Guam – Sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 joined U.S. Naval Base Guam Fire and Emergency Services firefighters and inspectors in a career day for students at P.C. Lujan Elementary School in Barrigada, Guam Jan 25.
The contingent from NBG spoke to students about their day-to-day activities in their respective fields, demonstrated equipment use and answered questions about their careers.
P.C. Lujan guidance counselor and career day coordinator Vera Elliott said the event showed students the tremendous importance of military presence on island and gave them a wider view of different career opportunities they are able to explore as they get older.
“Having the military presence here showed the kids that it’s not only the local, but also military people who play a big role in the community,” she said. “Their [military] presence here helped the kids better understand the field each person was presenting on.”
The NBG firefighters’ presentation included a visit by Sparky the dog, a chance to see a fire engine up close and a presentation on fire safety tips. Kindergartners and first-grade students learned safety techniques such as, ‘stop drop and roll’ and ‘stay low and go.’
“Teaching them that young will help them to remember fire safety as they grow up,” said NBG Fire Inspector Bethany Satterlee.
The firefighters’ goal for visiting career day was to inform students that though NBG Fire and Emergency Services is part of a federal agency, their duty extends to assist the local community when there are fires or other emergencies which require assistance.
“We want the community to know that we’re there to help and that we’re not just locked down on the base,” said NBG Fire Chief Robert Green.
Students were able to see the MK Talon II robot in action from EODMU 5. The robot, which is maneuvered by remote control and used to safely disarm dangerous explosive devices, roamed around a grassy field as the technician showed students different controls and buttons on the panel board.
“We showed them a couple of the tools that we use in the EOD career,” said Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 2nd Class Mario Spencer, of EODMU 5.
In addition to the MK Talon II robot, the students saw the bomb suit, helmet and various EOD items.
“The kids loved the robot,” Spencer said. “They loved trying on the bomb-suit helmet.”
The Sailors spoke to the students about EOD rating and the intense preparation technicians endure as well as other careers in the Navy and their experience in the armed forces.
Their presentation also included practical safety advice as well. Since Guam was a site of intense fighting during World War II, there exists the possibility of discovering live explosive devices around the island.
“We told them ‘stay away from it [and] don’t touch it [and] let their parents know or an adult and have them call the proper authorities,’” said Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 2nd Class (EWS) Matthew Herrygers, of EODMU 5.
In addition to the two groups from NBG, career day participants included the Guam Army National Guard and Guam Homeland Security.