Creswick's CFA captain thanked the community for rallying behind them, after their $100,000 truck was allegedly stolen and stripped for parts.
The vehicle first disappeared from the Albert Street fire station at 9.55pm on September 24.
It was found months later at a Truganina mechanics workshop when police attended for an unrelated matter, in a state beyond repair.
Captain Steven Ellis said it was disappointing to see someone would steal an emergency vehicle from the CFA.
"It was disappointing that it was stolen in the first place, considering all of the hard work we do to raise money to buy a forward command vehicle," he said.
"Now it is a matter of raising some extra funds, paying the difference for the insurance and getting a new one."
Mr Ellis said the 2016 Hilux was used as a command vehicle in most of the brigade's fire operations.
He said the loss would be felt, especially heading into the summer fire season.
"It is going to be a big loss for us in the summer. It goes to basically every fire we go to as it is used as a command vehicle. It is also used as a strike team vehicle as well," he said.
"We also use it locally to do our fire equipment maintenance, and travel around the state for our CFA competitions."
The brigade first notified the community of the theft via a Facebook post, which had been shared more than 900 times, reaching more than 100,000 people.
Mr Ellis thanked all who shared the post and provided donations in the aftermath of the theft.
"We want to thank the community for a start, for sharing our post. The community are the ones that helped raise these funds, it is their money that was stolen as well, that is the way we look at it," he said.
"A lot of people shared it around, we have had some community people reach out to us and offer some generous donations to cover some costs - it is just amazing and we can't thank them enough."
A $100,000 CFA ute from Creswick has allegedly been found stripped - and beyond repair - in a Truganina mechanics workshop.
Moorabool CIU Detective Sergeant Ricky Millar said the emergency lights, CFA decals and rear canopy of the 2016 Toyota Hilux had been removed when detectives from the eastern suburbs investigated the business on an unrelated matter.
"The car was almost seven years old but it had been well looked after and well maintained by the CFA," he said.
"The ute itself still had identifying features and VIN numbers."
He said the registration plates were missing and it was alleged the ute may have been used for spare parts.
"It's sad because this has been stolen from a community organisation and it's put the Creswick brigade back for the summer ahead," Detective Sergeant Millar said.
"It's not fully covered by insurance. It also contained a lot of radio equipment and a defibrillator.
"It's a pretty low act.
"But the main thing is not the cost, it's the time.
"The lack of availability of new vehicles and the process of getting it kitted out again will mean the community will be without that fire vehicle this summer."
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The dual-cab ute was used as a forward command vehicle - or a 'mobile office' - to coordinate crews at fire scenes.
It vanished from the Albert Street station at 9.55pm on Saturday September 24 and had been purchased with fundraising via an annual calendar and checks on private fire equipment such as extinguishers.
"We appreciate the community's assistance with this incident," Det Sgt Millar said.
"Especially with things like this, where the CFA is at the heart of the community."
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