First Female Firefighter Qualifies for Cincinnati Bomb Squad

Oct. 9, 2023
Cincinnati Firefighter Nykeba Banks just finished a grueling FBI-led course in Alabama.

Cincinnati Firefighter Nykeba Banks is a certified bomb tech after passing a grueling course at the nation’s only hazardous devices school.

Even getting into the FBI-led program in Alabama is extremely tough, Interim Fire Chief Steve Breitfelde told a Local 12 reported. 

Banks, who's been a firefighter for seven years, was in the National Guard for 13 years.  

Known as a ‘74 Delta,’ she was a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist. She talked about how that military background prepared her.

"There’s a lot of brain power involved. You got to take your time, go slow and remind yourself to go slow. Because I like to go fast.”

Even though she's proven herself, she's been faced by naysayers. 

“Some people don’t feel like women should be doing this job. That’s the wrong mindset to have, because anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it," she said.

She joins eight fellow firefighters on the bomb squad.