‘It certainly takes time away from providing service to people in our community’
TRURO HEIGHTS – For the third time since July a Red Cross cargo truck has been vandalized and emptied of fuel.
© HARRY SULLIVAN – TRURO DAILY NEWS
A truck belonging to the Red Cross organization has been vandalized and its fuel stolen on three occasions since mid July while parked overnight at the headquarters building on Truro Heights Road.
“Clearly, whoever is doing it does not have an appreciation of the work of the Red Cross in our community,” said district community supervisor Mona O’Brien.
“I mean, we respond to house fires every single day, we provide valuable services to seniors and elderly people that need assistance. That truck is used to deliver hospital beds to people that are palliative and who are going home to live out their last days. So clearly, whoever is doing this doesn’t have an appreciation for the work that we do here. And in my opinion they are putting themselves at risk.”
Overnight Tuesday, for the third time since mid July, someone has cut the fill-up hose leading to the truck’s fuel tank and siphoned out the gasoline.
After the second hit, a steel pipe was installed over the rubber fill-up hose. But in the latest incident, even that was removed when the culprit(s) used a grinder to cut it open to expose the rubber hose.
The truck is now out of commission until early next week because a thick metal shroud is in the process of being manufactured and welded into place to prevent a similar incident from occurring.
Scott Mingo, owner of Sylrick Enterprises in Upper Onslow, who is doing the work, agreed with O’Brien that who ever is responsible for the theft and vandalism, is lucky to be alive following the latest incident.
“It could have been imminent danger,” said Mingo, who was “outraged” that someone would commit such crimes against a non-profit organization.
“I mean going at it with a grinder and sparks flying around gasoline. If it had of ignited they probably would have been looking for Red Cross’s assistance to help them out. It could have been fatal.”
The truck is also used daily in a variety of Red Cross duties and for delivering supplies to emergencies sites, and O’Brien is left shaking her head at the callousness of it all.
“It’s disappointing obviously and it’s an unbudgeted expense that we now have to incur,” she said, of the approximately $2,000 in damage and expense that has occurred.
“And it certainly takes time away from providing service to people in our community. It affects our ability to be able to do that,” she said.
“For 99 per cent of the people in the community when they see that symbol they think of hope and they think of caring and compassion. And whoever is doing this is chipping away at our ability to provide that in a most effective and efficient manner. It’s very disheartening.”
The matter has been reported to the RCMP and O’Brien is asking that anyone who may have seen suspicious activity around the site of the Red Cross building on Truro Heights Road, share that information with the police.
Enhanced security is also being put in place at the site, she said.