Police are appealing for information following a report of a burglary from a fire station in the Ballynure Road area of Ballyclare, on Sunday 15th October.
Inspector Moore said:
"We received a report shortly before 11.30pm last night that a fire station had been broken into. Following initial enquiries we now believe that the break in occurred between 10pm and 11pm.
“A side door to a vehicle located inside the premises was prised open and a number of pieces of equipment were stolen, which resulted in the vehicle being out of action for the night.
“This break in comes after a station open day, where visitors and families were able to view the vital equipment used in emergencies, and it’s very disappointing that Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Services and local Firefighters who work tirelessly for their community, would be targeted in such a way that leaves the community without lifesaving equipment."
Marcus Wright, Northern Area Commander, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) commented on the incident saying:
“I can confirm that several pieces of road traffic collision (RTC) equipment, which are critical to our operational response, have been stolen from Ballyclare Fire Station, Co Antrim following a break – in yesterday evening, Sunday 15 October 2023.
“The break-in was discovered yesterday evening at around 11pm when crews from Ballyclare were tasked to support other crews at a road traffic collision. It is believed the items were stolen between 10pm and 11pm last night.
“These vital pieces of operational equipment are used by Ballyclare Firefighters to help rescue casualties from serious road traffic collisions who need released from vehicles urgently. I am appealing for these items to be returned to the Fire Station immediately.
“The theft of this equipment comes a day after Ballyclare celebrated its 75th Anniversary with their families and local community. The theft of this vital equipment does not only prevent our Firefighters from saving lives it also causes great concern in the local community.
“NIFRS had to utilise other Firefighters from the district to cover Ballyclare Fire Station until these items were replaced and the Police Service of Northern Ireland investigated the scene.
“I would like to reassure the local community that contingency arrangements were in place to maintain our full emergency response in the area. Arrangements were taken to replace the equipment and repair any damage to the Station.
“It’s very disappointing that the local Firefighters who work tirelessly for their community, would be targeted in this way. I recognise the impact this has had on Ballyclare Firefighters and I would like to thank them for their dedication to their community and their support at this time."
Police and NIFRS are urging the public to come forward with any information:
“Enquiries are continuing and officers investigating this report are keen to hear from witnesses or anyone who may have captured CCTV or dashcam footage in the area around the aforementioned times. We would appeal to anyone with any information to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 1895 15/10/23.
“Alternatively, you can submit a report online using the non-emergency reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/ . You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org/."