Picente: Oneida County Seeking Qualified Assistant Forensic Investigators, Transportation

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. today announced Oneida County’s Regional Medical Examiner Project is moving forward with the beginning of the process to hire Assistant Forensic Investigators who will provide forensic death investigation services within Oneida County on behalf of the Onondaga County Medical Examiner.

Picente noted that the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office, with which Oneida County will contract as part of the regional delivery of services Picente has envisioned, has issued the Request for Applications from qualified individuals. Details about the application and application process can be obtained by contacting Catherine Unger, Director of Operations, at the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office at hlcunge@ongov.net or 315.435.3163.

“We are very hopeful that the responses from Oneida County will allow the duties to be carried out by qualified Oneida County residents,” Picente said. “The work will be done in Oneida County, and we believe that having locally based investigators will allow for better services.  Onondaga County, which currently operates a highly qualified Medical Examiner’s Office, will be working to find the best candidates who can provide the best service to the people of our county.”

Duties of the position include:

  • Receive death notification calls for Oneida County and document all reported deaths in the Medical Examiner database.
  • Provide prompt return calls to agencies or persons reporting the death.
  • Establish medical examiner jurisdiction.
  • Respond to the scene of death in a timely manner.
  • Work at death scenes and other locations to gather relevant information about the circumstances of deaths.
  • Take and file photographs for death investigations.
  • Coordinate with other agencies in the death investigation process
  • Facilitate the disposition of decedents according to predetermined protocols.
  • Promptly complete a death investigation report on all medical examiner jurisdiction cases to allow for accurate and timely completion of death certificates and preliminary autopsy reports.
  • Communicate with families of decedents regarding circumstances of the death and the investigation process.
  • Coordinate scheduling with other area assistant forensic investigators to assure 24-hour coverage.
  • Coordinate with organ and tissue procurement agencies as needed.
  • Testify in court as required

Qualifications include the following professional certifications combined with the required experience:

            NYS Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians (AEMT)

            Registered Nurse

            Nurse Practitioner

            Physician Assistant

            Forensic Nurse

            Death Investigator from another ME/Coroner system

The deadline to submit an application for this position is November 14th.

Transport Services Contract:

Additionally, Oneida County will be issuing a Request For Proposal tomorrow seeking the transportation services. This service will be a contract with the Oneida County Public Health Department. The selected person or company will be a contractor of the County of Oneida and will respond to death scenes and at the direction of the Assistant Forensic Investigator will transport the deceased from the scene to the office of the Medical Examiner in Syracuse for the purpose of forensic investigations whenever needed.

Responsibilities for this contract include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide 24 hour, 7 days per week removal and transport of decedents from any location within Oneida County
  • Provide a sufficient number of vehicles and staff to remove at least two decedents from two different locations at the same time
  • Respond within 45 minutes of notification
  • Provide at least two employees to remove decedents from scenes and emergency rooms and at least one employee to remove decedents from hospital morgues. Vendor employees must be capable of moving heavy decedents up to 250 pounds and/or have the appropriate number of staff and equipment to remove decedents up to 500 pounds. Vendors should not expect any assistance with removal.
  • Vendor employees must dress professionally and appropriately for scene response.

This will be a one year contract, and the scoring criteria and weight are based on four factors:

  1. Experience of Personnel
  2. Demonstration of Understanding
  3. Strength of References
  4. Cost

Additionally, vendors must provide an all-inclusive annual cost for services to transport decedents from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013 as described in this RFP. Historical data of 160 transports/removals in 2010 and 138 in 2011 can be used to estimate costs.

The RFP will be published in the official newspapers on November 1 and will also be available on the Oneida County website. Sealed RFP’s will be received by the Oneida County Health Department until 3:00 p.m. local time on November 30, 2012.