Lindenhurst fire department hires paramedic trained to administer narcotics

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The Lindenhurst Fire Department has hired a new paramedic to help meet a state mandate after officials said the man previously hired for the job never showed up to work.

The department has hired Christopher Tremblay, a Lindenhurst resident who is a paramedic in Fairfield, Connecticut, as a part-time controlled-substance agent/paramedic. He replaces Justin Krause, who was terminated by the village last month after being hired in June. When reached for comment, Krause, who is listed as a lieutenant with the Port Jefferson Volunteer Ambulance Corps on its website, said he no longer worked for Lindenhurst.

"He wanted the job, but he never showed up," said Lindenhurst Fire Chief Michael McCloud, adding that Krause "never even returned our phone calls."

The Port Jefferson Volunteer Ambulance website states that Krause has been with the department since 2007 and "frequently puts extra time into the department."

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Krause had been hired to assist Lindenhurst in meeting a new state mandate that goes into effect May 1. To keep its status as an advanced life-support provider, the department must now carry and administer narcotics. These drugs include Valium and morphine, which can be used to treat seizures and heart attacks, respectively. The narcotics will be kept in safes in the firehouse and the ambulances.

Tremblay began work last month, McCloud said, putting in 16 hours per week at a rate of $23 per hour.

"He's been working out, doing all the paperwork, actually doing some on his own time," McCloud said. "He made some recommendations, and we did a little cost-cutting and shifting around of things, and it looks like we're going to be getting on the road pretty soon."

McCloud said his department is one of 65 in Suffolk County that are seeking to meet the mandate. McCloud estimates that meeting the mandate could cost the department as much as $30,000.

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