Heartless thieves hit fire brigade

Callum HunterSouth Western Times

The captain of the Lowden Bush Fire Brigade and Donnybrook-Balingup shire president have condemned a callous break-in at the fire brigade facilities at the weekend.

The alarm sounded at 4.50am on Sunday after thieves broke in via a side door, not realising the Lowden facility was equipped with a monitored security system.

“Myself and the fire control officer went down there to have a look around and saw one of the doors had been jimmied open with no vehicles in sight,” captain Andrew Rohrbach said.

“We had a look inside and straight away saw that our TV was missing off the wall in our training room.”

According to Mr Rohrbach, the missing 65 inch LED television was used for training, briefing and debriefing as well as vehicle and crew tracking during bushfires.

“Our fire shed is the main resource centre for fire operations in that part of the shire,” he said.

Officers from Donnybrook Police Station responded to the call and attended the scene, but declined to comment because the investigation was still ongoing.

Donnybrook-Balingup shire president Brian Piesse was shocked by the break-in and said it was especially dangerous considering the fire danger across the South West.

“I’m gobsmacked that someone would even contemplate breaking and entering a fire establishment,” he said.

“It’s brazen and stupid.”

The TV itself was sourced by the brigade using money from the Emergency Services Levy which provided funding to about 800 dedicated emergency service groups across the State.

Mr Rohrbach was especially disheartened by the fact the brigade was made up entirely of volunteers and yet someone had seen fit to help themselves and take what was not theirs.

“We’ve got a really good bunch of volunteers,” he said.

“It’s disheartening that someone came in and took what was a very valuable resource for the safety our personnel and therefore the safety of our community just because they can.”

The brigade has already started looking into further upgrading the security system.

Anyone with any information relating to this incident has been asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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