National volunteer organization Team Rubicon performs fire mitigation operations

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

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

The Greyshirts completed fuels reduction by removing hazardous trees and also created fuels breaks around homes in Winter Park Highlands, Ice Box Estates, Alpine Park and Alpine Acres neighborhoods. Local volunteers helped the Greyshirts “swamp,” or take material they had cut to the wood-chipper.

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 homeowners’ associations and residents.

At the July 5 County Commissioners meeting, Joel Cochran, director of Grand County Emergency Management, presented Team Rubicon Incident Commander Duane Poslusny with a challenge coin in recognition of his leadership and the mitigation work Team Rubicon has performed to make Grand County’s homes more resilient to future wildfires. Team Rubicon’s 39-day mission began on the ground in June. Since then, 241 Greyshirts have met with 187 residents, cleared over 35 acres throughout 93 properties, removed 13,000 cubic feet of debris, and performed 191 home ignition zone assessments.

“I just want to thank the county and commissioners. … You guys have been wonderful letting us use your high school and kitchen. All that has been great help for our volunteers so we can help your community. Thank you for inviting us to your community,” Poslusky told the commissioners.

Team Rubicon is a national disaster services organization led by veterans. Founded following the Haiti earthquake in 2010, the organization has more than 150,000 volunteers across the United States and has launched over 1,000 operations both domestically and internationally to respond to disasters such as wildfires, tornados and floods. Grand County residents who are interested in becoming part of this nationwide organization are welcome to apply by visiting

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

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