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    Question Whats wrong with this picture???

    Would you open a Mailbox that may contain a pipe
    bomb?? Check out this story with photo...
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,52008,00.html

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    that shield is gonna do alot

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    Thumbs down

    A play on the famous quote from the Taco Bell dog; "I think I'm going to need a longer stick!"
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    "I'm just going to try to look the boxes over a little bit before I open them," Bartels said. "It's kind of scary."
    Don't you think if there was something visibly wrong with the boxes, no one would have been hurt to begin with?

    I'm with ya on the longer pole, and maybe some body armour. I have to deal with people who have been hurt by pipe bombs in the past, at that close range, depending on what was inside them, I don't know how much protection turnout would offer.

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    After terrorism came to the forefront following the acts of 9-11, I taught several Terrorism Response courses in my area last year. In conjuction with those classes, and just to see if I could do it, I went through several area hardware stores and bought pipe bomb materials. I did this to see if anyone might ask anything. At each hardware store, I bought a 10"x1 1/2" piece of threaded pipe, two 1 1/2" threaded caps, a box of 8d box nails, and a roll of duct tape. I went so far as to thread the caps on each piece of pipe.

    I went through the check out line at each store careful to use a cashier of different age groups, and gender each time. Never did anyone ask me any questions, or call the Police. Some of their people even helped me find the materials. As a side note, I had discussed my activities with the PD before I did it, so I wouldn't scare them to death.

    I have come to the conclusion that people are either indifferent, or at least poorly trained in recognizing this kind of stuff. Maybe there should be some kind of training for the cashiers about recognizing and reporting these kinds of purchases for their potential uses. Something like that may have prevented the recent Midwest mailbox bombings, or at least given law enforcement a heads up on possible incidents.

    By the way, I think if I was going to open that mailbox, I would use a really long cord. I don't know about you guys, but I find a couple hundred foot long pole a wee bit unwieldly. They don't bend well over hilltops either.
    Steve Gallagher
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    Geez, where have you guys been?!

    Haven't you heard we're making explosion-proof firemen here in the Midwest?

    If you don't have 'em, I'd seriously consider getting a few.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    My guys have encouraged me to personally open these mailboxes should we get any. They told me that with my experience and technical training in explosives, I would be the best one to see first hand what we are dealing with so we can establish the appropriate strategic goals and tactical objectives.

    Then another mentioned that if I get blown up, 3 others get promoted. I wondered why all the guys who suggested this were on the promotion lists.
    Steve Gallagher
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    Talking

    A rookie,rope,radio AND NEW FOR 2002, A Stick!!

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    Unless the mailbox is on fire, don't send firefighters. I would hate to think of trying to explain to someone's spouse, "Sorry, we thought there was an explosive device in the mailbox and he picked the short straw." Not our job. If you think you need a long pole to safely open a mailbox.....don't open it.

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    Folks, this is a police problem. It is also a Chief problem. Why in God's name would a law enforcement officer authorize a fire fighter to tamper with what is, in all cases of explosives, a crime scene? He is obviously not a trained hazardous device technician. He should not be there. His Chief should not put him in the position to be there.



    I have come to the conclusion that people are either indifferent, or at least poorly trained in recognizing this kind of stuff.
    Bingo! It is the old "it can't happen here" syndrome. This is a good example of why this country, despite all of the warnings and efforts of our federal government, is so vulnerable to a terrorist attack.

    Do you think you could have bought all that stuff in Israel unchallenged?

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    At a previous department (notice I said PREVIOUS) we received a bomb threat for the elementary school. Our local PD and FD responded.

    After the school was evacuated, we were ordered to help search the school. After a briefing by the Police Chief (of an eight man PD) we searched the school. Basically, we were looking "for anything suspicious". We OPENED any locker without a lock (ignoring those WITH locks) and moved ceiling tiles that appeared to have been tampered with. The only thing we found suspicious was when we moved a ceiling tile and saw a cylindrical object on the next tile over. So what does our illustrious PD officer that is accompanying us do? He grabs it. It turned out to be a coffee can with paint brushes in it left there by a maintenance person.

