Emergency Management holds bomb threat training presentation

Glenn Reid, director of emergency management at Clarion University, held a Bomb Threat Training presentation Sept. 15. Reid showed a YouTube video called “Procedure for Handling a Telephone Bomb Threat” to help explain the safest way to handle a bomb threat.
There is no set description of who a bomber is. Bombers can be terrorists, extremists, school children, unhappy consumers or emotionally unstable people.
The most common targets include schools, Planned Parenthood/ abortion clinics and government facilities, Reid said.
One of the most important things to do if a bomber calls is ask questions to get as much information as possible.
Reid said, “The longer the call, the more likely the person is dealing with a legitimate bomb threat.”
It is also smart to have someone else listening in on the call. A “Bomb Threat Call Sheet Checklist” includes questions to ask the bomber. These questions include: Where is the bomb located? When is the bomb going off? What does [the bomb] look like? What will cause the bomb to explode? Did you set up the bomb? Why did you put the bomb here? What is your name? The goal is to write down the exact words of the bomb threat and answers. Specific information could help law enforcement personnel identify the suspect.
Reid said, “Bombings are very rare; in the last three years there have only been 65 incidents in schools.”
From 1993 to 1997, 34 percent of the bomb threats were caused by juveniles. Some find fault with the internet because posted articles tell suspects how to build a bomb and anything else they want to know. The punishment for bomb threats, whether real or fake, can include a $250,000 fine, 10 years in federal prison, or both. Due to the increase of juvenile participation in the bombings, children are now charged as adults. The best two ways to combat bomb threats is to improve training and response among schools and improve relations among students, faculty, and administration.
Some of the signals include excessive stamping on packages in the mail, which the university checks  initially, misspelled words or badly written addresses on the envelope. Personal, confidential or “open by addressee only” also stands out. Handmade postage, bulky/lumpy or oily package are also suspect. Package left by an unknown person can also be a cause for concern.
Reid said, “The most important thing is to not open any suspicious packages. If there just so happens to be an explosion, immediately call 911, take cover, and remain where you are except if you are in immediate danger. Always let police know full information and follow the evacuation plan in which the teachers and faculty will tell you where to go because I made the plan myself. Most of all, always use common sense.”

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