The leaders of three new and innovative disaster relief organizations were the featured keynote speakers at the NFPA Conference & Expo in Chicago on Monday. As NFPA’s Jesse Roman captured in his blog post yesterday, Navy veteran Ken Harbaugh helped launch Team Rubicon after witnessing the difficulties of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans returning home and the apathy many in the public had toward them.
Team Rubicon today has about 30,000 highly trained veterans and first responders in its ranks. Harbaugh found that, with a little retraining, veterans—most of whom have a deep desire to continue to serve in some capacity—can repurpose their military skills to provide incredibly effective disaster relief. To date, Team Rubicon members have deployed on more than 90 missions around the world, including to the Philippines in the aftermath of historic Typhoon Hayian in 2013, providing aid, emergency rescue and medical services, cleanup, and much more.
VIDEO: Watch Ken Harbaugh’s presentation from the NFPA General Session on Monday, June 22.