More than £12,000 of vital life saving equipment has been stolen - rendering an emergency vehicle useless.
Thieves broke into Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Search and Rescue’s (YALSAR) van after a failed attempt to steal the vehicle, instead ransacking its contents, taking a huge haul of gear from the volunteer organisation.
The incident saw virtually all of the service’s equipment taken, including radios, first aid kits, a defibrillator and water rescue items.
The raiders had tried to steal the van, kept at the Doncaster TA centre at Scarbrough Barracks, Sandford Road, Balby but crashed it into the garage wall, damaging the vehicle.
They gave up trying to steal the transit van but cleared out all the equipment inside instead.
Brett Gutteridge, YALSAR chairman, said: “The service is voluntary, we get no government funding, so this is devastating, it’s knocked us for six.
“How can someone break into an ambulance of all things and steal life saving equipment?
“It’s disgusting, they’ve gone a step too far.”
He added: “We are now faced with having to replace this equipment.
“The van was insured but not the equipment - we just couldn’t afford to, it was a catch 22.”
And he explained that the region would now have to rely on neighbouring search and rescue services if an incident occurred.
“It’s going to have a temporary effect but we do plan on replacing the equipment - how long it takes us is another matter.
“We would now appeal to the local community to help us if they can. We need their assistance to turn this around.”
Donations can be made via the group’s website www.yalsar.co.uk.
The group is also looking for someone to help mend the broken central locking, ignition and immobiliser on the vehicle and any budding mechanics can email via the website.
The organisation is vailable 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with all volunteers are trained to national standards in search and rescue techniques and working alongside South Yorkshire Police, Humberside Police and other emergency services to undertake specialist searches or major incident support.
The raid, which happened last Monday, is being investigated by police