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No blue lights for Coroner

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November 13, 2006

Albany - The Dougherty County coroner will not be able to keep blue lights on her work vehicle. Emma Quimbley told county commissioners she needed emergency lights to respond to emergency calls, but state law only allows law enforcement officers to install blue lights on their vehicles.

The commission did decide to apply for a red light permit for the county vehicle Quimbley and her deputy coroner use to travel to and from scenes. The red lights will allow them to drive through stop signs and red lights without stopping and alert passersby when they are on a scene. Quimbley says the quicker she can get to a fatality, the sooner first responders can leave, freeing them up on other emergency calls.

Commissioner Jack Stone says, "EMS has got to stay there until the Coroner gets there, so you might not think it's an emergency, but the quicker the coroner gets there, the quicker the EMS can go and do other business. If somebody's sick or dying down the street, they can go help somebody, so in all reality, she needs to get there as soon as possible."

Quimbley and her deputy coroner must undergo an emergency driving class that teaches how to drive while using the red light, in order to be covered by insurance.

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