Friday, March 13, 2009

GEMA Holds Bomb Threat Credibility Assessment Training

Bomb threats are a vexing problem for school officials. Mindful of the fact that an act of terrorism or other violence is a very real possibility, authorities take these threats very seriously. Fortunately, they usually turn out to be hoaxes, but not before creating a huge headache for school officials, whose normal course of business is disrupted, and first responders, who bring in expensive resources to investigate the threat.

With the right tools and training, authorities can properly evaluate the threat and determine the best course of action. Therefore, on March 11, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) presented, "Managing School Bomb Threats," a free class for education and law enforcement professionals at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth. Topics covered planning for a bomb threat, how to identify a credible threat, search techniques, and adjudication of a bomb threat suspect. The seminar concluded with an explosives demonstration provided by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s bomb squad.

GEMA’s School Safety Unit provides services that help schools have a safe and secure school year. GEMA’s school safety coordinators offer training and technical assistance to educators, emergency management and public safety personnel. This includes site surveys, classes on weapons screening, school bus safety, gangs, bullying, exercise design and bomb threat management. They also respond to school crises.

For more information on school safety or GEMA’s School Safety Unit, call GEMA toll-free in Georgia at 1-800-TRY-GEMA or visit For more information on specific risks in your area and how to prepare for them, contact your local emergency management agency.

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