Search & Rescue Paramedic , Africa

Employer: International Rescue Committee
Location: Guinea
Closing date: 22 Aug 2017

BACKGROUND: The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is among the world's leading humanitarian relief and development organizations. For 80 years, the IRC has been at the forefront of every major humanitarian initiative to assist people uprooted by war, persecution, or civil conflict. The IRC provides lifesaving support to help people survive and re-build their lives, assisting people from harm to home.

The IRCs Emergency Unit (EU) leads or oversees IRCs global emergency preparedness and response activities. The mission of the EU is to help meet the immediate survival needs and reduce suffering in conflict or disaster affected populations during the acute phase of an emergency. The EU also works in protracted emergencies, where the risk to life may be reduced but the population is still subjected to rights abuses and a lack of basic services.

The IRCs fulltime Emergency Response Team (ERT) is a standing team of specialized professionals ready to deploy to an emergency within 72 hours. The ERT is supplemented by personnel drawn from the IRCs Emergency Internal and External Rosters.

The world is witnessing the largest movement of refugees since World War II. In Europe, the IRC has aided refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos since July 2015. Our emergency teams have provided clean water and sanitation, medical care, information about rights and how to register, and safe transportation. Since October 2015, the IRC has also worked through local partners to aid refugees in Serbia as they attempt journeys further into Europe, providing food, clothing, hygiene items, essential information, and psychological support. Refugees fleeing persecution and violence continue to take dangerous and traumatic journeys to reach safety, including life-threatening journeys across the Mediterranean Sea. Thousands of refugees and migrants continue to perish while crossing the Mediterranean Sea in search of refuge and opportunity in Europe. Since 2014, nearly 1.7 million refugees and migrants, 43 percent of who are women and children, have made this perilous journey in overloaded vessels, entirely unsuited to the task. An additional 13,921 individuals have died in the attempt. The IRC has partnered with MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) to provide lifesaving Search and Rescue (SAR) operations in the Mediterranean Sea. The IRC will be responsible for post-rescue services for all rescued individuals from the point of rescue to disembarkation in Italy. It is anticipated that post-rescue services will be provided for approximately 400 individuals for 2-3 days at sea during rescue operations.

SCOPE OF WORK: The SAR Paramedic will be part of a 3 person medical team comprised of 1 medical doctor (Clinical Lead), 1 paramedic and 1 nurse. Under the supervision of the Clinical Lead and in-conjunction with the clinical team, the SAR Paramedic will be responsible for the provision of quality clinical care for both those rescued at sea and the vessel crew. Deployment length will be 10-12 weeks, and the post holder can expect to spend up to 60% of that time at sea.

RESPONSIBILITIES: In-conjunction with other members of the medical team, the SAR Paramedic will be responsible for ensuring the provision of quality clinical care during rescue and post-rescue operations. Specific responsibilities will include:

Clinical care
Ensure all individuals rescued from the sea are appropriately health screened and triaged, and support the delivery of immediate emergency care.
Support with the stabilisation and medevac referral of patients who are critically unwell.
In-conjunction with other members of the medical team, ensure the health clinic functions 24 hours per day during post rescue operations providing both primary healthcare and emergency healthcare as needed.
Ensure the appropriate handing over of patients requiring on-going care to relevant land based medical teams during disembarkation.
Deliver clinical care in the health clinic, ensuring consultations and treatments are in line with relevant clinical SOPs and international guidelines and best practices.
Ensure patient confidentiality is respected, and that all consultations are conducted in a dignified and appropriate manner.
Participate in pre-rescue medical preparation meetings and post-rescue medical debriefs with the clinical team.

Health information management and reporting
Ensure all patient consultations are documented and patient records completed.

Medical logistics
Ensure regular inventory and consumption tracking of medical drugs and supplies.
Work with the medical logistician (land based) to ensure prompt requesting of medical drugs and supplies.

Infection Prevention and Control
Observe IPC practices whilst delivering clinical care.
In-conjunction with the post-rescue team leader, ensure adherence to IPC protocols during rescue and post-rescue operations.
Ensure the health clinic is regularly cleaned during rescue operations and decontaminated post rescue.
In-conjunction with the crew and medical team, ensure relevant protocols are observed for dead body management.

In-conjunction with the broader post-rescue team, ensure the delivery of relevant health and hygiene promotion activities for both crew and passengers on board.
Must be willing to take on additional roles and responsibilities as required


Relevant educational qualification in paramedical science from a recognised training institution.
Current registration with the recognised professional body of your country of residence eg) Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) UK.
At least 5 years of experience working as a paramedic providing pre-hospital care.
Previous experience of working in a resource limited or remote context.
Current or previous certification in Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) or Pre-Hospital Paediatric Life Support (PHPLS) or Advanced Life Support (ALS) or Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS).
Fluent in English (written and spoken)
Must be a team player with excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work under pressure in a stressful environment, displaying patience, compassion and diplomacy.
Ability to be innovative, flexible, adaptive, and willingness to work out of hours, sometimes throughout the night.
Ability to live in challenging conditions.

Working knowledge of French and/or Arabic.
Experience working in primary healthcare.
Previous humanitarian experience or experience working with migrant populations.
Previous experience working at sea.