Vermont crematories help to process dead from NYC

Published: Apr. 29, 2020 at 3:56 PM EDT
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Funeral directors in New York City can't process the dead fast enough, so now they are getting help from Vermont.

David Penebent is spearheading Operation Hands With a Heart. Penebent runs the funeral services program at SUNY-Canton.

He says the crematories in the New York City area are backed up 6-8 weeks. So, Penebent and a few of his students drive the bodies of people who died from the coronavirus out of the city to Vermont, Pennsylvania and Connecticut for cremation.

Two Vermont crematories are taking part -- but they won't say which ones.

"Vermont is a very business-friendly state and I am very, very pleased with the response I have gotten from crematory operators in Vermont. Very warm, very welcoming and very accommodating during this tragic event that is happening," Penebent said.

Since April 1, Penebent and his students have transported the remains of some 470 people out of New York for cremation.