Equip­ment theft a hit to bri­gade

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - Mitchell Wood­cock

EMER­GENCY ser­vices have ex­pressed their dis­ap­point­ment af­ter the Ea­ton-Aus­tralind Vol­un­teer Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice was tar­geted by thieves with thou­sands of dol­lars worth of equip­ment stolen.

Ser­vice cap­tain Richard Con­stan­tine was left with one ques­tion af­ter thieves broke into the bri­gade’s shed and stole up to $5000 worth of equip­ment in the early hours of Tues­day, Jan­uary 30.

“How can some­one do this to a com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion?” Mr Con­stan­tine said.

To make mat­ters worse it hap­pened in peak sea­son, with the risk of a fire as high as ever.

He said the stolen ra­dios, lights and num­ber plates would cost the bri­gade thou­sands of dol­lars to re­place.

“It looks like they have en­tered the shed in the early hours of the morn­ing and stripped the ve­hi­cles,” Mr Con­stan­tine said.

“It is a huge loss as it hin­ders our abil­ity to change crews out.

“We won’t be able to have the ex­tra man power at jobs.”

But prob­a­bly the most dis­ap­point­ing part of the in­ci­dent was the dam­age to the bri­gade’s ed­u­ca­tion fire truck ‘Freddy’ and the theft of equip­ment that vol­un­teers use to pro­mote fire safety in schools.

“We do that in our free time,” Mr Con­stan­tine said.

“Freddy was built by mem­bers of the bri­gade.

“Even the stuff they have stolen from the truck was made by the wives of the mem­bers.”

As­so­ci­a­tion of Vol­un­teer Bush Fire Brigades pres­i­dent Dave Gos­sage said he was dis­ap­point- ed some­one had tar­geted the bri­gade.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing when I see that stuff hap­pen,” he said. “It’s just un-Aus­tralian.” Mr Gos­sage said it ul­ti­mately came down to re­spect.

“They have no re­spect for them­selves and there­fore they have no re­spect for any­one else,” he said. Mr Con­stan­tine said it would be hard for the or­gan­i­sa­tion to raise the money needed to re­place the equip­ment.

Aus­tralind po­lice are seek­ing in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the crime and are look­ing for two fairskinned males who drove a cham­pagne-coloured Holden Com­modore.

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