Vancouver paramedic who had gear stolen receives flood of support

A Vancouver paramedic who had her gear stolen from her vehicle earlier this week says she has received an outpouring of support from the public.

Annelie Van der Heyden returned to her East Vancouver home on Sunday night after a marathon shift with BC Emergency Health Services.

She said she packed her gear into a bag, rather than keep it in a locker, because she wasn’t sure where her next shift would start, and left the bag in her car to reduce the risk of transmission amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The next day, she saw that someone had broken into her vehicle’s trunk and taken her gear, including two sets of her uniform, a number of masks, and a green stethoscope.

Van der Heyden went public, hoping to have the gear returned, and has been overwhelmed by people offering to help replace it.

She said a former nursing student on Vancouver Island donated a stethoscope, arranging to have a friend deliver it to a BC Emergency Health Services station.

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In an effort to pay it forward, Van der Heyden and her sister have set up an GoFundMe page to channel the support she’s received to other paramedics.

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