On Tuesday, December 4, nine CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) students visited the Raleigh Police Department's Special Operations Facility. The Special Operations Facility houses all specialty units for the police department, including the bomb squad, SWAT, K-9, and motorcycle unit, as well as performing other administrative functions.
Students were treated to two presentations and Q&A sessions. Captain J.A. Taylor and Detective J.T. Heinrich of the Hazardous Devices Unit (aka "the bomb squad") presented on two robots used to handle and contain potentially-explosive materials, discussed suspicious package handling and x-ray techniques, and demonstrated a variety of personal protective gear used on the job.
Lieutenant S.M. Gunter of the Selective Enforcement Unit (aka SWAT) offered an in-depth look at how SWAT officers train and provided a hands-on demonstration of how specialty equipment--like battering rams--are used in the field.
In both instances, students got a chance to interact with a variety of protective gear and tools of the trade. Altogether, this opportunity offered students a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of high-stakes crisis and emergency response careers.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program trains students to prepare for emergencies in their communities. CERT students also help with non-emergency projects that improve the safety of the community.