Gastonia Police Department's Bomb Squad is one of the oldest squads in North Carolina, responding to any agency in need. The squad primarly responds to calls throughout the western region of the state. The squad organized in 1981 and members have successfully completed the FBI hazardous devices school at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. They are active members of the International Association of Bomb Technicians & Investigators (IABTI) and award winners in the IABTI Regional Bomb Squad Olympics. The Bomb Squad averages about three dozen activities a year (about three a month) including bomb threat calls, bomb robot demonstrations, security details, disposals, research, etc.
Memberships and Training
- Only James Bond and TV police go into a building where a bomb is placed to cut wires. Human life is more important than a building. "Disarming" a bomb is incorrect. Bomb Technicians conduct Render Safe Procedures (RSP).
- It's a felony to make and use a homemade bomb or to possess bomb-making materials.
- Homemade bombs are called Improvised Explosive Devices (IED's). Because their design, materials, and filler are only limited by the imagination of their creator, they are often considered more dangerous than commercially made ordnance or explosives.
- An explosive pressure wave moves at about 13,000 mph from the point of explosion.
- HMX, one of the fastest explosives, if poured into a garden house 4.5 miles long, will travel that distance from one end to the other in one second if detonated.
- Black powder in Revoluntionary, Civil War, WWI and II ordnance is as explosive and volatile today as it was when it was made. Don't play around with "heirloom" ordnance!
- Treat every suspicious package, object, or "novelty" ordnance as the real deal, because often it is!