For the second time this weekend, RCMP have recovered a critical piece of lifesaving equipment, stolen from first responders.
The Interlakes Volunteer Fire Department, which serves about 5,000 people between 100 Mile House and Little Fort, says someone broke into its fire hall in Bridge Lake on Friday night and stole a pickup truck used for medical calls.
The newer model, white Ford F150 is fully decked out with emergency lights and the department’s markings. It cost about $90,000 to buy and fully equip, according to Fire Chief Todd Schley.
Schley said Mounties informed the department they had recovered the vehicle Sunday morning.
“The truck appears to have no physical damage. The medical supplies are not there. So anything, any loose items were taken. They’re gone,” he told Global News.
Schley said the vehicle remained with police, who were searching it for evidence.
The loss of the truck would have been devastating to the small department, he said. It relies on it for medical calls to get into tight areas and in muddy and snowy conditions when their fire engine is less reliable.
He said re-stocking the truck will take both time and money. A lot of equipment they’ll need to replace is already backordered and hard to get.
“Why would somebody do this? I just don’t understand the thinking behind removing emergency vehicles,” he said.
“It could be one of your family members that require it. You’re harming people you know or love, it affects everybody. I don’t know how your conscience can allow you to do that.”
The recovery comes just a day after RCMP in the Williams Lake area recovered a stolen truck belonging to Central Cariboo Search and Rescue that was stolen the week prior.
The thefts occurred about 135 kilometres apart.
Police have yet to comment on the recovery of either vehicle, or whether they are investigating a possible connection between the thefts.