Last week, Aftermath was afforded an opportunity to give a presentation on PPE and Bloodborne Pathogen Safety at the Illinois Division of the International Association for Identification (IDIAI) Conference, held at the NIU campus in Naperville, April 26th-28th.
Jeremy Friedrich, Senior Manager of Funeral Home Relations, and Tina Bao, Senior Vice President, were on hand to offer their expertise on the topic, and over 100 crime scene techs and several members of the local coroner’s office attended the event.
What is the IDIAI?
According to the organization’s website, “The Illinois Division of the International Association for Identification is a not for profit, professional association for forensic scientists, investigators, crime scene investigators, evidence technicians, and others involved in the forensic investigation of crime. Our members come from law enforcement as well as the growing private sector. The IDIAI serves to further the profession of forensic identification and scientific crime detection by promoting research, scientific techniques, and standardization through training and communication.”
The Value of Safety
Aftermath’s presentation focused on the importance of wearing PPE and how to properly put on and remove the gear. Said Tina: “We heard from a few police departments that they don’t have PPE around the station or in patrol cars.” Understandably, funding is usually the issue. To counter this, Aftermath offers PPE kits at cost, so that officers stay protected. The kits have everything you need to protect yourself, plus they are travel convenient, so you can put them in a cruiser. Also, Aftermath sponsors Gear Up Giveaways from time to time, so officers have a chance to win a set.
“It’s not just about their safety, but the safety of their department and families,” Tina explained. “For example, when they don’t wear booties to a crime scene, it’s easy to cross contaminate the area, it can bring bio back to the station (if they forget to wipe down their shoes), and they can bring it home to their families.” Jeremy and Tina also discussed other safety precautions, including vaccinations and exposure control plans. “If they were exposed, they need to follow the exposure plan and get themselves checked immediately,” said Tina.
Sometimes it is All Fun and Games!
After learning more about PPE, the presenters lightened the mood some. The technicians were invited to play a game meant to remind them of all the potential dangers they might face at a crime scene, including the most common pathogens and other bloodborne illnesses. The Aftermath team gave clues and the officers guessed. “The group really knew their stuff!” said Tina. As a prize, those who guessed correctly got a Giant Microbes plushy representing the disease. The Aftermath crew also raffled off a 5.11 tactical bag and a Kindle Fire to thank the technicians for their attention, as well as their commitment to helping crime victims. Jeremy remarks: “It was nice to see how different departments get together and help each other out. The technicians were happy to have an opportunity to better their skills by attending this show, and we are pleased to support their ongoing efforts to provide training and education.”
Our Goal, Your Safety
As a community partner, Aftermath is committed to assisting the professionals in law enforcement and other related fields. As a result, we often provide education and training resources on topics concerning bloodborne pathogen safety. If you are interested in these services or in obtaining one of our PPE kits, contact us toll free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-366-9923 for additional information.