LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The scenes from Hurricane Harvey’s devastation were overwhelming even for retired fire captain Terry Harvey, who spent 27 years with the Los Angeles County Fire Department and is a certified rescue boat operator.
“Helping people at their most dire time – it’s what I’ve trained to do my whole life,” Harvey said.
He is now a volunteer with Team Rubicon – a nonprofit group that recruits, trains and deploys military veterans and first responders to disasters in the United States and around the globe.
Harvey was standing by, waiting for the call to go and help out with the search and rescue efforts in Texas.
“I have a backup wetsuit. I’ve got my boots, utility belt, gloves. I’m ready,” Harvey told CBS2’s Rachel Kim.
The first wave of volunteers were already there.
“We do have three boat crews on the ground rescuing folks who are stranded. We’re thinking about expanding the number of boats that are going to be in the water over the next 24 hours,” said Jake Wood, co-founder and CEO of Team Rubicon.
Wood was a Marine sniper and he explained why Team Rubicon is effective in disasters.
“The vast majority of our volunteers are military veterans. So they’re really good in chaotic situations. They’re used to working in ambiguous situations with a lot of risks, with limited information, with limited resources,” Wood explained.
As the rescue efforts continued in Texas, Team Rubicon made sure many of their volunteers could get there quickly. Harvey was eager to do his part.
“Being there for people on their worst day – it’s something pretty special. Making rescues and helping people out in those moments is everything,” he said.
If you would like to help Team Rubicon help Harvey victims and others, click here.