The life of a crime scene cleaner might not be glamorous, but it’s well-paid. These folks swoop in after the CSI-type stuff is over, and transform crime scenes back into homes, places of business, and public spaces.
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Crime scene cleaners may, over the course of their careers, assist law enforcement agencies, social service agencies as well as private property owners. The events leading up to the need for crime scene cleaners are distressing, but the work is necessary and often appreciated.
The job requires more than just good cleaning skills. Crime scene cleaners are outfitted in heavy, hot Hazmat suits, complete with special boots that resist chemical burns and heavy-duty respirator systems. All of this is for good reason. Crime scenes may be contaminated with combustible chemicals, poisons such as anthrax, as well as bodily fluids which may or may not carry communicable diseases. There may be visible as well as invisible toxins in the air.
It goes without saying that decomposing bodies or loose body parts must be removed from crime scenes and disposed of. CNN Money quoted Ron Gospodarski, president of Bio-Recovery Corp. in New York City, as saying, “…the medical examiner takes the big pieces, the crime-scene cleaners take the rest.”
Higher education is not job requirement for crime scene cleaners, and many do not have a college diploma. However, crime scene cleaners often must take, as a prerequisite to employment, certification courses in the federal government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s standards and procedures for cleaning crime scenes and dealing with and disposing of hazardous materials.
The hours vary, so having a flexible schedule is a good thing. You may work a few hours one day, then not work again until next week, when you put in three 16-hour days. It really depends upon what is happening in the area.
If you want to earn six figures and can handle the job of cleaning crime scenes, it is best to live in or near a big city. It’s not the most pleasant thing to think about, but the big messes tend to happen in areas that are relatively crowded.
There is another, more human side to the job of crime scene cleaner. Cleaners make life a little bit easier for survivors, who are often traumatized and understandably cannot deal with the necessary cleaning. Crime scene cleaner is a vital service, and a degree of compassion is an element of this job.
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