LA firefighters allegedly being supplied expired medications

Los Angeles City firefighter paramedics contacted FOX 11 with disturbing information regarding some medications they administer to patients during emergencies.

"These actions are putting the lives of our patients in danger, and it's putting our professional license with the state in jeopardy," says one longtime LAFD paramedic who asked us to protect his identity. 

"You have paramedics with narcotics that are expired, other medications that are expired," another paramedic explained.

The first responders provided photos showing vials of the narcotic Midazolam, which clearly showed an expiration date of February 1, 2024. The second photo shows the vial with a sticker and a new expiration date covering the old one. 

Image 1 of 2


"It's frustrating because I might be administering something to someone that expired a long time ago. I don't know its effectiveness. I don't know if they're getting the full dose," says an LAFD paramedic. 

Our sources say they sent emails to management, including Chief Kristin Crowley. They say they outlined their concerns with using expired medications, but they tell FOX 11 that their emails were ignored. 

The frustrated paramedics called Pfiser, the manufacturer of the narcotic Midazolam, to ask if it was ok to use the drug after it had expired. They were told there is zero extension on that narcotic. FOX 11 also contacted the manufacturer. 

Pfizer did not recommend using after expiration because, "The potency beyond the expiration date cannot be assured and we don't have information on the stability or the safety of the product after expiration." 

The LAFD issued the following statement: 

"Occasionally, there may be a shortage of certain medications throughout the country, which can affect the ability of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers to provide the highest level of care possible. Various mitigation strategies are implemented to ensure that the public continues to receive the care they need. One effective mitigation strategy used to address medication shortages is to extend the expiration dates of medications. 

Recently, due to a nationwide shortage of Midazolam, The Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) was granted a six-month extension on the expiration of a portion of its midazolam supply by the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency, with concurrent approval from the LAFD pharmacist and the LAFD Medical Director.

The vials containing the medication with the extended expiration were labeled with stickers, allowing users to quickly identify the lot number, the original expiration date, and the new expiration date. However, the supply shortage that necessitated this extension has since been resolved and new medication was received shortly after the extension had been granted. The LAFD is currently using the new supply of medication to update the midazolam stock carried on LAFD ambulances. Please see the attached copy of LA DHS Ref 701 that includes the various mitigation strategies available to us. This particular strategy falls under Section II.B.2e" 

A paramedic with over 20 years of experience says, "They just make up the rules as they go and think that nothing applies to them because the county does nothing about it. They don't take accountability. The city doesn't take accountability."