For the past 4 years, Jimmy Mailhot has been a hovercraft mechanic (Local 10117) for the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). Since 2016, he has been involved in his Local 10117—first as the Vice President and now President.
There are seven members in his team. It is made up of six mechanics and one chief engineer. If certain tasks are assigned on a hovercraft, they must go in teams of two. Tasks must be done on a night schedule and sometimes on weekends since they have service levels to respect based on operational needs. According to a maintenance schedule, they will have to do: routine maintenance, planned and unforeseen work. Finally, Jimmy and his team must ensure that the ACV (what is ACV?) is operational and safe, always for the next day.
There is little or no regularity in this kind of work. This position requires great flexibility and adaptability. According to Jimmy:
“Whether a mechanical breakdown, a setback in operational planning or, in the case of search and rescue, further from the planned return site, Monday’s plans are very different when you look at them the following Sunday!”
A typical scenario is practically impossible. The distance, the time, the weather, the nature of the breakdown, how it was repaired, the day, the resources available and accessible, the location where the incident occurred, safety issues, and regulations are factors that can greatly influence the careers of our CCG hovercraft mechanic members. However, we must remember that their mission and their pride is to restore Air Cushion Vehicle (ACV) in good condition.
It’s important to know that its generally aerial propulsion gives it excellent performance in terms of protecting underwater fauna and flora. A hovercraft is worth an average of $21 million.
Most will play a vital role in preventing floods in eastern Canada. This is why there are experts like Jimmy. They can handle it, which in turn helps preserve Canada’s beauty.
“Addressing a situation that causes delays in operations gives me a lot of pride, a feeling of accomplishment.”
It’s a career that puts you in unusual situations, that challenges you every day to excel, but it also has unpredictable sides that trigger difficult feelings
“The most demanding part is the long periods of time travelling far from my family, but I can still contact them without problem with the means in place today.”
The bottom line is that, hidden within the Canadian Coast Guard are people with expertise you never imagined existed. They are all very important and help keep Canada’s flora and fauna safe. If the flora and fauna is safe, we Canadians are also safe. Thanks to Jimmy and his entire team for these details that help us better understand behind the scenes of the CCG.