Thief steals paramedic life-saving bag while patient treated in East Ham

Paramedic Steve Ford

Paramedic Steve Ford - Credit: submitted

A thief stole a medical bag containing life-saving equipment while the ambulance crew was treating a patient.

Paramedic Steve Ford was called to reports of an assault by East Ham underground station, where someone had received a cut to their hand, in the early hours of last Monday. He is now appealing for the return of his medical bag.

While treating one of the patients, a thief made off with Steve’s paramedic bag which contained equipment for managing breathing and securing airways such as tubes, masks and drugs.

Steve, who has worked for the London Ambulance Service for 18 years, was first to arrive at the scene in his paramedic car.

He said: “When the ambulance arrived, we moved into the vehicle and I left my bag just behind me outside the ambulance door. I went back to it a couple of times to get some equipment, but when we’d finished treating the patients and I went to return my stuff, the bag was gone.

“All of the equipment can be replaced but I had a few medical books which I’ve used for years and are not easily found. It’s unusual for paramedic bags to get stolen and it’s like an unwritten rule that you don’t steal from an ambulance.”

Steve had the medical books for many years and used to refer to them from time to time. A spokeswoman for London Ambulance said that if the bag had been stolen earlier, while Steve needed the equipment inside, it could affected the patient’s treatment.

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Ambulance Operations Manager for Newham, Nick Yard said: “It’s shocking that someone would steal from a paramedic, who was busy treating a patient. The equipment stolen will be of no value to the thief and puts lives at risk.”