Editor, The Times:
The BC Coroners Service would like to clarify some of the issues which have recently arisen about body transport and coroner services in the North Thompson area.
Coroner services for the North Thompson area have traditionally been provided by coroners based near Kamloops. These coroners rotate to ensure services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for Kamloops and surrounding communities. It is neither feasible nor desirable that one coroner be situated in the North Thompson area given the small number of deaths requiring coroner services and the necessity for that individual to be on call 24/7/365.
With respect to body transport, the BC Coroners Service is a publicly funded agency and, like all other branches of government, is required to provide its services in the most efficient and effective way possible. With this in mind, the Coroners Service earlier this year issued a competitive bid proposal for body transport services in a number of areas of the province, one of which included North Thompson. The winning bidder was required to be able to attend all scenes within the area within 90 minutes, which is the standard requirement for transport services in rural and remote areas.
The company that won the bid, C. Thompson & Sons, has been meeting those guidelines consistently, and its employees have been dealing with deceased persons and their families with the dignity and respect that we expect from all our contractors. We note we have received no complaints about delay or the performance of the contractor in regards to cases in the Barriere-Clearwater area.
We look forward to continuing to provide professional and efficient death investigation services in the North Thompson area.
Regional Coroner Interior Region
BC Coroners Service