Cambridge Mentees support community

Written by: Lisa Dutt
Regional Coordinator

Jordan Ruf and Adam Corbett are both Cambridge, NE graduates – as well as TeamMates mentees who truly exemplify “Mentees Doing Good”. Following the horrific fires in Southwest Nebraska in April of 2022, both Jordan and Adam volunteered to officially join their local community fire departments. Adam joined the Edison Volunteer Fire Department while Jordan joined the Wilsonville Volunteer Fire Department. Both young men had some experience fighting the grass fires and protecting their family farms and community during the Road 739 and 702 fires that impacted the Edison, Wilsonville, Cambridge and Arapahoe areas. 

Jordan shared that he fought the 702 (Cambridge) fire on a grass rig the first day and on day 2 he was putting out fires around his own family farm and driving a tractor/disk to make firebreaks to stop the fire. Adam fought the 739 (Arapahoe/Edison) fire directly as well and then assisted in filling/running water trucks during the 702 fire in Cambridge a couple of weeks later.

After their previous mentor, George Sund, passed away suddenly in the fall of 2022, they were both matched with Nick Vargas, who is a police officer and also a member of the Cambridge Volunteer Fire Department. Talk about a community-minded match for all of them!

When asked what you would say to a potential fireman about the experience, Adam stated “I’d tell them you should do it because there is no better feeling than being able to help people”. He added that he’s learned to not take things for granted because in a matter of seconds it can be gone. He is usually in charge of filling the water truck and running the pump when his department is called out for support – but he has at times had to go into the fire to fight it directly.

Jordan shares that he wanted to become a firefighter because he wanted to help protect his community and he loves the adrenaline rush when the page comes out for a call! He hopes to move further up in the fire department and plans to volunteer for a long time. Jordan adds that he’s learned that you need to have your fellow firefighters back at all times and he trusts that they also have his.

Their mentor, Nick is very proud of them both. He adds “They remind me of when I was younger as I started my public service career right out of high school when I was 19. I joined the North Platte Volunteer Fire Department then. I have served on Fire Departments everywhere I have lived to include: Curtis, Beaver City and currently in Cambridge.”. Nick says both boys are as active as they can be in their local departments and have had to work around school and school activity commitments this past year. Jordan and Adam say they enjoy sharing their firefighting experiences with their mentor.

Although they all volunteer for different fire departments, they get to work together on mutual aid calls, which is when an incident (such as fire, accident or natural disaster) gets too large for one department and they call in surrounding departments for assistance.

Adam plans to pursue a Fire Science degree at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas next fall. Jordan will be attending Central Community College in Hastings to pursue a degree in Farm Business Management.

These three truly demonstrate Mentees (and Mentors) Doing Good for their communities and we thank them for their service!