On Thursday morning, volunteers at the Dalum Fire Hall noticed a few things missing. The following day, the team learned that the fire hall had been broken into for a second time.
Dalum Fire Chief Albert Jensen and Deputy Fire Chief Mike Ostergard were shocked to learn that they had been robbed twice.
"The feeling of violation is pretty high," admitted Ostergard. "We put a lot of our personal time and sweat into this. The things that they did take, we have them for a reason and, if we had had to go out on a call, we might have been looking for them and not had them to use and that certainly has an impact. Going forward, we could end up being out on a call at some point and be looking for something we haven't even realized is missing yet."
Missing tools aren't the only concern in the aftermath of the robberies. Specialized equipment like fire trucks can take months to order and receive if stolen or damaged.
"Replacement of these trucks, if someone was to borrow one and wreck it, is a year-and-a-half to get a new truck. But, more so, our rescue tools were compromised and that's something that can cause somebody's life or death."
Jensen explained that fire departments are watching out for each other. He received a phone call over the weekend from Drumheller Fire Chief Bruce Wade offering rescue tools and assistance if needed.
In closing, Jensen had strong words for anyone thinking of committing a copycat crime.
"I think that breaking into a facility like that, whether it be a fire hall, a church or a police station, is about as low as a criminal can go and hopefully they're dealt with in a very harsh manner."