The California Police Athletic Federation (CPAF) is proud to announce that the 2021 United States Police & Fire Championships (USPFC) are now Presented by Bio-One, Inc.
Operating under the motto, "Help First, Business Second," Bio-One provides high-level decontamination and biohazard cleanup services while offering clients the privacy and compassion needed at difficult times. Bio-One operates in 41 states with over 110 locations and is committed to providing first-class service.
"We are thrilled to add Bio-One as the Presenting Sponsor for the 2021 USPFC because First Responders warrant our support," said California Police Athletic Federation President LC Collins. "Bio-One’s reputation is second to none, and with their partnership, we can offer first responders a health and wellness outlet. We look forward to working with them for years to come."
Founded by San Diego Police Lieutenant Veon "Duke" Nyhus, The United States Police & Fire Championships were first held in San Diego in 1967. Duke recognized the need to promote physical fitness and camaraderie among the Public Safety and First Responder community members.
The USPFC caters to active and retired public safety and first responders who participate in Olympic-style competitions and open to individuals representing firefighters, law enforcement, and officers from corrections, probation, border protection, immigration, and customs across the country. Traditionally athletes compete in 45+ sporting events from biathlon to motocross across 35+ venues in Southern California.
"At Bio-One our support for Law Enforcement and Fire Service Officers is unwavering, and we're thrilled to partner with the California Police Athletic Federation during this memorable event," said Nick-Anthony Zamucen, founder of Bio-One. "We wish each athlete success and look forward to celebrating these everyday heroes."
The 2021 USPFC Presented by Bio-One will take place from June 10th to the 19th in venues across San Diego, California, and strengthen the relationship between First Responders and the community for many years to come!
About the United States Police and Fire Championships
The California Police Athletic Federation (CPAF) is the parent organization of two multi-sport programs designed for peace officers and firefighters. The World Police & Fire Games (WPFG) are open to active and retired law enforcement and fire service personnel throughout the world. The United States Police & Fire Championships (USPFC) are open to active or retired public safety and first responder personnel from an eligible agency within the USA. For more information, please visit www.uspfc.org.
After the police are gone and the yellow tape has been cut, who is responsible for remediating crime scenes? The job is much more than cleaning up blood, tissue, human waste, or toxic drug residue. Bio-One’s technicians are the unseen force that restore normalcy and stability to the families affected.
Historically, crime scene cleanup has usually been done by the victim's family. For many, facing the ghastly scene of such personal trauma was too much to bear and had lasting effects. In addition, scientific advancements in the 20th century have raised concerns over exposure to bloodborne pathogens and chemical residue. The need for trained technicians has given way to Bio-One being one of the nation’s leading crime scene clean up companies.
One of our crime scene cleanup technicians says, “We never know what we’re going to walk in to, so we go in with the mindset that we're there to help and we’ll do whatever it takes to get that family and their home back in order. It’s really the only way you can handle the things we see and touch”.
Our work is done in honorable silence and we keep it as discreet as we can. If there were a suicide or homicide in your neighborhood, it’s true that you would want to know. But, the details are not for everyone and we certainly want to respect the privacy of such delicate matters for the family members.
This job is not for everyone because the work can be both physically and emotionally taxing. On the other hand, it is one of the most rewarding professions one can do.
There truly are jobs that make us lose our faith in humanity but then when the work is complete and the family members cannot thank us enough for helping them….I realize why I personally am in this business and why our employees are so dedicated.
If you ever know anyone who may need our services OR you are interested in helping others please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Luckily, very few people are tasked with the unfortunate responsibility of cleaning up a hoarders home. Because it is an uncommon event, there are very few resources out there. Once the initial call is made, whether it be by a friend, family member, property owner, or the hoarder themselves, one of their first questions to me is always, “I'm not sure where to begin. How does this process work?”
The first thing I request from my clients is complete honesty about the situation. The more honest you are with me about the problem, the more honest I can be with you about the solution. Most of the hoarders I speak with are very embarrassed about their situation and haven't allowed anyone in their home for years. I understand. There isn't much I haven't seen, smelled, touched, and cleaned. But if my crew starts working in piles of clutter and all of a sudden come across an uncapped syringe and we learn the client is diabetic and there are hundreds of them throughout the home, we are now dealing with a serious safety hazard that we should have been made aware of before we started.
During the conversation, the topic of cost always comes up, and understandably so. I try to explain that it is impossible to give an accurate quote over the phone because everyone has a different idea of what is “really bad” and what's “not too bad.” I've been to homes that were described to me as having “a few bags of trash lying around” that literally had piles of garbage up to my waist throughout the entire home, and another that was described as “horrendous,” but turned out to be refreshingly clutter free (to my standards at least!). At Bio-One, although no job is too big or too small, we are typically dealing significant problems that require hours of hard work by dedicated and skilled technicians.
