February 19th, 2016
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service , California Department of Fish and Wildlife, CASE Construction Equipment, and Team Rubicon Partner for Operator Training and Project Work at Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve
Project highlights the benefits of public and private entities working together to accomplish community improvement and skills training
February 19, 2016
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service led a heavy equipment training last week in Jamul, CA, with members of Team Rubicon, a non-profit veterans organization. Team Rubicon’s mission is to unite the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. The heavy equipment training expands Team Rubicon’s capacity for responses, and also provides a trained volunteer cadre that can assist in projects at national wildlife refuges across the country. The training involved project work including safely demolishing a derelict structure. CASE Construction Equipment provided six machines -three excavators and three skid steers to the effort and Team Rubicon brought in 6 operators for the training.
Cynthia Martinez, Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, was able to visit the training and put a skid steer through its paces on the skills course. This was the third heavy equipment training provided to Team Rubicon by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service heavy equipment trainers, who are currently rolling out a new national training platform for their program. The first was held at Blackwater NWR in Maryland in July 2015, and the second at Laguna Atascosa NWR in South Texas in November 2015. In April 2016, all 28 Team Rubicon members will attend the Heavy Equipment Train the Trainer course at Minnesota Valley NWR and will be certified to teach the course to other members of Team Rubicon. Eventually, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service hopes that about 100 Team Rubicon members will be available to refuges for heavy equipment work and hundreds more available as volunteers for service projects across the country.
Learn more about Team Rubicon:
A special thank you to the FWS trainers and staff who assisted with this training:
Jill Terp, Refuge Manager, San Diego NWR
John Blitch, National Heavy Equipment Coordinator, HQ
Wade Briggs, Regional Heavy Equipment Coordinator, Region 6
Aaron Eaton, Equipment Operator, Salton Sea NWR
Steve Lewis, Equipment Operator, Humboldt Bay BWR
Wade Flournoy, Equipment Operator, Sacramento NWR
Kyle Whiteaker, Equipment Operator, San Luis NWR
Bruce Hall, Equipment Operator, Stone Lakes NWR