Unthinkable Secrets Of Crime Scene Cleaners
No one in the world is ever sure what profession they’ll end up doing till retirement. And unless one is raised in a family that works in law enforcement, it’s even less likely they will turn towards being a Crime Scene Cleaner. Initially, it was the duty of immediate friends and family that was tasked with cleaning up after a family’s passing.
Now, though, the State outsources the task to people specially trained in such things. Here are some of their secrets:
1. Crime Scene Clean-ups Aren’t All of It
CSC or “crime scene clean-up” is simply a moniker for their main function. But their work is not limited to taped-off places with ‘No Trespassing’ signs.
Oftentimes, when they aren’t working on CSC, they might make a call to remove a dead family member from someone’s dining room. Or hotel owners might call to remove a deceased guest.
Their jobs may also include dismantling meth labs or purging the scene of any site where tear gas was used.
2. Don’t Be Surprised If They’re Ex-Military or a Former Badge
John Krusenstjerma, founder and operator of Iowa CTS Cleaners, is a former Marine who served two tours in Iraq. He decided to pursue the line of work because time in Iraq left an impression: “Just experiencing things out there left me kind of wondering what happened in these situations back in the United States, who takes care of it.”
Glenn Cox, GM of Southern Bio-recovery has advice for how t3o do the job well: “Being able to compartmentalize in your mind, to stay focused on the task.”
3. Pig Blood for Training?
Qualifications depend on the agency for which you are applying. There are times when those “required qualifications” isn’t even a thing. The places that do offer the training to fill that void don’t teach everything.
But Bio Recovery sends its employees to the New York state HQ for specialized training.
4. Death Scenes Aren’t Limited to Where One Died
Krusenstjerna shares a bad day that no ‘average Joe’ can match: “A bad day is when we get called to a really bad decomposition or unattended death and find out they’ve not only decomposed in a kitchen or bathroom but it’s dripping into the basement We had an apartment building where it went from the third floor to the first floor.”
5. A Unique Array of Supplies
It’s not just run of the mill bleach and stiff-bristle brushes that aid in cleaning up a crime scene. They have to first identify their worksite. “We use an indicator similar to hydrogen peroxide, but it’s a much stronger version.” Explains Cox. “When it comes into contact with the bodily fluids, it foams up and turns a very bright white color. It’s a very strong disinfectant.”
Brain matter with hardening to almost rock-hard consistency, requiring the use of a special enzyme making it soft enough to scrape it from where it is. Demolition tools like weighted hammers, curricular saw and even removing sheetrock should be expected.
6. They Can Kinda (?) Take Care of the Smell
A CSC might need to brace for a long day if the smell of death hits them from the moment they enter through the front door. It should also go without saying all personnel who work in the fired are required to use proper equipment such as a PPE or “personal protective equipment.”
Even the most season of CSC’s don’t get used to the smell. James Michel, CEO of Bio Recovery had this to say about the smell: “I don’t care how good you are. When you twist your head in a certain way and break that respirator seal, then that smell in coming in the mask.”
The way to rid the home of any lingering smells is the use of devices such as HEPA filters, air scrubbers, ozone machines, and hydroxyl generators.
7. They Hate Seeing Cats On-site
As a cat owner, this is one I’m too familiar with. If a cat is not fixed, they will find anywhere possible to mark territory. Because it crystallizes so quickly, it makes the job of a CSC even harder. It might require one or two people to conduct ‘light’ demolition work.
8. Turnover is High but Not Surprising
Michel’s agency only goes to the most terrible of jobs, putting a taxing amount of emotion on employees. He also states that cases involving children cast a dark cloud over the office for weeks afterward.
9. Techs Often Function as Counselors
Cox says that sometimes, a ‘customer’ may want to share an entire story. That’s not to say it isn’t welcome, but being there for those who have lost a loved one, even in the smallest way, is important to them.