Explosive Course Finishes With a Bang

By: Meredith Stancik Email
By: Meredith Stancik Email

About two dozen people have put their previous careers aside, for one great adventure.

They are putting their lives on the line for one big pay out.

After three weeks of grueling training, they get to step into a real world experience.

"Yeah, I'm a little scared and a little excited," Student Nancy Hines said. "I think it will be fun."

Former art teacher Nancy Hines put her paint brush aside for a new career.

"I'm just trying to get it right," Hines said. "I'm a teacher pleaser."

With her bank account depleted, she put art school in Italy on hold, for a more prosperous career.

"I knew I would run out of money before I finished the school, which I did," Hines said.

A five week course is preparing Nancy and about 20 others for an explosive line of work.

If they pass the course, they'll become bomb disposal technicians.

They have been taught to identify bombs, now it is time to destroy them.

The entire class must perform a demolition from start to finish. The process takes about an hour and a half and any wrong move could be deadly.

"If it weren't intimidating you could get really careless," Hines said. "Hopefully we're intimidated enough to do it right and not mess it up."

Once they're given the all clear, the adrenaline rush becomes a reality.

Since the course started in 1997, over 300 people have completed the class.

About 50 graduates are working in Iraq and Afghanistan, where this explosive career pays big bucks.

"It's tiring and it's tense but it's good and it's enjoyable," Hines said.

However, for people like Nancy, the risk is worth the reward.

The course is certified by the United States Defense Department.

Civilian trained bomb technicians can make between $40,000 and $85,000 working in the United States.

Technicians can make up to $165,000 working as private contractors in Iraq or Afghanistan.

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