Our station was broken into.

WolfTails

Forum Crew Member
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Hey guys!

So I have a bit of a situation that I need some thoughts and opinions about.

Today when I came into work I found out that one of my services stations was broken into last night. A crew member heard some noises coming from the supply room at around 3AM and went to investigate. Turns out there was an intruder. The intruder saw the crew member and fled out of the station the way he came in.

How he got into the station was through the garage. The garage door is broken (and has been for months) and does not shut all the way. It's open enough that someone can easily push the door up a little and squeeze under it. The supply room is right off of the garage and that particular door doesn't have any type of lock so the intruder was easily able to slip under the garage door and enter the station.

This morning our assistant director found out and told me he was headed over to that station to install some locks on the door. Later today I asked the medic working at that station it the door got fixed. Apparently the assistant director got there and made a few suggestions on how to secure the garage. When the crew pointed out why those suggestions wouldn't work the assistant director then told the medic to just go buy a padlock and put it on the track of the garage door and then left. There isn't even a way to put a padlock on the track. The crew ended up forcing the door closed and shoved some metal rods in the track so the door can't be lifted up.

I still didn't like the idea of the supply room door not being lockable and was worried about their safety so I ended up buying some bolt locks and taking it over to their station. I then contacted the fire department to help install them since I didn't have the tools required for the job. I also walked the entire station and quadruple checked every door to make sure the station was secured. As I was chatting with the medic and combing through the station he pointed out a gun that an officer had left in the medic room last night for extra protection.

I am so beside myself right now. How could the assistant director just leave and not make sure the crew was safe?? I want to write a complaint about this situation, but I'm not even sure who to write it to or if it'll even matter. Both my director and my assistant director have a very "not my station, not my problem" sort of attitude so I feel like if I complain to my director it'll just fall on deaf ears. I could possibly climb higher and complain to the board, but they're all tight with my director and I feel like somehow it'll just end up bad for me. I just don't understand how management can act so nonchalant and uncaring about this situation. What if something had happened to the crew last night? What if the intruder comes back? I just feel like my hands are tied and there isn't much more I can do.
 

CbrMonster

Forum Crew Member
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soujda about standard practice. Make sure your company reimbursed you... but good luck with that. I worked for a company that had several break ins a year. It’s unfortunately going to happen especially in low income areas. Had crews have their cars broken into, even stolen, bumpers ripped off.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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Did you notify the police, so they could file a report?

a gun unsecured in the medic room would likely not be a great idea. which officer left it there?

If you don't like what the Assistant Director did (and it sounds like they didn't do a great job), go to the director, in writing. If you don't get a good response, go to the next executive board meeting, with the police report in hand. bring pictures of everything.

To be honest, if someone breaks in and steals company equipment because the company failed to secure the station or storage area, oh well. I don't really care. however, if they are stealing my personal equipment, that's a different story. Yes break-ins happen in lower income areas, but I don't want my personal property damaged or stolen. they don't pay me enough for that
 

CbrMonster

Forum Crew Member
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Did you notify the police, so they could file a report?

a gun unsecured in the medic room would likely not be a great idea. which officer left it there?

If you don't like what the Assistant Director did (and it sounds like they didn't do a great job), go to the director, in writing. If you don't get a good response, go to the next executive board meeting, with the police report in hand. bring pictures of everything.

To be honest, if someone breaks in and steals company equipment because the company failed to secure the station or storage area, oh well. I don't really care. however, if they are stealing my personal equipment, that's a different story. Yes break-ins happen in lower income areas, but I don't want my personal property damaged or stolen. they don't pay me enough for that

I agree if they don’t won’t to secure their own equipment fine I don’t care it’s not my money lost. But my greater fear is employee safety. And then yes employee/personal equipment really sucks and that has happened to my coworkers laptops ect were stolen. Luckily the stations I worked at were not broken into, but had the ambulance on numerous occasions vandalized.
 

WolfTails

Forum Crew Member
33
1
8
Did you notify the police, so they could file a report?

a gun unsecured in the medic room would likely not be a great idea. which officer left it there?

If you don't like what the Assistant Director did (and it sounds like they didn't do a great job), go to the director, in writing. If you don't get a good response, go to the next executive board meeting, with the police report in hand. bring pictures of everything.

To be honest, if someone breaks in and steals company equipment because the company failed to secure the station or storage area, oh well. I don't really care. however, if they are stealing my personal equipment, that's a different story. Yes break-ins happen in lower income areas, but I don't want my personal property damaged or stolen. they don't pay me enough for that
Yes, a police report was filed by the crew that was on duty when this happened.

The officer that left the gun is the police chief of that area. I work for a very rural service in the middle of nowhere down south. (Which obviously isn't a great excuse to justify giving the medics a rifle for protection, but just so you kind of get an idea of where I work.)

