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How SWAT and Bomb Units Stay Effective and Keep People Safe

June 19, 2019

SWAT teams and bomb units are highly trained, and they require specialized equipment to do their jobs safely and effectively. When these teams are called in, they face tense, time-sensitive situations — and seconds matter.

Developed in the 1960s by the Los Angeles Police Department, SWAT teams now exist in 90% of cities with a population of more than 50,000 residents. That translates to around 1,200 police department-coordinated SWAT teams.

Bomb squads are trained to handle and safely dispose of potentially explosive materials, and they deal with more than just intentionally fabricated bombs. A bomb squad may also handle fireworks, dangerous chemical combinations, and accidents involving volatile or combustible materials. These specialized teams are full-time forces, sometimes supplemented by reserve officers, and they work with local law enforcement to keep communities safe.

Having well-organized and easy-to-access equipment in their mobile units makes SWAT teams and bomb units safer and more effective. Let’s consider what the field might look like for these crisis specialists.

WHAT EMERGING SCENES LOOK LIKE

SWAT stands for Specialized Weapons and Tactics. These teams respond to a variety of dangerous situations. For example, a SWAT team might be called in to a hostage situation, in which innocent people are in a vulnerable position between law enforcement and suspects. These types of situations are rarely clear cut, and they often include rapidly changing environments and many unknowns.

SWAT teams may also be called to assist with crowd control or dispersal during events where a large number of people congregate, including rallies, marches, and sport gatherings. In each of these settings, there’s a real possibility of a riot breaking out. Law enforcement units with specialized training designed to keep crowds safe are sometimes the difference between a peaceful gathering and a dangerous public incident. Other circumstances include active shooter scenarios, barricaded suspects, and counterterrorism situations.

For bomb squads, circumstances can vary broadly. Someone may call in a bomb threat to a school, shopping center, or other populated public location, prompting immediate mobilization, evacuation, and slow, careful implementation of safety protocols. Traffic accidents or job site accidents may also require a bomb squad.

Bomb squads and SWAT teams each have their own specialized tools and equipment, which must be safely transported in the correct quantities and in a neatly organized and accessible fashion.

SPECIALIZED TOOLS

You’ll find SWAT teams carrying specific equipment such as advanced imaging tools to see where people are inside a building, body armor and shields, and specialized gas. Each tool they carry addresses the safety of the SWAT officer, the people involved in the incident, and bystanders. In addition, SWAT team members use standard law enforcement equipment such as evidence collection kits, first aid medical supplies, and weapons.

Bomb squads use robots that are specifically designed to approach potential — and actual — explosives. They also utilize x-ray equipment, special suiting material to protect their specialists, containment vessels, and much more specialized materials. Incident locations are diverse and often unpredictable, so getting each situation under control quickly and safely is the top priority.

Because of the wide variation of circumstances that SWAT teams and bomb squads encounter, safety, organization, reliability, and quick access to equipment are of the utmost importance. Custom organizational solutions go a long way in helping ensure a safe and effective work environment for these law enforcement units.

ORGANIZATION AND RELIABLE STORAGE COMPLEMENT SPECIALIZED TRAINING

In high-pressure situations where circumstances change from moment to moment, being able to access the right tool makes a big difference — not just for efficiency but also for safety. If a barricaded individual suddenly threatens a hostage, officers need to be able to locate, activate, and deploy the correct tool to neutralize the situation with speed and ease.

A custom-built solution such as Extendobed’s Collier Unit (pictured below) — which includes a narrow tool rack with containment caging and a safety screen, a special weapons box, and a small table and bookcase enclosure — can ensure effective deployment, control, and communication in any circumstance. Likewise, Extendobed’s Henderson Bomb Unit (pictured below) features a uniquely configured upper platform with a safety screen and second shelf, an ATF Type-3 day box/explosives box, a locking compartment on the driver’s side, and a locking weapons drawer.

Each Extendobed installation caters directly to each team’s needs and accounts for equipment, chain of custody, and officer and community safety. To learn how a custom Extendobed solution can meet your needs, email us at: websales@extendobed.com.

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The Power of an Organized Workspace

April 02, 2019

It’s frustrating to have trouble finding a specific tool when you need it. But in some industries, there’s more at stake than just frustration. If you work in a specialized trade such as law enforcement, fire mitigation, or construction/repair, easily finding your tools could be the difference between life and death.

Maintaining your workspace in an organized and efficient manner has numerous benefits. These include the ability to control costs, increase output, and manage your equipment maintenance and replacement more effectively.

