FLORENCE — The Pinal County Board of Supervisors offered special thanks Wednesday to Team Rubicon, an international volunteer organization, for its help to residents recovering from the wildfire that devastated Dudleyville in eastern Pinal County.
County Manager Leo Lew said the Margo Fire burned more than 1,100 acres in April. More than 200 residents were evacuated and more than 30 structures were lost. Pinal County Emergency Management, Public Works, Sheriff’s Office and Community Development personnel all worked together during and after the fire.
“And then we have one fantastic organization who came in afterwards to partner with us, Team Rubicon Disaster Response,” Lew said. He played a video for the board that can be seen at https://youtu.be/olWGwzn-wRI .
Team Rubicon was founded by two military veterans. They’re all volunteers who are veterans, retired public safety personnel and civilians, using their skills and experience to help people prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises, Lew said.
Team Rubicon helped 25 residents with debris removal in Dudleyville and worked with Pinal County Public Works to have more than 50 large roll-off containers taken to a landfill. An average of 26 Team Rubicon volunteers worked daily for 10 days in June, which saved the county more than $77,500 in man-hours, not including their own heavy equipment, Lew said.
Supervisor Kevin Cavanaugh, R-Coolidge, said after the smoke cleared, he knew 100 volunteers and lots of dumpsters would be needed, and he was relieved to hear about Team Rubicon. He said another group from Southern Baptist Association responded with them to help feed them.
“We want to thank them as well, because without them, Team Rubicon would have had a real hard time doing their job,” Cavanaugh said. “So I want to thank all the men and women of Team Rubicon for leaving your homes all around the country and coming to help us here in Pinal County.” Cavanaugh said the county’s presentation “is just a small token of appreciation and recognition of a job well done.”
Sam Brokenshire of Team Rubicon’s incident management team said he has responded to more than 50 incidents around the country, and “our partnership with Pinal County is an example that we’re going to try to replicate. … It was a pleasure serving you.”
Founded after a Haiti earthquake in 2010, Team Rubicon has grown to more than 138,000 volunteers across the country and has launched more than 790 operations both domestically and internationally, Lew said.