Thursday 1st May 2014 – 4.10pm – Claire Brown.
The actions of thieves in the Black Country is removing resources from frontline ambulance services. The criminals have stolen a 40ft stretch of electricity cable that powers an ambulance training centre.
The centre, located in Sedgley, has been without power since Monday morning. Training staff discovered that the thieves had broken into the nearby sub-station, which carries 11,000 volt cables, before digging up a 40ft stretch of electricity cable from the ground and stripping it of its inner copper wiring.
The Trust has had to spend unnecessary funds to find alternative venues for all of the vital training courses for operational ambulance staff taking place this week. In addition it’s had to organise emergency generators and additional security for the building. The cost of which runs into thousands of pounds; money that could have been used to resource more front line ambulances to respond to 999 calls.
Julian Rhodes, the Trusts Head of Training, said: “We are hugely disappointed that someone has caused this unnecessary problem to a service which is here to help the public in their hour of need. Whilst operational staff are not based here, we train literally hundreds of operational staff every week on new methods to improve patient care.
“What these thieves did was not only damaging to the Trust but extremely dangerous as they could’ve been killed. We’re working in conjunction with the police to help with their investigation and hope that the perpetrators are caught.”
Notes to Editors: The first photograph shows the trench, containing the electricity cable, which has been dug out. The second photograph shows the remains of the cable after the thieves had removed a 40ft stretch.