Vital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed by emergency ambulance crews to keep themselves, and their patients safe is reported to have been stolen in several incidents over the past week, according to the North East Ambulance Service
In four separate incidents this week alone, emergency ambulance crews have reported the theft of crucial equipment while treating critical patients across the region.
Each occurrence is being investigated and reported to the police with hefty sentences expected to be handed down to anyone found guilty of the thefts.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is used by the emergency services to protect themselves from deadly COVID 19, and it also keeps them from infecting other vulnerable and ‘at risk’ patients.
Without the PPE, emergency ambulance crews may more easily get infected and ill, impacting directly on the provision of the region’s 999 ambulance service and subsequently patients calling for help in an emergency.
Head of risk at North East Ambulance Service, Alan Gallagher, said:
“NHS staff like ours are facing incredible challenges in the current climate, both personally and professionally, but because of their unwavering dedication to the people in our communities, they continue to come to work to help people in their time of need.
“To hear about such selfish acts of theft is incredibly disappointing, and we will not tolerate it.
“The impacts of such acts could severely impede our combined efforts to keep people safe.
“Those responsible should consider the wider impact that their actions could have on the community and their own emergency care, should they ever need it.
“As a result, all vehicles will now carry minimal stocks.
“All of our vehicles are fitted with CCTV, and anyone attempting to board one whilst the crew are treating patients is likely to be caught on camera and the footage provided as evidence to the police.”
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