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Bomb Squad Keeps Northwoods Safe Submitted: 12/12/2012
RHINELANDER - The Marathon-Oneida Bomb Squad takes action only once in a while.

But it's often involved in the most critical situations in the Northwoods.

The squad serves 28 counties across the northern part of the state.

It's often on the scene for not only bomb threats, but also hazardous spills, hostage situations, and other dangerous assignments.

"There are other threats to our communities beyond what we always had visualized in the past, and this is a response to that," says Lt. Chad Billeb of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department.

A critical team member of the bomb squad isn't a person - it's a $400,000 robot.

The robot is remote controlled, and can see, hear, and even speak through a microphone.

"What the robot does is it allows emergency responders, not just law enforcement but firefighters, hazardous materials teams, to go in and check out a scene or a situation without risking human life," Billeb says.

Dep. Dan Semmerling
Oneida County Sheriff's Department ยป

"The safety there is, we're sending a machine down where we can stay remote, operate that, and stay at a safe distance," says Oneida County Deputy Dan Semmerling.

But the bomb squad is much more than just the robot.


Story By: Ben Meyer

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