Attending the training were Todd Wagoner, Lafayette Fire Dept/Macon County Sheriffs Office; Larry West and Michael Veach, Macon county Sheriffs Office and Tom Dallas, Tennessee Constable and Lafayette Fire Dept. They are all now certified to deliver and provide this mandatory training to law enforcement, fire/rescue and EMS personnel.
The Sudden Unexplained Child Death Act of 2001 states that all emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and law enforcement officers must receive training on handling cases of sudden, unexpected infant death as part of their basic and continuing training requirements. An annual training session, Prevention through Understanding, is held for training coordinators of law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians, and firefighters. Prevention through Understanding will provide such professionals with the information they need to respond appropriately and respectfully to one of the most professionally and personally challenging situations faced in death scene investigation.
The purpose of the law is to help reduce the incidence of injury and death to infants and children by accurately identifying the cause and manner of death. this is accomplished by requiring that a death investigation be performed in every sudden and unexplained death of a child under the age of 18 which occurs in the State of Tennessee. All such deaths are reported to the county medical examiner who will co-ordinate the investigation. The county medical examiner will contact law enforcement to conduct the death scene investigation according to protocol developed by the state medical examiner’s office.
The law also permits the Tennessee Department of Health to reimburse county governments for autopsies performed in these investigations, provided that the Sudden Unexplained Infant/Child Death Investigation (SUIDI) format is used to complete the investigation, up to a maximum cost per autopsy of $1250.