You see it in the movies all the time. When someone dies, an individual wearing a light-brown tailcoat and spy hat investigates the crime scene. Paramedics respond and the police arrives, surrounding the victim with police tape and a chalk outline. A few minutes later, a group of people with nerves of steel clean up the bloody mess like it’s just wiping off spilled coffee from the floor. These are the kinds of situations trauma scene restoration specialists routinely face in their otherwize bizzare profession.
It’s a job that’s definitely not suitable for everyone, but for these crime scene cleaners, they bask in the uncertainty of facing either the victim’s fresh pool of blood, or the foul-smelling body that’s slowly decomposing. Crime scene & accident cleanups are the grimmest jobs in cleaning. Before, very few crime scene specialists exist because when a person dies, the task of cleaning up the victim’s body fell solely on the hands of their friends and relatives.
It was only until the early 90’s where people realized that the stomach-wrenching idea of cleaning up a dead body should best be reserved for individuals that can handle the gore. There’s more to it than just mopping up a traumatic death because it requires skill and proper training in order to successfully complete the task.
Here we’ll discuss the nitty-gritty about crime scene cleanups and how these iron-stomached individuals regularly face the horrors that come with their job.
1. They receive more calls from unattended natural deaths than actual crime scenes.
When you think about a crime and trauma scene cleanup, you’d think that most of these trained professionals specialize in cleaning up a dead body as a result of a major crime. The truth is, companies get more calls from establishments, homes, and properties where suicide occurs. They’re not just limited to crime scenes and most of these companies offer their services to remove any biohazard substances that may be present at the scene of the incident.
2. Crime scene cleaning companies have a high turnover rate.
You’d think that crime scene cleaning specialists are pretty much used to the blood, gore, and the violence that they witness when cleaning up a dead body. But the truth is, the physical stress as well as the emotional trauma they receive is sometimes more than enough to leave their job and pursue something else. After all, handling a decomposing body and witnessing the result of a violent act is not a job that most people would imagine doing for a long time.
The psychological toll most crime scene cleaners contribute to the high turnover rate of crime scene cleaning companies, with employers saying that most of the employees only last about 5 to 10 years before they decide to leave their odd profession.
3. Crime scene cleanup techs handle the grief of the victim’s friends and families.
The loss of a loved one is an unbearable feeling for the victim’s friends and family. This is where a crime scene cleanup tech comes in and offers them a shoulder to lean on. A senior cleanup tech has to be prepared with any sort of interaction from their customers whether it be through listening to their stories or letting them vent out their feelings.
The whole team wants to let their customers know that they are here to help. They are going to be part of the healing process and it starts with cleaning the victim’s dead body and consoling them afterwards.
4. Clean-ups take an hour up to 2 days to complete depending on the situation.
Crime scene cleaning is a huge task than most people realize and it can sometimes last from an hour up to 2 days depending on the amount of hazardous substances present on the site. It’s more than just cleaning up a dead body, it’s also about making sure that the site is free of any biohazards to prevent contamination.
That’s why crime scene cleaners are fully covered from head to toe. They are required to keep the site clean by using hospital-grade disinfectant to any areas that have been stained with blood and from where the dead body was discovered. A decomposing body is harder to clean because of the pathogens maggots carry and the bodily fluids that are oozing out as a result of decomposition. Blood cleaning comes with a range of hazards that need to be considered.
5. The costs can balloon up to $10,000
There are many factors that determine the cost of a crime scene cleanup. The number of dead bodies, the amount of biohazards that are present in the site, and the complicated nature of the situation all contribute to how much the customer will be paying for the cleanup. Part of the cost will be covered by the victim’s compensation and insurance, but the rest will be covered by the customers. Usually it costs around $1,000 for the simplest clean-ups and it can balloon up to $10,000 if more manpower is needed to clean the crime scene.
6. Many crime scene cleanup specialists are former law enforcement or military personnel.
Ex-military and former law enforcement individuals are the perfect candidates for such a stressful job like a crime scene cleanup. Many of them decided to join CTS Decon companies after retiring because of their experience dealing with violence and even death firsthand. Their ability to stay focused whilst dealing with a pool of blood of a dead individual is the reason most crime scene cleanup specialists are former paramedics, military soldiers, or law enforcers.
Amidst the grief, the foul odours, the gore, and the distressing nature surrounding their work, crime scene cleaners take a lot of pride into their profession. It offers them a sense of satisfaction knowing that they’re able to relieve the emotions of the affected families and friends who just lost a loved one.
Being able to provide for people during times of darkness is what makes crime scene & accident cleanups a worthwhile profession for these steel-nerved individuals.
David Swan, Consultant at Aftercare – Aftercare are a specialist emergency cleaning service out of Norfolk USA. Taking on the gruesome jobs of blood cleanup, toxic waste and other biohazards.