CASE supporting veteran-led humanitarian organization
By Adam FreillEquipment Health & Safety Leadership Skills Development
CASE has launched a pilot program to help train volunteer disaster relief forces with heavy equipment operator training.
Last fall, CASE Construction Equipment asked its dealers to help support a new initiative with Team Rubicon: train more volunteers to operate heavy equipment for its veteran-led humanitarian organization that serves global communities before, during and after disasters and crises. CASE dealers responded.
Earlier this year, a pair of CASE dealers helped initiate a pilot program. On a monthly basis, RPM Machinery, out of its Franklin, Ind., location, and Lawrence Equipment, at its Roanoke, Va., store, are now providing machines for Team Rubicon volunteers to train on, an indoor classroom and outdoor operating space.
“As soon as we heard about the need to help train more heavy equipment operators, we raised our hand,” explained Dustin Cole, executive vice-president of Lawrence Equipment. “We’re very active in our local communities and want to ensure Virginia is prepared if disaster strikes, as well as help train volunteers to deploy wherever they are needed throughout the U.S. and Canada.”
CASE and its parent company’s foundation, CNH Industrial Foundation, have been long-time supporters of Team Rubicon. CASE deploys machinery through its dealer network to numerous disaster response and community service projects across North America, while the Foundation has supported efforts with monetary support.
“The work that Team Rubicon does aligns with the company’s sustainability goals and the CNH Industrial Foundation’s priorities,” said Michelle Javaherian, community impact manager at CNH Industrial. “We’ve made many donations over the years. Last year, the CNH Industrial Foundation gave $600,000 USD to support Team Rubicon’s Ready Reserve Fund and heavy equipment operator training in the U.S. and Canada.”
Team Rubicon’s volunteers, or “Greyshirts” as they are known, register for the monthly training and learn how to operate compact track loaders and excavators.
“One of the most critical tasks after disasters strike is getting much-needed resources to that area. Our Greyshirts, including sawyers and heavy equipment operators, help clear trees and debris from roads, allowing first responders and survivors to regain access to the community,” stated William Porter, director of operations support for Team Rubicon.
This past year, CNH has also led a drive to support the growth of Team Rubicon Canada’s heavy equipment training, providing funding to train Canadian Greyshirts in the HE program at TRUSA’s Tomahawk facilities and disaster training camps.
There are now two trained and qualified HEO 2s and one HEO 1 in the Canadian team, and both HEO 2s will be taking further training in August in conjunction with Team Rubicon USA, to complete their heavy equipment safety certifications and become HESI qualified. Plans are to expand the Canadian program, and Canadians accepted into the Greyshirts program can apply to be selected to be part of the HEO team as recruiting for HEOs starts from the organization’s existing volunteer base.
Canadians can sign up to be a Greyshirt volunteer at: https://team-rubicon.ca/volunteer/.