Police Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit
Rescue & Bomb Disposal Unit (RBDU) is one of five police units which comprise the State Protection Group under the Counter Terrorism & Special Tactics Command. The Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit provides a state-wide 24 hour seven day a week service for the NSW Police Force across four core functions. These are General Land Rescue, Specialist Support, Land Search and Rescue and Bomb Response
GENERAL LAND RESCUE TASKS – The Rescue & Bomb Disposal Unit has primary accreditation by the State Rescue Board to provide general land and vertical rescue in the Sydney Central Business District, the Eastern Suburbs and Inner Western Suburbs of Sydney. The RBDU also responds to major emergencies and disasters across the state as required and works closely with other emergency services. Typical rescue work includes motor vehicle accidents, rail and aircraft accidents, vertical rescue (eg cliffs, bridges and buildings), domestic, industrial and structural collapse rescue and swift water rescue.
SPECIALIST SUPPORT TASKS – RBDU officers provide operational and specialist support to frontline police utilising specialist skills and equipment . These specialist support tasks fall outside the definition of ‘rescue’ under the State Emergency and Rescue Management Act. Typically, these tasks involve accessing places and areas which are difficult to reach (heights, depths and confined spaces) including cliffs, rooftops, trees, bridge spans, improvised structures, machinery, caves, tunnels, wells and mine shafts. Tasks include crime scene access and physical evidence retrieval, body recoveries, apprehension of criminals, removal of protestors, security clearance searches and support of negotiators to restrain suicidal persons. Other tasks include specialised lighting, gaining entry for search warrants or to assist police and other emergency services where access is hindered by locks or fortifications.
LAND SEARCH & RESCUE OPERATIONS – The Coordination of Land Search and Rescue operations is a major responsibility of the NSW Police Force, in accordance with the National Search & Rescue Plan and the NSW State Disaster Plan. The RBDU provides nationally accredited search and rescue coordinators, experienced search team leaders, and dedicated Search and Rescue Command and Coordination equipment and vehicles to support police commanders in relation to search and rescue operations for missing or overdue persons, vehicles, unregistered aircraft and physical evidence in a land environment.
BOMB DISPOSAL OPERATIONS - The RBDU provides a comprehensive bomb response capability, which includes both the appraisal, and rendering safe of improvised explosive devices, vehicle and body bombs, chemical, biological and radiological devices as well as hazardous commercial explosives and gas cylinders. These tasks involve the use of explosives, special weapons and state of the art equipment such as x-ray, robots and bomb suits. The RBDU operates in partnership with dedicated IED detection dogs and police dog handlers which are attached to the RBDU and provide a valuable resource to aid in the detection of explosive devices.
To maximise its statewide response, the RBDU is supported by seven regional based primary rescue units based at Newcastle, Wollongong, , Katoomba, and Springwood Goulburn Bathurst, , Lismore,. These units provide detailed local knowledge of risks as well as a shorter lead time to deal with incidents in remote locations in all areas of responsibility including rescue, bomb appraisal, search and rescue and specialist support tasks.