KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - A demonstration of explosives disposal was given to a group of people at an East Texas college studying to be first responders. Army combat engineers visited Kilgore College to show techniques and tactics in dealing with bomb scares, and how to deal with a possible real explosive device.
Army combat engineers shared their knowledge of dealing with bomb scares through new technology and training with students studying to be first responders.
"As an engineer I have CLS, I'm also airborne qualified, air assault, it's pretty diverse the way they train you to be an overall soldier," says Army Staff Sergeant Albert Hood. In a scenario that first responders could encounter one day, the TALON and PAC-BOT remotes were deployed, showing the specific techniques in searching, identifying and disarming explosives.
"Just a great opportunity for our students, criminal justice classes and our first responder programs. Any of these people could run into a situation where a device like this is used. Especially in light of the bombings in Austin and south Texas. This is important," says Kilgore College PIO Chris Craddock.
For three students, all Canadians, it was a rare opportunity they would never get back home.
"I've never come across anything like this. I've never had teachings from the military about anything with the robots. It was cool," says Kilgore Fire Cadet Justin Aubut of British Columbia.
"Day to day life in Canada, we don't really have exposure to that stuff. It's definitely a potential," says fellow Canadian Richard Murray. It's the tools used now to fight unseen enemies, foreign and domestic.
"Without this equipment, we'd still be back 30 years ago. Experience plays a factor in that," Hood says.
The combat engineers are based out of the army recruiting office in Longview, and also use the demonstration as a recruiting tool to show the diverse skills recruits can achieve.