16 January 2012 1 Comment

Cut the blue wire or the red wire? Join the bomb squad.

There are perhaps few jobs as intriguing, stressful and dangerous as that of being a bomb disposal officer. These fearless individuals risk their lives on every call out to prevent potentially devastating explosions that could cause wide spread destruction and injury. The recent Hollywood blockbuster, The Hurt Locker, highlighted the extreme danger bomb disposal technicians have to endure every day working in hostile combat zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. But the threat from bombs is not just confined to war zones; the advent of the internet has created an increasingly home-grown problem. Bomb making manuals are now easily downloaded from the internet and basic equipment is available in most hardware stores. Last year there were over 150 reported bomb threats made towards schools in the US alone. Even though the majority of these turned out to be a hoax, a bomb disposal unit would still be required to assess the situation and ensure any threat was neutralized.

Bomb disposal officers and technicians work as specialists within Law enforcement. The job requires various personal and professional skills that not everyone possesses. You may find yourself working in high pressure situations that put you in grave personal danger so the ability to stay calm and keep your cool is vital. You should also be a great team player as the members of a bomb disposal unit rely on each other’s competencies in order to remain safe, good communication skills are essential too.

Become a bomb disposal technician

The job is also a lot more technical than knowing which wire to cut; as technology advances, bomb devices become increasingly more sophisticated. You will need to continually educate yourself with the latest techniques and constructions. Bomb disposal technicians rely on specialist equipment such as bomb suits, x-ray machines, camera equipped robots, sniffer dogs and breathing apparatus to get up close to a bomb but ultimately it’s your technical skills and your cool head that will diffuse the situation.

There is also a requirement to be involved in pre and post assessments. Bomb disposal teams are involved in developing bomb threat procedures to safely evacuate members of the public from buildings as well as carrying out aftermath examinations of bomb sites to determine their cause.

Each country has its own requirements to join the bomb squad. In the US, you can apply to the bomb squad after you’ve worked for five years as a police officer. If you are selected you will then complete a training course at the FBI Hazardous Devices School. There you will learn a variety of skills from advanced electronics to hazardous materials handling.

You can expect to be well remunerated for all that training and risk taking; experienced bomb disposal technicians can earn over $80,000 per year and have access to first class life and medical insurance. It’s certainly not a job for everyone but for those that can handle the pressure and have a burning desire to help people, it can also prove to be an extremely rewarding career.

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One Response to “Cut the blue wire or the red wire? Join the bomb squad.”

  1. prabhat chaturvedi 4 February 2012 at 3:44 am #

    I am already a bomb disposal/Technician under Border Security Force and presently performing duty as an Inpspector ibn the same with a salary upto 4 lakh 55 thousand indian rupee.


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