I thought about writing out a complaint. I will see my director the day I get off work though so I may have a little chat with him and really stress how important I feel this situation was.

This actually isn't the first time that particular station has had problems with theft. We have to make sure and lock the truck every time it's parked at the station due to this one family that would sneak onto the truck and steal nasal cannulas.

If it had just been company property stolen it wouldn't bother me nearly as much. It was more the fact that the crew was at the station when the break-in occurred and the medic just happened to be awake when he heard all the commotion. Not to mention there was no way to fully secure the station to begin with. I don't want to even think about if the intruder had had a weapon or something.

I just wanted the assistant director to do at least something. If it were up to me and like this happened I would have made sure my crews were safe tonight. New locks, new door codes, calling about getting some type of security cameras installed, having an officer post until we can get the proper locks installed, something. Something would have been better than telling the crew to figure it out on their own and then leaving them high and dry. I totally understand that all of that takes money, and for a small rural service we don't have a lot of that, but your crews safety should be at the top of your list. The 2 locks I bought for the doors were $10 each.
 

WolfTails

Forum Crew Member
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8
What. The. F-Word.
Yup... But apparently that wasn't a big enough red flag to management to take the break-in and upping the station security more seriously. I must have checked every door and walked the entire station at least 4-5 times before I finally felt comfortable enough for my partner and I to leave and go post at our own station.
 

CbrMonster

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The gun thing is absolutely insane to me, now i’m A very pro 2A person but there’s the right and wrong way about going things. And this is very irresponsible of the chief of pd. Firstly you’re not trained on said firearm and that should be a very last resort option.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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The officer that left the gun is the police chief of that area. I work for a very rural service in the middle of nowhere down south. (Which obviously isn't a great excuse to justify giving the medics a rifle for protection, but just so you kind of get an idea of where I work.)
So the Chief of Police, the leader of the law enforcement agency in the AHJ, just left a gun belonging to who knows in the station for anyone to use, regardless of training with said firearm..... Yeah, I can't see how that would end poorly.....
I thought about writing out a complaint. I will see my director the day I get off work though so I may have a little chat with him and really stress how important I feel this situation was.
write out the complaints, and sign and date it. Talk to your director. After your talk, give him the letter. If things improve great. If not, take that letter to the board, and tell them you are following the chain of command. Advise them of your concerns; it's possible they don't even know what happend, or aren't aware of any safety or security deficiencies.
This actually isn't the first time that particular station has had problems with theft. We have to make sure and lock the truck every time it's parked at the station due to this one family that would sneak onto the truck and steal nasal cannulas.
Well, first off, you should always lock your trucks when they aren't occupied. outside the station. outside of walmart. on a medical call when everyone in inside the residence. its 2019, there is no excuse for leaving a truck unlocked, except if due to sheer laziness of the crew. And if that statement applies to anyone or offends someone, well, maybe you should change your behavior. Kill switches and power locks that lock every door only require the push of a button.

Secondly, if a family is stealing from your truck, were the cops called? were theft charges filed? if someone asks me for a N/C, I'm likely going to give them one. If they are stealing medical equipment out of my truck, I'm having law enforcement place silver bracelets on the thief.
If it had just been company property stolen it wouldn't bother me nearly as much. It was more the fact that the crew was at the station when the break-in occurred and the medic just happened to be awake when he heard all the commotion. Not to mention there was no way to fully secure the station to begin with. I don't want to even think about if the intruder had had a weapon or something.

I just wanted the assistant director to do at least something. If it were up to me and like this happened I would have made sure my crews were safe tonight. New locks, new door codes, calling about getting some type of security cameras installed, having an officer post until we can get the proper locks installed, something. Something would have been better than telling the crew to figure it out on their own and then leaving them high and dry. I totally understand that all of that takes money, and for a small rural service we don't have a lot of that, but your crews safety should be at the top of your list. The 2 locks I bought for the doors were $10 each.
Think of it this way: how important is your safety? and where does your assistant director value your safety? I'm not saying he should give you a blank check, but if your doors don't close, if the locks to your station don't work, if the police chief thinks its so bad that he is leaving a gun in the medic's room, does management seem to put any concern to your personal safety? And should you really be working there if they don't? I can't speak for anyone else, but I want to go home after the end of every one of my shifts.

Everything has a cost, but that is why there are budgets, and good leadership budgets for things like security equipment.
 

WolfTails

Forum Crew Member
33
1
8
Your management has made a series of glaring errors that show problems in though processes, which are unlikely to be fixed by training or education.

Also:
Secured firearm with training = good idea.
Community gat = horrible idea.
My thoughts as well. The management has always had a very "hands off" type of approach when it came to different situations. A lot of the time it's worked when pertaining to general company drama or whatever. But situations like this obviously need to be addressed and taken care of accordingly.

