MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With situations like the Boston Marathon Bombing, or robberies where someone declares they have a bomb strapped around their neck, local bomb squads need, and do, work to keep their skills sharp.
“We train pretty well intensively on a regular basis,” Sergeant Rick Anton with the Broward Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad told CBS4’s Ted Scouten. “We work very closely with our federal partners, our military partners as well, just to stay on top of whatever emerging trends, whatever may be coming out—even try to think future.”
The robot is one of the most valuable tools in this job. It can go up close to check out a potential bomb. It has cameras, a microphone and it can even x-ray.
During a demonstration, the bomb squad determined there was nothing dangerous inside and decided to use the disrupters to “steal its thunder.” In other words, detonate it before pressure built up inside causing a larger, uncontrolled blast.
“That’s what we’re looking to do, take away certain elements to take away so it does not function as it is intended,” Sgt. Anton said.
When the robot isn’t available, the bomb suit is there as a “last resort”, Anton said.
“The idea is to try to use the robot whenever you can, this kind of a last resort, when someone has to put on this suit, a very heavy suit and walk out there,” Anton said.
In another training scenario Wednesday, a suitcase if found sitting with nobody around. After the robot and bomb squad made the determination, the suitcase is blown up by exploding water bottles placed next to it.
“Unless we know what’s inside of it, we’re not going to try to take a positive action on something, we’re not going to move it, we’re not going disturb it, we’re not going to go into it unless we know what is inside of it and how it works,” Sgt. Anton said.
Even with all the high-tech gadgets they have, it means nothing if the public does not get involved—a key component, bomb squad says. The saying, ‘if you see something, say something,’ is especially important in this line of business.