As a longtime pastor, Rob Ryg is no stranger to being awakened at odd hours of the night.
But that could happen with a little more frequency as Ryg takes on a new role as the Routt County coroner.
Routt County commissioners will swear Ryg into office today. Last summer, Doug Allen vacated the position, which is up for election every four years. Dwight Murphy served as the interim coroner but resigned the post in December after being chosen to help train police officers in Iraq.
Ryg has been with the Coroner's Office since 1997, helping with homicides, suicides, car accidents and plane crashes.
County Commissioner Dan Ellison said Ryg was chosen because of his experience and the continuity he would give to the office.
"I felt we had some really good folks applying ... so it was a difficult decision to go through," Ellison said.
Parts of the coroner's role fit in with Ryg's other job as pastor of Euzoa Bible Church. So do the late night calls that are expected with the job.
"That is part of the deal," Ryg said. "It fits with the pastor thing. I'm on call for all hours of the day."
Ryg said he got involved with the Coroner's Office after assisting a man in his church who owned a funeral home. From there, he got to know the Coroner's Office and then became a deputy coroner.
While being a coroner blends nicely with his other line of work, Ryg said he also enjoys the investigative part.
The county coroner investigates all unattended deaths and determines when and how they happen. Part of the job also is deciding if an autopsy is required. Autopsies take place in Jefferson County.
Ryg's move into the coroner's position will leave a vacant spot for a fourth deputy coroner, which the county will look to fill, Ryg said.
Ryg has been appointed to serve in the position until the 2004 general election, when voters will decide whom to name coroner. Ryg has not decided if he will run for the 2004 election.
To qualify for the position of coroner, which pays $25,000, a candidate must be a registered voter who has lived in the county for the past year.
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