The NNFD Bomb Squad responds to and mitigates incidents that are suspected to be explosive in nature or may be affiliated with WMDs or other specialized hazards. The fire department’s nationally-accredited explosive device response capability is based upon personnel who receive advanced training to render explosives and explosive devices safe. The Newport News Bomb Squad is a regional team that responds to other jurisdictions as requested. The NNFD Bomb Squad works consistently with the FBI, ATF, Military EOD, and neighboring local and state bomb squads.
As a component of the Special Operations Branch, the Battalion Chief – Special Operations assigns a commander to lead the squad. The department staffs the Bomb Squad with nationally certified Public Safety Bomb Technicians. The technicians are a mix of Firefighter/Medics and Fire Marshals, which is a rarity in the Public Safety Bomb Squad community.
Following prerequisite Hazmat Technician training, all members of the Bomb Squad attend the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School – Basic course in Huntsville, Alabama. Upon completion, members are certified as a United States Public Safety Bomb Technician (PSBT). Members will go on to attend advanced trainings nearly annually to obtain specialized certifications. Trainings include, but are not limited to, Post Blast Investigation, Advanced Explosive Disposal Techniques, Home Made Explosives, Tactical Bomb Technician, WMD Regional Render Safe Team, and many others.
Technicians are required to maintain mandatory training hours annually. Each technician will complete several hundred hours of training per year, in addition to obtaining and maintaining Fire and EMS certifications. Technicians return to Hazardous Devices School every three years to recertify.
The Bomb Squad apparatus includes a full sized response vehicle and a medium duty rescue. The team currently operates three robots and carries a host of manual, electronic, and explosive tools. The squad frequently adds new technology to combat emerging threats and trends. The equipment allows the NNFD Bomb Squad to effectively and efficiently respond to and remove hazards on behalf of both the citizens of Newport News and our surrounding jurisdictions.
Interim Fire Chief
610 Thimble Shoals Blvd. Building 5, Suite 500 Newport News, VA 23606