Here’s a picture of a bomb squad helmet, two hand grenades, and dynamite, which were discussed at a Community Emergency Response Team(CERT) meeting held last Tuesday at the Foster City Fire Department.
This meeting is the continuing training held by the Foster City CERT. There were discussions on how the San Mateo Bomb Squad works: if you find a suspected item, don’t touch it, call the police, fire department, or sheriffs office and they will call, if needed, the bomb squad.
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad will respond and figure out what the item is. As an example, if you find a brief case sitting all alone near a building, call the local police. They will know if they will have to call the bomb squad or handle it by themselves. If a person trys to call the bomb squad, the call will be reverted to the areas fire department or police department before the bomb squad responds. In other words, it is up to the local authorities to call out the bomb squad.
All certified bomb squads members in the United States have a certain amount of training in order to hold their certification—the training school is held at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. It takes up to 6 to 8-weeks to be certified. If you don’t pass one of their tests, you are automatically sent home—and there is no second chance to take the test to pass it.. Remember, if you mess-up with an explosive and it goes off, you will not get a second chance either.
In California there are approximately fifty-four bomb squads and the San Mateo County Bomb Squad is one of the fifty-four. With in the last three-years, there were 334-calls, and 127 different explosives in the county defined as active. Explosives can be anything that builds up a volume and then breaks loose, causing injury, death or destruction in a radius of a certain area or feet: in other words, anything that can make a loud pop.
The helmet coast about $9,000, and the whole bomb squad suit about $90,000, which is only good for 5-years and the protective material starts to break down.
The dogs that are used in the bomb squads work, usually, comes from a European country. They are trained to sniff out different kinds of explosive materials. Up to $35,000 or more is invested in the dogs training, living, education, and hospitalization. The dogs live with their handlers who are responsible that the dogs stay qualified to do their work.
The dogs have different collars, which places them into different moods: one is for bomb search, one is for sniffing out a person, and one for chemical search.
So, if you suspect a devise is explosive notify the local police, fire department, or sheriffs department. If needed , they will activate the bomb squad