COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - He is the man most people associate with death, but there is much more to his job. He is Muscogee County Coroner Bill Thrower and as News Leader 9 found out, he doesn't just sit around and wait to pronounce dead bodies.
His never-ending education on death investigations, mixed with the hard work of his office, has actually given him the title of "Coroner of the Year in Georgia".
"I got the award and I got the proclamation and I got to go before the Senate, but without the staff I have, I could not do the job I do," said Thrower. And he has a job that certainly keeps him busy around the clock.
With an average of 7,000 deaths per day in America, a coroner's job is never done and the Muscogee County Coroner is no exception.
He was first elected in 2007 and since then Muscogee County Coroner Bill Thrower has done everything in his power to stay educated and experienced in his field.
"Some people look at it that a coroner maybe only pays attention to the person who has died, which is just the opposite of what actually happens," Bill Thrower told News Leader 9.
Thrower not only officially pronounces people dead, but it is his responsibility to assist in processing crime scenes, sending off lab work, and coordinating the transportation of bodies for autopsies. He said, "Our office, for the people what don't know, is one of the busiest coroner's offices in the state of Georgia."
For an average of three calls per day, each taking a few hours from start to finish, you'd be surprised by how few people help Thrower do his job. "I have myself and two deputies to cover the entire county 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There are some counties that have more deputies than I do that are comparable as far as the workload goes."
He says the best and worst part of his job are actually the same thing, "It's difficult in most cases to notify a family in the case of a death. I think anybody would understand that. But to be able to sit down with a family and discuss all the issues at hand concerning that death, and then knowing you did the job that you did and can explain to them helps bring closure, as a lot of people call it, to that family."
Thrower says many see his job as gory or one they can't imagine doing, and he says the numerous deaths effect him just the way they would anyone else, "You don't become accustomed to it or used to it like most people think. We're just like everybody else, we cry, we have our sad moments, sometimes we fall apart too just like any normal person would."