Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company (OCVFC) member John Guntow Jr. was recently inducted into the Maryland State Firemen’s Association (MSFA) Hall of Fame. A member of the OCVFC since 1975, Guntow led the division as the Assistant Chief and Fire Chief for nearly ten years of his career.
Guntow is currently an active Gold Badge member, which requires 25 or more years of active service, and he most recently served as the OCVFC treasure in 2013. “He dedicated his life to serving the Ocean City, Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset and Maryland citizens and fire, rescue and EMS providers for their safety,” said OCVFC Chief David Cropper. “Despite experiencing recent health issues over the past few years, he has continued to serve with pride for the betterment of our members and communities.”
In addition to his service to the OCVFC, Guntow served the Maryland State Firemen’s Association since 1982 after being appointed by President Smith N. Stathem, Jr. to the Exhibits Committee. Further, in 2006, he was appointed to the Executive Committee where he formally served Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset counties.
“Being inducted into the Maryland State Firemen’s Association is an honor to be bestowed upon any fireman,” said MSFA Vice President David Keller. “Mr. Guntow has given several decades of his life to make the Ocean City community and surrounding communities a better and safer place. He is a leader, a mentor and a true hero and we are proud to present him with this award.”
Representatives from the MSFA, the Ocean City Fire Department and the Guntow family presented Guntow with the award and pin on Wednesday, May 14, at his home is West Ocean City. Despite his battle with cancer, Guntow was alert and smiling as his colleagues, family and friends honored his career and work ethic. “John is an example what being a member of the Fire Department means,” Chief Cropper continued. “He is a loyal friend, a devoted member and a faithful servant of our community and our state.”