By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
Incumbent Democrat Alcorn County Coroner Jay Jones, who manages two Corinth funeral homes, is running against independent candidate Ron Strom, who is a certified paramedic.
This is the third time Strom and Jones have faced off against each other in the Alcorn County coroner’s race.
Both candidates touted the experience they bring to the table.
Strom noted that he has worked for the local ambulance service in Corinth for 22 years and has been a flight paramedic with Air Evac for five years.
Meanwhile, Jones, who is seeking his third term as coroner, has worked in the coroner field for 23 years, having served as a deputy coroner prior to being elected.
Strom said he would bring a valuable medical background to the coroner’s office as a certified paramedic. It is important for a coroner to have a medical background since the position deals with determining issues such as cause of death, Strom said. In his job as a paramedic he has dealt with many situations, including disease processes and injuries, he noted.
Jones has a degree in mortuary science and said he knows how the government system works in terms of dealing with the state crime lab and medical examiner’s office. Jones said he is particularly interested in the investigative part of the coroner’s job and helping give families closure.
Jones and Strom both said they have taken many hours of continuing education in their respective fields. For example, Jones said he has taken training in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and Strom said he has taken courses on crime scene preservation.
The sensitive nature of the coroner’s job requires the ability to sympathize with people during very low points in their lives, Strom noted. In his current role as a paramedic, Strom has been on the front lines of many tragic situations and has talked with families during those tough times, he added.
Jones has investigated numerous deaths and has helped people with their grief after the loss of loved ones. Being a good coroner requires experience and dedication, said Jones, adding that he is on call 24/7.
Strom has also been a volunteer firefighter in Farmington for more than 30 years and was part of the first group of first responders in the county, he said. He has also gone to the Gulf Coast to help out during Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina.
Jones is also the manager of Memorial and McPeters funeral homes in Corinth. He grew up around the funeral business since his dad was involved in it. His dad was also a deputy coroner, Jones said.