ORISKANY, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) — The State Preparedness Training Center hosts trainings for nearly 10,000 first responders each year using their collection of realistic sets.
Bomb technicians from across the nation, 7 from New York state, came together in Oneida county for one of the center’s first classes since the pandemic. The two-week long FBI tactical bomb technician certification course taught the technicians how to integrate with SWAT teams to provide counter-IED capability in uncontrolled emergency situations.
The State Preparedness Training Center’s deputy director, Meghan Dudley said, “I think about all the events that we see happening whether it be in a mall, in a bar, we can replicate that right here in Oriskany and give responders training that is as close to real life as possible.”
“You can’t always simulate real life especially in terrible situations, right?” added Sergeant Randy Potuck of the Rochester P.D
“But, they do a great job of doing that, and like I said it’s the mental and the physical, and then they just tell us to use simple logic. That’s really what it comes down to. We’ve already got the tools and the training. They’re putting it all together for us.”
The Rochester Police Department is just one of several law agencies across the country benefitting from this training. Participants are selected in coordination with the FBI, and many of those involved agree on the importance of this type of training and the important role law enforcement plays in today’s society.
Ed Delelio, a bomb technician from DuPage County in Illinois said, “Unfortunately, you know, we’re not getting any less violent as a country. We’re not. If anything, you see violence is just sort of spiking; it’s increasing.”
Potuck amplified this sentiment when talking about the training. He said, “We have to be ready. I hope I never have to use it, but I definitely want to be ready.”
Tony Gonzalez, who works as an explosive operations specialist for the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School in Huntsville, A.L. also acknowleged the risk of violence involved in this type of work.
“These guys are professionals. They’re doing their job. They’re putting themselves in harms way for us, so we need to appreciate the amount of skill that these guys are getting and the courage to actually do this. This is not for everybody.” – Tony Gonzalez
The State Preparedness Training Center will host more trainings for first responders throughout 2021, including a drone event happening next month.