Wednesday, October 9, 2013

SWAT Arrives 2 Hours after Bomb Threat -- What!?

Sounds like a funny headline? Well, it's more fun in the Philippines they say (No pun intended). Late this afternoon, a person threw a suspicious package on the roof of a bus from a footbridge somewhere in EDSA-Harrison. That was reported 5:08pm. Fast forward 2 hours later, police and SWAT arrived.

To be exact, they arrived 7:20pm. 2 hours 12 minutes after in other words. Wow. Fact #1: Do you know that McDonalds delivery can deliver within 30 minutes? Fact #2: If there was a bomb inside that suspicious package, it could've already exploded!

I'm not a military man nor am I a trained officer but I can't help but think. This could've been a case study by someone planning something terrible. I'm not wholly talking about the response time of the authorities. I'm talking about the grid lock this incident caused which is probably one of the reasons why the authorities arrived 2 hours later and mind you, such grid lock is very dangerous in emergency situations should the threat be real.

I don't own this image. Got it off from Google.
Do they really need their huge SWAT trucks to respond to a bomb threat? I would think that in a bomb threat, the essential personnel are the bomb experts. If they have equipment with them, just have someone carry it or maybe they can convert that essential device to make it more mobile. Earlier, I think they only thought of step 1 (block the traffic) and forgot step 2 because by doing so, they also blocked off the responders.

Image from
Given the scenario that we have here in the Philippines where it's traffic most of the time except when there is a Pacquiao boxing match, I think it's just right that the authorities stop using patrol cars and start converting to motorcycles. Why? Primarily, motorcycles cost less to operate which is perfect for the Philippine budget. Do you know that some patrol cars don't do their rounds anymore because they do not have gas allowance?

Also, in other countries, medical first responders respond using a motorcycle. In a medical emergency scenario, every second matters. In the said incident earlier, every minute should count as well would that been a bomb.

Check out this video I saw from TED:

Maybe PNP and other emergency related government agencies should have customized motorcycle units for them. Of course, it's not applicable to all. Like if it's fire related, it's not that useful but it's not useless. With the skills and knowledge that responding personnel has, he might be able to save a few lives before the fire truck even arrives and that itself is priceless already.

Article dated June 30, 2010. Not anymore?
Another option is escorts. If they can do it for the president, they can and should also do it for emergency related services. Just last Saturday, I was driving along Aurora Blvd corner Araneta Ave when the traffic was stopped by a traffic aide for 3 or 4 cycles of stoplight. After a few minutes, tons of SUVs with shining lights that can probably be seen from the outer space passed by followed by what I'm assuming is the presidential convoy. True that the president doesn't use sirens anymore, literally. Hooray for no wang wang! But the thing is, it's still the same. They still block off the traffic to let him pass. I have no objections about that because of security etc but for me, that's still wang wang.

Going back to my point, if they can do that for the President, they should also assign security escorts for emergency vehicles. That way, it would be quicker for them to reach their destination but then again, they would need motorcycles to do that for them to block off traffic as patrol cars would be rendered useles in heavy traffic situations.

Police bike in Grand Theft Auto 5 (Game)
Just my 2 cents on the terrible traffic jam caused by that suspicious package earlier.

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