What can I say about Team Rubicon thus far in the last six months that I have been a member? What do you want to hear as a prospective volunteer or donor?
To start, my name is Kirtus Creiglow and I live and work in Sacramento, California as a firefighter paramedic. In my profession, as you can imagine, I see people on their worst days and I am tasked with mitigating the problem and delivering medical care. I do this day by day and I make a great living doing it. I could be like most and feel that this is more than enough. I mean, I have an exciting, honorable job where I help my community right? But, deep down inside do you ever ask yourself if you are really doing enough for mankind?
That is where Team Rubicon comes in and that is the answer. As our President and Co-founder Jake Wood said before he left to help in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake: “I have a special set of skills and I would be ashamed if I didn’t try to help.” Well, everyone that is my new creed. Yes, Jake said it, but regardless that is the way all of Team Rubicon thinks. We are all people with a special set of skills willing to give back, with no expectations of pay or praise.
Team Rubicon is an organization made up of doctors, nurses, paramedics and military veterans. Why veterans? Because they are a valuable resource. Because it is important to repurpose the skills of veterans coming back from Afghanistan and abroad and bring them back into an environment or organization where they can continue to use their training in risk assessment, logistics, security and combat medicine and triage. Not just for the benefit of TR but to their benefit too. It has been said and proven through the words and thoughts of other veterans that being a part of something – being a part of Team Rubicon – helps them.
My recent deployment with Team Rubicon to South Sudan was a humbling experience. Or maybe I can better define it as a culture shock. Yes, I knew prior to leaving that I was going to see things I had never seen before or even things I had never imagined. That was what I expected and hoped for. Being over there I knew would help me later to live a richer fuller life. It would help me realize how much I love life, my family and friends, and how fortunate I am for them all to be healthy. Life isn’t as rough and tough as I once thought it was.
Another benefit of my recent deployment was once again being able to practice medicine in a clinical setting, working with a doctor and assisting in surgeries as I once did back when I was in the military. I too served, and had a career in the military as a Navy Corpsmen 10 years back. Now, as a paramedic you stabilize your patient in the field and provide treatment en route to the hospital where you hand the patient off to a higher trained staff to complete the care, all in less than 30 minutes. Being a member of TR provides me the opportunity to once again treat a patient from beginning to end. From sick call to surgery to post-op care to discharge. We could be in an old bombed out hospital or in a grass hut. Working only with what we carried in our backs. I have had the opportunity to learn all about tropical medicine and more about antibiotics and their uses. I enjoy being a part of a group that is self sustaining, mobile and rapidly deployable. That it’s reactive and proactive in its missions whether the team is deploying in the next 24 hours to a natural disaster or it’s planning a medical humanitarian mission to Sudan two months out. That’s what appeals to me, that’s who I am. Team Rubicon somehow has a place in my life and in my heart and I am proud to be a part of this organization for many years to come.