CANYON CITY – Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer is the county’s new deputy medical examiner, certified to respond and do certain medical procedures in death investigations.
Grant County District Attorney Jim Carpenter and Dr. Dave Hall, the county’s medical examiner, presented Palmer a certificate and their congratulations on achieving the new role last Friday at the Sheriff’s Office in Canyon City.
Deputy medical examiners are trained to investigate deaths with unexplained circumstances, preserve evidence and collect certain samples that help with such investigations.
To qualify for the post, Palmer took a 40-hour class and also did a dozen hours in an “externship” – a hands-on practical experience with other professionals – in Clackamas County. The deputy medical examiner training is provided through the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office.
In his duties as sheriff, Palmer often responds to unattended deaths, accidents, altercations and other situations where his new skills may come into play. Palmer said his training covered collecting blood samples, procedures to get toxicology and physical exams underway and to assess certain factors that may mean a criminal investigation is needed.
For Hall, the training offers more flexibility for initial response to death reports, as he juggles the demands of a medical practice with the county duties.
As medical examiner, Hall is still the one who determines cause of death and signs the death certificates.