For over 35 years, EDU/CBRN has been disposing of explosives and thwarting potentially dangerous situations in a variety of places from busy downtown Vancouver to 4000 feet above sea level to an abandoned mining cave near Golden, BC.
While there is little time for hesitation, they always take care to ensure the safety of the public, even when weighed down by 90 pounds of protective gear. Since the September 11th attacks, the mandate of the initial Explosive Disposal Unit has evolved from specializing in just explosives to include responses to chemical/biological/radiological and nuclear threats. Though based out of Annacis Island in the Lower Mainland, EDU/CBRN has a connection to every community in the province because it is the only unit of its kind in BC.
EDU/CBRN is tremendously received in communities throughout the province because of the good work it does. They play a vital role in protecting, helping and saving people, but they also offer education, and provide expert testimony when called upon.
The gregarious Sgt. Victor Cunha, who is in charge of the Unit, has been called upon to instruct in Mexico and has shared his expertise with police officers in the United States, Barbados and Argentina. The exchange of intelligence has made EDU/CBRN’s reach international.
In order to perform the Unit’s risky and highly dangerous duties the EDU/CBRN is outfitted with very sophisticated technical equipment ranging from special protective shielding known as bomb suits to remote mechanical investigators (RMIs) and detecting equipment. This evolving and ever-improving technology enables EDU/CBRN to be a leader in explosive disposal.
In the years that EDU/CBRN has been operating, it has disposed of hundreds of thousands of pounds of commercial explosives, pyrotechnics, and ammunition, and rendered safe tens of thousands of improvised explosive devices that posed a serious threat to people and property in BC.
EDU/CBRN plays an integral role in protective policing, conducting explosives sweeps for the protection of residents of British Columbia. Somewhere in the province, on average, there are usually two incidents every day involving what might be a potentially explosive device. When a situation warrants it, EDU/CBRN quickly draws on municipal, provincial and other federal resources. It works closely with the Integrated National Security Team to diffuse potential threats to national security.