    The whole thing was ridiculous. We shouldn't have been there. And obviously, the PD didn't know what they were doing. But the attitude of "It's just a prank." prevailed.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Silver City 4 - I hope your methods have changed.
    Basically, we were looking "for anything suspicious"
    What do all bombs look like? Lunch boxes, Thermos's, MailBoxes, etc. The first thing you should think of when told, look for anything that does not belong, is yourself. Unless you are a member of a bomb squad, you do not belong. What good would you be if you found something and it went off? 15 years ago, we used to do the same thing. We finally convinced people that it was wrong. When we get a bomb scare, we report to our building and stay there. If nothing is found, we go home, if something is found, we wait for the boom and look for the fire. We serve no useful purpose if we are at the scene and become victims. How big of an area does a bomb blast cover? Depends on the size of the bomb. Is it a big bomb, a little bomb, who knows...that's why you don't stand by on scene. Stay away and stay alive.

    Re-read your post and see this was at previous department. I hope their methods have changed.

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    Just remember my eyes were blew...


    One blew that way ---------------->
    <-------------And one blew that way


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    I doubt their methods have changed. Same leadership in both PD and FD there.

    I had the same reservations. Matter of fact, the little voice in my head was yelling "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" But, it was in my first year as a paid firefighter in a little combo department, and only my second year as a firefighter period, and I didn't want to come off as a whiner or a know-it-all.....

    Looking back, I would now loudly voice my opinion. Of course, looking back, I probably wouldn't have taken the job there, but that's another story...
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Within the last several years we had a bomb threat at the local post office. After conferring with the Police Chief and the Post Master, I was informed that they wanted us to assist with a search of the building. They went on to tell me that we were looking for a suspicious package. I told him that I could tell without even entering the building that there were several hundred "suspicious packages" in there, and as far as I was concerned, we were going to be up the street about a block or so, in case they needed us.

    I didn't know what the hell I was supposed to looking for. Everything in the place was suspicious to me. Since none of us could say with any certainty what it was we were trying to find, beyond the description of "suspicious", I was able to convince them that for us to do a detailed search crossed the line pretty solidly from "unwise" into the realm of "stupid". We all backed off, waited a while, and everybody went back to work when the Postmaster decided that they had been out long enough -- his call not mine.
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    This picture appeared in our local newspaper. The firefighter is from a rural Iowa fire department in Earlville. Apparently, he is employing a strategy similar to tank BLEVE tactics. Notice that he is approaching the mailbox from the side, as he believes that mailboxes, like steel tanks, blow from the ends. His helmet visor is properly in the down position. The specially designed probe was purchased from the local hardware store, as the NFPA-approved probe was just too damned expensive. The optional broom end was not purchased in order to save money. The look on his face is that of a grizzled veteran. When asked if he had ever attempted such a maneuver before, he replied, "Once; to get a very agitated groundhog out of a live trap. This is gravy compared to the horrors of that day"!
    Is this ignorant bliss? No; it's Iowa!
    I know many fine firefighters from Iowa. Too bad that the AP has this guy as the poster child for Iowa firefighters.
    And now, the picture.
    Last edited by ChiefReason; 05-07-2002 at 11:21 PM.

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    Screwed up. Here's the photo.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Originally posted by Silver City 4
    At a previous department (notice I said PREVIOUS) we received a bomb threat for the elementary school. Our local PD and FD responded.

    After the school was evacuated, we were ordered to help search the school. After a briefing by the Police Chief (of an eight man PD) we searched the school. Basically, we were looking "for anything suspicious". We OPENED any locker without a lock (ignoring those WITH locks) and moved ceiling tiles that appeared to have been tampered with. The only thing we found suspicious was when we moved a ceiling tile and saw a cylindrical object on the next tile over. So what does our illustrious PD officer that is accompanying us do? He grabs it. It turned out to be a coffee can with paint brushes in it left there by a maintenance person.

    The whole thing was ridiculous. We shouldn't have been there. And obviously, the PD didn't know what they were doing. But the attitude of "It's just a prank." prevailed.
    And you know what schools around here are doing now (in particular the school system my mom teaches for)?

    They are having the TEACHERS search the school for bombs!!! They figure the teachers know what doesn't belong in the school. Excuse me, but if I was a teacher and they told me to do that then I would tell them where they could stick their radios.

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    Thumbs down

    First of all, if the fire department is being used in more than a support roll in the search for pipe bombs, then there is a problem with the leadership of that department. Any half-decent cheif that would send his men into a situation that they have not been trained for, is being totally irresponible. If anything were to have happened (God forbid) they are opening themselves up to major liability to law, the family of that firefighter, and the rest of the company.

