We had visitors yesterday! The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team (SET) came by to run breach-and-charge drills in the vacant building scheduled for demolition on Tilton’s property—the future site of Tilton’s new headquarters. Tilton employees were treated to a live training session, including a quick brief on the tactic of breaching from Senior Deputy Chris Gotschall. “With explosives, the main things generated are excessive heat, excessive noise and excessive overpressure,” he said. “But all of that’s on the outside of wherever our breach point is, so it’s very safe for somebody who’s on the inside. For example, we’re actually going to have some of our guys on the inside of this breach location when the charge goes.”
He went on to detail some of the controls in place for safety during an explosive breach. “We can do some things to mitigate heat, and we’ll actually incorporate some IV or fluid bags into the construction of the charge, so when the explosive part kicks off, there’s fluid that mitigates some of that heat,” he explained. “The other thing is we’re not just putting [down] a ton of explosives. It’s not like the movies, it’s calculated. We do a lot of math and algorithms to try and get the minimum amount of explosives needed to achieve 100% penetration into whatever the target location is. It’s pretty easy just to go and put some stuff on and blow it up, right? That’s easy, but we’ll use a bunch of different mediums to try and get more work effect out of the actual explosive itself. Most of the stuff we use is explosive sheet or detcord, and it’s very, very safe.”
Following the brief, the SET illustrated an explosive breach and subsequent charge into the room. Definitely a lot of excitement for a Wednesday!