a great reputation for making a positive impact, putting in incredible amounts of time and resources into response, and saving communities boatloads of money. A big 2014 goal, though, is to do better during the down time. As our number grow, we'll be adding specialty training and social events to keep us ready and familiar with our regional members. Since I've been around, we've gone from a like 300 people to 14,000. I definitely need to learn lot of new faces!

EricM said:
I just registered with TR. I am also registering with my local county SAR and ARES.
Welcome aboard, Eric! Holler if you ever need anything TR related.
 
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