THEFT: Rudy Stakenburg and Joe Cullen are upset that equipment was stolen from the Gregory River Rural Fire Brigades premises.
THEFT: Rudy Stakenburg and Joe Cullen are upset that equipment was stolen from the Gregory River Rural Fire Brigades premises. Mike Knott BUN070818THEFT5

$8K of equipment stolen from rural fireys

WHEN rural firefighter Rudy Stakenburg turned up at the Gregory River service's premises after a relaxing weekend off his heart sank.

Thieves had broken into the service's premises over the weekend of July 28-29 and stole more than $8000 worth of vital fire-fighting equipment including portable radios, vehicle fridges and navigation tablets.

Rudy is the first officer for the service. He has been volunteering for 15 years and never seen anything like this before.

He fears it will take years to replace some of the stolen items and said there were not enough volunteers to hold any fund-raising events at this stage.

Acting area director for rural fire service in Bundaberg Joe Cullen said they were working with Queensland police to recover the equipment.

The volunteer-run station was off-line for 24 hours, leaving surrounding brigades on call if a fire broke out in the area.

"It's really disheartening, this brigade is 100 per cent made up of volunteers," he said.

"They volunteer their time away from their work and their family to protect this community against bushfire and other emergencies.

"When someone comes in and steals something from anyone let alone an emergency response unit it really does dishearten the community and makes us wonder what sort of people are out there," Mr Cullen said.

The thieves have not been found at this stage.

If you would like to volunteer or donate to the Gregory River Rural Fire Brigade you can contact them on 0407 269 113.



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