First responders learn more about explosives - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

First responders learn more about explosives

By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

September 17, 2008

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - With just a push of a button this tire flew at least 60 feet into the air. It's part of a GBI Special Operations Unit demonstration of the capabilities of a bomb, but this wasn't the scary part.

"All of these things are readily available over the counter. Just to show you what all can be done with it," said Sumter County Sheriff, Pete Smith.

A crowd of South Georgia sheriff deputies, police officers and firefighters listened and watched as bomb after bomb was detonated. 

"We put on these demonstrations to show first responders what they can expect when it comes to a suspicious package. Let them see what the parameters are. And their primary function is to take action that will immediately save lives," said GBI Special Operations Agent, Chris Dorsey.

And these are bombs that could one day be in the schools they patrol. "If you get a call from a school, you can immediately add on 1,500 lockers and an untold amount of backpack and containers," said Dorsey.

Bomb threats take a lot more than the sense of security from the city, county, and state. "Anytime the logistics base has to respond or the bomb squad or they have to bring the dogs, those are valuable resources from the county and the state," said Juvenile Court Judge, Lisa James.

"This truck fully loaded with all of this equipment and chemicals cost 750,000 dollars," said Dorsey. And though most are false, these security measures must be taken every time.

"We can't afford not to. Our children deserve to be able to learn. Our teachers should be able to teach. So they should be able to feel comfortable and safe and protected," said James.

"You hope it's not but you never know when its the real deal," said Smith. And if it is, they will be better prepared to save lives. Last year the GBI Special Operation Unit responded to about 200 bomb threats. They found explosives in 11 of those cases.

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