Aftermath Visits Indiana State Coroner’s Association Conference

Seal of State of Indiana

Last month, Aftermath traveled to downtown Indianapolis to attend a yearly event; the company is a regular exhibitor at the annual Dr. Avolt Training Conference at the Sheraton Hotel at Keystone Crossing, in Indianapolis, IN. Hosted by the Indiana State Coroner’s Association, attendees included over 400 coroners, deputy coroners, EMS personnel, nurses, and funeral directors from all around the Midwest state.

Ben Dirks, Aftermath’s Funeral Home Relations and Fire/EMT Specialist, manned the Aftermath booth during the three-day event. “We have been attending this conference for 14 years,” Ben said. “We have a great reputation with the association and the attendees.”

Who Was Dr. Avolt?

According to the Conference brochure and the ISCA, “Doc” or “Dr. Dave” is considered by many to be the Dean of Indiana Coroners. He provided mentorship to many coroners, as well as assistance to both colleagues and the families they served. Among his many achievements, Dr. Avolt was the first Veterinarian to be elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in 1979. He was elected Tippecanoe County Coroner in 1984.

As Coroner, Dr. Avolt was instrumental in raising the professionalism of the office, helping to write the legislation in 1993 that required all Coroners and Deputy Coroners to become trained, state certified and requiring continuing education. He was also a longtime board member and the President of the Coroners Association in 1992, and was the Executive Director of the Coroners Training Board from 1994- 1998.

Because of the professionalism and wisdom he brought to the field, the board unanimously decided to rename the yearly conference in Dr. Avolt’s honor.

Summer in Indianapolis

In addition to seminars and workshops, conference goers had the chance to enjoy the downtown atmosphere and great summer weather. They were also treated to an awards banquet where members socialized and networked. Between speakers, the association hosted bingo games, with the proceeds going to charity.

All of the money raised at conference events went into ISCA’s scholarship fund. The Indiana State Coroners Association awards scholarships to full-time students pursuing a field of forensic science, death investigation or related field. Recipients must be a resident of Indiana and attend an Indiana college or university. Applicants are chosen based upon their GPA and need-based eligibility. Preference will be given to those students related to an active, retired, or deceased member of the ISCA.

At the Aftermath booth, Ben spoke with attendees about biohazard cleaning and hosted a drawing for a 5.11 tactical bag and PPE kit. Aftermath contributed a door prize to the charity raffle. The winners were Mike Ellis, Morgan County Deputy Coroner, and James Hiatt, Delaware County Deputy Coroner. 

Looking Forward

This summer, Aftermath will be making more stops at conferences throughout the Midwest and across the nation. We’re also heating things up online by hosting our annual Why We Serve service grant, which awards members of law enforcement with grants to help support the causes that mean the most to them. Vote for your favorite hero by visiting our website, and be sure to check out our Instagram page for more stories.