By Jennifer and Lydia Smith
Weaverville – On Monday, Jan 27th the newly chartered all female BSA Troop 4015 invited Boy Scout Troop 15 to a presentation by the Asheville Police Department Bomb Squad.
A police captain, dressed in the light-duty bomb suit, demonstrated many tools of the trade, including the house favorite, Ike the robot with all his interchangeable implements. The scouts were fascinated by Ike and many of them even drove him around the room with the remote. The scouts also got a chance to put on the helmet from the heavy-duty protective suit, the whole suit weighing over 80 pounds!
Instead of doing a formal presentation, the lieutenant opened the floor for questions right at the beginning and the scouts asked questions for over an hour! They heard about the qualifications that must be met to be on the bomb squad, how the bomb squad personnel have to prove themselves as the best police officers first and then, after three weeks of bomb school, have to pass a very challenging physical and mental test. He described how the skills of a police officer and detective overlap and complement the skills of a bomb squad member.
He said that the job isn’t always about out-smarting bad guys, but sometimes just about cleaning up things that industries or individuals have abandoned or obtained irresponsibly. The scouts were especially fascinated by the stories the captain told about some of the most challenging and exciting assignments they have had, including the airport bomb a few years ago and about moving 50 individual sticks of dynamite one by one, and by hand!
The scouts appreciated the members of the bomb squad taking time to tell the scouts about their roles in our community. Their soundness of mind and body, courage and bravery were evident. And let’s not forget Sam the bomb squad mascot Yorkie! He was pretty cute and added just the right touch of softness to the evening.