If you’ve received a special order from Central Vacuum Stores in the past 7 years, you can thank Nancy Mims for its prompt delivery. Nancy heads up our special shipping department and is an integral part of our day-to-day operations. She’s also a veteran of the Gulf War.
Nancy proudly served in the US NAVY in the early 1990’s. The majority of her service was spent in Guam working with several different types of nuclear weapons kept on the depot island. Nancy’s responsibilities included the highly secure maintenance of these sensitive weapons as well as their continual readiness for deployment. As you can imagine, she has some pretty exciting tales to tell and as you can expect, I asked her if I could share one.
Nancy says she always felt surprisingly secure in her role. Not because there wasn’t any danger (there always was) but because the Marine and NAVY servicemen responsible for these deadly weapons followed every precise regulation down to a T. Each directive was read, acknowledged by a second person, and then finally carried out. She described how one of her tasks took thirty minutes just to remove a lid!
On just such an event, Nancy was responsible for replacing a core in one of the bombs. “Imagine a beer- sized keg totally filled with small pea sized lead pellets. Buried in the pellets would be a new core capsule that has to come out and the old one would go back in. The cores are brick sized, heavy, very warm to the touch, and in a plastic bag. We pull them to the top, out of the peas, and wait for the direction to lift it up, bring it over the side, and set it on the floor.” It seems like nothing could go wrong with such clear instructions…
“I was the handling tech that day and lifted the bag up over the side, and just like dog poop that capsule came out of the bottom of the bag and hit the floor. Every single head turned toward the radiation meter to see if the needle was going to move. Nobody moved. DEAD silence was in the room because we all knew what it meant. If the needle moved, we would all have been exposed and would probably soon die of radiation poisoning. Our job at that time would be to seal ourselves up in that building to keep the levels minimized and call out a medical team.”
Well, as I’ve already explained that Nancy is one of our prized employees, you can guess that the needle didn’t move. However, the NAVY did decide to implement new regulation across the board from that point forward. The handling tech removing the core is now responsible for holding their hand underneath the bag as they lift it over the edge and to prevent the core from dropping. And all thanks to Nancy!
Central Vacuum Stores is so proud of Nancy’s service in the NAVY and we want to celebrate yours, too! If you have formerly served or are currently active in the US NAVY, Central Vacuum Stores would like to honor your service with 5% off your total purchase! Visit our Facebook Page to learn more or contact our sales team for info at 1-800-221-8227.
We’re also featuring our American-made products this week. Visit our page for details and ongoing specials!