BHS students tour city

Published 8:04 pm Tuesday, April 20, 2010

32 juniors from Bainbridge High School are taking part in Student Government Day this year.

On Tuesday, the students were accompanied by civics and U.S. History teacher Roger Worsley, City Manager Chris Hobby and his administrative assistant, Beth Williams, as they toured the various municipal departments, in preparation for assuming official duties and meeting their counterparts on Wednesday.

The tour began with a trip to the city’s sewage treatment plant where the students were treated to the “ins and outs” of how a city handles raw sewage.

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Many students reacted visibly to the associated odors, holding their noses and covering their mouths, as they observed the three tanks with micro-organisms, or “bugs,” that eat the bad stuff. The process eventually emits a water pure enough to be discharged into the river. The sludge left behind can be used for fertilizer.

From there, the students visited Public Works and the Purchasing Department before making a trip to Public Safety. A presentation was made by Doyle Welch, assistant fire chief and commander of the Hazardous Materials Response Team. Welch demonstrated the various protective gear worn by officers, and the air testing instruments used when they go on contaminated sites. Special emphasis was placed on procedures for meth lab investigations, and students were advised of the hazards of being exposed to methemphetamine.

Following a catered lunch at the Potter Street Community Center, the group proceeded to the firing range Public Safety uses to train and qualify law enforcement officers.

Sgt. Ryan Wimberly, BPS’ training officer, was assisted by two officers who demonstrated the firing techniques for which an officer must qualify two times a year. This appeared to be the highlight of the tour, as students cheered when Sgt. Jon Harrison fired off successive rounds with a rifle.

Wimberly also showed two types of protective vests worn by officers, and the students were quite interested in Wimberly’s explanation of the usage of Taser electrick shock weapons and other defensive tactics. Wimberly explained that when he felt the effects of the Taser, which is required of any officer that carries one, that it was the longest five seconds he had ever been through.