Wednesday, May 28, 2008
All Access: Terror Training
What would you do if terrorists struck South Florida? An elite group of officers is planning all the time to make sure you are safe. Seven's Dave Kartunen gives you "All Access" to their training.
WSVN -- There's a madman with a bomb in Broward County. He's barricaded himself in a building, and he has access to volatile chemicals. BSO gets the call.
Lieutenant Darin Dowe, Broward Sheriff's Office SWAT Team: "You're going in and add the mental stress of dealing with the fact that the guy has a bomb, and now he's maybe added a chemical or biological threat to it."
And for that unique threat, BSO has a unique response, SWAT, bomb squad, and hazmat, all rolled into one.
Captain David Kelly, Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Hazmat: "We have $400,000, if not more, in WMD equipment."
David Kelly: "We're preparing for the worst, but hopefully the worst case scenario doesn't happen."
Thankfully, this worst case scenario is just a drill, but you wouldn't know it by watching them.
David Kelly: "All right, we're en route."
The SWAT team wears not only their usual equipment, but also hazmat suits covering every inch of skin. They clear one room at a time.
David Kelly: "Put your hands up."
But where most SWAT drills would end, this one is only beginning.
David Kelly: "The officers returned fire and took out their subject, but now they need to look for cues, as they work their way down the hallway. This isn't a good sign, a gas mask. In his right hand, they'll find a pin. But, worst of all, what they don't know yet, is that underneath him is a bomb."
They have loose chemicals, but first they have to deal with a bomb.
In full ballistic gear, the bomb squad moves in, X-rays the device and diffuses the bomb. To protect their tactics, we can't show you how.
Then hazmat has to secure what they consider are weapons of mass destruction.
David Kelly: "It's a whole other way of doing things. The fire service in general is used to rush, rush, rush, but where it comes to hazardous materials, everything is slow down."
A disaster diverted thanks to a unit that's equal parts federal funding, teamwork and intense training.
David Kelly: "We train weekly, and we're far above the standard nationally, and we have to be able to respond like this."
David Kelly: "And it's that one time that makes all the difference."