    Just as a side note, that firefighter looks an awful lot like a canary in a coal mine.
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    He's a probie!

    No shield, clean helmet, and relatively clean gloves.

    The veterans said the hell with that i ain't going up there and poking that thing with a stick.


    Anyway, we had a bomb threat at or PD, turns out someone was cleaning their attic, found a live hand grenade and decided to bring it to the police to ask what to do with it. They put a can over it, (to mark its position), and called the bomb squad. They came looked at it, picked it up and put it in a box, all this while wearing just a regular uniform.

    Another bomb threat, and this shows how smart people really are.

    A lady was walking down the street sees something that has a timer attached to it. She walks over picks it up and carries it home with her (can we say genius), her daughter said it looked like a bomb so they threw it outside. Bomb squad said it could have caused severe damage if it had detonated.

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    About a year ago, there was a bomb threat called in to the hospital I work for. They announced the code over the PA... yes it happens often enough we actually have a code for it. Then told us to check our computers. The print out on the computers stated that the nursing staff were to go room to room looking for packages...hmmm... apparently the person who wrote it has never been in a hospital room, as they are usually full of PACKAGES!!! The end result... we were supposed to look and not touch, so we looked, and kept track of the number and location of packages, so we could provide the bomb squad with the info. Then we come to learn that they were called but aren't coming because it is 'probably just a hoax.'

    It did end up being a hoax, but I wasn't terribly happy when I found out that they weren't going to bother to walk across the street, to check it out. The police station is about 30 metres from the hospital.

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    With all due respect, I think some of you have only a small amount of knowledge about bomb threats and hazardous devices.

    They are having the TEACHERS search the school for bombs!!! They figure the teachers know what doesn't belong in the school. Excuse me, but if I was a teacher and they told me to do that then I would tell them where they could stick their radios.
    This is an accepted, perfectly safe, procedure. The way it happens is that the teachers are notified that there has been a bomb threat at the school (You don't pull the fire alarm, because the objective is to NOT change anything. The device could be connected to the alarm bells. It also helps prevent overexcitement.) The teachers then ask the students to take out everything that they brought in with them that day (fewer items to search and the bomber is less likely to take the bomb out with him). The teacher than performs a VISUAL search of the classroom. She/he is looking for anything out of place ot anything that she/he does not recognize or that appears to be unexplainably out of place. After all, who knows that classroom better, the teacher who is in it every day, 200 days a year, or a fire fighter/police officer/bomb tech?

    As these teachers are leaving, they are preforming the same type of visual search in the open areas of the school, (stairways, exitways, hallways, etc.). When something is found that is possibly suspicious to them, they notify the responding police officers and the items are treated individually as suspicious packages.

    Anyway, we had a bomb threat at or PD, turns out someone was cleaning their attic, found a live hand grenade and decided to bring it to the police to ask what to do with it. They put a can over it, (to mark its position), and called the bomb squad. They came looked at it, picked it up and put it in a box, all this while wearing just a regular uniform.
    A trained hazardous device tech can recognize an inert grenade or a safe grenade from a mile away. If the pin is in it, and the casing is not deteriorated, the device is safe to move. If the primer has been removed, which can be determined by a visual inspection, the device is safe to move. Bomb techs are among the most anal, most fastidious people I know. They spend ions more hours practicing their craft than you do. I think that you have to defer to them on the handling of hazardous devices.

    BTW, when you have a possible device present, it is not a "bomb threat".

    Then we come to learn that they were called but aren't coming because it is 'probably just a hoax.'
    Threat assessment is something that is practiced at every bomb threat. Trained members of the team, along with police and facilities personnel, can assess the threar using a number of parameters, including poast history. They can then make an intelligent decision as to whether or not the threat has any validity. Can you imagine the mayhem that would ensue if every facility that received a bomb threat was evacuated every time? Nobody would ever work or go to school.

    Again, I don't mean to demean anyone, but maybe you should stick to fire fighting and leave the bomb stuff to the people trained to handle them.
    Last edited by GeorgeWendtCFI; 05-08-2002 at 10:36 AM.

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    Realism is everything in any training exercise!
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    Exactly, George.

    Let's leave it to the professionals--i.e. law enforcement.

    The way you explain it, it makes sense for the teachers in schools to do a quick "search" but I think of that more as an "evaluation". When someone says "search for bombs" I think of opening lockers and such.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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