Answering Sally: Team Rubicon Stages for Water Rescue & Response

Team Rubicon is making preparations to dispatch water rescue teams  EDIT: has deployed personnel to the coasts of AL and MS to assist with rescue efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sally. They will be staging at their National Operations Center in Grand Prairie, TX – assuming they haven’t already deployed when this is published.

The target rescue team(s) will ideally consist of personnel certified (or quantifiably experienced) with water rescue operations. Each element will require the following:

  • 1 x Swiftwater Unit Leader
  • 3 x Logs/Admin
  • 1 x Safety Officer
  • 3 x Boat Team Leaders
  • 3 x Rescue Techs
  • 3 x Rescue Medics
Hurricane Sally storm surge
Hurricane Sally storm surge along Gulf Shores, AL. Animation from a video by meteorologist @reedtimmer. Featured image above via The Weather Channel.

These elements and others like them will be assisting communities affected by the impact and after effects of Hurricane Sally. Greyshirts, i.e. Team Rubicon volunteers, should (as usual) be prepared for lengthy hours of physical labor in an austere environment, should plan on eating MREs and “billeting” in tents or vehicles.

Although the need for that team may have been met (or superseded by new requirements) by the time you read this, there will be a need for additional support.

There are many ways to volunteer, by no means all monetarily. Quite the opposite in fact. TR deploys sawyers,plumbers, people who package and deliver food, medical personnel, and volunteers with many other backgrounds and skillsets. One has but to look at TR’s recent response to assist the Easter Sunday tornadoes in Ouchita Parish, LA not too long ago and the recently completed restoration of the 100th home in Houston to see the wide range of ways someone can help.

Team Rubicon volunteers moving debris, Operation Cedarcrest
Team Rubicon Greyshirts working Operation Cedarcrest in New Haven. TR volunteers in Connecticut removed almost 30,000 cubic feet of debris while deployed.

In addition to the water rescue and other pending responses to Hurricane Sally, Greyshirts continue to conduct relief efforts in areas impacted by Hurricane Laura.

Daniel Shaw, GunMag Warehouse Director of Marketing, during a recent deployment to Hurricane Laura.
Daniel Shaw, GunMag Warehouse’s own Director of Marketing (and retired Marine), during a recent deployment to Hurricane Laura as a Team Rubicon volunteer leader.

Responses to Hurricanes Sally and Laura, the fires in California, and several other disasters or community need events are just the latest in literally hundreds of TR volunteer operations since the organization’s founding in 2010. Among those are, a half-dozen earthquakes, nearly 150 hurricanes and tornadoes, nearly as many floods, and scores of other events. They’ve recently begun working with Food LIfeline, Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, and others to address communities impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic.

Operation Darby Free
Veteran-led TR volunteers working Operation Darby Free; Darby, PA. While there, 38 Greyshirts (17 of them on their first TR deployment) removed more than 8,500 square feet of debris caused by Hurricane Isiais. Among those helped, a Vietnam War veteran of the 5th Air Cavalry Regiment (dark blue shirt, bottom right corner in oval).

Certainties and Reassurances 

Team Rubicon has…

  • a 5 Star Charity Navigator rated 501(c)(3) volunteer organization
  • an A- grade on Charity Watch
  • received the e GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency
  • earned the World Health Organization’s Medical Team Type 1 Mobile Verification – the first NGO in North America to do so.
FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor
FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor. I thought it was interesting that today at about 14h25 CST, while writing this, I heard Mr. Gaynor mention his “counterparts” in the response to Hurricane Sally. In fact, he mentioned Team Rubicon right after the Department of Defense.
David Reeder's Wu Tang name is Lucky Prophet. He is a retired AF veteran, former Peace Officer, and current Tier 2.5 writer-operator. Over the course of his career, he has worked a variety of military and lE billets, served as an Observer-Controller at the National Homeland Security Training Center, a MOUT instructor, and an MTT tracking instructor - all of which sounds much cooler than it really was. Although he only updates his website once in a very great while, he can absolutely be relied upon to post to social media (@reederwrites) at least once a month. -Ish.

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