Help wanted: 8 new community coroners needed to fill B.C. vacancies

Community coroners are needed in eight different locations around the province but type of work they do isn't for everyone.

Job posting says autopsies not part of the work, but a legal, medical or investigative background desirable

There are eight openings for community coroner in B.C. (Grant Linton/CBC News)

The B.C. government is looking in all corners of the province for people who can speak for the dead.

Community coroners are needed in eight different locations: Kamloops, Vernon, Vancouver/Lower Mainland, Port Alberni, Nelson/Trail, McBride/Valemount, Prince Rupert and 100 Mile House.

BC Coroners Service spokesperson Barb McLintock says not everyone is cut out for the work.

B.C. Coroners Service spokesperson Barb McLintock. (CBC)

"You do need to be a very sensitive and sympathetic person, and at the same time not let it get to you," said McLintock.

Cranbrook coroner Gerry MacIntyre agrees.

In his 12 year tenure he's had to deal with grisly murders, suicides and the toughest of all — dead children.

"It's very important and I take it very seriously," MacIntyre told CBC News.

MacIntyre takes time off from his full-time veterinarian job to attend his coroner duties, working at a much lower rate of pay.

"I look at it as a community service, but sometimes you wonder why," he said.

Community coroner is not a full-time job and pays $25 per hour on an "as-needed" basis.

According to the job postings a background and education in "legal, medical or investigative fields," is desired. 

"The BC Coroners Service (BCCS) is responsible for determining the circumstances of all sudden, unexpected and unnatural deaths in the province," states the job description.

The overview also makes it clear that successful candidates will "not perform autopsies or other specialized procedures."

The job postings close on Jan. 10, 2016.

With files from Bob Keating


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