The LCCO employs Deputy Coroners who respond to locations where deaths have occurred in order to conduct medicolegal death investigations. Deputy Coroners are not law enforcement personnel but do work very closely in conducting investigations with all of the law enforcement agencies in the county. The Deputy Coroner position is classified as "extra help" and they work from home on call. When they receive a call they respond to the location and they get paid for the hours they work on the investigation. These can range from 2-3 hours for a natural and have run up to 6-10 hours on more complicated cases such as homicides and child deaths.
The requirements to be considered for a Deputy Coroner are: 1. HS diploma/GED 2. Minimum 21 years of age 3. Minimum of two (2) years experience in conducting death investigation or providing direct hands-on patient care in an emergency medical setting 4. One (1) year of accredited college/university work in a related field (criminal justice, forensics, anthropology) can be applied towards one year of experience. 5. Successful completion of the Lewis County Coroner Reserve Deputy Coroner Training Program and one year of experience as Reserve Deputy Coroner may be substituted for the required experience.
All applicants must pass a criminal background check and successfully pass a physical examination.
Once hired Deputy Coroners undergo an 80 hour n in-house/field training program. All new Deputy Coroners are on a six-month probation. Once signed off as being competent Deputy Coroners respond on their own to calls. All LCCO employees then undergo annual evaluations. All Deputy Coroners participate in monthly in house training as well as outside conferences and seminars.
It is expected that within 18 months of being hired as a Deputy Coroner the employee will begin the process of becoming certified through the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI).
Current ABMDI Certified: 5
The Coroner and Chief Deputy Coroner are full time staff.
Currently there are 9 Deputy Coroners (2 full time and 7 on-call) and 3 Reserve Deputy Coroners. (non-paid volunteers)
Education is very important in this field and of the 10 current staff members there are:
2 Master's Degrees
3 Bachelor's Degree
1 Earning a Bachelor's Degree
5 Associate's Degrees