Being SMORT about disasters

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 20, 2009

It might not be the best thing to think about, but our state must be prepared for the worst including incidents where there are mass fatalities. No one wants to prepare for any deaths, much less events where there are a large number of deaths, but we have to be ready.

To that end, Chilton Medical Center hosted a training session for the State Mortuary Operations Response Team (SMORT) earlier this month. The group of 50 volunteers include licensed funeral directors, embalmers, coroners and emergency management personnel. Their purpose is to assist local coroners at his or her request during mass fatality events. There are currently three teams in the state.

God forbid if something like this happened here, I’m sure our county coroner would appreciate all the help he could get if we had 20 or 30 people die at one time. The Alabama Department of Public Health and Chilton Medical Center should be commended for taking this proactive preparation.