By FireRescue1 Staff
TYLER, Texas —A fire department is looking for answers after several sets of protective gear were stolen from the station.
East Texas Matters reported that thieves stole eight to 10 sets of protective gear from the Chapel Hill Volunteer Fire Department.
Chief Dale Peterson said firefighters went to the station last week and saw “that window in the back of one building had plywood on it, [and it had been] torn off.”
Peterson said the gear is mainly used for training, but added that the sets are also used for incidents such as vehicle fires.
“Whoever took it [probably] doesn't know how much it means to us,” he said. “That's part of our life saving equipment.”
Peterson said the sets cost around $800 each, but it’s the safety of his firefighters that matter most.
"We stress heavy that anybody inside what we call the hot zone needs to have their P.B. on, which is your coat and everything, and that's our protection. So, I guess they just don't know what protection means to us," he said.
The sets were in the oldest station, which is not equipped with security cameras, and the motive is unclear. Peterson said he would simply like the gear returned, and is asking anyone with any information to call the Smith County Sheriff’s Office at (903) 566-6600.