And So Begins My New Life

Join me as I embark on a new life and new career in Funeral Services.

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Location: Southeast, United States

I'm a Funeral Services graduate embarking on a new career. I graduated high school in 1981, served honorably in the United States Navy from 1982-1986, been married since 1986, and have one son. I've relocated to a new state and have begun working in my chosen profession of Funeral Services, and I've never been happier.

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Adventures At The Crematory

Yesterday I picked up the 500+ pound body from the hospital and my boss and I took it to the crematory. We got a call this morning from the operator of the crematory. It seems the Environmental Protection Agency has banned the burning of certain types of body bags, such as the one our 500 pound friend was enclosed in. So me, my boss and the returning employee drove over this morning to remove the body bag. This turned out to be quite an adventure. Our first plan was simply to cut the bag away, leaving only a small amount underneath the body. This was vetoed by the operator, who refused to have any piece of the bag go into the retort. The first thing we did was move the body to the floor of the cooler. We got an airtray, which is basically a giant cookie-sheet shaped wood frame designed to hold a casket while it is being shipped. We rolled the body out of the bag and into the airtray, and then tried to lift one end up onto a rolling cart. We got the foot end up, but when we went to pick up the other end and slide it onto the cart, the tray broke. So we got two airtrays, one large one and one slightly smaller that would fit inside the first airtray. We got the body situated, but then we were wondering how we were going to get the body off the floor and onto a cart without a repeat of the first airtray breakage. We debated trying to move the body out to a stationary hoist, but were concerned whether the straps would fit around the body. While we were examining the hoist, we noticed a small dolly with an elevating platform. We asked the crematory operator if we could use that. His answer was he wasn't sure because he didn't know how much weight it would hold. Well, we tested it for him by getting the body onto the platform, jacking it up and sliding a couple of rolling carts under each end of the airtrays. We were on our way back to the funeral home in almost no time. When I write it out like this, it doesn't sound all that complicated. But in reality, rolling a 500 pound body around, trying to maneuver airtrays so we can roll the body back into it, move everything around to try to get into lifting position, well, believe me, it was a LOT of work, which we spent almost an hour on before we found the small lift we ended up using.


Anonymous coral said...

sounds like a nightmare!

4:28 AM  

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