A Grinch targeted the Keremeos volunteer fire department on Monday night.
First responders received an emergency call about a man trapped in a vehicle down a 200 foot embankment off Nickel Plate Rd. near Hedley around 6:45 p.m.
Fifteen year firefighting veteran D’Arcy Bridgman rushed from home to the fire hall to respond to the call and forgot to lock the doors to his truck.
What followed was a four hour long rescue operation.
“It was the night when we had really heavy snowfall, he had slid off the road and rolled down about 200 feet down a ravine,” Bridgman said, on Friday.
Rescuers extricated the victim, who suffered severe injuries to his lower extremities.
“It was a high angle rope rescue, very technical rescue that we had to pull off,” Bridgman said.
While the volunteer firefighter was saving the man’s life, an opportunistic thief broke into his vehicle at the Keremeos fire hall.
“I just had my back pack and gym bag in the back seat,” Bridgman said.
The backpack belongs to Bridgman’s 15-year-old daughter. It also contained some of her early Christmas presents.
“She was pretty upset,” he said.
A paramedic’s personal vehicle was also broken into at the ambulance station on the same street.
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He was also responding to the emergency call.
“First responders sacrifice a lot of their time and safety and health and other things, the last thing we need is to be ripped off while we’re out working,” Bridgman said.
Keremeos RCMP Cpl. Brian Evans said police are reviewing surveillance video from area businesses.
Evans said a suspect has been identified but no one is in custody. Anyone with information is asked to contact RCMP.