ST. LUNAIRE-GRIQUET, NL – Police are investigating the theft of medication from the ambulance bay in St. Lunaire-Griquet’s fire hall.
The robbery occurred sometime between noon on Tuesday, Feb. 6 and the following morning. Drugs stolen were two vials of Narcan (naloxone) and 10 vials of epinephrine with a dosage of 1:1000.
Narcan is used by the ambulance service in opioid overdoses, and epinephrine is most commonly used to treat severe allergic reactions.
St. Lunaire-Griquet fire Chief Tyler Hillier said during the town’s council meeting Thursday, Feb. 8, that the perpetrator had to know the code to unlock the fire hall’s doors.
“It was someone who knew the code to the door, who knew where to look for things,” said Hillier.
The code to unlock the door has been changed since the incident.
Deputy Mayor Wanda Hedderson says what is most frightening is that key life-saving equipment could have been stolen from the ambulance, putting lives in jeopardy.
“If the ambulance workers are without their proper equipment, it could cost lives,” said Hedderson.
The hall is frequented by not only fire department and ambulance workers, but a variety of people who organize and partake in different groups and events. Councillor Varrick Snow says many people know the code to the hall doors, which under current policy is only changed every six months.
“There’s programs and other things going on there – it really could be anybody,” said Snow.
Mayor Dale Colbourne and council stress that any information about the theft should be brought directly to the authorities.
“Anyone with information should not speculate or accuse, just let us or the police know,” said Colbourne.
An urgent meeting with the town’s ambulance committee was held Saturday, Feb. 10 and a full assessment of the incident is being filed for Labrador-Grenfell Health.
Colbourne says Saturday’s meeting was to ensure policies are in place to protect people and prevent a theft like this from happening again.
“Going forward, we can only grow and learn from this,” he said. “If we’re not willing to, we’ll become bogged down as a group and not do anything.”
At Thursday’s council meetings, installing new security systems was a key topic of discussion. Camera installations or an identity card system to unlock doors were two proposed solutions.
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact the St. Anthony RCMP at 709-454-3543 or Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).