Conference moderator Wade Miller of Mitigation Services, Inc., welcomed a diverse and enthusiastic crowd before introducing the morning’s featured speaker, National Institute of Decontamination Specialists director Kent Berg, addressing the issues of Crime & Trauma Scene Cleanup: Risks vs. Rewards.
“It’s not the money so much as it is the service you’re providing to people who are having the worst day of their lives. For us, it’s not done until it looks like it did before the event,” Berg said. “We want that family to not have to worry about hiring contractors, bringing in flooring people, bringing in painters, bringing in drywallers. You have to think, are they in an emotional state to do all that? So we try to get it taken care of as quickly as possible, ”
Myriad risks exist in the business, Berg said, such as toxic chemical residues; psychological trauma; bloodborne pathogens; improper PPE and inappropriate training. And then there’s bleach.
“When do disinfectants work? They work when you use them on a pre-cleaned surface. That’s what all the labels say. Disinfectants don’t do well when there’s dirt on the surface, or there’s organic load. You have to remove that first, then treat the surface,” he said.
In the last 10 years, trauma and crime scene remediation has developed from an unrecognized niche to full-blown specialty, with all the standards, rules and regulations that come along with growth. It takes a special type of person to work in the business, Berg said, someone who is able to deal with people under strenuous circumstances, a self-starter who takes the initiative, who gleans emotional satisfaction in helping others during a crisis.
And who has a strong stomach.
The 2007 Environmental Conference wraps up today; the RIA Fall Conference Series continues through Frida. Check back often for more updates from the show.