Posted by on Apr 18, 2012 in Blog, My Job, Ship Stories | 0 comments

Here’s a piece put together by our Marketing Department on Reception, my department. Enjoy!

Jim Twining and Tim Benson

Jim Twining, who works in the Reception Department on the Africa Mercy, is on the phone when an alarm sounds from the opposite end of the reception desk. Instantly, he springs into action, silencing the alarm and sending pages out to the appropriate personnel. The fire panel is the cause of this rush into action. Somewhere on the ship, the temperature spiked to above-normal levels, and the reception personnel are the first alerted to a possible fire onboard. Luckily, this time it was a false alarm, but Reception must always be on alert in case the threat becomes real.

The fire panel - Africa Mercy

Reception’s responsibilities include much more than watching the fire panel. The volunteers who serve in this department monitor an array of computer screens, each with a primary focus. These functions consist of vehicle tracking and the emergency response system, as well as the fire procedures, equipment (including the fire panel), and contacts. They make badges for all crew and 911 emergency responses on the ship. They provide a multitude of forms and information for the crew. They are also responsible for answering incoming phone calls to the ship and processing new crew.

Sara Rucker - Africa Mercy

Sara Rucker handling passports

The list of their responsibilities is long, but they find time to greet everyone with a smile and a helpful attitude. Not only are they the first people you see when boarding the vessel, but they are also seen every day by the crew and visitors. Sara Rucker loves this aspect of her job in Reception. She says, “I get to greet everyone with a smile. It makes their day, and that in itself is very satisfying.”

Jim Twining in Reception

Anna and James

While they make everyone’s day a little happier, they are also quite essential to the flow of information. Most crew members know that if they have a question, they can ask Reception. If Reception does not know the answer, they will direct you to the right resource to find an answer. “This is the essential and central plug-in for anyone on the ship. It is a focal point for help and information,” Jim explains. The Reception Department’s desk is manned at all times. Night or day, receptionists are there to help the crew.

James answering phones

Story by Nicole Pribbernow
Edited by Nancy Predaina
Photos by Jacques-Jean Tiziou