NEWPORT NEWS, Va.— The Newport Fire Department Bomb Squad responds to bomb threats, suspicious packages and explosions. Now they’re better equipped while they’re working.
The bomb squad recently got a new response vehicle to replace one of their two older units.
“The big thing about this is we can get our guys out of the weather, it’s a lot safer than what we had before,” said Bomb Squad Commander Robert Lee.
It’s big enough to have teams work inside so they’re protected from the elements and there’s room for the robots to be stored in the back.
“In order to put a robot in service, we had to open the case, take a bunch of stuff out, put a bunch of wires together, plug it all in; we no longer have to do that,” explained Lee.
One of the robots is abled to be wired into the truck. That means they can get on scene and waste a lot less time putting things together.
“I think it cuts down on our response time and we can get into action a little bit faster,” said Lee.
There’s also a lot of technology that’s been added into this truck that the previous vehicles don’t have.
There are monitors on the inside and the outside of the vehicle.
“If you’ve got police department officials outside and they want to see what we’re doing — there’s a TV outside, we can send that image outside while we’re working in here,” said Lee.
It has four cameras on the outside of the vehicle so they can have a 360-degree view of their surroundings even when they’re inside.
It also has its own Wi-Fi capability to send and receive information quickly.
“If we wanted to send an x-ray out to somebody, say the FBI, we can get on our laptop send that out to the FBI instead of trying to take a picture of it and send it on the phone.”
There’s even a microwave inside to heat up a meal during the long days.
It’s a much-needed addition to the bomb squad team, to help make a tough job a little bit easier.