Missouri Bomb Squad Builds Chirping Easter Eggs For Special Needs Kids
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
Working as a bomb squad technician demands calm under pressure, steady hands and a knack for electronics. Well, turns out those traits are also good for another line of work - Easter egg construction.
STEVE CASE: (Laughter) I'm not sure it's natural work for a bomb squad.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
That's Cpl. Steve Case. He commands the police bomb squad in St. Charles County, Mo. His team recently spent a couple of days wiring up special Easter eggs for children who are visually impaired - plastic eggs that chirp.
(SOUNDBITE OF BEEPING)
CASE: If they can't see the eggs, they can't find them, so we make them beep. And when they find the eggs - there's a switch on the outside. They turn it off, it stops beeping, and then we give them another egg with toys or some candy inside of it.
SIEGEL: The bomb squad has been making eggs chirp since 2010. They picked up the idea at a national bomb technician conference. Lots of bomb squads around the country run similar projects, and Steve Case says that their professional expertise does help.
CASE: You can actually wire these things up wrong and they won't work. So through trial and error and a few soldering iron burns, we got it all done. And we're actually pretty good at it now.
CORNISH: This past weekend, the police and the county held Easter egg hunts for kids with special needs. Besides the beeping eggs for visually impaired kids, they held a special hunt for kids with mobility challenges and another for children with sensory issues or autism. Steve Case has an 18-year-old son with autism.
CASE: I know what it means when a family has to not do things because their kids are just a little bit different. So yeah, it's been kind of the driving force on my end, too, working with these special needs families.
SIEGEL: He said watching the hunts was one of the best days he'd had, and he wants to make them an annual event.
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