With help from heavy equipment manufacturer Case, the first group of volunteers have graduated from a disaster response organization’s heavy equipment training program.
Using equipment provided by Case CE, Case IH and Titan Machinery, Team Rubicon on April 7 awarded 24 volunteers with certification to oversee the deployment of heavy equipment on disaster relief sites in North America.
Team Rubicon is a volunteer organization that seeks to “bridge the gap” in the time between the occurance of a natural disaster and when traditional aid organizations are able to fully deploy in an affected area. The group is made up of veterans of both the military and first responder groups.
The training program, which covered engine technology basics, controls and equipment management, wrapped up in Minneapolis but started late last year with rounds of training at wildlife refuges in Texas and California.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service led the training exercises before allowing trainees to put their new skills to use by completing projects on each refuge.The National Wildlife Refuge Association also provided support.
“Whether hurricane, earthquake, or flood response, the ability to safely operate heavy machinery bolsters our disaster relief efforts in communities across the country,” said Jason Ferguson, Team Rubicon’s deputy director of training and exercise, following a previous round of training. “This partnership also allows us to engage our members through service projects to mitigate known environmental hazards and lessen the impact of future disasters.”