Even though his life may be at risk when he's called to X-ray and dismantle a bomb, don't feel bad for Bill Niles.
The Salt Lake County Fire Department's bomb technician doesn't worry too much about the danger he often faces."I think it's fun," he says with a grin.
And when a law enforcement agency calls him to the scene of a potentially explosive device, Niles jumps in his vehicle, flips on the siren and cranks the radio - not the police radio - but his car stereo set to a classic rock station.
"I jam out. I get the adrenalin rush and get going," he explained. "Deep inside, yeah, you like it."
Not everyone shares his unusual enthusiasm. After all, whenever a bomb is found, police officers clear everyone away from the device for at least a block in every direction. Niles is one of only a handful of people in Salt Lake County with the know-how and courage to enter that restricted area.
Niles said he even gets excited when blowing things up under controlled circumstances at the test range.
But his wife, a former fire dispatcher who knows exactly what his job entails, understandably doesn't see his job the same way he does. "I think she worries."
Push him a little harder, though, and Niles will admit - albeit backhandedly - that he has a very dangerous job.
"I learned a long time ago when I first got into this, if you ever grow up and figure out what you're doing, it'll scare the hell out of you," he said. "As long as I stay a 12-year-old at heart, I'll be fine."
Niles was a bomb technician in the Army. That experience helped him land a job as a Midvale police officer and later with the county's Emergency Services Division. He also investigates arson fires and helps prepare Salt Lake County's emergency plans.
Of the emergencies he's responded to during his three years with the county fire department, Niles said the Alta View Hospital siege and a bomb discovered recently at a Sandy bank stick in his mind. At the bank, a bomb threat had been received and a briefcase left behind.
"The more you're getting closer to going in the building, the more the jokes flow out of me to keep me calm," he said.
Niles hoped it was just a bank book inside the briefcase. An X-ray confirmed the package contained a bomb.
"As soon as they gave me the confirmation (that it was a bomb), I let out a belch," he said, explaining his body re-acts to the adrenalin and the tension in these emergencies. "I'm either good with a belch or an obscenity."
"It got serious real quick but you still try to keep it light-hearted," Niles said. "If you get all hyped up, you don't work as well."
The next time you see someone in a large, space-age bomb suit walking into an area closed off with police tape, it may be Bill Niles. While you probably won't be able to see his face, he's likely to be smiling and joking about the danger that he's about to face.