Harris County gets a portable morgue unit, but do we really want it?

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HOUSTON, TX – Harris County has it’s very own, brand spakin’ new portable morgue unit. It’s intended for use in mass casualty events and extreme situations.

From victim identification through fingerprints and DNA, to digital imaging and dental examination, it also has pathology and anthropology services available.

Jason Wiersema, Ph. D, Disaster Preparedness Coordinator with the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science said, “Some events result in fragmentation, some have burning, some have decomposition. Contamination’s are a big deal, so if you have contaminated remains, this is something that makes handling those remains a lot easier.”

The mobile morgue is federally funded through homeland security and will serve the 13 counties of Southeast Texas.

But why is it so important?

Dr. Kathryn Haden-Pinneri, Assistant Deputy Chief Medical Examiner with the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science said, “I think it is a sign of the times. I think preparedness and readiness for mass fatality events, tragedy, is at the forefront of most people, most government minds right now, and the fact that we were able to obtain this indicates that our area is thinking forward.”

So, we may not like the thought of needing a morgue on wheels, but it’s good to know that should an unthinkable disaster happen, at least we’re ready to deal with it.