Who Gets Deployed with TR?

Brent Slough


The deciding factor for who we send to an operation is determined by the needs on the ground. We look at a Greyshirt’s distance from the operation and usually deploy those more local first over volunteers that need to fly. We do this because it’s cheaper and will aid in the development of resilient communities by promoting engaged local residents.

For example, if there is a need for a sawyer, we would not fly someone from another state when a qualified sawyer is within driving distance. Once the minimum required Command and General staff (C&G) and special skills are filled, general Greyshirts will be mobilized until we meet the number required to get shit done safely and effectively. When all of our local Greyshirts and drivers have been deployed and a need for additional waves of volunteers exists, we will then turn to volunteers outside of the designated local 450-mile radius. Ultimately, the mission of Mobilization is to get eager Greyshirts downrange to help people affected by disasters.

In the near future, selecting who deploys will be automated. At times, we have more sign-ups than we are able to send for a specific time period. When that happens, we will try to deploy new members that have not deployed. After training and distance prioritizations have been considered, we deploy Greyshirts using a random number generator. Top-of-mind for the Mobilization team is always having the correct volunteer numbers to cover the operation waves scheduled.




At Team Rubicon, there’s a way for every Greyshirt to contribute. Here’s a few options.

Mitigation and Recovery Ops: This is the majority of our operation types. For most mitigation ops, there is a longer lead-time due to the fact that we are working to avoid or lessen the impact of a hazard that has not happened yet. With recovery ops, we are helping communities after an event that is no longer an active hazard, so some of the urgency to respond quickly without a fully formed plan is reduced. Most of these operations can be managed on the territory, regional, and state levels. Depending on the size and scope of the operation, mobilization may be limited to drivers with a 450-mile radius.

Response Ops: These are domestic response operations, which will often have a short lead time. From the moment a flight is dispatched to when a volunteer is expected to board the plane, might not be much time at all. There are also short lead times for drivers. As the operation settles in, Greyshirts are dispatched with more time to prepare.

Remote Ops: Before a major disaster we may put out a call for Remote Ops Support. This is a call for people to assist in the planning and execution of operations, remotely. We have multiple things we might ask someone to do, including remote data scraping, crisis cleanup support, and finance support. This is a great opportunity for people to contribute without actually deploying or quitting your day job. You just need a computer, a reliable internet connection, time, and a little bit of training.

NOC Support: Before Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017 and Florence in 2018, we knew we would need additional support at the National Operations Center in Grand Prairie, TX. Greyshirts jumped at the opportunity and now assist the Planning, Mobilization, Logistics teams, helping to increase overall capacity and execute major operations.

International Ops: Get pre-vetted by joining the international team. This is open to medical and non-medical personnel. International deployments are typically longer in duration. Depending on the nature of the operation, there could be short or long lead times prior to deploying. Non-medical volunteers typically need to have been deployed with TR before and ability to adapt and complete the mission in an austere environment.

Volunteering with Team Rubicon is not easy. You’ll dig deep, get dirty, and work hard. You’ll be challenged.  Sign up or share with a friend.

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