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In Lycoming County, No Room in the Morgue

WILLIAMSPORT -- With more deadly drug overdoses happening across our area, the Lycoming County coroner tells Newswatch 16 his morgue is running out of room, and now, he's looking for a bigger space.

Lycoming County Coroner Chuck Kiessling is on call every day of the year. That means when his beeper goes off, his day can go from 0 to 60 fast.

Newswatch 16 came to his office on Pine Street for an interview and wound up tagging along on a call.

Kiessling's office shares a space with the hospital at the morgue inside UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport.

"They have a pretty decent set up for us," Kiessling said. "The problem that we run into is when we have multiple deaths come in and if they have to be held for a length of time, we run out of room."

That's a concern for Kiessling, especially now that he says the opioid epidemic is getting worse, he's seeing more death cases than ever before.

But that's not his only concern.

According to UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport, within the next few years, the hospital is on track to become a certified trauma center. If that happens, the coroner could expect 50 to 100 more cases a year.

"My concern is we are not prepared for that," Kiessling said.

It's why Kiessling is reaching out to the community. He's looking for a bigger space and funds to pay for it.

"I'm a taxpayer and I certainly don't want to waste taxpayer dollars, but I also want to be able to provide services that are desperately needed when bad things happen."

The Lycoming County commissioners tell Newswatch 16 they are working with the coroner's office as well as searching for funding opportunities.

Kiessling asks anyone who may have a space available to call his office directly in Williamsport.

7 comments

  • Cowboy

    Seen a gut asking for pain pills off co-workers years ago. Went around every day. All kinds of excuses. After a few months of this people stopped giving him pain pills.
    He passed away of an overdose later that year.
    You can’t help someone if they don’t want to be helped! He started off with marijuana.

    • Ew

      y’know……….potheads don’t end up overdosing. More to the point is what a callous, vapid, ice-cold, heartless fook you must be to write/type “LOL” about anyone’s untimely death. Addicts are 100% responsible for their choices, but it doesn’t make their passing……………………..LOL-able. You are, indeed, a sick fook and should seek help, asap.

  • Truth hurts I know

    Junkies, the SCUM of the Earth ! I don’t wish overdose death on anyone from Drugs, but the best thing is NEVER try them in the first place !

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