THIEVES have stolen more than $10,000 worth of specialist fire-fighting equipment from Bidgeemia.
The eastern Riverina community, located between Urana and Rand, in the Lockhart Shire is reeling at the loss which comes as a big blow to the Rural Fire Service.
Rural Fire Service, Lockhart captain, Patrick Smith said it was estimated the theft occurred on Friday or the weekend of June 1 or 2.
He confirmed the incident was in the hands of police, however, is appealing to the public for information.
Mr Smith explained that the equipment stolen was extremely valuable to the community and members of the RFS.
He said more than one person was possibly involved, due to the weight of the items, and they were likely driving a truck or a ute.
“They took generators, quick-fill pumps and chainsaws plus tool sets,” he said.
Many of the items were actually taken from the fire truck itself and some were locked in a cabinet. The shed housing the equipment and fire truck was locked.
Mr Smith said Bidgeemia was a small community and there was just a town hall and a fire shed at the location.
“We are part of the Riverina Zone of the Rural Fire Service … our headquarters are in Wagga,” he said.
It is hoped the items will be covered under insurance however, Mr Smith fears the flow-on effects could be passed to the community.
And he explained it was equipment they couldn’t go without. He said the theft was extremely dangerous. He said house fires in winter would have required much of the equipment which was stolen. “All equipment on a fire truck is vital,” he said.
“It makes you sick because you look after this gear,” he said.
“They are putting people’s lives in jeopardy,” Mr Smith said.
- Anyone with information regarding the Bidgeemia incident is urged to contact Lockhart Police (02) 6920 5205.