1. ITV Report

Firefighters left out of action after thieves stole lifesaving equipment

'Despicable' thieves put 'lives at risk' by stealing lifesaving equipment from county fire stations.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has spent around £150,000 on stepping up security after fire stations in Albrighton and Newport were broken into.

Steal heavy rescue equipment, worth more than £70,000, used to cut casualties free in road crashes was taken.

Albrighton firefighters were unable to attend 999 calls needing the rescue equipment for a number of hours until it was replaced with fire and rescue cover provided by other fire stations.

Area Manager John Das Gupta said:

Our fire stations have not been targeted before.

Despicable criminals have reached a new low by stealing equipment used to save lives.

It is an attack on the community which we are here to protect and now we have to invest huge sums as a result.

– Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, John Das Gupta

He added lives had been put at risk by the thefts with firefighters from Albrighton and Newport unable to attend collisions on the nearby A41 route.

Thieves first attacked the Albrighton station in June when neighbours raised the alarm after seeing three men acting suspiciously in the early hours. The equipment was taken from a fire appliance which had been forced open.

Less than two months later a second night time raid was carried out at Newport fire station and equipment stolen and a fire appliance damaged.