Duties of coroner being debated in effort to save money

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Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall

CARLISLE COUNTY, KY-  The white ambulance with gold and maroon decals looks to be in fairly good shape and the speedometer showcases about 45,000 miles.

But coroner Steve Freeman hates the idea of his office's new vehicle.

 

 

"It is not a favor to give me an old vehicle," he said Monday.

Currently the county pays a 3rd party company nearly $1,000 at trip to take bodies to Louisville to be autopsied. Judge Executive Greg Terry re purposed the former rescue squad ambulance.  He estimates having the coroner make those trips will save about $400 for every trip.  

"We really thought we were making a stride forward for this county," he said of giving the coroner his own vehicle and saving tax payer dollars.

But Freeman fired back, "There's only two of us in the county. It really taxes our department."

Freeman says the transition will mean longer hours.  Also, he says the van itself is not appropriate. 

Right now, he says, there is no way of restraining bodies,"I wouldn't want my family member rolling around in the back of any vehicle."

Judge Terry says the equipment to prevent that has been ordered. But, he tells Local 6, that should not have happened in the first place.  The ambulance, he says, is not technically in service.

Freeman does not think it should ever be, "This is my second term as coroner, the coroner before me used Templeton Transport.  I don't see it as being broken."

The issue comes to a head Tuesday morning at the county's Fiscal Court meeting.

Freeman tells Local 6 he also plans to discuss salaries.  He says he and his deputy coroner are still being paid according to a 1972 pay scale.

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