EMS worker accused of drug theft

Jun. 01, 2013 @ 04:42 PM

A former Union County paramedic is being investigated by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation for taking morphine from ambulances.

Joey Dahl is under investigation by the SBI’s Diversion and Environmental Crime Unit after morphine was taken from ambulances and replaced with saline, N.C. Attorney General Spokeswoman Noelle Talley said Friday.

No charges have yet been filed.

Union County contracts with Carolinas Healthcare System, which owns and operates Union County EMS. Though funded by taxpayer money, Union EMS is a private entity and not subject to the same open records laws as governments.

Union County EMS interim director Scott Shew would not comment on the allegations, but referred all questions to CHS corporation communications. Calls to CHS were not returned by press time.

CHS issued a statement that officials are cooperating with the investigation, reports Enquirer-Journal’s news partner WSOC. It also reported that CHS would not answer any questions about Dahl, how the alleged thefts were discovered, if any patients were mistakenly injected with saline instead of morphine and if Dahl was fired or resigned.

Dahl was profiled on the N.C. Community Colleges website in December 2011. It states that Dahl worked in a large corporation’s engineering department for 14 years when he decided to enter the medical field. He started as a transporter for CMC-Union and took emergency medical training classes at Southern Piedmont Community College. He planned to go to nursing school but became a full EMT with Union Emergency Medical Services.

The N.C. Community Colleges webpage had been taken down by Friday, but was still accessible through internet archives.

Morphine acts as a relaxing agent to victims of trauma. People receiving a placebo instead of the drug can go into shock and die, according to WSOC.