Two local funeral directors traveled to New York to help, describe overwhelming situation

Two local funeral directors traveled to New York to help, describe overwhelming situation

BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. — Two funeral directors in the Pittsburgh area traveled to New York City after seeing the desperate situation there created by the coronavirus.

Both Rick Koll and David Miller worked together to drive to the COVID-19 hot spot and they stayed for 10 days.

The pair helped bring bodies back to funeral homes so those people could get a proper burial.

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“We were there for a little while we helped fight the battle, but they are fighting a war,” said Koll.

Koll and Miller spoke with Channel 11’s Amy Marcinkiewicz from a quarantined room in Miller’s Beaver County home.

The two work together at Brandt Funeral Home in Ross Township.

They, like all of us, are watching the unimaginable pictures coming out of New York City -- refrigerated tractor-trailers lined up outside hospitals as makeshift morgues. The city is a coronavirus hot spot, with 160,000 confirmed cases and more than 12,000 dead.

“I think what was overwhelming was the case load put on the funeral directors up there. To be running the type of numbers they were, didn’t have the staff to do it and that’s where we came into play, able to take part of it off their plate," Miller said.

For 10 days, the two helped with bringing bodies back to funeral homes, to ensure the dead could be buried with dignity.

Not wanting any loved one to be left behind, the two worked 12 to 15 hours a day.

“It was something i’d never seen before something I’d never forget it could be a little overwhelming at time and we had each other for support,” Koll said.

Both men had the support of their families to take on this dangerous duty. They are in quarantine for a few more days, are showing no signs of COVID-19 and when asked if they would do it again, both said yes.

Pittsburgh COVIDsitters helping health care workers on the front lines