February 21, 2023

Pocatello–The Bannock County Coroner’s Office exists to investigate unattended deaths in the county.  Coroner Torey Danner’s passion, though, is to serve the living.  That passion for service is clearly seen in his efforts to encourage community members to enroll in the the Next of Kin Registry.

Most recently, Danner met with a group of seniors last week at the Bannock County Senior Center to explain the Registry and answer their questions.  The online program itself was new to them, though the Fire Department had assisted several to assemble red folders that include similar information.

Bannock County Coroner Torey Danner speaks to an audience at the Bannock County Senior Center, Wednesday, February 15 (Photo credit: Bannock County Coroner’s Office FB)

The Next of Kin Registry is free to use, though it requires online enrollment and must be updated by the user any time their information changes.  The online enrollment is a hurdle for some people, and Danner has a plan to assist with that.  He intends to bring computers and volunteers to the Senior Center and conduct a sign-up workshop to help people learn how to enroll and update their information.

In an interview last week with the Observer, Danner illustrated the importance of the Registry by telling the story of a case his office investigated in Chubbuck.  A local young lady had passed away, and it took Danner, his staff, and the Chubbuck detectives four days to locate her father–who was himself a resident of Chubbuck.  If her Next of Kin had been listed somewhere, the Coroner’s Office would have been able to notify her father in a timely and sensitive manner.

That situation prompted Danner to research available Next of Kin registry systems. His efforts culminated in a partnership with the international emergency contact database, Next of Kin Registry (NOKR).  The registry has strict access protocols, and will only release information to emergency agencies.  Their protocols are explained here.  This partnership is a new concept for Idaho, but it is widely used in other states.

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