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Home > Topics > Labor & Union Issues
May 09, 2014

Medic admits to stealing pain meds, pleads for second chance

A hearing will determine if he will get to keep his fire department job after he tearfully admitted to a prescription drug addiction after developing kidney stones

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – A paramedic who received a year of probation after admitting he stole drugs from an ambulance hopes to stay on with the South Bend Fire Department.

“I’m asking for a second chance,” Timothy Greenlee, 39, said during a South Bend Board of Public Safety hearing to determine if he should be fired.

The state has revoked his EMT and paramedic licenses, but he is appealing it, WSBT.com reports.

Greenlee admitted to taking Fentanyl from an ambulance safe, and replacing the medication with saline solution. In tears, he testified that he had a prescription drug addiction after developing kidney stone.

 “The only thing I thought about was getting pain medication,” he said. “…I withdrew from everyone and started doing things I shouldn’t have.”

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Comments
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Matt Coriell Matt Coriell Friday, May 09, 2014 2:37:37 PM Not a chance
Sam IAm Sam IAm Friday, May 09, 2014 3:07:23 PM I had kidneys stone. I did not even come close to getting addicted to pain meds... hardly took them after it was out! Been a paramedic for over 30 years without stealing drugs, or doing that to a pt!
Gina Stainsby Bradley Gina Stainsby Bradley Friday, May 09, 2014 3:08:33 PM Nope not at all. Plenty of other jobs he can do. He made a choice and now pays the price for his poor decisions.
Ben Goff Ben Goff Friday, May 09, 2014 3:10:43 PM Everyone has their pain threshold. I'm not defending him at all.
Robin Daghlian-Curasco Robin Daghlian-Curasco Friday, May 09, 2014 3:15:58 PM Has he gone through rehab and attained a year of sobriety?
Teri Lynne Miller Teri Lynne Miller Friday, May 09, 2014 3:27:40 PM Ofconcern to me would not so much be his drug use and the theft, but that rather he replaced the drug with Saline which of course means one of his patients got saline instead of relief. This shows a disregard for patient care that I would find hard to forgive and trust.
Bob Rastas Bob Rastas Friday, May 09, 2014 3:28:31 PM His choice to replace the medication with saline was an act of bastardry that deserves no second chance. He took the pain relief away from other patients, those who he had a duty to care for, and let them suffer.
Marie Thuresson Marie Thuresson Friday, May 09, 2014 3:43:04 PM The general public has absolute faith in Emt's and Paramedics- this guy makes a mockery out of all of us paramedics who do the very best for our patients. Shame on him for bringing down our profession - He does not deserve another chance. Get another job that does not give you access to patients who need help.
Ric Dutton Ric Dutton Friday, May 09, 2014 3:48:56 PM Prick
Jerry Williams Jerry Williams Friday, May 09, 2014 3:51:05 PM There are many law abiding people who would love to have a job like his. He should be banned for life from ever working in EMS anywhere. He gives FR & EMS a bad name.
Steven Simonek Steven Simonek Friday, May 09, 2014 4:18:49 PM We had an RN do the same thing. The hospital decided to put him thru drug rehab and was supervised for two years. I wouldn't give a second chance. I would terminate the person the turn them over to the law for theft, under the influence, possession, and prescribing a narcotic without a license.
Royce Edwards Royce Edwards Friday, May 09, 2014 4:41:11 PM I could forgive him for the theft of the drugs, but replacing it with saline can't be forgiven. Not on would his self-centered act have resulted in denying someone else relief from pain to cover his crime, but it might have resulted in an error of diagnosis or treatment by someone believing he had pain relief meds on board. If he had stolen the meds and reported them destroyed I would be much more sympathetic and recommend that he be given a second chance after completing counselling and rehabilitation.
Mike Tragesser Mike Tragesser Friday, May 09, 2014 4:43:03 PM Tampering with the drug stock, is far worse than using drugs, or even stealing drugs. This guy has abused the public's trust, and horribly corrupted the reputation of Ambulance personell everywhere. This is exactly the type of ultra-creepy behavior for which a lifetime ban from medical professions was intended. No wrist slap for him! He is not one of us anymore.
Adam Swartz Adam Swartz Friday, May 09, 2014 6:09:08 PM I'm in agreement with everyone else that he should be fired. But I also think that maybe he should have to go to rehab for the addiction and be then given a desk job.
Fred Snetzer Fred Snetzer Friday, May 09, 2014 6:34:28 PM He should loose his job and certification.
Christie Fox Christie Fox Saturday, May 10, 2014 5:13:29 AM He has no moral compass. He should never be placed in a position with the ability to deceive and abuse others. Really, he tortured those people. "Compassion literally means “to suffer together.” Among emotion researchers, it is defined as the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering." http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/compassion/definition
Al Kapple Al Kapple Saturday, May 10, 2014 5:45:02 AM Who would ever want to be his partner?
Tracy Moroney Tracy Moroney Saturday, May 10, 2014 7:30:13 AM Maybe asking for a "second chance" might work had he gone for help and "come clean" (no pun) with his problem to his Chief. Getting caught, AND replacing Fentanyl with saline? Not a chance.
Diana Ledford Diana Ledford Saturday, May 10, 2014 10:20:28 AM should be required to start over after in patient detox and no keys to a drug box.
Leroy Roy Dayhoff Leroy Roy Dayhoff Saturday, May 10, 2014 4:33:59 PM No. I understand the power of the disease that is addiction, but just NO. What about the patient who legitimately needs pain relief (with a nice bill attached) and gets NS instead?To steal from a patient and deny them the medical care they need in order to feed your own addiction....what greater betrayal is there as a medical professional? Forgiveness and punishment shouldn't always relate to one another. This man should by no means be associated with the rendering of medical care, ever again.
James Roseman James Roseman Saturday, May 10, 2014 9:13:47 PM Until the fear of losing ones job is eliminated, and letting men know it's okay to as for help, people who have an addiction will be less likely to come forward and ask for help. Addiction is considered an illness and should be treated that way. Drug, and alcohol, are often what first responders turn to to block out or try to forget some of the pain and death they deal with on a daily base. I don't Condon the action this guy took to feed his addiction, as I don't Condon use of alcohol by any other first responder. ANY first responder should be given the chance to detox and get their mind cleared and straight and a second chance in their chosen profession. We will either continue to loes good people to addictions or have impaired first responders working among the field of others. Once they return they should continue therapy as needed and be subject to random drug test. Then if they fail toss them out. Remember, alcohol and drug abuse is a common risk that a police officer, firefighter, or EMS worker face in response to the stress of the job.
Local Guy Local Guy Saturday, May 10, 2014 10:21:28 PM Sorry man, no way you can be trusted now.
Ian R Frankel Ian R Frankel Saturday, May 10, 2014 10:24:02 PM Addicted due to kidney stone? You don't keep the stone, you go to the Hospital and get it removed or pass it. His story is BS.
Elizabeth Miller Elizabeth Miller Wednesday, May 14, 2014 2:44:21 PM I've heard that EMS "eats their own," but I question the wisdom of an EMS site serving people up on a platter. Just gossip.

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