Also agree. The medics should not have been put into the situation of having the firearm as a defense in the first place. Poor judgement all around.
 

WolfTails

Forum Crew Member
33
1
8
So the Chief of Police, the leader of the law enforcement agency in the AHJ, just left a gun belonging to who knows in the station for anyone to use, regardless of training with said firearm..... Yeah, I can't see how that would end poorly.....
Yup.. the whole situation just blows my mind. I really don't understand how I can see how important it was to make sure the station was secured and the crews were safe, but management didn't even bat an eye or try that hard. This isn't the first time management has failed it's employees, but it's the first time they slacked off in a situation that the crews safety was called into question.

write out the complaints, and sign and date it. Talk to your director. After your talk, give him the letter. If things improve great. If not, take that letter to the board, and tell them you are following the chain of command. Advise them of your concerns; it's possible they don't even know what happend, or aren't aware of any safety or security deficiencies. Well, first off, you should always lock your trucks when they aren't occupied. outside the station. outside of walmart. on a medical call when everyone in inside the residence. its 2019, there is no excuse for leaving a truck unlocked, except if due to sheer laziness of the crew. And if that statement applies to anyone or offends someone, well, maybe you should change your behavior. Kill switches and power locks that lock every door only require the push of a button.
I'm fairly certain the board has no idea this even occurred. I will talk to and really stress to my director to actually do something.

As for the door locks I agree. My service has acquired 2 new ambulances over the last 2 years and both have a clicker for the medic and basic that can lock/unlock all of the doors. In the old trucks they didn't have that. The doors had to be locked manually with a key, which the key was lost at some point. And since this service never had issues with stealing (until the NC incident) it was never priority to get a new key or auto-locks installed on the old trucks. Thankfully this issue has been fixed thanks to newer trucks and making mistakes.

Secondly, if a family is stealing from your truck, were the cops called? were theft charges filed? if someone asks me for a N/C, I'm likely going to give them one. If they are stealing medical equipment out of my truck, I'm having law enforcement place silver bracelets on the thief.
Think of it this way: how important is your safety? and where does your assistant director value your safety? I'm not saying he should give you a blank check, but if your doors don't close, if the locks to your station don't work, if the police chief thinks its so bad that he is leaving a gun in the medic's room, does management seem to put any concern to your personal safety? And should you really be working there if they don't? I can't speak for anyone else, but I want to go home after the end of every one of my shifts.

Everything has a cost, but that is why there are budgets, and good leadership budgets for things like security equipment.
The whole thing actually started because we had given this family some free NC's. The first time it happened I was actually working at the station. A family member came by and asked for a NC. Sure no problem, I gave them 2. Well the next week a family member came by when a different crew was on shift and asked for more. They gave them a handful of NC's. Eventually it got to where the family was calling 911 all the time and asking to borrow O2 cannisters and even more NC's. We had to of course say no on the O2 cannister and stop giving them NC's. We told them they need to get in contact with home health or whoever it is that's supposed to come do the patients at home care. A few weeks later the crew caught one of the family members in the back of the truck stealing more NC's. That's when the police were called, charges filed, and a restraining order was put in place.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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In the old trucks they didn't have that. The doors had to be locked manually with a key, which the key was lost at some point. And since this service never had issues with stealing (until the NC incident) it was never priority to get a new key or auto-locks installed on the old trucks.
Yeah, I've had some old school trucks too. but I've never lost the key to just the cabinets. why? because it's all on the same key ring. the EMT has one set, the medic has another. each truck is assigned two sets. they were attached with a metal cable and a metal connector, and once you hit the connector with a hammer, it wasn't letting go of the cable. probably cost a whole $1.99 per device. put the truck keys on it, throw on a metal oxygen wrench, and there you go. there is a third set of keys stored in a secure location, but it is never given out, so if they keys do all get lost, you can either print a whole new set from the master, or the employee has to pay to rekey the entire truck (because it was being done due to their negligence).

I've had the couch cushions eat my keys, but after the second time of my coworkers finding it and putting it in a cup of water in the freezer, I just attached my keys to a carabiner on my belt.

Oh, and if the older trucks don't have auto locks, that means before the crew leaves the truck, EVERY DOOR AND CABINET IS LOCKED AND CONFIRMED TO BE SECURED. Every time you leave the truck, regardless of circumstances.
 

CCCSD

Forum Lieutenant
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How AWFUL it must be to have to push down on a door lock, or actually insert a key to unlock it. Archaic right? Imagine all the time lost...
 

GMCmedic

Forum Asst. Chief
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Just as an aside, this it why it infuriates me when people tag themselves on facebook at stations or posts
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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Just as an aside, this it why it infuriates me when people tag themselves on facebook at stations or posts
Why? Aren't your station locations public information?
 
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