Mobile Morgue Assists Emergency Crews

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COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - During a disaster, emergency resources pull together.  Now the Colbert County Coroner's office has a mobile mortuary trailer, to help in a time of crisis.  It's the first of its kind in Northwest Alabama.

It’s a piece of equipment, the Colbert County Coroner says he hopes he never has to use.  But Carlton Utley says during his six years as coroner, there have been several scenes, when a mortuary trailer was needed.

“You don`t understand how important a piece of equipment is until you need it and you don`t have it,” said Utley.

During the tornado outbreak in April 2011, Utley responded to Phil Campbell to help.  With limited space, and dozens of victims, Utley says this mobile morgue that holds 12 people at a time, could have helped emergency crews.

“When we were brought in to assist in Franklin County we realized how important this is, because all we had to work with is a garage,” said Utley.

The coroner says this one piece of equipment will free up other emergency resources, a crucial component, during a disaster.

“It will prevent us from having us have extra help from fire, EMS and law enforcement when their resources can be used in helping the living,” said Utley.

The trailer runs off a generator, and can be hauled to counties in need of this service, all over Northwest Alabama.

This trailer comes at no cost to Colbert County residents.  The Cullman Emergency Management Agency passed down this piece of equipment, free of charge.

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