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Contact: John Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135
POINT REYES STATION, CA – Point Reyes National Seashore, in partnership with the veteran-based organization Team Rubicon, is hosting firefighter training for 75 to 80 veterans from June 26 through June 29, 2015. Successful completion of the training will enable veterans to be deployed around the country to bolster capacity to fight wildland fire. Point Reyes joins four other locations around the country working with Team Rubicon volunteers to employ veterans in this critical wildfire season.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell recently announced a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the veteran-based organization Team Rubicon to provide training to assist in wildland firefighting efforts this season.
Team Rubicon was founded in January 2010 after two Marines, Jake Wood and William McNulty, gathered a team of other military veterans and civilian first responders and traveled to Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the Port-au-Prince earthquake. They realized many of the skills they learned in the military (teamwork, decisive leadership, risk mitigation and management, logistics, emergency medicine) translated perfectly to disaster relief, thus uniquely positioning military veterans as ideal disaster relief volunteers.
Concurrently, there are over 2.2 million veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom find the transition from military to civilian life challenging. Team Rubicon seeks to help this transition by providing our veterans with three things many lose after taking off the uniform: purpose, gained through disaster relief; community, built by serving with others; and self-worth, from recognizing the impact one individual can make.
Since 2010, nearly 28,000 members have joined Team Rubicon, the vast majority of them veterans. They have deployed nearly 100 times across the country and across the world: the 2011 tornado in Joplin, MO; Hurricane Sandy in NY and NJ; the 2013 tornado in Moore, OK; Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines; the 2013 floods in Colorado, and the recent earthquake in Nepal.
The Department of the Interior recently released a strategy to address the increasing threat of wildfires that damage vital landscapes and productive rangelands in the West, especially in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah. The report, An Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy: Final Report to the Secretary of the Interior, May 2015 (4,629 KB PDF), outlines a comprehensive, science-based approach for addressing the spread of invasive species that exacerbate the threat of fire and recommends increased training for rural firefighters and local volunteers as well as positioning fire management resources for more effective rangeland fire response. The report also focuses on the need to aggressively restore fire-impacted landscapes using native seed and local vegetation.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.