FTI Director of Spectrum Management, J.C. Mendyka, recently spent a week in Butler, PA as the Planning Section Chief coordinating efforts for 33 volunteers to clean up flooded homes there.
J.C., who served for 20 years in the U.S. Army, joined Team Rubicon in December 2015. An international non-profit disaster response organization that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy disaster response teams free of charge to communities affected by disasters, Team Rubicon provides J.C. an outlet to continue to serve.
The recent response in Pennsylvania, named Op Sullivan’s Run, isn’t the first time J.C. has held a billet in the incident command structure, but this one was particularly meaningful. “As planning section chief I was tasked with ensuring all volunteers had the best deployment experience they could by providing them with worthwhile work to perform during the operation,” he explained.
To fulfill this mission, J.C. took all the damage assessments complied by volunteers, created work orders, assigned teams to the damaged homes and tracked the status of the work from day to day for team members who had travelled from as far away as New Jersey, Indiana, Washington, D.C., West Virginia and across Pennsylvania to help the flood ravaged community north of Pittsburgh.
His coordination resulted in 19 homes being cleared of thousands of gallons of mud and an estimated 5,000 cubic feet of waterlogged, molded debris being removed from flooded basements.
August 1 marks a year since he retired after serving 20 years in the United States Army Signal Corps, and the married father of three has been on two disaster relief operations and participated in a first of its kind remote support operation for a tornado in Tyler, Texas. As the Team Rubicon Central Pennsylvania District Coordinator, he’s coordinated and participated in numerous community service projects with organizations like the American Red Cross, the National Park Service and the VFW as part of his pursuit of continued service.
He’s also the chair of the Region 3 Emergency Communications Board, developing training and planning to utilize the Motorola radios to best employ radios in disaster responses where cell phones and LTE technology is less than reliable.
“I enjoy continuing to use the leadership and technical skills I learned in the Army, and I volunteer to do my part to make a better world for my kids to wake up in each morning,” J.C. said.