Paducah's bomb squad gets new gear - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Paducah's bomb squad gets new gear

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PADUCAH, Ky. (WSIL) -- The Paducah Police Department's bomb squad bought $117,000 worth of new gear, thanks to a grant from the state's department of homeland security. Each year, the four-member bomb squad responds to around 55 calls, across 13 counties.

Blake Quinn, Senior Technician, says they're often deployed for one specific thing, "The most common call is going to be for a suspicious package."

The crew has other jobs like recovering old dynamite, which Quinn says used to be available for purchase at farmer co-ops and hardware stores. 

"Someone purchased this (dynamite) 20 years ago, and never used it," he explains. "Then they pass away, you go to the barn, and there's this old dynamite and somebody doesn't know what to do with it." 

The bomb squad's suits from 2010 expired, but the grant from the Kentucky Department of Homeland Security allowed the department to replace those suits. 

John Holiday, Executive Director of the department, says it's the office's mission to keep residents and emergency personnel safe. 

"The Kentucky Department of Homeland Security, we're in the business of resourcing communities, specifically their first responders," Holiday explains. 

Bomb squad members liked their old suits, so they decided to purchase the same type.

"They come with a control panel that controls the functions of the helmet, which includes the defog for the visor," Quinn says. "It has a fan in the event you start to get too hot." 

Quinn says it's reassuring to know that they are up to code, "It means a lot to be able to take these particular pieces of equipment and know that going down there, they are new and they're going to do what they're supposed to do."

The grant also allowed the squad to purchase four body armor vests for active shooter situations.

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