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Billings Fire Departments seeking help finding stolen gear

Billings Fire Departments seeking help finding stolen gear
Posted at 4:02 PM, Aug 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-29 11:02:27-04

BILLINGS — Billings firefighters are asking for help getting their equipment back after about $6,000 of turnout gear was stolen out of a vehicle sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning.

Battalion Chief Kevin Bentz said the gear is custom made for the individual firefighter and takes about six months to make.

“So, it’s very specific to the person it was tailored for,” Bentz said on Sunday.

According to the Billings City Government Facebook page, the gear was in a red duffle bag and stolen out of a personal vehicle near 19th Street and Broadwater Avenue, specifically around the Gorham Park neighborhood.

“We just really would like to get the gear back,” said Bentz.

He also said more firefighters bring their gear home than you may think. Firefighters that are transferring between stations or working emergency need callbacks may be more likely to have gear with them.

“So, they carry that gear with them so that they are able to respond quickly to the station that they get assigned to,” he said.

The Billings City Government Facebook page also said it was likely that the thief did not realize what was in the duffle bag, as it is no use to the general public.

And Bentz said this is not the first time it has happened.

“Unfortunately, this is not the first time that we’ve had turnout gear stolen,” said Bentz.

But they have had stolen gear returned in the past and are hopeful for the same outcome this time.

If the bag is found, it can be dropped off at any Billings Fire Station, no questions asked.