Bomb squad comes to Riverview for a lesson

While many other students sat in their classrooms on Jan. 18, Riverview’s Engineering and Programming classes got to learn how sheriff deputies Jeremy Barr and Jimmy Achille diffuse bombs, using many of the skills they have studied in their engineering classes.

At first glance, Barr and Achille look like your average lawmen, but only into five minutes into the presentation, Achille puts on a kevlar bomb suit and demonstrates its limited movement.

To do so, Achille rolls onto stage and then to proceeds to trip over multiple backpacks on the way there.

The initial presentation goes through the requirements of being a bomb squad member--basic police training, a Hazmat school in Alabama, and a year of Hazardous Device School.

They were talking about the mental demand for the job, they talk about what would happen if they didn’t complete a mission.

“If I don’t do my job right the first time, that’s not my problem,” said Barr, which got a lot of laughs from the audience.

Once finished with the beginning portion of the presentation, they moved the group outside and divided it into two parts. One went with Barr, to practice how to move a bomb properly, and the other group went with Achille to learn about the bomb-disabling robot.

Although the connotations that come with bomb threats are bad and the suit is quite uncomfortable, the deputies always kept the conversation light by constantly cracking jokes.

The students worked together to build two separate pulley systems. These pulley systems were used to transport a PVC pipe, the “bomb,” from one point to another. The deputies went over ways to do this and advised them throughout the whole assignment.

Overall, the engineering students got to learn about a whole new career that some people did not think was possible.

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© 2019 Bek Ficze 21'