MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Rescue divers in western Wisconsin say they are frustrated after someone stole the equipment they use to help save lives.

From the dead of winter, to the height of summer, they are the men and women who dive into the toughest of situations.

Sgt. Glen Hartman of the Hudson Police Department is the coordinator of the St. Croix EMS Dive Team.

“We do it because it’s part of our DNA and it’s something we enjoy doing.  It’s a service, it’s a service, absolutely,” Hartman said.

But doing their job just got more difficult. Diver and police officer Glen Hartman says someone found one of their swift water suits in a street near their storage trailer.

So Sgt. Hartman came over to the trailer to see if anything else was missing. Turns out everything was taken except for the boogie board, more than $10,000 worth of equipment.

“It’s exceedingly frustrating on many levels as someone who’s dedicated their life to public safety,” Hartman said.

The divers are volunteers, they had worked hard to hold fundraisers to buy their specialized gear.

“Here is St. Croix County, we’re it so people are relying on us to do it,” Hartman said.

Hartman says if an emergency does come up, they will still respond, but won’t be as prepared as they should be.

“So this individual or individuals, I don’t think they realize the impact of what they’ve done,” Hartman said.

The dive team asking now for anyone who stumbles upon that equipment to give them a call at (715) 386-4771.

They also say if that equipment happens to show up at the police station or a dive shop, “there will be no questions asked.”

The Dive Team will have a boat cruise fundraiser Aug. 10, and hope to be able to start replacing their gear.

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