ABOUT $20,000 of crucial firefighting equipment was stolen from the Kingscliff Fire Station.
Between 8pm on December 6 and 3pm on December 7 a MSA brand thermal imaging camera and an Orion brand gas detector were stolen from a fire truck parked in the garage.
Kingscliff Fire Station captain Brett Gray said the items were absolutely essential and were needed to save lives.
"I don't know why someone would steal them," he said.
"It just makes our job so much harder.
"You'd never consider the fire station would be a target."
Mr Gray said it was disappointing someone in the community would steal the items that could save them or their friends and family from a fire.
The thermal imaging camera and gas detector were specifically given to the Kingscliff station because a need was identified.
"It was very specific to here and only a few units around the zone have them," he said.
The camera can literally mean the difference between life and death.
"It shows the heat difference between a person and the temperature around them," he said.
"Crews use it to physically look through the walls to see if someone is trapped."
The camera cuts rescue time down.
The gas detector was also crucial not just for detecting gas but also other toxic chemicals.
"I'm disappointed and if anyone has any information please contact police," Mr Gray said.
Tweed/Byron Local Area Command are investigating and anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.