The Unique Job of a Bomb Technician

When asked about the exhibits in the National Law Enforcement Museum, something I like to talk about that tends to surprise people is the wide variety of jobs that exist within the law enforcement profession. While doing research for the Museum’s exhibits, one of my favorite things was (and still is) meeting and working with a variety of types of people to gain insight and expertise on the different aspects of law enforcement from those who live and work it every day.

One of the specialties I found particularly fascinating was Bomb Squads and the work of Bomb Technicians. Back in 2013, I had the opportunity to visit the FBI Hazardous Devices School, located at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. It is where every Bomb Tech in the country, at every level (local, state, and federal), goes to be trained and recertified every three years. Here are few of the most surprising things I learned:

A bomb suit weighs around 75 lbs, but the goal is to never have to use it.

Never use a human when a robot will do. When possible, Techs will remotely control a robot to assess and render bombs safe. The robot’s claw acts as a hand and can be equipped with various tools including cameras, two-way microphones (for hostage situations) or a saw for cutting.

One common Bomb Tech tool is essentially a plastic water bottle.

Besides robots, heavy suits, and X-rays, Bomb Techs use different types of disruptors to render explosives safe. This water bottle, a projected water disruptor, is a common one. Techs fill the bottle with water, pack explosives in the center straw, add a detonator, and set it next to a real or potential bomb. When the bottle is detonated, the high pressure of the water inside will shred the bomb’s casing and sever any of the bomb’s internal connections before it can explode.

Bomb Techs have to be creative as well as technically skilled.

Besides having a working knowledge of how bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) work and the variety of ways in which they can be put together, Bomb Techs also have to be able to think on their feet. Suspicious packages can show up anywhere, and preventing an explosion can require some creativity. Unlike TV and movies, not all bombs can be rendered safe just by cutting a red or blue wire.


This article was written by Sarah Haggerty, the Museum Curator, and originally appeared on the National Law Enforcement Museum’s blog

For more information about the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, please visit lawmemorial.org. For more information about the National Law Enforcement Museum, please visit lawenforcementmuseum.org.

Posted in News from the National Law Enforcement Museum

Print

This Week on FEDtalk

Sorting Through Cybersecurity

Tune in to FEDtalk this week for a discussion on the importance of cybersecurity within the federal government. As the federal government becomes increasingly digital, it also becomes increasingly at risk for cyberattacks. Experts in the cybersecurity community will discuss what these threats look like and how the federal workforce can prepare for them.

Read more ...

Hear it from FLEOA

FLEOA Encourages Passage of EAGLES Act Following Wave of Mass Public Violence

Nathan Catura, President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), the nation’s largest non-partisan, not-for-profit professional association representing more than 27,000 federal law enforcement officers and agents across 65 federal agencies, today issued the following statement in support of the EAGLES Act.

Read more ...
FEDagent

FEDagent.com

The free weekly e-report for Federal Law Enforcement

Get in touch with us

Email FEDagent publisher

Copyright 2019 FEDagent.com
Hosted by Peak Media Company, LLC