December 2017: Writing Realistic Danger

In December 2018, ORWA had the privilege and pleasure of learning the ins and outs of making things go bang with a member of the Ottawa Tactical Response Team.

The Tactical Response Team provides assistance in high risk situations and has a stringent selection progress.  The sergeant’s stories about Hell Week and the psychological requirements were fascinating (and gave us plenty of plot bunnies to chase down).  He shared video about close quarters battle training and information about how the team decides whether or not it is worth the risk for forced entry.  He even gave us some examples of real life operations.

And no visit would be complete without some show and tell.  In this case, it was a chance to handle the bomb disposal suit, which was heavy enough to provide a convenient explanation for a potential hero’s muscles.  And Sergeant Selinas ran down a few Fact vs Fiction misconceptions about how explosive disposal works in real life.  We were dramatically disappointed to discover that deadman switches and giant blinking timers are more Hollywood than reality, but had to agree it definitely made it safer for the team.

It was fascinating and educational and we’re deeply grateful to Sergeant Selinas for coming to share his experience with us and for answering all of our questions, no matter how strange some of them must have seemed.

Recap by Jennifer Carole Lewis