Florida paramedic accused of stealing painkillers from ambulance

A Florida paramedic is accused of stealing painkillers from an ambulance, beginning in April.
A Florida paramedic is accused of stealing painkillers from an ambulance, beginning in April.

Credit: Steve Buissinne/PIxabay

Credit: Steve Buissinne/PIxabay

A Florida paramedic is accused of stealing narcotics from an ambulance.

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The initial incident happened in April; Matthew Hooker, the former St. Johns County first responder, was arrested this week and is facing felony charges for theft of narcotics and forgery.

The deputy chief of Fire Station 8, Jeremy Robshaw, said current protocol helped investigators uncover the alleged theft within hours.

Arrest documents show Hooker, a lieutenant for the St. Johns County Fire and Rescue, resigned after being accused of taking narcotics from an ambulance.

LeeAnn Colwell said this was a terrifying situation to learn about.

"That is very scary to know if I have to go by an ambulance that somebody could possibly be high or on some type of drug trying to take care of me," Colwell told WJAX.

Arrest documents allege Hooker stole two doses of morphine while on the job and forged his crew member's signature as a witness.

“It’s a little scary to know that somebody out there in the medical field is doing something along those lines,” Cowell said.

Randy Wyse, the president of the Jacksonville firefighters association, said that’s why organizations often put certain protocols in place to prevent this from happening.

“They’re counted for and double-checked through the day. There’s logs and locks on the safe that they’re kept in,” Wyse said.

Documents show two calls were responded to the day this happened, and no one was transported, so the public wasn’t in immediate danger. However, fire and rescue professionals in St. Johns County said this is part of the reason drug tests are given randomly.

“Hopefully (Hooker) gets some help that he must need because obviously there’s a problem there,” Colwell said.

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