DIFFERENT APPLICATIONS, SIMILAR NEEDS

Extendobed offers a variety of specialized options and accessories for specific applications. These options can be purchased separately or customized to meet customers’ needs and budgets. In either case, these setups help your employees do their jobs more efficiently.

In law enforcement, special equipment can include weapons and ammunition, explosives, materials to gather evidence, and highly trained K-9 dogs. Weapons, ammunition, and explosives can be safely stored in weapons drawers, custom compartments, and day boxes for easy access when needed. Evidence presents its own challenges: it must be collected carefully and stored securely in locking compartments, as chain of custody is crucial. Other specialized equipment must also be safely stored during transport. For example, K-9 dogs should be safely transported in secure kennels during incidents of high-speed travel and over different types of terrain.

In fire mitigation, where minutes are a matter of life and death, specialized equipment must be secure and quickly accessible. Special equipment and storage include:

  • magnetic and/or dry erase accountability boards in stand-alone and drawer pop-up configurations;
  • slide-out walls for fast, easy access to self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) mounts and hand tools;
  • custom structures for easy access to extrication and rescue equipment;
  • file drawers for information organization;
  • and multiple levels of storage for transport of larger equipment including awnings, coolers, stokes baskets, and backboards.

In construction, tools must be secured for both safety and to deter attempted theft. Generators, compressors, and other large portable equipment can be stored on slide-out trays so they are easy to access and remove from the vehicle. Hand tools, fasteners, and other small materials can be organized in locking drawers or tool boxes.

Having quick, reliable access to the correct tools isn’t always a matter of life or death in every industry. However, it’s still essential to effective job performance.

EQUIPMENT VS. SPACE

Any vehicle has a limited amount of space available. For some lines of work, this presents an interesting challenge: balancing the right tools and supplies with enough space to transport them. When you can bring only a certain amount of equipment with you, having a well-organized mobile space becomes even more important.

For example, an HVAC technician must be able to service countless combinations of systems — but a few tools are always useful: a cordless drill (and extra batteries), tape measure, hammer, and step ladder. Secure storage for transport ensures items aren’t damaged en route to a job. And organized storage is key for speed and efficiency once on the job site.

In law enforcement, the work isn’t over when the “bad guy” is in handcuffs. Evidence collection, cleanup, and record-keeping all require specialized supplies with specific storage needs.

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WHAT EFFICIENCY LOOKS LIKE IN PRACTICE

Just as different industries have different needs, so do individual customers. Here are a couple of examples of how Extendobed created custom solutions for specific situations.

An electrician who was working for a municipality was injured lifting a piece of equipment out of his work van. His back injury required time off work to heal, as well as physical therapy, before he could return to his duties. As he healed, the question arose of whether he would be able to use the equipment the municipality owned when he returned to work. The municipality contacted Extendobed for a potential solution. Extendobed created a custom slide-out unit to house all of this electrician’s tools and equipment. Each of his tools are now accessible without risking reinjury. Without Extendobed’s solution, the employee could not have returned to work for the municipality.

A commercial door installer used to load and unload doors from his truck manually. Each set of doors took an hour to load and another hour to unload. So no matter how long an actual installation took, he spent two hours per job loading and unloading. His Extendobed allows him to load a full set of doors using a forklift, which saves two to four hours per day, depending on the number of jobs. This time savings has reduced his labor costs, allowing him to lower his bids. This in turn has resulted in more jobs, thereby increasing his revenue. He can also complete more jobs in a day, further adding to his bottom line.

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GOOD DESIGN IS KEY

A well-designed workspace is crucial to organization and efficiency, especially in specialized industries. Customized solutions exponentially extend the value of an organized and efficient workspace.

To learn how your mobile working environment will benefit from customized organizational solutions, email us at: websales@extendobed.com

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Using the Right Tools Increases Efficiency and Improves Safety

February 19, 2019
100% extension easy organization

Whether you work in law enforcement, fire safety, emergency services, or another professional services field, certain basic tasks are common before you depart for the day: You must ensure that you have all the tools and materials you will need to perform your job, organized in a safe and efficient manner. However, packing up all these tools and materials in the morning and after each job/call takes additional time and can be an organizational challenge. Having everything you need readily available makes a big difference in successfully performing your job — but you also need a safe and efficient method for transporting and quickly accessing your tools, parts, supplies, and equipment.

