Ohio Mortuary Operational Response Team (OMORT)

The Ohio Funeral Directors Association Mortuary Response Team (OFDA-MRT) has recently evolved into a much more robust and diverse team now known as the Ohio Mortuary Operational Response Team (OMORT)

OMORT is a Mass Fatality Response Team made up of different professions all with the common goal of responding and assisting local Coroners, Medical Examiners and Emergency Management Agencies in managing the identification and the return of human remains to their loved ones following a Mass Fatality or Post Fatality Incident.

Similar to the national DMORT team, our team can provide a state level resource when a federal response is not warranted or available. Our team is made up of various professions including; forensic Pathologists, forensic Odontologists, forensic Anthropologists, Funeral Directors, x-ray technicians, DNA specialists, fingerprint and photography, data entry, and many others.

The OMORT maintains a cache of mortuary response equipment that is able to support site/recovery operations, temporary morgue operations, ante-mortem data collection, information resources operations and administrative needs.  Upon official request through the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, the team and equipment can be rapidly deployed and arrive on the scene within hours of the request. 

This team has been developed and implemented to respond to a mass fatalities incident using trained personnel from multiple Ohio state, and local agencies, as well as other specialized resources in the event of a transportation, human-made or natural catastrophic incident. The investigative and identification process in a mass fatality situation is a multidisciplinary endeavor requiring multiple forensic and medical specialists to come together rapidly often under adverse conditions.  This approach would bring the Coroner a team with full identification capability, allowing the coroner to maintain his focus on incident investigation and cause of death, while still overseeing the identification process.  This team would ONLY deploy at the request of and under the direction of the local Coroner, Medical Examiner or Emergency management agency, depending on the circumstances. 

The rapid and accurate identification of mass fatality victims is of critical importance to any disaster mitigation operation. Issues of probate cannot be resolved until identification has been confirmed and a death certificate issued by the Coroner.  OMORT was created to serve the needs of Ohio Coroners in their mission to bring dignity and professionalism to caring for the deceased. The OMORT task force duties may include: initial scene response and evaluation, processing the scene, temporary morgue operations including staffing the  various forensic examination areas within the morgue where assistance is needed (e.g., pathologist, anthropologist, odontologist, radiologist, fingerprint specialist, DNA analyst, and others), assisting with Victim Identification Center (VIC) operations, including collecting ante-mortem identification information through family interviews.  The team can also assist with victim identification, disposition of human remains (embalming/casketing), documentation of personal effects, evidence collection and administrative recordkeeping.

If you would like information on joining the team, please contact Pete Minges: peteminges@gmail.com