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An ambulance was stolen while paramedics treated a patient inside a home - only for the vehicle to later be found abandoned and damaged nearby.
The Welsh Ambulance Service has said the 'extremely irresponsible' could have led to 'very serious harm', stressing how stretched services currently are due to seasonal pressures and, of course, the coronavirus pandemic.
The ambulance was parked outside a house in Shotton, north Wales, as paramedics treated a patient inside the property.
After they realised the vehicle was missing, another crew was dispatched to help the workers - who may have not only needed to transfer the patient to hospital, but could have required extra equipment from the ambulance.
Eventually, police found the ambulance dumped nearby, having also been damaged by the thieves.
Last night one of our emergency ambulance's was stolen from the Shotton area of Flintshire, whilst the crew were treating a patient at their home address.
The theft of an emergency ambulance is an extremely irresponsible act.
Full statement here: https://t.co/tQVLPfwgSv pic.twitter.com/chQ6NQT1bC
- Welsh Ambulance (@WelshAmbulance) November 15, 2020
A spokesperson for the Welsh Ambulance Service said: "The theft of an emergency ambulance is an extremely irresponsible act.
"Had the crew needed to access additional emergency equipment from the vehicle, or to urgently convey the patient to hospital, this act could have led to very serious harm.
"Our services have been extremely busy dealing with winter pressures, alongside the challenges of the pandemic.
"This is a very rare occurrence it is being treated incredibly seriously."
Responding to the news on Twitter, one person commented: "Why would anyone even think of taking such a vital vehicle?
"I had to read this tweet a couple of times to believe it, it's just heartbreaking to think there are people living amongst us low enough to take such a vital vehicles."
Another said: "What's wrong with people? How in anyone's mind can this be OK.
"The ambulance staff are working so hard in challenging times and we should be supporting them, not stealing the vehicle that could save YOUR life.
"Makes me feel sad that this is the world we live in."
Bob Tooby, Welsh Ambulance Service's Assistant Director of Operations, slammed whoever was responsible, saying their 'extremely irresponsible' actions placed 'patients and the public at risk'.
Lee Brookes, Director of Operations for the service, added: "As if the service and communities haven't had enough to deal with this year, we have what I can only describe as mindless stupidity to contend with too."
North Wales Police are now investigating the theft, having dispatched crime scene investigators to forensically examine the vehicle.
LADbible has contacted North Wales Police for a comment.
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