Several cadets from the Rubenstein Center outside of Davis recently helped clean the Davis Volunteer Fire Department Building in preparation for a State of West Virginia meeting that was to be held there.
Fire Chief John Callaway said; “The boys from Rubenstein have been good to us over the years. After last year’s Super Storm they even came and helped shovel off the roof of the fire department.”
The Cadets garner community service hours for their work in the community, a requirement they have before they’re allowed to finish their terms. They have become a common, yet much appreciated, sight around the area. At any given time you may see them collecting trash, weed eating, assembling playground equipment, and serving as color guard with military precision. The normal work crew ranges anywhere from a single cadet up to groups of five to eight young men such as the work crew that helped at the fire hall.
Many of the volunteer firefighters hold down jobs and busy schedules which makes a task, such as a major cleaning, difficult to schedule. The group of cadets arrived promptly and accomplished the task efficiently with a speed that would make a professional cleaning crew envious. The young men were chosen for the day by Marlin Sexton, Recreational Counselor for Rubenstein.
“I hand-picked these (cadets) they have a phase III or higher behavioral classification”, said Sexton.
All cadets start out at the facility with an assumed phase II classification and either have to earn their way up to a five or merit their way down to a one.
Sexton said: “We try to be as fair to them as we can, then it’s up to them to do what’s right and make themselves better while they’re here.”
These particular young men were chosen because they work good, have good attitudes and have proven that they’re not going to be a problem while out in public. Many cadets have never held a job before and they learn work skills such as weed-eating, trash collecting, janitorial, basic construction, etc.
The cadets are not generally violent offenders with the majority of the convictions ranging from truancy, theft, and drugs.
Cadet Harrison said: “I feel free again. I get to interact with different people.”
Cadets Milam and McDermott both said that they liked helping people out.
Chief Callaway said regarding their work, “Not only are we appreciative of it, but we’re glad we can help them by it. It’s a big way to help out not only the fire department but the whole community. Helping the kids, helps our society.”