Utility Systems Operator

Richmond, Virginia
Jan 26, 2023
Feb 01, 2023
Full Time

Duties include, but are not limited to:
  • Operate, overhaul, install, maintain and repair all types of mechanical equipment and complete operational systems using knowledge in a wide range of thermodynamic principles and practices.
  • Use available drawings, schematics, technical orders, service manuals or specifications.
  • Coordinate the safe and efficient operation, routine Preventive Maintenance (PM) and repair of utility systems and their components within the plant.
  • Check the equipment throughout the boiler plant for any mechanical failures, diagnose equipment issues (mechanical, electrical or otherwise) with test equipment and provide repairs and calibrations for equipment - for example chillers and boilers that supply the facility with water and ensure that hospital pathogens are not transferred (i.e.- legionella etc.), domestic water pumps, air compressors and water softeners.
  • Monitor alarms through a computer-based alarm system using the temperature monitoring system, Temp, Trak, which monitors temperature and humidity in surgical suites and procedural rooms as well as refrigerators with critical stock of blood and pharmaceuticals necessary for patient usage, supply of medical gases (air, oxygen and vacuum) to patient care areas, supply of steam to sterilizers to support sterilization of instruments for surgical procedures and air handlers that maintain the air exchanges as well as temperature and humidity appropriately to ensure safety of patients and staff, compliance with applicable regulatory bodies and mitigate risk for the potential of hospital borne diseases (maintain negative pressure etc.).
  • Perform corrective and preventive maintenance necessary for the boiler plant and ensure appropriate documentation of all medical lab and facilities equipment that is under the purview of the facility utility management plan including medical chillers, laboratory medical air systems, fire pumps domestic water booster systems etc.
  • Independently prioritize the criticality of repairs needed based upon its impact to the hospital's operation and criticality to patient care which necessitates a keen understanding of the systems throughout the facility, areas of the facility and the criticality of the procedures done therein after hours and on weekends.
  • Use prudent technical judgement during high stress situations when communicating to management and other clinical or administrative staff.
  • Maintains logs, records and other plant data such as steam production and distribution systems, emergency electrical power systems, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, medical gas and vacuum systems, service/control air systems, energy management systems, and domestic water system.
  • The boiler plant operators are responsible for maintaining lab chillers; medical air vacuum systems; fire pumps; domestic water booster systems; and boilers with reheat systems. These noted responsibilities are not typical for most boiler plant operators and are unique to Richmond.
  • After 4:00pm and on weekends, unsupervised, position is the on-site facility management charge person to direct all calls for emergencies that come in by phone. Responsible to get in touch with supervisors, general foreman, VA police, chief of engineering and AOD on all emergencies. Perform boiler safeties every week on all 3-650hp boilers (twenty-five-thousand-pound steam per hour); document condensate tanks measurements, DA tanks measurements; and monitor medical and lab air systems.
  • The boiler plant supports over 2 million square feet of the medical center campus facility (medical, administrative & interstitial space) and 112-acre campus solely after hours and the facilities equipment that is critical to supporting the mission of the hospital and maintaining systems for direct patient care. Such work requires the ability to start, stop and regulate the utility or utilities for optimum efficiency and troubleshoot, maintain and repair them. Work requires knowledge of user requirements and the locations and functions of all equipment in the system(s) and the repair procedures and specifications.
  • Performs other directly related duties as assigned.

Work Schedule: 8 hour shift that rotates each pay period (1st, 2nd or 3rd)
Position Description Title/PD#: Utility Systems Operator/ PD02787A
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
  • May serve a probationary period
  • Subject to background/suitability investigation
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

EXPERIENCE: A specific length of training and experience is not required, but you must show evidence of training or experience of sufficient scope and quality of your ability to do the work of this position. Evidence which demonstrates you possess the knowledge, skills, and ability to perform the duties of this position must be supported by detailed descriptions of such on your resume. Applicants will be rated in accordance with the OPM Federal Wage System Qualification Standards .

SCREEN-OUT ELEMENT: Your qualifications will first be evaluated against the prescribed screen out element, which usually appears as question 1 in the on-line questionnaire. Those applicants who appear to possess at least the minimal acceptable qualification requirement are considered for further rating; those who do not are rated ineligible and are eliminated. The potential eligible are then rated against the remainder of the Job Elements:
  • Equipment Assembly, Installation, Repair
  • Interpret Instructions, Specifications (other than blueprint reading)
  • Materials
  • Measuring Instruments
  • Technical Practices
  • Use and Maintain Tools and Equipment
  • Without more than normal supervision
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Note: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.

Physical Requirements/Working Conditions:
Strenuous physical effort is required to observe, adjust and maintain equipment. Work requires frequent standing, stooping, walking and climbing. Frequently climbing ladders and working in manholes and higher places is required. Frequently works in awkward or cramped positions while performing maintenance work. Lifts and carry tools, equipment and supplies weighing up to 40 pounds. Assistance is usually available for heavier items. The majority of work is performed indoors; however, the employee will be exposed to extreme temperatures, smoke, dirt, noise, unpleasant odors, toxic fumes, soot, water, fuel, chemicals and all types of weather conditions. Employee is subject to injuries such as cuts, bruises and burns resulting from contact with various elements and equipment throughout the physical plant. Position is required to work irregular shifts of eight (8) hours. (The plant is to be manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.) The environment in the physical plant is noisy and at times very hot. The position will encounter abnormal levels of heat, constant noise, rotating equipment, soot, dirt, grease, chemicals, oils, and fumes in this area. He will be subject to cuts, abrasions, and burns.

For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/ .


There is no educational substitution at this grade level.

Additional information

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

Special Employment Consideration: VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities [i.e., intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities], and/or Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more. Contact the Agency Contact for information on how to apply under this appointment authority via the Selective Placement Coordinator.

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal/VA competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation (a copy of the agency notice, your most recent performance rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location) and be found well-qualified (have a final rating of 85 or more) for this vacancy. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/ .

Placement Policy: The posting of this announcement does not obligate management to fill a vacancy or vacancies by promotion. The position may be filled by reassignment, change to lower grade, transfer, appointment, or reinstatement. Management may use any one or any combination of these methods to fill the position. It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

Financial disclosure not required.

As required by Executive Order 14043 , Federal employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee's duty location or work arrangement (e.g., telework, remote work, etc.), subject to such exceptions as required by law. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required exception from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process.

If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .