Team Rubicon is a nonprofit organization that rapidly deploys emergency response teams to communities around the world affected by disasters. In 2010, a team of veterans and medical professionals responded to an earthquake-struck Haiti and Team Rubicon was born. It became clear that military veterans are uniquely prepared to provide immediate emergency response and aid in the early hours of a disaster, before larger relief organizations can get on the ground. With affiliate teams in Canada, Australia, Norway, UK and USA, we currently maintain a growing roster of over 70,000 veterans, first responders and civilian volunteers who are ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.
Since 2010, the global Team Rubicon network has responded to more than 230 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide. Team Rubicon Canada was established as an official charitable organization in 2017, and in February of 2018, we had the opportunity to run our first official Canadian response. The Grand River in Brantford, Ontario rose seven metres causing flooding in multiple communities. The Municipality of Brantford was forced into a state of emergency, and Team Rubicon Canada stepped up to take action. The flooding displaced 5,000 people from 2,200 homes and destroyed numerous low lying parks and green spaces.
With the chain saw equipment that STIHL provided our organization, Team Rubicon Canada was able to complete essential recovery operations to the community. Our team deployed five sawyer teams made up of 16 volunteers, and were able to clear 1,600 metres of trail. During this time, our volunteers put in 657 volunteer labour hours and were successful in clearing more than 650 cubic metres of debris from D’Aubigny Creek Park and the Gilkison Flats, making both trails walkable again and saving the community $28,500.
In addition, Team Rubicon Canada used the opportunity to improve our chain saw capabilities for future disaster responses by hosting a Sawyer I course. This program is designed to establish a baseline standard for professional and safe chain saw activities for our responders. In Brantford we were able to qualify 14 new sawyers with nine of those going on to complete the Sawyer I Instructor Course. This will give us the opportunity to continue growing our chain saw skill set across Canada. With STIHL’s support, we were able to assist a community in need and prepare our team for the next disaster.
Team Rubicon Canada is a growing team whose work is made possible by donations and in kind support. The generosity of individuals and businesses enables us to serve communities in need. For more information on volunteering or to make a donation, please visit www.TeamRubicon.ca.