Fire station burglars 'put lives at risk'

DESPICABLE thieves have stolen life-saving equipment from a fire station. A crowbar, specialist cutting and spreading equipment, various hoses, a hand pump, a ram, a power pack and a generator were all taken during a break-in at Papworth fire station.

DESPICABLE thieves have stolen life-saving equipment from a fire station.

A crowbar, specialist cutting and spreading equipment, various hoses, a hand pump, a ram, a power pack and a generator were all taken during a break-in at Papworth fire station.

The tools are essential in allowing firefighters to free injured motorists from their vehicles following accidents.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said Papworth's firefighters would be unable to attend car crashes until the kit is replaced.

Crews from elsewhere in the county will have to be called in to cover for Papworth, adding to the response time and potentially putting lives at risk, added the spokesman.

Graham Stagg, chief fire officer, said: "I am shocked and outraged at how little these people care about the safety and welfare of others.

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"This equipment saves lives. If there had been a collision near Papworth in which a motorist or passenger died because they could not be cut from their vehicle quick enough to receive appropriate medical treatment, essentially these burglars would have significantly contributed to that death."

The theft took place at the Ermine Street station between 4.30pm and 11.40pm on Wednesday, March 26.

Police were alerted to the break-in after a passer-by noticed a smashed window.

A new set of cutting equipment has been ordered.

Gamlingay Fire Station was subject to a similar burglary just weeks earlier.

INFORMATION: Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 0845 4564565, quoting incident number CC-26032008-0702 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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