Humanitarian Team Poised To Enter South Sudan

I saw firsthand what war can do to families while in Iraq and Afghanistan. The refugees in Sudan that we are going to help have experienced tragedy on a colossal scale under circumstances we can hardly imagine. If they had been born in the US, they may be on their way to college in the fall, instead they’re hundreds of miles from their home, living in squalor and fear.” –Ford Sypher, Team Rubicon Element Leader in South Sudan

Today we launched a five person team in conjunction with the International Medical Corps to respond to a growing refugee crisis in South Sudan. At Yusuf Batil, a refugee camp cut off from recent heavy rains near the North Sudanese border, the situation is rapidly becoming dire. The population at the camp has swelled in recent weeks to over six-times capacity (from 6,000 to nearly 40,000), creating a perilous health, sanitation and security problem. Over 110,000 refugees are expected in the region over the next few weeks.

Meet the South Sudan Team

Ford Sypher – Team Leader EMT-I in 3/75 Ranger Regiment. Ford has served as TL on two prior TR deployments and extensive medical and mass casualty triage and management.

Dr. Alan Koslow – Trauma & Vascular Surgeon Previous experience includes two 10-day missions to Haiti, four mission trips to Israel, and El Salvador 2002 earthquake response.

Dr. April Kranz – Pediatrician/Family Practitioner International experience: USNS Mercy, U.S. Navy Hospital Ship to Indonesia, Hillside Belize Medical Clinic, and Maternal and Infant Nutrition Program Buguruka, Tanzania.

Philip Rapp – Civil Engineer Extensive experience in infrastructure repair. Deployed to Haiti, Colombia, Katrina, and many other disaster zones to build medical clinics and WASH systems.

Rama Mutyala – Civil Engineer/GIS Analyst Navy SEABEE served in OIF and OEF. Led 25-man, four month humanitarian mission to Central and South America to build out WASH and electrical systems

Team Rubicon’s five-person element, led by Army Ranger veteran and TR Region VII Field Operations Director Ford Sypher, consists of doctors and civil engineers who will help to construct adequate shelter, build latrines, establish hygiene standards and implement a “neighborhood watch” security program to reduce the risk of violence and sexual assault. We are prepared to continuously send teams to augment IMC’s efforts at Yusuf Batil if needed.

This past week has presented a ‘perfect storm’ of disasters and response opportunities–from a refugee crisis in South Sudan, to hundred year floods in Duluth, MN, to raging fires in Colorado, and a major tropical storm bearing down on our Gulf Shores. Team Rubicon is assessing ways to engage our Veteran Emergency Response Teams in all of these instances, and will continue to use military veterans to lead the charge in disaster relief!

Finally, our ability to engage military veterans in disaster response is only capable because of the continued support that you show for our organization. Military veterans are expertly trained and experienced first responders, and with your help we can give them a new opportunity to serve their community and the world.

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