Narcotics box ‘disappears’ from fire department

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A “narcotics box,” a plastic case with small portions of various painkillers, has disappeared from Clallam County Fire District 3 facilities.


The box, designed to be carried in an ambulance, contained vials of morphine, Demerol, phenetole and other drugs.


Chief Steve Vogel said it’s unfortunate and disappointing, noting it’s just the second time in a 31-year career in firefighting it’s happened under his watch.


The district’s stockpile of narcotics is subject to numerous security measures. The primary cache is kept locked in a medical drug cabinet in the station.


Everyone with access to the cabinet has a personal code number “so we know who’s going in it,” Vogel said.


The medications that go on-board an ambulance are “very limited,” he said.


Vogel said he couldn’t estimate the street value of the narcotics in the missing box. “Not much,” said Fire District Public Information Officer Patrick Young.


The disappearance of the box prompted the district to install cameras at various sites within the station. Vogel said cameras are now a common feature in stations and the installation had long been planned.


The loss of the box simply speeded up the timeline, he said.


The Sequim Police Department also is looking into the loss. Sgt. Detective Sean Madison said the first step is determining whether the box was stolen or simply lost.


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