SAFETY CONCERNS

Safety is essential for workers across all industries, including safe access to equipment and supplies. You don’t want to put your workers in a situation where arriving at every job site causes unnecessary risk. Workers should be able to easily and safely access the tools to do their job, which immediately makes them more productive.

Heavy or awkward equipment can be difficult to get into or out of vehicles, increasing the risk of injury. In addition, equipment or supplies may shift in transit, making it even more difficult to access. Not having easy access as they load or unload their vehicles can easily injure workers’ backs, knees, and shoulders. Such injuries can be costly in terms of workers’ time off the job, potential lost work while they are out, and of course the increase in your workers’ comp insurance rates. Many times, the savings from avoiding even one back injury more than pays for equipment that improves worker safety.

Dangerous equipment and materials, such as firearms and chemicals, need even more careful handling during loading, transport, and unloading. These tools require specialized storage compartments where they can be safely secured, to protect not only the vehicle operator but also bystanders.

Idaho Power Truck Unit

EFFICIENCY

In addition to being safer, having well-organized workspaces on fire, police, and service vehicles also increases efficiency. Workers with well-organized service vehicles don’t have to spend time looking for their tools or supplies because they know right where everything is. Equipment that’s organized and easy to access allows service professionals to complete jobs quickly and finish more jobs in a day. It also reduces time spent on the job site or loading supplies, which lowers overall labor costs to make your proposals even more competitive.

Imagine the difference between packing your tools, equipment, and supplies every morning; climbing into the bed of your truck multiple times at each job site; digging through everything to find the right part or piece of equipment; and then repacking your toolbox and having to re-stow all of your parts, supplies, and equipment back into your truck bed after each job — versus being able to flip a latch; pull out a sliding bed; and select the part or tool needed or access heavy equipment such as tanks, air compressors, or generators without ever having to pick them up. Then after you complete your job you return everything to its place, ready to go for the next job without ever having to climb into the bed of your truck again. Multiply this time savings across every vehicle and every job, and you’ll see a significant increase in productivity and profitability.

EXTENDOBED SOLUTIONS

Service vehicles are standardized to be useful to many industries — which is great until you have specialized needs for a specific industry. Extendobed creates custom solutions for any industry. Our products maximize your service vehicle’s space to provide efficiency and safety.

Extendobed offers telescoping truck bed extenders and custom enclosures for a variety of use cases. We provide solutions for various law enforcement and fire safety vehicles, as well as solutions for any type of service or work truck. For example:

  • Law enforcement — Equipment storage with containment caging can keep equipment in place, even while driving over rough terrain or at high speeds — making this kind of enclosure ideal for law enforcement or search and rescue vehicles.
  • Fire safety — In a fire support vehicle, our well-organized and easily accessible cubbies can store chemicals, equipment, communication equipment, and other supplies. Command center units are available with electronics panels, fold-down work tables, and dry-erase easels.
  • Government — Municipalities can use custom Extendobed installations to support water, power, or other utility workers with solutions that accommodate their specific needs.
  • Oil & gas, utilities, power, and pest control — All these industries can benefit from our custom storage and hauling solutions, with equipment mounted on slides and in cubbies designed to meet your specifications — so that everything stays put, even in rough transit, but is easily accessible once on the job site.
  • Other specialized industries — Commercial door installers can go from manually loading and unloading doors into their service trucks or walk-in trailers to being able to forklift-on and forklift-off their doors.
  • All industries — For any industry, our bookcase enclosures are designed to keep information, procedures, and forms in sensible order, with a place for everything.
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Regardless of the industry, Extendobed’s installations keep tools, equipment, and supplies right at workers’ fingertips, maximizing efficiency and ensuring safety. With a wide variety of fixed units and sliding units for easier access, Extendobed’s applications are virtually endless.

The more complex and competitive our professional environments become, the more important it is to have quick, easy, and safe access to well-organized tools, equipment, and supplies — which quickly pays for itself in increased productivity and reduced work injuries. Find out why Extendobed is the best-in-class solution to customize your mobile work space by emailing us at websales@extendobed.com.

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  • Extendobed®

    For nearly 30 years, Extendobed has put our units to work in some of the toughest environments imaginable. From life-threatening situations to everyday job responsibilities, you can count on Extendobed to perform anywhere, any day of the week. Manufactured in the USA and built to last, Extendobed creates high-quality custom-designed truck bed extenders, truck bed organizers and more.

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     4242 S Eagleson Road
        Boise, Idaho 83705

    Phone

     800.752.0706
     208.455.2707

    Email

     websales@extendobed.com

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