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Bomb Threats

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  • Bomb Threats

    How does your department respond to bomb threats? The reason I am asking is that last week in our County there was a call of a bomb threat in one of our County's schools but would not tell which one. This included 13 schools. The call came in through the sherrifs office and not through 911. The Sherrif acted alone on this call and didn't utilize the resources that were usually in place. He didn't evacuate the shcools the students were herded into the gym's or cafeterias while 1 or 2 untrained police officers serched the building. The Sherrif stated that he had heard of instances where bomb threats were called in just to get the kids outside so that a sniper could shoot them. I'll agree that this is possible but deal with the suituations as they come available. May I also add that this is a new sherrif and he wants everything done his way with no outside help.

  • #2
    In the event of a bomb threat we would help seal off the area and assist in evacuating anyone that would require evacuation. If its in our district possibly provide a shelter for them. However we will not search for bombs wether we think there a hoax or not. That's a job for the people who are trained to do that.
    In the case of a school I could see gathering them in the gym or cafeteria to make sure all are present and accounted for but I would not hold them there for a extended period of time. I would keep them there until arraignments could be made to get school busses there to take them home or to a shelter such as a church or other structure.
    As for the snipper issue its possible but, you would just have to secure the area as best as possible.
    I think the sheriff showed his lack of intelligence on this one and I would make it a point to bring up the fact he's not qualified to search for bombs to the School district and the local officials. If it was my kid in one of these schools I wouldn't want him or his Deputies to search for a bomb while my kid was in the building.
    In short let those who are trained do the search.


    • #3
      In general bomb threats in my area are handled by the police, who have their own explosive ordinances unit. If they request our assistance it is usually just to stand by after they have located an explosive device. Our usual response for this is 2 engines, 1 truck, rescue, medic, ambulance, several chief officers and maybe hazmat and/or collapse rescue units as well, all depending on the circumstances. Units will generally stage away from the scene and meet up with PD for further instructions. We are not trained to handle bombs so we are just there to stand by in case the situation takes a turn for the worst.

      My opinions are not necessarily those of my department. I speak only for myself.


      • #4
        Usualy if there is a bomb threat the cops take charge of the scene but we stage near by just in case it is for real. By the way putting the students in one large confined area would be the bombers dream, after all the purpose is to kill and maim, if you put it in the hallway or a locker they would only get a few. The majority of people who would actually plant bombs would think of this and place them accordingly. Its kinda like in the movie "Saving Private Ryan" when they were about to storm the beach. And I believ the sergeant made the comment to keep your distance after all "1 or 2 guys is a waste of ammo, 6 guys is a golden opprotunity" (i know its not the exact wording but you get the meaning) Now that everybody who reads this probably thinks I am a homegrown terrorist, I will just conclude by saying I am not, but it never hurts to think like one, how else do you plan on beating them at their own game.

        When the defecation hits the oscillation I'll be there.


        • #5
          In our county the PD have control of Bomb related calls, there are usually a couple a month.

          For every bomb threat, the first due dept's and Chiefs are notified by pager or phone, notified of the location and placed on standby in quarters. In the event that a device is located, the proper response is dispatched to a staging area in close proximity to the scene.



          • #6
            For Bomb threats we stand down in quarters. While the Police and the County Sheriff's bomb squad do the search and crowd control.

            The statements above are my own opinions

            FF Greg Grudzinski
            Oaklyn Fire Dept.
            Station 18-3


            • #7

              We had a similar situation in our county recently, A string of bomb threats with the caller getting bolder each time. Last time he reported that there was a bomb in EACH of the county schools. 14 schools, give or take a couple. Students were kept on busses until each school could be cleared. Normal response to a bomb threat in our county is 1 engine and 1 ambulance to stage away from the school while VSP, Sheriff's Dept, and school officials conduct the search. The normal response would have tied up nearly every ambulance and a large number of engines for several hours. The sheriff's dept recently arrested a 17 year old in connection with these incidents. I hope the judge makes an example out of him.

              After a few of these kinds of calls. I'm beginning to believe that the smaller response may be a better answer. It's a tough decision. It's sad, But a 16 year old that can disrupt school, create an atmosphere of panic, tie up law enforcement, fire and rescue, and school officials for a few hours, and manage to get away with it is soon regarded as a hero by his peers. I wonder if the size of the response doesn't add to the problem, Especially in repeated incidents. Maybe a flexible response based on the information available to law enforcement isn't a bad idea.

              Just a thought.

              Stay Safe



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