Disaster Clean Up: A Whole New Dynamic

Team Rubicon Australia volunteer Heath Langdon reflects on joining Team Rubicon USA in Texas to serve residents affected by Hurricane Harvey.

While completing my bachelor’s degree in emergency management, I joined emergency management groups on Linkedin where I came across a story about William McNulty and Jake Wood and the story of Team Rubicon.

I emailed William McNulty and he responded almost immediately and told me about Geoff Evans who is the CEO of TR Australia. We connected and discussed TRAUS where Geoff asked me to be part of the national leadership team of Team Rubicon Australia. I absolutely love it… It’s full of like-minded people passionate about being involved and giving back to the community.

Why was I in Houston? I headed to West Texas at the end of August to attend the Command and Control course was conducted by TRUSA. I was amazed by the quality of the course and the depth of the instructors’ knowledge. I finished the course utterly amazed how an NGO has implemented the ICS structure into their operational response in the field.

When Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area, Jim Flory of Team Rubicon Global asked if I could extend my stay and assist with Operation Hard Hustle. To be trained by Nick Mrzlak and his IMT personnel and now to be working side by side with his entire team was an absolute honor.

After helping set up the Area Command in Houston as the Area Command Operations Section Chief, I was humbled to be part of a strike team for three days. The amount of work we did, meeting the homeowners, hearing their stories, was incredible. I’ve done disaster clean up before, but this was a whole new dynamic.

I then spent a day on an advon team and worked on an operations order to stand up operations in Katy, Texas. I’ve been humbled and honored to work with Team Rubicon USA. The professionalism these guys have is phenomenal, to see it all come together was outstanding.

I’m a single father with two kids who live with me. My goal in life at the is to be a good role model to them. I want them to understand that it’s not all about taking in life and to appreciate the opportunities that life offers. I want them to see that it doesn’t matter how hard the day maybe or what challenges are placed before you, I want them to know that there are always family and friends around them and that the sun will always come up the next day!

I have met some amazing people during this experience and I know that they will be friends for life, thanks, TR … until next time.

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