UNION COUNTY, N.C. --A Union County paramedic was arrested Wednesday afternoon for allegedly stealing pain medications on his ambulance.

Investigators say that 45-year-old Joey Reed Dahl injected himself with powerful painkillers like Morphine, Dilaudid, Fentanyl and Versed, and then replaced the syringes with a saline solution.

You take those jobs not because they pay well, because they don't pay well, but to help the other person. So if you're replacing medications, that's the lowest of the low, said a man who did not want to be identified.

He doesn't know Dahl, but because of his medical history, he's got plenty of experience with hospitals and emergency medicine.

Union EMS is part of Carolinas Healthcare System. Privately investigators say the hospital never reported the case. That's a charge CMC denies.

We did report the incident to the appropriate state and national authorities, said spokesman Kevin McCarthy.

We are not aware of any patient adversely affected by the incident involving the Union County EMS employee.

Investigators agree that no patients were affected. Still, residents like Linda Tarlton worry about what could have happened.

That absolutely scares me to death to think I would call an ambulance to come out and get an injection of saline rather than something I really needed. It's scary, she said.

Dahl has been charged with four felony counts of Embezzlement of a Controlled Substance by Employee.

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