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Paramedics 'appalled' as air ambulance equipment stolen while they were treating a patient

The i logo The i 10/08/2019
a small yellow plane sitting on top of a runway © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

"[We] cannot comprehend why they felt it necessary to take such a vital piece of our equipment", Abby Barmby.

A gang of thieves stole a vital piece of air ambulance equipment as paramedics were treating a patient.

They got away with a £2,700 air ambulance helmet while the crew answered a 999 call in Shipley, West Yorkshire.

A Yorkshire Air Ambulance spokesperson said she was "appalled" by the theft, adding that she "cannot comprehend" why anyone would do it.

'Valuable flight helmets'

Dave Walton, deputy chief fire officer of West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, said: "Nothing much surprises me any more."

Social media users, responding to an appeal for help finding the helmet, called the culprits "disgraceful" and "disgusting".

A Yorkshire Air Ambulance helmet like the one stolen (Photo: SWNS)

Abby Barmby, of Yorkshire Air Ambulance, said: "We were appalled to hear that one of our valuable flight helmets was stolen from the back of our helicopter whilst our crew were responding to an emergency 999 call in Shipley.

"We understand that a group of youths were involved, and cannot comprehend why they felt it necessary to take such a vital piece of our equipment.

"Our flight helmets are specialist and vital pieces of equipment all our crews wear in flight.

"Not only are they worn for protection and safety purposes, they are also worn so the crews can communicate with each other in flight.

a close up of a toy © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Damaged beyond repair

An urgent appeal was launched to find the helmet, which was found a short time later dumped close to the scene of the crime.

Air Ambulance officials say the helmet is damaged beyond repair.

Ms Barmby said: "Each helmet is bespoke to our crew members and cost in the region of £2,700.

"Unfortunately it looks like there has been too much damage done to this helmet and it will now need replacing.

"As an independent charity who relies on charitable donations to help fund our vital work, having to replace costly items of equipment that have been unnecessarily damaged for no justifiable reason is extremely disheartening.

"We would however like to thank the kind people in Shipley that managed to locate the helmet and return it to the crew, and also to West Yorkshire Police who have been of great assistance."

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