Bomb squad bond

By Erika Mahoney

April 20, 2013 Updated Apr 22, 2013 at 10:37 AM EDT

Town of Union, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Crowds in Boston and beyond were seen late Friday cheering in the streets.

Friday's capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev followed days of work filled with stress and chaos.

As images of law enforcement agencies working tirelessly in Boston spread all around the world, local law enforcement agencies said their hearts were with them.

Inside the Endicott Police station, two members of the village's bomb squad team lauded the efforts of the bomb squads in Boston.

"All bomb techs in the United States train at the same place, so we all have a special bond," Detective James Surdoval said. "So when I see something like this in another area, I hope that the bomb techs there stay safe. My class, I had people form all over, including Boston."

Surdoval says it takes a special person to sign up for hazardous devices school. And that means a brotherhood is quickly formed.

"Certainly a lot of people don't become police officers because they want to go deal with bombs, or explosives or be put in that life-threatening situation," Lt. Charles Smales said. "But all of them agree to that."

Smales and Surdoval are two local technicians that are protecting residents in the Southern Tier.

Boston may be about six hours away, but the bombings still hit home.

"These devices can happen anywhere at anytime," Smales said. "It's a byproduct of the society we currently live in. It certainly helps justify the need for our continued presence and training. But there are groups like us and squads like us across the country that are funded and well-equipped and well-trained to handle these types of emergencies.

Like many bomb squads across the country, Endicott's bomb squad has cutting-edge technology, including the latest in robotics equipment.

"This equipment is a lot better than sending a person down," Surdoval said. "We can always replace broken equipment, but we can't replace human lives."

It's equipment that protects the technicians and the public.

Both agree the images of bomb squads on the streets of Boston could be scary for some, but they hope their presence brings comfort.

"You know, there are groups out there like us, that will go to that call," Surdoval said. "Our main focus is to protect life."

The Endicott Bomb Squad covers six counties. The squad was founded and funded by IBM in 1985. It is now funded by Homeland Security.

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