Bomb Squad Members From Around the Region In Erie for Training
There's an explosive conference happening this week in Erie.
Members of bomb squads from across the region are in town, learning about the latest tactics and technology out there, to keep first responders and communities safe.
With various vendors, they're getting to see some of the newest technologies.
They're also learning from each other, on how bomb squads across the region have responded to situations, “We’re learning about things that work, maybe things that didn't work, things to be aware of, and things to basically keep ourselves safe and keep the community safe,” said Erie Police Detective Sergeant Dave Hudson with the Erie Bomb Squad.
Chad Ege is the Bomb Squad Commander of the City of Allentown.
At this week’s conference, he’s talking to bomb technicians about a deadly vehicle explosion they responded to last October, and the lengthy investigation which followed, “The biggest thing is learning from others’ mistakes, and what we want to do better or what we did really well, just being able to mimic that the day, or God forbid anything similar were to happen again, being prepared is the biggest thing,” said Ege.
The annual regional training bomb squad conference is happening this week at the Bayfront Sheraton Hotel.
One of the vendors showcasing their products to the regions bomb squads, is a company out of Erie, called Telerob.
The parent company, located in Germany, has been in business for 25 years, but it incorporated in the U.S. in 2016, “We're right here in Erie… The vision is to start building the robots here in Erie within the next few years,” said Product Manager Dan Dell.
As criminals create more complex explosives, companies like Telerob are creating state-of-the art bomb disposal robots to keep first responders safe, “The purpose of using something like this in a situation is to keep humans away from the dangerous situation, so if there is an explosive device or some type of a chemical issue we can send the robot down range instead of having a person,” said Dell.
There are about 70 bomb squad members from various departments attending the conference.
They say they do this every year to make sure they’re a step ahead of the bad guys, “Everyone says it's never going to happen here, but it has happened, it has happened here in Erie, it's happened in Allentown it can happen anywhere,” said Ege. “So it's really important for administrators and local politicians to realize that they need to fund these things appropriately so we can have the proper support to go out and do our job,” Ege continued.
The Erie police bomb squad and International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI) hosted this year’s conference.