About $70,000 worth of PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center equipment was damaged or stolen after an emergency services trailer was broken into overnight Thursday, according to the hospital.
A hospital maintenance employee noticed the trailer door was down and two padlocks were cut off and left in the parking lot when he arrived at work at about 5:45 a.m. Friday, according to the dispatch report.
Randy Querin, PeaceHealth spokesman, said the trailer stores decontamination equipment, including decontamination tents, suits, water supply system and a generator. The equipment was missing, damaged or “strewn about the parking lot,” he said.
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“It’s disappointing because we have a lot of large companies around town that work with chemicals, and if something would happen, they rely on us to respond quickly,” he said. “We need this gear on standby to do that work.”
Querin said he doesn’t know why someone would break into the trailer, which has housed the gear for several years.
The hospital is assessing if it needs to change security protocols, he said.
Querin said St. John is replacing the equipment but he doesn’t know how long it will take. The hospital’s emergency preparedness team is also working on a plan to get the gear from a different source if the need arises, he said.