St John Ambulance is distressed to announce that one of their Drogheda ambulances was broken into during the early hours of Sunday morning.
A volunteer crew in Drogheda was preparing to provide medical cover at a local event when they discovered the break-in.
As well as the loss of vital life saving equipment, the rear door of the vehicle was badly damaged.
The ambulance's resus kit containing a CD oxygen cylinder, BVMs, SGAs (iGel), OPAs, suction unit and general first aid supplies was taken, along with keys for the on-board safe which contained an EMT-level drug and diagnostic pack. Blood pressure monitors, an oxygen monitor and stethescope were taken. The equipment is valued at approximately €1,000.
The rear door lock will need to be replaced, and the internal wiring system was tampered with, meaning the vehicle cannot operate internal or external lights, as well as the on-board communications system.
All members of St John Ambulance are volunteers, who annually provide thousands of hours of service to the public. Members fundraise to keep the equipment and resources needed for their lifesaving work in stock.
Local St John Ambulance Superintendent Colin Maher says that repairing the ambulance will be difficult. It remains off the road until repairs are carried out.
Generous donations from Joe O'Brien (Medilink Ambulance Service) and West Mid Supplies have seen the stolen equipment replaced already.
Mr Maher is confident that volunteers will redouble efforts to minimise the impact on the organisation's work.
St John Ambulance National Headquarters is providing resources to keep the vehicle operational during the busy pre-Christmas season.
St John Ambulance Commissioner expressed his frustration at such selfish and thoughtless crimes.
St John Ambulance is the latest service to fall victim to thieves. In September, thieves stole from the private ambulance service Lifeline's "Bumbleance" children’s ambulance.
Anyone with information on the vandalism/theft should contact Drogheda Gardaí on (041) 983 8777.
The rear door of the ambulance which was damaged in the break-in
Thieves left the interior in disarray The internal wiring was vandalised, disrupting lights,
sirens and communication systems