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Kingston midwife offers reward for stolen medical equipment

Photos of the equipment stolen from the residence of Kingston-based midwife Susan Hubbard. Though the items pictured are not Hubbard’s actual items, the are photos of the same equipment that was stolen, taken by one of her midwife colleagues. Submitted photos.

A local midwife is offering a reward for the return of medical equipment that was stolen from her garage last week.

Susan Hubbard is a midwife with Community Midwives of Kingston, located on Barrie Street downtown. Her home birth equipment bag was stolen from the garage or laneway where she is currently residing on Lakeshore Boulevard in the Reddendale area in Kingston’s west end. Hubbard believes the equipment, which was in a large, light brown Mountain Equipment Co-Op (MEC) backpack, was taken from the garage on the night of Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. She admitted that the door to the garage was left open all night that night, and the garage was the last place she recalls having seen her bag.

“Several downtown midwives have had their medical bags stolen over the years as they look interesting but the equipment inside is useless to anyone but midwives. Therefore, the items are often tossed out and turned into police by a good citizen,” Hubbard said. “This has not happened for me, so far, and the equipment I have had stolen is over $1,500 in value.”

Kingstonist reported on one such theft that occurred in December of 2019.

Hubbard lists the items that were within the MEC backpack as follows:

  • Suction machine (which is bright yellow in colour and in a black case), which is valued at $800 and useless to anyone who is not a midwife
  • A black medical case (which looks like a make-up bag) that was full of needles and syringes
  • A tubular black case containing an IV bag and everything to start an IV
  • Two trailhead head lamps (one black, one red)
  • A large, flat plastic case containing a full set of delivery instruments and suture instruments, as well as an extra set of both of these sets in the front zipper pocket (which are also useless to anyone other than a midwife)
Photo of a suction machine similar to the one stolen from Susan Hubbard’s residence. Submitted photo.

Hubbard has filed and updated a report with Kingston Police, but is hoping that a citizen might come across the equipment after it has been ditched somewhere when the thief or thieves found it to be of no use to them. She is hoping any found items will be turned into police, or to Community Midwives Kingston at 391 Barrie Street.

Hubbard has also decided to offer a reward for the return of undamaged equipment – she is offering $100 for the return of her suction machine, and $100 for the return of her birthing and suture instruments (in complete sets).

 “[I’m hoping] the Kingston community of supportive residents might keep their eyes open for these items, and help spread the word,” she said.

Anyone with these items or information about them is asked to contact Kingston Police (613-549-4660) or Community Midwives Kingston (613-544-7127), and a reward will be offered for undamaged and complete sets of equipment, no questions asked, Hubbard said.

“Whoever turns it in is my hero,” Hubbard said of why she is offering a reward. “As a frontline worker delivering babies during this pandemic, I feel gutted that half of my equipment has been stolen. It is of no use to the thieves or anyone else, and yet it is vital to me. I need this equipment to deliver babies safely for those women who choose to birth their babies at home – especially during this pandemic!”

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