herald

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Thieves who stole vital equipment from fire engine are 'brain-dead'

The tweet which was sent out by Dublin Fire Brigade. Photo: Paul Sheridan
The tweet which was sent out by Dublin Fire Brigade. Photo: Paul Sheridan

Gardai are hunting a gang of thieves who stole life-saving equipment from Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB).

On Sunday night, a fire engine raced to Fassaugh Avenue in Cabra following reports that a man who had gone into cardiac arrest in a local pub.

While they were helping to save the man's life, a group of young people aged from 19 to 23, who congregated opposite the pub, stole two pieces of equipment from the vehicle.

A source told the Herald that the DFB does not believe any patron of the pub was involved.

Recovered

During the theft, a Holmatro pump - a vital tool used in road accidents - was taken and a specialised electric saw was also stolen.

However, last night it was revealed that both items had been recovered.

During the start of a social media campaign, DFB tweeted: "Unfortunately, while our fire crew were assisting with a cardiac arrest in a pub on Fassaugh Avenue, Cabra, two pieces of equipment were stolen off the fire engine.

"If you have seen or know where the equipment is, please get in contact."

A spokesman for DFB told the Herald that the rescue equipment was stolen from a locker on one of their Phibsborough-based appliances as the crew helped one of its ambulances at a cardiac arrest case.

"The driver of the fire appliance was retrieving the stretcher from the ambulance when the equipment was stolen. We are working with the gardai to recover the equipment. It was replaced overnight with spare equipment.

"The Holmatro pump is a specialist piece of equipment used with road collision rescue equipment, and useless in any other scenario. It is essentially worthless outside of the rescue services."

The spokesman expressed his appreciation to the public for helping them to retrieve the saw.

"Following our social media appeal, we have since recovered the Dewalt saw, which was offered for sale to a tradesman.

"The tradesman had seen the appeal and convinced the seller to hand it over to him, and he subsequently returned it to Phibsborough Fire Station.

"It has become clear that the community of Cabra, and the wider Dublin community, are incensed by this act and have come together to ensure the equipment is returned."

DFB later took to Twitter to confirm that the pump had also been recovered and was returned by members of a Cabra sports club.

"We want to thank everyone involved, especially the Cabra community who rallied together to ensure their return," they wrote.

Meanwhile, local representatives in the area hit out at those responsible.

"It was such a callous act," said councillor Anthony Connaghan. "People can be completely brain-dead at times.

"That equipment is used on a daily basis to save the lives of anyone in danger. The loss of this equipment, even for a short period, could have cost lives.

"I completely condemn what they've done, but their actions do not reflect the principles of the local community."

Terrible

Councillor Seamas McGrattan told the Herald that many people in Cabra were disgusted by this antisocial act.

"It was a terrible thing to see," he said.

"Thankfully, we saw the power of social media with thousands of people spreading the word about what happened.

"The community is disgusted by the actions of a small minority and are rallying together to find the stolen equipment.

"I've been informed that the gardai have CCTV footage of this incident so hopefully these thugs will be caught and brought to justice."

Anyone with information is asked to contact DFB on (01) 222 4000 or (01) 666 7400.

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