Black River Students Win A Visit From Bomb Squad Robot

  • 2/13/2019 5:22:54 PM
  • Jenna Ramolt
  • Local News

SULLIVAN, OH - One fifth grade class at Black River Elementary School received quite the prize for naming the Ashland Bomb Squad's new robot "The Deactivator."

The competition was born when the robot first joined the Bomb Squad's team. The squad had been working on funding and building the robot for two to three years, and when it finally arrived, it did so without a name. This inspired Bomb Squad Director Tim Whalen to start the contest by reaching out to local DARE officers and school resource officers.

Three school districts participated, totaling 350 students: Black River, Mapleton, and Hillsdale. Each student submitted a name, which was voted on by their class. Each school submitted a name to the Ashland Bomb Squad, the Ashland Sheriff's Office, and the Emergency Management Agency. Those three agencies made the final selection, and the robot was named "The Deactivator" by Black River students.

"It pretty much says it all, we use the robot to deactivate a hazardous device," Whalen said. In fact, the squad deployed it Tuesday evening when a homemade pipe bomb was found during a search at a home in Ashland. The squad members were able to explain this to the kids during a Q&A session, which was followed up by a pizza party and a group photo with "The Deactivator."

"It seems like a great class, everybody's really excited about it," said Whalen, "So it's a pleasure of ours to be able to come in here today... hopefully they remember this day forever."

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