National volunteer organization Team Rubicon conducts fire mitigation operations

(L-R) Joel Cochran, Grand County Emergency Manager, Duane Poslusny, Team Rubicon Incident Commander, and Alexis Kimbrough, Deputy Emergency Manager, at the July 5 BOCC meeting, where Team Rubicon was recognized for its fire mitigation efforts.
Christine Travis/Courtesy Photo

From May 25 through July 11, Team Rubicon was back on the ground in Grand County performing critical fire mitigation operations. Members of Team Rubicon are known as “Greyshirts”, for their gray uniform shirts signaling that they are performing disaster relief.

The Greyshirts completed fuel cuts by removing dangerous trees and also created fuel breaks around homes in the Winter Park Highlands, Ice Box Estates, Alpine Park and Alpine Acres neighborhoods. Local volunteers helped the grayshirt “swamp” or brought in the material they had cut at the shredder.

The fire mitigation project was made possible by a grant from the American Red Cross, with a partnership between the Grand County Office of Emergency Management, East Grand Fire Protection District, Grand Fire Protection District Number One, Grand County Wildfire Council and several owners. associations and residents.

At the July 5 county commissioners meeting, Grand County Emergency Management Director Joel Cochran presented Team Rubicon Incident Commander Duane Poslusny with a challenge coin in recognition of his leadership and mitigation work the Rubicon team has done to make homes in Grand County more resilient to future wildfires. Team Rubicon’s 39-day mission began in the field in June. Since then, 241 Greyshirts have met with 187 residents, cleaned up more than 35 acres at 93 properties, removed 13,000 cubic feet of debris and conducted 191 home ignition zone assessments.

“I just want to thank the county and the commissioners. … You were wonderful to let us use your school and your kitchen. All of this has been a great help for our volunteers so that we can help your community. Thank you for inviting us into your community,” Poslusky told the commissioners.

Team Rubicon is a national veteran-led disaster services organization. Founded in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the organization has more than 150,000 volunteers across the United States and has launched more than 1,000 operations nationally and internationally to respond to disasters such as the forest, tornadoes and floods. Grand County residents who wish to be part of this national organization are invited to apply by visiting

Look for a more in-depth story on Team Rubicon this coming Friday.


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