July 01, 2008

A Note Taped to the Steering Wheel

The writer of this New York Times piece on suicides in national parks could have talked to our county coroner.

The coroner could have told him that scenic places anywhere seem to attract people who want to end it all.

Meanwhile, add yet another item to National Park Service employee training:

Rangers are trained in suicide prevention, and park officials are contemplating closing certain areas at night and adding more guardrails. Employees in places like Grand Canyon are taught to keep an eye out for notes taped to steering wheels.

Our county coroner, meanwhile, runs an excavation service -- he installed our septic system, which is when we had our conversation about suicides in scenic places. I always imagine him driving up to the scene of the death in his truck, towing a backhoe on a flatbed trailer, and saying, "Yep, he's dead all right. Where do you want the hole?"

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