Workshop Focuses on Disaster Victim ID and Rapid DNA

A workshop on May 19, 2019 at the 2019 ASCLD Symposium in St. Louis, Missouri will focus on Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) Rapid DNA Response Operations.

Historically, DNA was only used as a last resort for the identification of human remains following a mass fatality. However, the use of DNA is becoming increasingly common, especially in cases where fragmentation or decomposition is present. Governments and the public are expecting DNA testing to be conducted quickly and accurately.

Since crime laboratories are often the DNA experts for a state or local government, it is important that forensic laboratories are prepared for a mass fatality DNA response. Rapid DNA is becoming an important tool in disaster victim identification (DVI) operations and the workshop is designed to give laboratory directors and supervisors the opportunity to experience how Rapid DNA instruments are used in identification efforts during a mass fatality response.

The workshop will include short lectures, a tabletop exercise, and the opportunity for participants to proceed through seven interactive workstations focused on Rapid DNA’s role in the Family Assistance Center (FAC), Incident Morgue and Identification operations. After completing the workshop participants will understand:

• How Rapid DNA can be used in DVI operations
• Who the mass fatality response stakeholders are (i.e., DMORT, NTSB, FEMORS, OMORT, MOMORT)
• FAC, Incident Morgue, and Identification operations, specifically focused on the use of DNA, with hands-on experience
• ASCLD’s Rapid DNA Mass Fatality Task Force deliverables including: the Rapid DNA Needs Assessment Checklist, Emergency Management Assistance Compacts (mutual aid agreements among states to share resources during times of need), the Rapid DNA Deployment Checklist, and DNA Operations Process Maps
• How a Rapid DNA mass fatality response can be a cooperative endeavor to support the local jurisdiction impacted by the mass fatality

You can learn more about the workshop and preview the agenda HERE

Register for the workshop HERE

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Digital-Image Management at Mass Gravesites

SKELETONIZED REMAINS that were carefully unearthed from the desert sands of Iraq tell their own story: the bones of an adult, still dressed in a woman’s apparel, lie supine. The skull is perforated by a bullet hole. Tucked in the space between the ribs and the left humerus is a much smaller skeleton, bones in the skull un-fused, and the fully clothed body partially swaddled in a blanket.