A deputy serving on the agency's Hazardous Device Team can't afford to have a bad day. These are the people who respond to reports of suspicious, potentially explosive devices in Orange County.
They are highly trained, have nerves of steel, and cannot afford to make a mistake.
HDT’s mission is to render safe any devices homemade or commercial that may harm the public, outside the military realm. 2015 continued to be very busy with mandatory training, responding to 184 call-outs, 29 live devices, 38 suspicious devices, 30 dignitary protection details, 31 SWAT call-outs, 13 EOD/Dive call-outs, and six presentations.
But responding to and rendering safe live or suspicious devices and packages is just part of what they do.
They are regularly called on to do bomb sweeps prior to major area sporting events to include the Daytona 500 and often support the United States Secret Service on dignitary protection details to include presidential candidates that campaign in Orange County, an important Florida election corridor.
Members of the unit are highly trained in all aspects in the detection, identification of and safe disposal of explosive devices from the crudest of pipe bombs to sophisticated devices.
They are supported by the agency's K-9 Squad who had dogs trained in the detection of hidden explosives.