FBI, This Week: Hazardous Devices School


March 23, 2018

The FBI trains and certifies the nation’s more than 3,000 local, state, and federal public safety bomb technicians at its Hazardous Devices School at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.


Audio Transcript

Mollie Halpern: The FBI trains and certifies the nation’s more than 3,000 local, state, and federal public safety bomb technicians at its Hazardous Devices School at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

Unit Chief John Stewart says a centralized training program helps make emergency response operate seamlessly…

John Stewart: They all learn the same principles, they're all taught the same procedures, and they all speak the same language. In the event of a big bombing campaign—similar to what we had in Boston, similar to what we're going through in Austin, Texas, right now—when we send in multiple bomb techs from different jurisdictions and federal agencies, they can all operate together.

Halpern: Students are trained in realistic scenarios on the school’s 500 acres.

Eighteen training villages are set up to accommodate about 1,500 students a year earning their certifications, re-certifications, and taking advanced courses.

Stewart: Each village allows us to run a bomb call in the village—and it has a church and a strip mall and a city hall, a school, a fire department, there's train stations, bus stations—we can perform all of our live actions in there. If the procedure requires us to use an explosive tool, we can do that in that village. We don't have to simulate anything.

Halpern: In addition to teaching at the school, FBI Special Agent Bomb Technicians are strategically located at the FBI’s 56 field offices across the country. To learn more, visit www.fbi.gov. With FBI, This Week, I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau.

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