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Electricians play a vital role on board our hospital ships!

Volunteer electricians use their domestic and industrial experience on board our hospital ships to make a life-changing difference for people living in poverty, unable to access the surgical care they need. 

The scope of work includes the daily running of electrical systems on board, installation of new equipment, as well as the maintenance and repair of existing equipment, including the fire safety panel, our most important system on board (after the coffee machine)!

Are you looking for a reset, for an opportunity to use your trade skills and personal experience for the greater good? Volunteering on board may be your next big adventure.

Master electrician roles for long term positions may be eligible for family accomodation

Minimum hiring period: 3 months

Requirements: Currently registered and in good physical health.

Main tasks and qualifications required:

Our electrical team maintains and inspects the electrical equipment, distribution and lighting systems in domicile, public and hospital portions of the hospital ships.  Marine electrical experience is preferred but not essential as the electricians work under the experience of the Chief Engineer and Chief Electrician. Successful completion of basic safety training in accordance with STCW A-VI/1-1 through 1-4, is required and can be provided.

Electrical roles on board

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Electrician

Preferred Minimum Commitment: 3 Months

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Electronics Technician

Preferred Minimum Commitment: 3 Months

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Chief Electrician

Preferred Minimum Commitment: 2 Years

FAQ

No, all materials are available on site in a well-equipped workshop. You can assemble your own toolbox from what is supplied.

It is suggested you bring your own overalls and work boots.

The typical day is from 8am to 5pm, with a break at noon of about 1 hour. You will also be rostered for out-of-hours calls. 

The whole ship engineering team starts the day together with a brief update and time of devotions. 

The biggest difference is that you work in the same place you live.  Space is always a a factor on a ship, so everything is in tight quarters.
The hospital ship is a combination of domestic and industry electrical work. As you work in the Engineering department a team under the Chief Electrician, who works under the Chief Engineer, there is a lot of  support. Specialists are not always at hand, but everyone is willing to help each other and pulls together. 

There are also big differences in temperature on the ship because most areas are air-conditioned, but in the engine room or when you go out, it is suddenly very hot.
What is certain is that you stay in shape by climbing all the stairs on board, but at least the journey to work is very short!

You get to work all over the ship –  engine room, hospital, kitchen, deck so there is a lot of variety in the role. 

The ship has a lot of equipment and facilities. These range from generators, air conditioning, water treatment, pumps, vacuum evacuation system, to all the emergency and alarm systems. There are also radio and navigation systems for the ship. The domestic side include range of household appliances such as washing machines, kitchen appliances and lighting.

The industrial side includes an elevator and cranes that need to be maintained.

 

The hospital ship is a combination of domestic and industry electrical work. As you work in the Engineering department a team under the Chief Electrician, who works under the Chief Engineer, there is a lot of  support. Specialists are not always at hand, but everyone is willing to help each other and pulls together.   This may also include work in the hospital itself.  Sometimes the buildings that Mercy Ships operates on land ask for help with power problems. These are usually emergency generators for the dental clinic and sometimes for the HOPE Center. However, another department is responsible for maintenance work under normal circumstances. 

  • All volunteers must be over 18 to join, must be in good health with a BMI <35, and be aware of both the physical demands of living on board and in Africa, as well as any physical demands of the role for which they want to join. For example, our volunteers may be required to sleep in a bunk-bed, sharing a cabin with other volunteers of the same gender.
  • The ship has multiple decks, and crew members could climb about 30 flights of stairs per day.
  • A married person can serve up to three months without their spouse. 

 ABOUT MERCY SHIPS

Mercy Ships is an international humanitarian organisation based on Christian values. Its mission is to improve access to surgical health care in low income nations in sub-Saharan Africa. 

By deploying the world’s two largest non-governmental hospital ships, the Africa Mercy and the Global Mercy, Mercy Ships works with host countries to help them improve their health care systems.

Each year, more than 1,200 volunteers from over 60 nations donate their time and resources to support the Mercy Ships vision.

Mercy Ships surgical specialties include: maxillofacialplastic reconstructiveorthopaedic, ophthalmic, general, and gynecological (obstetric fistula) surgery

Simultaneously, we provide training and mentoring to upskill local health professionals, strengthening the host nation’s health care capacity. 

I love talking to people about finding their fit on board, and I’m here to answer your questions about volunteering.

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