MADISONVILLE, Ky. (6/24/13) – The Madisonville Police Department had the opportunity to send nine of officers to New Mexico Tech to be a part of the Prevention of and Response to Suicide Bombing Incidents Training.
“This course was for prevention and response to suicide bombing and geared more to a large scale incidents or if someone has made a threat,” stated Officer Andy Rush. “Then what happens, is we take certain measures and assessments… is this threat creditable, is this person known to be part of a terrorist group. They taught us all about the forms to fill out as far as to figure out if they are a threat and what all we would need to do and countermeasures. After we talked about the prevention on mass scale incidents, some of the class was… if you encounter someone with a bomb belt or a chest rigged… they talked about different things like placement.”
This was a five day course sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness. The training provided the knowledge and skill for developing policies, procedures, prevent, interdict, respond to, training and operational capabilities to deter and mitigate the effects of suicide bombing. This training was designed for state and local law enforcement officers, fire, emergency medical services and emergency management operations personnel to be responsible for responding and planning for suicide bombing threat incidents. The course also included class presentations, field laboratories and practical exercises.
“They also talked about blast pressures,” stated Rush. “When an explosion happens, the pressures and everything wants to go everywhere. If a bomb is up against the wall, the blast and pressure wants to go everywhere, and if it can’t go because of the wall… it will magnify and come back. They talked about evacuation distances and how to contact with the people. They taught us a lot about how different techniques, the effects of different explosions and the characteristics of the explosives.”
The course consisted of; Defining the Suicide Bomb Threat, Infrastructure Protection, Risk Management and Critical Asset Assessment, Basic Explosives and Characteristics, Case Studies, Suicide Bombing Devices, Legal Issues in the use of Deadly Force and Racial Profiling, Threat Assessments, Information Collection and Management, Indications, and Warnings, Vulnerability Assessments, Pre-Attack Countermeasures, Issues and Responses, Risk Analysis and Post –Blast Issues and Responses.
“We saw a brief case bomb, chest bomb, a belt bomb and a 300 pound car bomb and just from the shock from that was just insane,” expressed Rush. “There are good guys out there who do that and they love what they do. I have no desire to be a bomb tech.”
The three field laboratories allowed the participants to observe, handle (when possible) explosives and the resulting damage. These sessions included Package Bomb and Suicide Belt with Shrapnel Lab, Vehicle Bomb Lab, Suicide Bombing Devices and Full-scale Simulated Suicide Bombing Exercise.
“What they did was divided us up from state troopers, to local police, to EMS and Fire,” Rush told reporters. “And the reason they mix up these groups is because they have a table top discussions and exercises. You have to rely on the strengths of the other people in the group with you to complete these exercises. The things I may think of as a police officer may not be the same as fire department or EMS. We all have different ways of responding to certain situations. So we get to hear what other priorities the other groups have. We now have an idea of what the state police, EMS and Fire are looking for in these type of situations.”
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