Thieves made off with thousands of dollars’ worth of lifesaving equipment after an overnight break-and-enter at a rural fire hall outside Saskatoon.
Aberdeen’s emergency services building, which houses the fire department, ambulance and emergency measures organization (EMO), was broken into around 2:30 a.m. Monday.
Perpetrators can be seen on surveillance video, slowly driving down the road and entering the fire hall’s parking lot, roughly 35 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.
Leaving a few scratches on the main door, the thieves broke into the facility and stole bandages, an oxygen setup, a primary care kit and a radio – worth upwards of $10,000.
Volunteer firefighter Ryan White’s reaction was “a little bit of disbelief, and sort of, disgust.”
“It’s specifically designed for first responders to help people in need. It probably doesn’t have a lot of value in terms of pawning it off,” White said.
The thieves also broke into the EMO’s office and stole a laptop.
The lost items for emergency crews were quickly replaced, but they can’t recover the time spent on police reports and other hurdles.
“Inventories had to be taken, equipment had to be resupplied and the unit had to be restocked,” White said.
White was not aware of any arrests by RCMP.
Also serving as the town’s deputy mayor, White said changes to lighting and door security are being planned.
In September, someone or some people broke into the fire hall in the village of Borden, taking hand tools and heavy equipment, including the Jaws of Life and a generator.
“Yeah it is frustrating. We all fundraise for our equipment. Nobody on our department gets paid one cent,” said Borden Fire Rescue member Jamie Brandrick, Borden’s mayor.
“Every single dime that we make on a call goes back into the fire department, so we can get these lifesaving tools and to train on them.”
RCMP recovered some of Borden’s stolen equipment in Athabasca, Alta., but the mayor wasn’t aware of any arrests related to the theft.
Borden council is looking at a security system for its fire hall and water treatment plant, along with more security for its office.
Anyone with information should contact Saskatchewan RCMP.