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2018 RIA Forensics Conference
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The RIA Forensic Conference

November 15-16 2018 | Cincinnati Airport Marriott

Download the Fall Technical Conference Advance Program 

This is not your typical conference!

Finally, a conference that is organized to be practical, actionable, and profitable for organizations that resolve situations with higher risk environmental contaminants. Forensic restoration is often misconstrued as crime and trauma scene clean-up; but it is much more. It is the bridge for restoration contractors to understand how to move from common projects such as fire and water to those that are complicated by environmental hazards; regardless of whether those hazards are currently regulated.

This event offers a carefully selected mix of topics and presentations which provides essential overview information and opportunities to build detailed technical skills. Plan to join the event in Cincinnati to learn about potential pandemic organisms that could explode into the international news like Ebola did a few years ago. Sign up to hear an objective view of various decontamination systems for biological contaminants as well as methods for evaluating project success. Participants will “learn through doing” by thinking through preparations for addressing widespread biological contamination.



Registration is now open. The early bird rate deadline is Friday, October 5, 2018.

RIA Member Early Bird
(must register by October 14)

RIA Non-Member Early Bird
(must register by October 14)

RIA Member
RIA Non-Member
RIA Forensic Conference

$499 USD
$599 USD
$599 USD
$699 USD


>> Click here to register <<


  Crime and Trauma Scenes   Terrorism    Unattended Death  

  Suicide   Hoarding   Infectious Disease   Illicit Drug Labs  


 Click on the topics below to learn more.



Schedule at a Glance*

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

1:00 pm - 5:45 pm

Social Event: The Benefect Bullseye Challenge

6:00 pm

Welcome Reception


Thursday, November 15, 2018

7:00 am - 4:30 pm

Registration Open
7:00 am - 8:00 am Continental Breakfast
8:00 am - 8:30 am Introduction & Conference Kick-off
8:30 am - 9:30 am

A Proper Prioritization of Multiple Contaminants on a Forensic Restoration Project Site: Dick Driscoll

Whether they are regulated hazards (such as asbestos, lead-based paint, or silica) or hazards primarily addressed by voluntary industry guidelines; knowing how to prioritize hazards to protect both workers and occupants is a skill that must be mastered to be successful in the forensic restoration world. The speaker will offer an overview of the RIA Forensic Restoration Guidelines and explain the various risk levels. He will then provide examples of how real-world projects often involve multiple hazards that need to be incorporated into the contractor’s project plans so that they can complete the work safely and protect themselves from legal liability.

9:30 am - 10:15 am

Uncovering Evidence During a Trauma Clean Up: Gordy Powell

Whether it is a hoarder home, unattended death scene, crime/trauma cleanup, or drug lab remediation, restoration contractors frequently come across materials that could be related to a crime. Knowing how to handle potential evidence discovered during such work is vital in assisting law enforcement in resolving crimes and protecting the restoration contractor from liabilities.


The speaker will draw on his decades of experience in the forensic restoration world and the close connection with law enforcement to explain appropriate protocols that should be followed when potential evidence is discovered. He will explain in details some of the liability concerns, both for the organization and individual workers if they do not properly recognized and preserve evidence. The presentation will also include practical tips for how individuals should conduct themselves in the presence of law enforcement representatives, especially crime detectives. Finally, the program will illustrate how raising your degree of professionalism in regards to handling items of potential evidence will enhance public safety and the reputation of the restoration firm.

10:15 am - 10:30 am Break
10:30 am - 11:30 am

Hoarders: The Biological, Fire, and Structural Dangers of Hoarding: Derrick Denis is all the rage. There are TV shows dedicated to it, and public awareness of hoarding has never been higher. But, what are the practical issues to consider in a hoarding situation if you are the landlord, the investor or the restorer? What are the overt and covert hazards you need to consider? How do you protect the property, occupant, the neighbors, your crew?


The speaker brings a wealth of experience to the conference to help those in attendance understand a key factor in successfully addressing these types of situations which is the underlying fact that hoarding must be addressed as a mental health issue. He will offer a stunning array of visual examples of projects where hoarding of contents and/or pets has occurred. Using actual case studies, as well as scientific research, Mr. Denis will help the participants become familiar with wide array of hazards of hoarding houses before, during, and after restoration. He will then build on this information to explain how contractors can learn how to identify hazards and then select appropriate strategies to mitigate those physical, biological, chemical, and emotional challenges that go with remediating hoarding properties.

