Riverside Sheriff’s HDT members go out of their way to prove they are the bomb

Taking a break from their normal, day-to-day operations for a recent day of training, members of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Hazardous Device Team, otherwise known as the bomb squad, had a few extra minutes – and clearly some leftover explosive ordnance – and created a video featuring members from the department’s Hazardous Device Team. (See attached video below.)

One of Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s robots. Ricardo Ruelas photo

According to sheriff officials, HDT members meet and train regularly as part of their dangerous assignment.

The constant, recurring training helps HDT members maintain the highest level of preparedness possible, so members have the ability to successfully render safe suspected explosive devices when innocent lives are at risk.

According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s officials, the sheriff’s Hazardous Device Team consists of highly trained experts, trained specifically in handling and rendering safe a variety of different types of explosive devices as well as potentially deadly chemical agents.

With their own specialized vehicles and equipment – such as the department’s robots – which are used to handle, inspect, move and/or disarm suspected hazardous devices, HDT members are ready at a moment’s notice to respond anywhere throughout the county or to assist other allied law enforcement agencies anywhere their special skills might be needed.

“Any potentially explosive device has the likelihood to explode and cause harm,” sheriff’s officials reminded citizens.

“Generally, members of the public do not have the expertise to tell if devices are safe to move or not,” said officials. “Always assume (any suspected) device is hazardous.”

During a recent day of training, Hazardous Device Team members prove you must have nerves of steel to work with explosive ordnance.

According to officials, if you or someone you know comes across something believed to possibly be an explosive device:

  • Do not touch the device and immediately move away to a safe location.
  • Leave the item where it is – even if it looks old and rusty, as it may still contain explosives and is therefore potentially dangerous.
  • Notify the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, preferably using a non-cellular telephone line, and give them clear information about the description and location of the suspected item.

A deputy prepares a robot to assist in inspecting a suspected explosive device. Ricardo Ruelas photo

Citizens should remember to never use portable radios, cellular phones, digital phones, or any other electronics near a suspected explosive; as these electronic devices could inadvertently cause an explosion.

With their wealth of knowledge when it comes to all things that go boom, the sheriff’s Hazardous Device Team is ready for just about any crisis or emergency related to explosive ordnance.

When you combine the sheriff’s HDT with some of the department’s other highly specialized teams – such as the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT/SWAT) and the department’s Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) – the sheriff’s department prides itself in maintaining a constant state of readiness to be able respond to any number of different emergency situations.

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Riverside County Sheriff’s video


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

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