It's not just the blood. It's not just the gore. It's not just the stomach-turning stench. It's also the anthrax, the hazardous bodily fluids and the combustible chemicals used to make illegal drugs that make this job so challenging.
Among the tasks they perform: Cleaning blood off walls and small family trinkets, ripping out stained carpeting, disposing of furniture, dealing with decomposed bodies or the loose remains of murder victims. All this is done, mind you, while wearing a hot and heavy Hazmat suit, complete with double-filter respirators and chemical-spill boots.
It's not all blood-and-guts work, though. Just as often, they may be called in to clear out an illegal drug lab after a government bust or to clean up an anthrax site, as has happened many times after the attacks of Sept. 11.
The upsides to the job? Namely, making life a little better for the survivors of violence, accidents, suicides and other traumas by sparing the survivors the hurt and pain of cleaning up these sort of atrocities.