PCFD: narcotics stolen
By Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

The Summit County Sheriff's Office is investigating to find out who may have stolen narcotics from a Park City Fire District fire engine this month.

"We are investigating a theft, said Park City Fire Battalion Chief Steve Zwirn.

Feb. 6 district officials discovered that some synthetic Demoral, and morphine -- a natural painkiller -- were missing from a fire truck based at Burns Fire Station, near Bitner Road in the Snyderville Basin.

"We have a system in place where we inventory our drugs every day. The system was designed so that if there was a theft that we would be aware of it. The system worked, Zwirn said.

He added that the missing narcotics were discovered in the morning and investigators suspect the drugs were stolen within the 24 hours prior.

"We checked them in the morning. And the next time we went to check them, they were missing we have exactly the time period that they were discovered missing, Zwirn said.

An alleged narcotics theft from a fire engine is being investigated in the Park City Fire District.

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Two fire engines in the district are licensed to carry Demoral and several others carry only morphine, he said.

"Our license allows intermediate [emergency medical technicians] to administer morphine. To administer Demoral, you have to be a paramedic, Zwirn said.

He adds that the liquid medications are administered either intravenously or intra-muscularly.

"The typical application is a severe fracture where the patient's in severe pain from a ski injury or something like that, Zwirn said, adding that victims of cardiac arrest also receive the drugs. "We'll administer drugs to alleviate that chest pain.

The fire district attempts to reduce thefts by limiting the amount of narcotics stored on fire engines.

"We try to keep no more than a dose that would typically be used for one patient at one time, Zwirn said. He suspects that two doses of morphine and between one and two doses of Demoral were taken in the theft. "It's not worth going to jail for a felony narcotics theft over one dose of drugs.

Though not locked, he said the medications on the trucks are generally secure.

"It's kind of a catch 22, [narcotics] have to be accessible. When we need them, we need them we keep them in a container that has a breakable seal on it, Zwirn said.

He did not know whether a fire district employee had stolen the medications.

"We're taking it extremely seriously [deputies are] investigating all possibilities, Zwirn said.

A medical doctor attains the medications and prescribes them for use in the fire district, Zwirn said.