WHITMIRE — Whitmire Councilman Michael Thomas is taking on a new role after accepting the position of Deputy Coroner, alongside Newberry County Coroner Laura Kneece.
Born and raised in Whitmire, Thomas is a 2000 graduate of Whitmire High School and first got involved with emergency services through his father, who started a fire service in the early 1980s.
“Being around with him kind of persuaded me into being in emergency services and when I was 15 years old, I joined the Whitmire Rescue Squad as a Junior Member. I’ve been with the Rescue Squad for a little over 20 years and the Whitmire Fire Department for 17 years,” said Thomas. “Mostly my life has been around fire and rescue. Just working with fire and rescue and working with coroners in the past, over say 20 years, it was all about helping the community and making sure everyone was taken care of.”
For Thomas, involvement in emergency services means helping and serving people, something that he said plays a big role in why he chose this career.
As of right now, Thomas is waiting to hear from Rep. Rick Martin as to whether his new position will effect his council seat.
In his new position, Thomas will be assisting Kneece and Chief Deputy Coroner Kevin Worley in their day-to-day duties.
“Comparing jobs, we’ll still be working as a team and helping the community. The coroner’s office will probably broaden the spectrum. Fire and rescue is more or less helping a lot of the people around Whitmire and the coroner’s office is countywide. I want to be able to help the citizens of Newberry County more,” said Thomas.
Thomas has already began dipping his toes into his new position, learning the processes, paperwork and how the office is supposed to be ran. Thomas’ transition into his new role as Deputy Coroner has been nothing but smooth.
“It’s been about the same. It’s a little more detailed on the reporting side, but with the Fire Department and Rescue Squad each department has their own style of reports they have to do and it’s just adding a different report,” said Thomas.
We’ve all heard the saying “Like father, like son” and just like Thomas being influenced by his own father, his own son is expressing that same interest.
Thomas is looking forward to the future and working along with Kneece and Worley, saying that together he thinks the three of them will work well together as a team.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.