Eric Blach, who also serves as administrator of the Medical Examiner’s Office and Aubrey Rominger, who is also a Bradley County Sheriff’s deputy, are now registry certified by the American Board of Medicolegal Death investigators.
The certification indicates both Blach and Rominger have the specialized knowledge and demonstrated ability to properly conduct death investigations.
Not only are Blach and Rominger in the unique position of being the first registry certified medicolegal death investigators in the history of Bradley County, they are also the only medicolegal death investigators (MDIs) between Knoxville and Nashville.
Achieving MDI status requires a minimum of 640 hours of documented investigative experience and mastering more than 300 skills necessary in death investigations. Reaching these basic benchmarks can take up to four years but is necessary in order for a candidate to be accepted for the MDI test.
The certification test is administered by the National Medicolegal Review Panel with the approval of the U.S. Department of Justice. The test contains 240 questions, divided into eight sections. Each section must be passed individually in order to pass the overall exam.
Bradley County Mayor Gary Davis recently commended Blach and Rominger for their outstanding achievement.
“This certification takes the County Medical Examiner’s Office to the next level of proficiency,” Davis said.
Reaching MDI status was a long and difficult process but both Blach and Rominger said it was worth the effort.
“Our office continually strives to be the very best it can be. I am very proud of the achievements we have made,” Blach said.
“Preparation for this exam was taxing and took a lot of time away from family and friends. The hours of investigation, attending the national training conference in St. Louis, Mo., and the many hours of study make this achievement a great accomplishment for us both,” said Rominger.
Blach has been with the Bradley County Medical Examiner’s Office since 1997. He is also a critical care paramedic with Bradley County Emergency Medical Services, serving since 1991.
Rominger has been with the Medical Examiner’s Office since 2002 as an investigator. Since 2007, she has served as a deputy with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Davis, the MDI certification is another in a number of great strides made in the development of the Medical Examiner’s Office over the past four years, beginning with the establishment of a physical administrative office in the Courthouse Annex. Dr. Jeffrey Miller also came on board as the Bradley County medical examiner and medical director for the Bradley County EMS.
“We try to continuously update our techniques and procedures to make sure we are providing as good a service as possible to the citizens of Bradley County. I appreciate Eric and Aubrey’s hard work,” said Miller.
The next major goal for the Medical Examiner’s Office is a new county morgue.