Update: Contra Costa County EMS Chief Arrested For Possessing Narcotics


On Tuesday, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District confirmed an arrest of district employee Richard Stephenson being arrested by Martinez Police on Sunday morning and being charged with alleged violations of being in possession of controlled substances.

The District placed Stephenson on administrative leave as they launched an internal investigation.

“Preliminary investigation indicates this is an isolated incident that did not involve the public or affect our services provided to the public,” said Jeff Carman, Fire Chief, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

Stephenson is a 19-year employee of the District and, until being placed on administrative leave, worked in the Emergency Medical Services Division.

As of Wednesday morning, the District issued an update to the investigation as they were reviewing the matter to ensure public safety.

According to Steve Hill, spokesperson for the District,  he stated their extensive preliminary investigation has found that public safety has not been compromised in any way. Further, he highlighted they have taken immediate steps to ensure safety is not compromised in any way going forward, as a result of this issue.

To date, and out of an abundance of caution, our actions have included:

  • We have removed and inspected all controlled substances located on every operational fire apparatus – engines, trucks, rescue squad vehicles, etc.
  • These inspections revealed no sign of tampering with any of these operational medical stocks
  • While off the apparatus for inspection, we have made arrangements with our emergency transport Alliance sub-contractor to ensure all required medications are available at the scene of each incident to which we respond
  • We are in process, again out of an abundance of caution, of replacing all operational controlled substance stocks on every apparatus
  • While we are confident no compromise of public safety related to these medications has occurred, we have immediately put in place safeguards to ensure no future compromise can occur

To preclude compromise of our, or Martinez Police Department’s ongoing investigations, the District is withholding further comment on the investigations themselves pending their conclusions.