Paramedic and Blanco Volunteer Ambulance Corps Director Mark McMain received an emergency suspension from the Texas Department of State Health Services. The agency, which licenses EMS personnel in the state, suspended McMain's license on February 6 after receiving allegations that the pain medication fentanyl was taken by him without authorization.
The department is investigating reports that the drug was stolen 237 times by McMain. The Drug Enforcement Administration states that fentanyl is an intravenous analgesic with a potency of about 80 times that of morphine.
The suspension is similar to a temporary restraining order, said Brett Hart, who is with the State Health Services department. McMain is restricted from practicing or taking care of patients, but can still drive the ambulance and direct personnel on emergency scenes. The suspension does not remove McMain as director of the ambulance corps.
The Department of State Health Services can only file charges for violations of the Texas Administrative Code, and none have been filed at this time, Hart reported. Repercussions for violating the EMS rules range from probation at the least, to, at the worst, license revocation.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and Texas Department of Public Safety will be handling any possible criminal investigation, Hart said.