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Mass Fatality And Disaster Response Preparedness Across Medical Examiner And Coroner Offices In The United States

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International: Synergy Volume: 8 Dated: 2024 Pages: 100462
Micaela A. Ascolese; Kelly A. Keyes; Jeri D. Ropero-Miller; Sean E. Wire; Hope M. Smiley-McDonald
Date Published
9 pages

This study assesses mass fatality and disaster response preparedness across medical examiner and coroner offices in the United States.


This paper provides a necessary update on the extent of access to mass fatality and disaster planning trainings and resources by analyzing data from the 2018 Census for Medical Examiner and Coroner Offices (CMEC). With the rise of mass fatalities and disasters, access to mass fatality and disaster planning trainings and resources available to medical examiners and coroners (MECs) in the United States should be reviewed. Results show that a high percentage of respondents have access to mass fatality and disaster planning trainings/resources; however, the access is disproportionate. Respondents in the Midwest and South—and those with smaller populations—have less access to resources, while agencies with larger budgets and more full-time staff have more access to resources. This paper discusses potential contributing factors for these disparities, but the data only begin to elucidate gaps in access to mass fatality and disaster planning trainings/resources for MECs and where further research should be conducted. (Published Abstract Provided)