Van Zandt County Officials Get Lesson In Bomb Disposal - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/16/06-Van Zandt County

Van Zandt County Officials Get Lesson In Bomb Disposal

Keeping people safe during a bomb threat. The Garland Emergency Response Team teamed up with Van Zandt County law enforcement for a lesson in bomb disposal. Unlike the movies, the response team doesn't dispose of bombs by cutting wires with their hands.

"If we were dealing with some type of a large vehicle bomb or a small bomb, pipe bomb of such in a car we have to get into the car to disable it," said Lieutenant Tom Payne, Garland Bomb Squad. "We use some advance tools to reach in and strike things at a very high rate of speed." The response team used a water cannon to open a trunk. It can also enter a vehicle through a window using a $225,000.00 robot. The robot is equipped with five cameras and three types of lighting. The person operating it can be 2,000 feet away. Small explosives and military dynamite were also set off to show the effects of bombs. The Van Zandt County Sheriff's Department says today's training is to show the county how to react to a bomb threat emergency.

"We have an interstate, a major interstate coming through our county," said Sheriff R.P. Pat Burnett. "We have a train that comes through our county. There are many things that we have that could go wrong and we just want to be ahead of the game." It's a situation, county officials hope to never face, but they'll be prepared.

The Garland Emergency Response Team started four years ago. It serves five counties in Northeast Texas.

Molly Reuter, reporting.

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