WASHINGTON -- Need a job? Arlington County has an opening, but you may not want it. The Washington Business Journal's Michael Neibauer recently noticed a category for "Dumping Bodies" on a section of the county's website that features solicitations.
CORRECTION: The Washington Business Journal corrected its original report noting that "Dump Bodies" refers to "dump trucks," not corpse removal. See more here about the confusion.
Understandably perturbed, he called county Arlington spokeswoman Diana Sun, who told him the "Dump Bodies" category falls under disaster recovery. "It is literally to do with helping handling corpses," she said.
The notion that Arlington County has thought ahead to hire a contractor to handle corpses, just in case, may make the average person (or reporter) curl up in a ball of sadness. We remember American Flight 77, which terrorists plowed into the Pentagon on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, killing 184. Arlington has seen this before.
"Dump Bodies" is no euphemism. Perhaps Arlington could have come up with a less gruesome name, but then, the one they have is absolutely clear to the people who would do the work.
Let’s just hope they never need to be called.
Also in the realm of emergency preparedness or lack thereof, in September, HuffPost reported on the absence of a single entity in charge of coordinating an emergency evacuation of the nation's capital during a crisis.
For the record, Arlington County has information on its evacuation procedures here.
The D.C. government did, however, recently stage a full-scale simulation of a Category 2 hurricane taking a direct hit on the city. One of the scenarios practiced during the drill was the flooding of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Southeast, which included a mock portable morgue with the capacity to hold 48 bodies. Fortunately, the chance of such an event is highly unlikely.