Once we are able to agree on a date and time for me to come over and view the property (my bids are always 100% free), all I'll need is maybe 30 minutes to look around and, with your permission, take some photos. The reason I take photos is so I can review them once I get back to my office. They are never shared with anyone unless I have your permission after the job is done. While speaking with you on location, I'll be able to get a better understanding of what exactly you're looking to accomplish, and I'll be able to better explain what I feel should and shouldn't be done, and what you can expect throughout the process. Once I have seen the property in person and have a better understanding of the task at hand, I can go back to my office, look over the photos to refresh my memory, then figure out all of the details, crunch some numbers, and get you a detailed job proposal and cost estimate in writing.
There are many factors that go into bidding a hoarding clean-up job. What is the size of the home? How many floors does it have, and is there a basement or a garage and/or shed? Just how much clutter is there and how many dumpsters will be needed? Are there bio-hazards such as feces, urine, or blood inside the home? Did the hoarder have any diseases such as MRSA, C-Diff, or HIV? How many of my crew members will I need and how long will it take us to finish the job? Is there water damage or mold? Are there mice, roaches, or any other creatures in the home? All of these questions, and many more, need to be considered when I give an estimate.
I hope this has answered some of your questions about the hoarding clean-up process. I also hope it has alleviated some of your concerns. I hear time and time again from clients that have tried to clean up a property themselves, only to barely scratch the surface, become quickly overwhelmed, and realize that it would literally take them months, if not years, to finish the job. I take great pride in making the process as easy and stress free for my clients, usually finishing the job in less than week, with unbelievable results.
If you have any situation you would like to discuss with me, whether it be about hoarding or any other bio-hazard clean-up situation, please don't hesitate to contact me.
By now, everyone who is familiar with Bio-One knows that we specialize in crime scene cleaning, hoarding remediation, and general bio-hazard removal. And yes, many times when we do clean up blood, vomit, feces, urine, and other body fluids, it is because of a traumatic event or severe hoarding remediation, but there are also many times when we are contacted clean up messes due to medical issues.
Recently, we remediated three homes within two weeks that were contaminated with clostridium difficile, commonly known as C. diff. C. diff is a bacterium that typically causes diarrhea, but in severe cases in can cause life-threatening inflammation of the colon. It most commonly affects older adults in hospitals or in long-term care facilities and typically occurs after the use of antibiotic medications.
Spores from C. diff bacteria are passed in feces and spread by touch to food, surfaces, and objects when people who are infected don't wash their hands thoroughly. These spores can persist in a room for weeks or months, and if you touch a surface contaminated with C. diff spores, you may then unknowingly swallow the bacteria
When a client calls Bio-One about a C. diff contamination, it is usually because the diarrhea had become uncontrollable and they weren't able to make it to the bathroom, causing a mess on the mattress, carpet, bathroom, and in many cases, all of them and more. Knowing the risks of C. diff, that is obviously not a safe environment for an untrained, and unprotected, individual to attempt to clean up themselves.
At Bio-One, we have the top of the line chemicals, tools, and personal protective equipment capable of disinfecting the entire home quickly and effectively. Because C. diff is a bacteria transmitted by touch, many people are under the false impression that a home can be disinfectd simply by wiping hard surfaces with a bleach mixture. That may work for some surfaces, but we use high quality chemicals specifically designed to kill these bacteria, as well a chemical fogging machine that creates a dense smoke of potent chemicals to kill all of the hard to reach bio-hazards inside your home. This method is incredibly effective and usually allows our clients to return to their home that very same day.
If you have a question about C. diff or any other bio-hazards, please do not hesitate to contact us.
When people find out I own a Bio-One and that we specialize in crime and trauma scene cleaning, one question I get asked often is, “How do you find employees that want to do this?” The truth is, they usually come to me. As surprising as it sounds, many people are fascinated by this industry and want to be a part of it. I get phone calls and e-mails on a regular basis from people asking if we are hiring. That doesn't always mean that they're cut out for it, and I'm obviously not hiring all the time, but I appreciate the interest and always forward them an application to fill out and return so I can look it over once I do open up another hiring process.
The last time I put a help wanted ad on-line, I received over 110 applicants within 24 hours. Seriously. I had to take down the ad after one day because I got so many responses. It was extremely overwhelming having to sort through all of those applications and resumes, but eventually I found the perfect fit for the position.
There are no specific qualifications that will necessarily give you an edge when applying for this job, and no experience is necessary. Experience is helpful but that's understandably hard to come by. Once I think you'd be a good fit for the team, I would provide you with all the training you needed to be able to do the job safely and effectively.
The traits I look for when hiring a crime scene technician are (in no particular order):
Personality – I will not hire someone with a bad attitude or that would be incapable of communicating with a client in a professional manner. Not only will we have to work side by side for extended periods of time, but often times the clients are on the scenes with us, and I will not allow someone with a bad attitude ruin the reputation of my company.
Work Ethic – You must be dependable, punctual, motivated, and have an extraordinary attention to detail. When it comes to the crime scene clean-up business, Bio-One is the best. I am very proud of the work we do, and I insist on the best for our clients.
Physical Fitness – It may not seem like it, but the work can be very physically demanding. Just last week we cleaned up a suicide in an attic converted into a bedroom. It was very hot and there was no air conditioning. Even though we weren't doing anything necessarily physically demanding, when I took my bio-hazard suit off it looked like I had jumped in a swimming pool with my clothes on. We also complete many hoarding jobs, so we can be wearing bio-hazard suits for hours at a time while lifting refrigerators, couches, etc. If you are not in decent shape, you won't be able to do it.
Strong Stomach – This should be an obvious one. We work in blood, vomit, feces, urine, and any other body fluid you can think of. We come across spiders, roaches, mice, maggots, and other numerous insects and animals, both alive and skeletalized. It all smells as good as you can imagine. Typically, you either know if you could handle it or not. If you are applying for a job in this industry and you think you can handle it, I would have to think long and hard about hiring you.
Schedule – We are on call 24 ours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. My phone rings regularly in the middle of the night. Sometimes the job can wait until the morning, sometimes it can't. It's whatever the client needs. I understand things happen and all of my employees aren't available 100% of the time, but if you aren't available most of the time, I can't use you.
Pay – Again, this is an on-call business. The work is extremely streaky. Some weeks you will make lots of money, some weeks you will make zero. It's the nature of the business and you have to be prepared for that.
I should clarify that at the time that I am writing this blog, Bio-One is not currently looking to hire anyone. I am writing this in the hopes that I answer some questions for the curious.
Following the suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade this week, we have all been bombarded with suicide warning sign and prevention messages on television, radio, and especially social media. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media outlet, lately we can't seem to scroll for more than a few seconds without seeing someone posting or sharing a message about suicide.
That's wonderful. It truly is. Suicide is a tragic event that shatters countless lives and it needs our attention. At Bio-One we see it first hand on a much too regular basis. But why must it take the suicide of a celebrity to raise these levels of awareness? The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) lists the following statistics on their website (https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/):
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States
Each year 44,965 Americans die by suicide
If you're counting, that's 123 per day
For every suicide, 25 others attempt suicide
These are shocking numbers and they should not be forgotten about until the next celebrity commits suicide, or the suicide of a loved one affects your family. For a list of ways you can help raise awareness, visit the the AFSP website at www.afsp.org. Or if you or a loved one may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.
Germs have been rough this year and continue to hit during spring. Reports on the potential dangers of antibiotic-resistant superbugs mingle with discussions of the effectiveness of vaccinations and various other medical interventions. While germs may be too small to be seen with the naked eye, encountering them can have a major impact on your health, and these microscopic menaces can lie in wait on a wide array of common surfaces. How long can germs live on surfaces? And what can you do to protect yourself and your health?
HOW LONG CAN GERMS LIVE ON SURFACES?
When germs are on the prowl, no place is safe. Buses, commuter trains, rental cars, and private vehicles transport both people and virulent germs. Retail establishments, health clubs, educational institutions, restaurants, hotel rooms, and even cruise ship cabins can shelter germs. In fact, practically anything that you touch can expose you to germs, putting your health at risk. According to the National Health Service, the lifespan of a germ varies depending on the type of germ and the surface that it is on. How long can germs live on surfaces? Below we explore a few common examples.
The common cold is a frequent source of misery. A variety of viruses can trigger it, and like other viruses, cold germs tend to survive for longer periods on hard, nonporous surfaces like desktops and handrails. On suitable indoor surfaces, cold germs can linger for days, but fortunately they rarely remain infectious for more than 24 hours. Cold viruses can also thrive on the skin, but their survival time there is generally measured in mere minutes or hours.
Viruses that cause influenza can survive in the air as droplets for hours and live on hard surfaces like phones and keyboards for up to 24 hours. Infectious flu viruses clinging to a tissue can last for about 15 minutes, but viruses on the hands tend to fade quickly. Most will be only a minimal threat after five minutes. It may be a small window of time, but influenza germs don’t warn you of their presence and can make you very sick if you’re unlucky enough to encounter them when they’re infectious.
A highly contagious virus that triggers stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea in those unfortunate enough to catch it, a norovirus can spread through small droplets that travel through the air before settling on surfaces like elevator buttons, table tops, and clothing. While they don’t thrive as successfully on porous materials like tissues and fabrics, noroviruses can survive on hard surfaces for days or weeks if the conditions are favorable.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria, the culprits behind dangerous MRSA infections, are unfazed by many of the antibiotics that are effective in combating other staph infections. Like viruses, these germs tend to survive for shorter periods on porous surfaces than they do on nonporous ones, but they’re capable of living for days or weeks on surfaces if the circumstances are right.
PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM GERMS
Everyone has seen it. If you’ve worked in restaurants or other public venues, you may even have wielded it: the dreaded wet, grey rag. Habitually passed over tabletops between customers with a few desultorily swipes, it is an obviously inadequate weapon when it comes to eradicating germs. But what is required to disinfect a surface?
If you want to kill the germs lurking on a surface, you need to choose an appropriate disinfectant. You also have to apply it properly. That means saturating the surface with enough of the germ-fighting chemical to get the job done and ensuring that there’s enough contact time (time when the chemical is on the surface) to allow it to eliminate any germs present. Choosing a low-grade disinfectant or skimping on either saturation or contact time can compromise your germ-fighting efforts, so it’s vital that you choose your products carefully and read and follow their directions.