Monthly Archives: May 2014

Ocean City Beach Patrol conducts Surf Rescue Academy “Rookie” Training

The Ocean City Beach Patrol starts guarding the 10 miles of Ocean City beaches on Saturday, May 24. Before taking the stands, the rookie personnel will have to complete training during the Ocean City Beach Patrol’s Surf Rescue Academy.

The first training academy begins Sunday, May 18, with the enrollment of 16 new employees. The proceeding academy will begin, Sunday, June 16, however; the Beach Patrol will be conducting the pre-employment physical skill evaluation for this academy on Saturday, June 7.

The Ocean City Beach Patrol is specifically looking for individuals who are available to work through the end of the department’s summer season, which is scheduled to end on Sunday, September 21. Although applicants are not required to have any experience or previous certifications, all rookie Surf Rescue Technicians must successfully complete the Pre-employment physical skill evaluation.

The pre-employment evaluation is a 12 phase process, which lasts approximately six hours, and is concluded with an interview. If offered a position as a Surf Rescue Technician, the employee will complete a 65 hour Surf Rescue Academy, which consists of physical skills training and classroom instruction. Upon completion of the Surf Rescue Academy, and a mandatory drug test, the Surf Rescue Technician (lifeguard) will have all the required training and certification necessary to take a stand on one of Ocean City’s beaches.

For more information, or to register for an opportunity to be a Surf Rescue Technician, visit the Beach Patrol website.

Ocean City Public Safety Departments Work Together to Rescue Three Swimmers

The Ocean City Beach Patrol helps train the Ocean City Fire Department's rescue swimmers. The two departments work together annual to conduct safety training that will help keep the residents and visitors of Ocean City safe.

The Ocean City Beach Patrol helps train the Ocean City Fire Department’s rescue swimmers. The two departments work together annual to conduct safety training that will help keep the residents and visitors of Ocean City safe.

Keep your feet in the sand, until the lifeguard’s in the stand.  On Sunday, May 18, the significance of the popular Ocean City Beach Patrol slogan was demonstrated as three swimmers were rescued from the water by the Town of Ocean City’s public safety personnel.

At approximately 4 p.m., the town’s Communications Division received the call for a water rescue in the area of 20th street and the beach.  Minutes later, members of the Ocean City Fire Department (OCFD) arrived on scene and witnessed three victims in the water.  Two additional people, who were not in distress, were also in the water trying to help the victims.

Two OCFD rescue swimmers immediately entered the water while two remained on shore.  In addition, two members of the Ocean City Beach Patrol, who is not currently on-duty, arrived shortly after and assisted the OCFD rescue swimmers.  “This is an excellent example of how the quick response and team work of our public safety personnel resulted in saving three lives,” commented Ocean City Fire Department Chief Chris Larmore.  “We want to remind our residents and visitors of our Beach Patrol’s message; Keep your feet in the sand, until the lifeguard’s in the stand.”

Two of the victims were treated on the scene and one victim was transported to an area hospital for non-life threating injuries.  The town’s public safety departments remind residents and visitors that the Beach Patrol will be on duty beginning this weekend.  The Ocean City beach is protected by the Surf Rescue Technicians from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. until the third weekend in September.  For more beach safety information, visit:


Former Ocean City Volunteer Fire Chief Inducted into Maryland State Firemen Hall of Fame

IMG_0024Ocean 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.”



Ocean City Kicks Off the Start of the Season with a Busy Springfest

Springfest14(May 6, 2014) – The season has officially begun, as the 24th Annual Springfest brought over 102,000 people to the Inlet Lot.  Accompanied by beautiful weekend weather, Springfest offered four fun-filled days of music, food, arts and crafts for residents and visitors to enjoy.


“We had an extraordinary weekend and I think if you ask any of our vendors or guests they will tell you that Springfest was a success,” said Special Events Director Frank Miller.  “We had over 300 outstanding vendors, great entertainment, sold-out headlining concerts and delicious food.  Not to mention, aside from a cool start on Thursday, Mother Nature didn’t disappoint!”


Springfest, which is ranked in the top five Arts & Crafts shows in the nation by Sunshine Artist magazine, began on Thursday and ended on Sunday.  The festival grounds were bustling with visitors by day and concertgoers by night, as the headlining acts packed the Entertainment Pavilion.   On Thursday and Friday night, The Fabulous Hubcaps and Merle Haggard played to sold-out audiences, while a crowd of over 1,500 turned out to listen to Loverboy with special guests The Reagan Years on Saturday.


Crowds enjoyed additional free entertainment on two stages with performances by several bands including The Patty Reese Band, The Jimmy Charles Band and Rick K & the All-nighters.  “Springfest serves as a reminder to locals and visitors alike that summer is around the corner and there is much more to look forward to in the coming months,” Miller continued.  “It was a picture perfect weekend and an outstanding event for Ocean City. If it is any indication of what is to come this summer, then I think 2014 will be a great year for all.”


The town is gearing up with a summer full of exciting events in Ocean City, including the OC Air Show, Art’s Alive, Sundaes in the Park, Concerts on the Beach and Sunset Park Party Nights.  For more information about Springfest or any future events, please visit or call 410.250.0125.




Ocean City Fire Department Reminds Citizens to Grill Safely

grilling_safety_tipsSpring has sprung and as temperatures begin to rise, there is nothing like outdoor grilling to soak up the sunshine. Before you fire up your grill, the Ocean City Fire Department would like to remind residents and visitors to use a few simple outdoor cooking tips to make sure your backyard cookouts are safe and enjoyable.


“A grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard,” said Ocean City Fire Marshal David Hartley.  “According to the National Fire Protection Association, gas and charcoal grills cause close to 2,900 structure fires, 5,000 outdoor fires, and result in property loss of close to 30,000,000 dollars each year.  Over one third of all outdoor cooking related fires begin on an attached deck or balcony.  It is important to remember to keep grills a safe distance away from any building.” 


The Town of Ocean City does not allow grills or other outdoor cooking equipment to be used within 20’ of multi-family dwellings.  Multi-family dwellings are those buildings that contain three or more dwelling units, which may include townhouse complexes. 


Prior to use, gas grills should be checked to make sure all tank hoses and burners are good working condition, and free of cracks and leaks.  If your grill has a gas leak and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill.  If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using again.  If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. 


While in use, always maintain a safe zone around the grill to prevent children or pets from getting injured.  It is important to never leave your grill unattended and keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.  Charcoal grill users should be sure that coals are completely cool before disposing of in a non-combustible container.  


Lastly, never use outdoor cooking equipment inside, as this creates a significant fire and carbon monoxide hazard.  “These are just a few simple tips you can follow to ensure your backyard gatherings are safe for all to enjoy,” Hartley continued.  If you have any questions about fire safety, please feel free to contact the Ocean City Fire Department, Office of the Fire Marshal, at 410.289.8780 or visit