Life-saving fire equipment worth £21,000 has been stolen from a fire engine at Meltham Fire Station.
Thieves struck sometime between 3pm on Tuesday and 7.30am on Wednesday at the station in Holmfirth Road, said Crew Commander Andrew Pearson.
The four items taken from the retained station were a thermal imager, a generator and a cutter and spreader and Mr Pearson says the equipment is of almost no value to anyone apart from firefighters.
He said the most shocking aspect of the theft was that if firefighters had been called out on a job they would have turned up to it without knowing the items had been taken leading to a delay in rescuing people.
Some of the items taken, for example, would be used to help cut injured people out of vehicles in road traffic accidents.
Firefighters turning up at the station on Holmfirth Road which is not manned 24 hours a day do not check the engine has its full complement of equipment before going out on a job.
Mr Pearson said: “Everything barring the thermal imager is of only use to firefighters and the thermal imager has only one battery so when it gives out and the thief phones the manufacturer for another one it will come up as belonging to West Yorkshire Fire Service.
“Although the items are worth a lot of money their only value might be as little as £20 from a scrap metal merchants.”
West Yorkshire Police are investigating the theft.
Kirklees Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team has issued pictures of the stolen items and are appealing for information.
Deputy chief fire officer Dave Walton, of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, tweeted: “Please help us to find the people who have stolen this vital life-saving equipment.”
Call police on 101 with information.
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