Cleaning up after a traumatic incident isn’t the easiest of tasks. In fact, crime scene cleanup professionals deal with a lot of emotional distress while on the job. Aside from maintaining calmness and composure, crime scene cleanup requires immense fortitude to handle even the most chaotic of situations.
The role of a suicide cleanup professional can be physically and emotionally taxing. These people stomach the sights of human remains whilst retaining a sense of equilibrium to protect their health and the ones surrounding them. To get a better understanding of how complex this job is, let’s talk about what it’s like to be a professional trauma cleanup specialist.
When are suicide cleanup professionals called?
Crime scene cleanup professionals are summoned to clean up after traumatic incidents like suicides, homicides, and unnatural deaths. They also get called to clean up meth labs and remove tear gas from properties where law enforcement officials are summoned. Sanitising hoarded homes also fall under the job description of a trauma cleanup specialist and makes up a sizable chunk of their work.
Crime scene cleanup experts go by many names: biohazard remediation specialists, trauma restoration technicians, and suicide cleanup professionals are just some examples of what these experts are called. No matter which incident they respond to, these specialists are trained to handle bodily fluids and pathogens with extreme care.
Who are the people that apply as crime scene cleanup professionals?
Most trauma cleanup specialists have previous backgrounds in dealing with stressful situations. Paramedics, ex-military personnel, and law enforcement officers are the ideal candidates for suicide cleanup due to their past experiences of stomaching traumatic incidents.
Having witnessed multiple deaths allowed these people to build their integrity, focus, and compassion which are the three key elements required to succeed as a crime scene cleanup professional.
Certification requirements for these specialists range from being trained in-house by a biohazard cleanup company to obtaining a training certificate from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Given that suicide cleanup professionals respond to incidents involving bodily fluids, their training simulates fake blood and realistic scenarios as part of their preparation.
What are the tools of the trade?
There’s more to cleaning up a traumatic incident than just visually removing bodily fluids. Crime scene cleanup requires thorough disinfecting and sanitising to ensure that no harmful pathogens remain within the affected areas.
Suicide cleanup specialists use a more powerful version of hydrogen peroxide to kill off microorganisms. Other times they use enzyme cleaners to soften brain fragments and scrape them away. In instances where bodily fluids have reached lower levels of structure, the technicians will break out demolition tools to gain access and completely disinfect the area.
Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) is an absolute must at all stages of the suicide cleanup. Respirators, biohazard suits, and multiple sets of gloves limit exposure to both bloodborne and airborne pathogens. Foul odours that emanate from the crime scene are neutralised using HEPA filters, hydroxyl generators, and ozone machines.
The importance of compassion in the crime scene cleanup industry
When a crime scene cleaning company is called upon, it usually means disaster has struck. Family members, hotel and property owners, and neighbours are the first points of contact to a biohazard cleanup company. Despite being under great duress, most suicide cleanup specialists find solace in helping people move forward from such a horrific incident.
For instance, a family member of the victim may offer their deepest gratitude towards a technician for taking responsibility they cannot emotionally bring themselves into. The ability to empathize and take action for it is a rewarding feeling for trauma cleanup professionals which helps keep them sane amidst their chaotic environment.
Resiliency is a major requirement for the job
It’s not uncommon for suicide cleanup technicians to resign from their position due to burnout and accumulative stress. Employment in the crime scene cleaning industry is a revolving door, with some company owners lasting for only 5 to 10 years before reconsidering their position and trauma technicians lasting only 2-3 years on average.
If you envision yourself as a future crime scene cleaning specialist, understand that this position requires resiliency at the highest level. It’s not a job position that you’ll enjoy doing, but rather a line of work that you’ll feel the need to do not just for yourself, but for other people as well.
Most technicians who gave up their work resort to therapy to cope with the traumatic experiences they had while on duty. Not all are capable of disengaging their minds and emotions from work and those that can find it difficult after being exposed to so many horrific incidents.
Being a crime scene cleanup professional is anything but fun. For those who’ve worked in the industry, it’s about rebuilding the lives of other people and offering them compassion when they