Coroner says Dougherty County is not prepared for mass casualty - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Coroner says Dougherty County is not prepared for mass casualty event

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     Dougherty County's coroner says Albany is not prepared for a mass casualty disaster anywhere close to the scale of what happened last week in Orlando.

He says we don't even have enough morgue space to handle normal deaths some days.
Coroner Michael Fowler said if a mass casualty event like a plane crash or a terror attack happened today, Albany does not have a proper facility to take the bodies.

According to Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler, the only current morgue space in Albany is in the two Phoebe Putney hospitals.  And there is space for fewer than a dozen bodies total.  
Fowler said "We began using Phoebe Putney Hospital for a long time.  Many times the morgues be filled.  We don't have a place to put our own deceased ones in."

Fowler says the morgues are already experiencing space issues on normal days.
Fowler said "Death comes in waves.  Sometimes we have 5 or 6 deaths in one week, sometimes in one day.  Then if the morgue already have bodies in it, we don't have nowhere to put the bodies."

Fowler is working with Dougherty County Administrator Richard Crowdis on plans for setting up an independent county morgue facility. $414,000 is set aside in SPLOST 7 funding for the building.
Fowler said "We are looking to see what other morgues cost. What size we want to get.  So Mr. Richard Crowdis and I are getting together trying to decide what size we want to get and what we need to do."

Crowdis say Phoebe Putney Hospital officials are also involved in the planning.  There is no timetable for the morgue to be built....just hopes that we don't need it.

Fowler says the morgues are also off limits to visitors, and families have to be shown pictures to identify their loved ones.  The Coroner says the new facility would need a viewing room for families.
 

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