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Tons of Avian Contamination: Addressing an Extreme Case of Bird Infestation with Lessons for Situations Which are More Common than Recognized: Dave Schultz

Restoration companies are called quite frequently when building owners discover animal infestations that have resulted in nesting materials, fecal matter, and other biological residue. Using PPE and chemical disinfectants the majority of such projects are handled with little fanfare. However, the standard approach does not work when the infestation has been ongoing for a century and the biological matter is enough to fill multiple dumpsters.


This presentation is based on a Phoenix Award winning project where the contractor used common sense to sort out the difficult issues. One of the primary challenges that will be discussed was the fact that the work was conducted under a century-old copper dome that was a landmark with both local and national attention for its historic integrity and beauty. Attendees will see that on the inside, the dome was a different, darker place filled with 100 years of dead birds, bats and debris. Words and pictures will be used to show the impact of biological waste and the importance of proper engineering controls; all complicated by the sensitive nature of working within a school.

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm  Lunch
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm 

Fentanyl Decontamination: The Dangers and the Latest Science of What Works For Decontamination: Travis J. Worst

Because of the horrendous toll that fentanyl is taking in conjunction with the opioid epidemic, any restoration contractor involved in drug lab cleanup or crime and scene decontamination needs to be aware of the dangers of occupational exposures that can occur since this drug is so potent that three crystals the size of grains of salt is enough to kill a person. In order to return properties to the loss conditions cleaning and disinfection techniques must be effective in removing all traces of these designer drugs.


The presentation will include an overview of the dangers of fentanyl as well as the extent of fentanyl abuse that is impacting North America. A brief overview of the pharmacology associated with fentanyl is necessary so that restoration contractors can understand why certain cleaning techniques are effective and others are not. Information will also be provided on the current science that explains the likely routes of fentanyl degradation. Most importantly, is the discussion of potential products that can clean surfaces contaminated by fentanyl.

2:30 pm - 2:45 pm  Break
2:45 pm - 3:45 pm 

Evaluating the Usefulness of ATP Meters for Forensic Restoration: Cassidy Kuchenbecker

ATP testing is recommended for post-work quality control for projects that reach risk levels 3 or 4 in the RIA Forensic Restoration Guidelines. Few contractors recognize that ATP is the basic energy molecule in cells. Measuring ATP on a surface as a surrogate to understanding the amount of biological debris on a surface is fast and low-cost with sample results coming in under a minute and costing less than $5.00 per sample. But, this type of testing is fraught with false positives and often misleading results without proper control testing and a thorough understanding of this test method. If you conduct, or want to start testing for ATP as part of a remediation project, you will gain insight on the presented field research data and explanations.


Conference participants will come away from the session understanding:

 · What ATP is and how it is measured,

 · What ATP concentrations are considered normal and abnormal,

 · Why false-positive and false-negative occur,

 · How to conduct in-field control testing, and

 · When to conduct follow-up testing for bacteria.

3:45 pm - 4:30 pm

An Objective Evaluation of the Numerous High-Level Decontamination Systems That Are Available for Biological Hazards: Panel Discussion

Contractors and consultants who have experience with different types of decontamination systems will offer their opinions and share experiences in regards to such processes as:

 · Foam application of EPA registered disinfectant's

 · Fogging for particle reduction and infection control

 · Different versions of hydrogen peroxide application















































































Friday, November 16, 2018

7:00 am - 8:00 am  Continental Breakfast

8:00 am - 10:15 am

Thinking the Unthinkable: Preparing to Respond to a Public Contamination Incident 

In a small group format, participants will be guided through a complicated scenario. Everyone will contribute in a practice project from the initial receipt of information regarding a client’s needs all the way through to the proper set up of the work location, selection of personal protective equipment, and determination of appropriate work practices. This dynamic experience is helpful for both organizations with extensive experience in forensic restoration and those who are just entering the field.


