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Wyoming firehouse thefts deplored


By RON LIEBACK

WYOMING — Its not just the $5,000 worth of rescue equipment stolen that is bothering Mayor Robert Boyer.

It's the safety of the community.

It is a slap in the face not just to us but everyones safety across the county. We will pursue the suspects relentlessly, Boyer said.

Someone entered the Wyoming Hose Co. 1, 33 W. Eight St., and stole the items last week. Officials believe the incident occurred Wednesday.

We are just primarily looking for someone to step forward, Boyer said Sunday. I hope someone will have a second thought in their conscience and bring the equipment back.

Police officer Michael Fuller said the following items were stolen: a Partner K-12 saw, an Omar power generator, a Stihl chainsaw and a smaller chainsaw.

All the items were marked and engraved with Wyoming Hose Co. #1. It is really going to be an effort for someone to conceal this, Fuller said.

He said the K-12 is an all-purpose saw used to cut through concrete and steel. The tool is important for removing trapped people from mangled cars and cutting steel doors on buildings that are on fire, he said.

I am just hoping there is not some type of emergency soon, Boyer said. If we need the K-12, we will have to call another fire department and this delay could mean, in a severe case, death.

Boyer said the only people who have access to the building are the volunteer firefighters and the ambulance crew. They all have a code they must punch into the door to gain access, he said.

But this makes the investigation a hectic one, Boyer said, because there are about 100 people to investigate.

It sounds like an inside job. We certainly hate to think it was one of the volunteers, but everyone must be investigated. Someone had to initially know where the equipment was.

Boyer said if it wasnt an inside job, the code might have accidentally entered the hands of a thief.

But rescue teams cant stop because of an investigation, said Joseph Lisiewski, president of Wyoming Hose Co. 1.

We are just working to get back in full service now. It is a pain in the neck because we have to call other units in and this could mean delays for equipment, he said.

Lisiewski said there will be a lapse of time while getting the insurance settlement, and then even more time to purchase the new equipment. All the stolen items were funded through the community, he said.

Lisiewski, who has been with the fire department for more than 35 years, said he witnessed theft before, but never a theft that put the whole community and surrounding towns in danger.

To temporarily replace the items, Boyer said, some volunteers have stepped up to the plate and are lending the company personal property, such as chainsaws and generators.

He said the borrowed equipment is not as professional as the items stolen, but will help.

This is the caliber of people we have working within the community. I just wish the thieves had the same respect for the community before stealing life-saving items, Boyer said.

Boyer said the fact that someone could steal equipment that saves lives shows despicable morals.

Stealing from the fire department is like stealing from a church. These are things you just dont do, he said.

And he believes the perpetrators will be brought to justice.

I am fully convinced that it is a matter of time before someone flips up and then they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, Boyer said.

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