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    Posted July 27, 2014 by
    Pateros, Washington
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Wildfires blazing near you

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    Pateros Enlists Team Rubicon to Manage Wildfire Relief Efforts


    The City of Pateros has enlisted Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster relief organization, to manage the city’s relief and recovery response to the Carlton Complex Fire—the largest in Washington state’s history.


    “The community has done a great job of pulling together; however, an event like this can be beyond overwhelming,” said Bob Obernier, who has been designated by Team Rubicon to serve as incident commander. “The city has placed its trust in Team Rubicon and we are grateful for the opportunity to help residents on their path to recovery.”


    Obernier is a Navy veteran and retired fire battalion chief from Tallahassee, Fla.,


    Team Rubicon has deployed an Incident Management Assistance Team to tackle debris removal, volunteer management and in-kind donations. Team Rubicon will be responsible for the safety of volunteers; tracking supplies and commodities; cost accountability; and public information.


    This is the first time that the nonprofit has been tasked for such a role by a municipality. Team Rubicon’s services are being provided at no cost to the city, funded solely through donations.


    “Disasters like this don’t happen every day, so we deeply appreciate the ability to tap into Team Rubicon’s knowledge and resources,” said Libby Harrison, mayor of Pateros. “Our residents are in good hands.”


    Beyond disaster relief, Team Rubicon helps veterans find a renewed sense of purpose—vital as many return to civilian life after more than a decade of war.


    The nonprofit was founded in the wake of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake by Jake Wood and William McNulty, both Marine veterans. It has grown from eight to 16,000 members with more than 65 operations under its belt, including Haiti, Superstorm Sandy, and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.


    “The city has placed its trust in Team Rubicon and we are grateful for the opportunity to help residents on their path to recovery,” said Obernier. “Through helping others, we help empower veterans to continue their service at home.”


    It’s been a busy year for Team Rubicon, with responses to tornadoes, floods and damaging storms across the country. To learn more about Team Rubicon’s mission visit


    About Team Rubicon: Team Rubicon (TR) unites the skills and experience of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. TR offers veterans a chance to continue their service by helping and empowering those afflicted by disasters, and also themselves. For more about Team Rubicon, visit

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