Stark seeks re-election
BOWLING GREEN—Current Pike County Coroner Chris Stark has lived in Pike County his entire life, and in his professional life, he has been a first responder, always working for his community.
He started out on an ambulance in 1991 as an EMT, he said. From there he worked at the hospital in Pike County until 2012. After that, Stark worked at the Pike Medical Clinic, off and on for 11 years. He also worked in a pharmacy from 2003 to 2010.
“I always felt that I wanted to give back to my community,” Stark said as the main reason he is running for re-election. “And that meant being there for the families that lost their loved ones,” he added.
At first, he said, he wasn’t sure how he was going to do the job of being there for the families “because I’m just so softhearted.” But you learn how to deal with it. “You cry with them,” he said. “God has done an amazing thing with me,” he said. “I have learned to deal with it and go on.”
Stark, who is running on the Republican ticket, noted that he goes to state mandated corner training once a year for 20 hours. This year, however, because of COVID-19 restrictions, there has not been any training. He did note that they are trying to get the equipment so he can do the training virtually.
During an election year, he explained, there are two training classes—a regular class and one for the newly elected corners across the state.
He noted that he gets his education through the classes and also relies on local physicians for more detailed help.
“I deal with them on a daily basis if I need them,” he said. He also uses the Boone County Medical Examiner’s office for help. “They’re always willing share their wealth of knowledge,” he said.
His big thing is he’s always trying to learn more. “I try to take a something out of everything (I experience on the job),” he said. “If you don’t try, you’re never going to learn.
“I know I’m not perfect. But am what I am and I do the best I can,” he said. Living in rural America you do the best you can with the resources you have, he added.
Pike County may not be blessed with the resources other counties may or may not have, he said, but he could outsource when necessary.
In addition to EMT training, Stark said he’s also had other various emergency medical training over the past 20 years.
He’s also received a lot of experience working in local emergency rooms with physicians and working in clinics.
He been an X-Ray tech and is a self-taught lab tech, he added, whatever the clinic needed he would work at doing.
The job of coroner has been busier than he originally anticipated,” Stark said. “I took it as a challenge, and I try to continue to learn what I need to know in order to give the best service I can to the community.”
Stark said he believes he has the office of coroner working pretty well, although he added that he would like to be a little more efficient.
In addition to the job of coroner, Stark is a full-time school bus driver for the Louisiana School District. He drives the pre-kindergarten children around, and one of them is his grand daughter.
“They are the love of my life,” he said. He noted that most of the children call him either Santa Claus or Pawpaw. One look at his large frame and huge beard, and that makes it completely understandable.
If called out as coroner at 2 a.m. or at 5 a.m., you still have to be at work at the other job. “It’s trying sometimes, but it’s all worked out,” he said. Everyone works with him.
“I’m looking forward to serving another four years in the community that I love,” he said. “All anyone needs to do is call if they have questions,” he said. “I have a good rapport with the working community and law enforcement officials.”