Many local bomb squads in the Washington, D.C., area are under-equipped to respond to the kind of simultaneous attacks being attempted by terrorists, most recently in London, the Washington Post reports. None of the eight local and state bomb squads in the region is top-rated under the classification of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The region has asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for $8 million to bring them to the highest level.
“We don’t want to create a false sense of security for residents,” said Keith Brower, head of a bomb-squad committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. “The bomb squads don’t have what they need to handle multiple events or provide the top-line services we need in this day and age.” Most Washington-area bomb squads are Type 2 on FEMA’s three-level classification system. A Type 1 squad is superior in that it can respond to simultaneous attacks and has more sophisticated equipment, such as a robot that can handle car bombs and advanced monitors for weapons of mass destruction. The other five cities considered top U.S. terrorism targets — New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, and San Francisco — all have Type 1 bomb squads.