10:15 am - 10:30 am Break 
10:30 am - 11:15 am

Let Me Tell You A Story: Deciding if you want to do forensic work: Chris Yanker

As a second generation company Buffalo Restoration has been performing all sorts of “standard” restoration projects (water loss, fire, mold remediation) for decades. In general, they were excited to add forensic projects and after successes and failures over time they realized that they had to embrace such work and build unique processes and a new level of expertise different from their other projects or avoid forensics restoration all together. Hearing how this firm made the transition to forensic work, and the additional benefits that they realized when they did take on specialty projects that they navigated through with differing results for years, is instructive for any company on the fence regarding crime and trauma scene project, hoarder situations, drug lab cleaning, animal infestations, and the like.


Christopher will share some critical lessons that Buffalo Restoration has learned about the importance of effective client communication and transparency in regards to explaining services; for forensic work and all restoration. He will also explain the way that forensic work enhanced their reputation in the industry and the community.


If you are wondering whether it makes sense for your company to make the jump into forensic restoration, this conference is for you; and listening to a peer who has made a successful transition is especially important.

11:15 am - 12:30 pm

Lessons From Some Of Our Most Interesting Cases

There is wisdom in experience. Although "war stories" are fun to listen to, experienced contractors understand how to draw lessons from those challenging situations to make the completion of future projects more effective and efficient. Join in this forum and take advantage of decades of experience in the forensic restoration industry to sharpen your skills. Bring your questions and get assistance from some of the best minds in the industry.

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm - 2:15 pm

Model Awareness Training Being Utilized to Prepare Building Owners and Contractors to Deal with Multiple Environmental Hazards in New York City: Morris Neapolitano

Many of the challenges posed by hazards that are covered by forensic restoration are magnified in large urban areas. Greater population density, high-rise buildings, and a large percentage of rental properties all can contribute to a more difficult working environment.


As Chairman of the Board for the Environmental Contractors Association of New York City the speaker will publicly rollout the efforts that are underway in New York to respond to New York City regulations designed to improve safety on construction sites. The ECA has responded to these requirements by setting standards in environmental safety training that is unique in the industry. Their experience serves as an example for how industry associations can raise public awareness of environmental hazards related to restoration work, including forensic restoration.

2:15 pm - 2:30 pm Break
2:30 pm - 3:15 pm

The Care and Feeding of Forensic Restoration Clients: Graham Dick

Everyone has heard talks and received training in customer service. Most people are pretty sensitive about the unique requirements of customer service in forensic restoration. With decades of experience dealing with forensic work from cleaning a single room following an accidental death to decontaminating an entire cruise ship after norovirus outbreak, the presenter will discuss the 'forgotten' client and the psychosocial aspects and impacts on functionality. What you need to know about 'mental' PPE.

3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

How to Market Forensic Restoration - Panel Discussion: Michelle Blevins

This session will involve an open discussion of the marketing approaches of several successful restoration companies that include forensic projects in their mix of services. In addition to the information presented by the panelists, some of the "big picture" wisdom of successful marketing in the digital age will be shared by the moderator; an individual who prepares the leading print publication in the restoration industry, delivered to nearly 20,000 contractors every single month.


Some of the specific questions that will be tackled by the moderator and panelists include:

 · Understanding the ethical guidelines to follow when marketing these services.

 · Methods to evaluate your company's market and identify potential new clients in the forensic field.

 · The do's and don'ts of marketing forensic restoration services, especially for online platforms.

 · Applying effective methods of reaching new forensic restoration customers.

 · The most efficient way of creating a marketing plan for your company's forensic restoration services.

4:15 pm - 4:30 pm  Wrap Up 


*Schedule is subject to change


Travel and Hotel

In order to provide great return on investment, the Forensic Conference is being held at the Cincinnati Airport Marriott Hotel. It is a half mile from the airport and a free shuttle is provided which eliminates the need for a rental car. The property is newly renovated and extremely comfortable despite the modest room rates. The food service is excellent and the conference format minimizes the need to "forage for sustenance" away from the event. 


RIA has a room block at the Cincinnati Airport Marriott. You can reserve your room at $139 per night. Please note, the deadline to book at the group rate is October 17, 2018.

Call to make a reservation today: 1 (859) 586-0166



*Official RIA Forensics Conference Social: Benefect Bullseye Challenge*

What: 4 hours of shooting competition with 25 shooting stations (with transportation)

When: November 14th 1:00 - 5:45pm

Where: Impact Shooting Center 

How: $45/participant (option at the end of registration process)




Thank you to our Sponsors


Platinum Sponsor:


Gold Sponsor:


 Silver Sponsors:




Supporting Sponsors: