Aftermath Inc. Crime Scene Clean Up Supervisor Transitions Career to Help Families during Tragedy – “It’s All About the Handshakes and the Hugs”

February 23, 2014
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Article from Aftermath Inc.

Aftermath Inc. Crime Scene Clean Up Supervisor Transitions Career to Help Families during Tragedy – “It’s All About the Handshakes and the Hugs”

Although we do our best to prepare for the future, the reality remains that life is filled with many unplanned events, both good and bad. Funeral directors, crime scene cleaners and other death care industry professionals have experience helping families and individuals through situations that are often unanticipated and in many instances, times of tragedy.

For Aftermath Crime Scene Cleanup Supervisor John Devries, much of his professional work experience has been centered on one mission: serving families during difficult times.

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Serving Families in the Death Care Industry

Devries was a member of the U.S. Army and served in Desert Storm. After the service, he worked eight years in retail management. Devries realized he truly wanted a career that would allow him to make a difference in others’ lives, so he entered the funeral service industry.

As a pre-arranged funeral counselor, Devries helped families and individuals pre-plan funerals, including writing the obituary, choosing a burial plot and burial method, selecting flower arrangements and choosing a tombstone.

During his time spent in the funeral service industry, John witnessed firsthand the pain families experience after losing a loved one. He had direct contact on a daily basis with families seeking funeral services, both planned and unanticipated. During his time in the funeral industry, John was introduced to Aftermath and became interested in learning more about the crime scene clean up line of work.

During some online investigation, John came across an opening for a Field Technician position and applied. After researching the company and learning more about the position, Devries decided he wanted to make a direct impact by helping families during times of tragedy. He joined the Aftermath in Orion, Michigan in June of 2013.

A Natural Transition

Devries quickly excelled in his role as a Field Technician and was promoted to Field Supervisor. He credits his preparedness, organization and continuous training as contributors to his success. Devries remains prepared for any call, which means having supplies together, training completed and a crew that is ready-to-go at any moment. The job is both physically and mentally demanding, and technicians must be available to get to a job at any given time.

“It could be day, night, holiday, weekends, rain or snow and we will be there helping the family. Nothing else matters, and that is the whole reason I personally got into the business. Helping families is the mentality and culture we strive to at Aftermath.”

Helping Hands

Devries credits his military background in helping to prepare him for several aspects of the job, including the physical demands and being on-call 24/7.

In regards to personality characteristics, Devries highlights compassion and understanding as two of the most important traits for a biohazard cleanup specialist to possess.

“I am a hands-on person, so the job was so appealing to me. The combination of physical labor, as well as being a vital part of families’ first steps toward recovery, made this the ideal career path for me. Every day is challenging and every day is different. In the end, it’s all about the handshakes and the hugs.”

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