Author Archives: Communications Manager

Ocean City Emergency Services Urges Visitors to “Know Your Address”

(September 2, 2014) – Knowing your address might seem like something that should have been learned in elementary school, however; the Town of Ocean City’s Emergency Services Department insists that all too often callers don’t know their location.  The address, which may not seem like a “must know” to visitors, can be critical for first responders during emergency and lifesaving response time.

 

“Most of our visitors disregard the address where they’re staying as soon as they arrive,” said Emergency Services Director Joe Theobald.  “Once they turn off their GPS and park their car, they are officially in vacation mode, which is exactly what we want. Unfortunately, if one of our visitors is in need of medical attention or calls 911 for emergency response, they often times don’t know their location and it can be quite challenging for our personnel to try to determine where they are located rather than immediately sending help their way.”

 

Also, due to the decreased use of landline telephones, Theobald notes that emergency dispatchers are not able to get an exact location for callers.  “Most of our calls come from cell phones, and while they do give GPS locations, it is often inaccurate,” Theobald continued.  “Unless they are calling from a landline, the GPS does not give an exact location and this greatly delays getting our visitors help.”

 

The Emergency Services Department is currently working with the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association to make addresses more visible for visitors, as well as inform customers to know their address when they check-in.  Owners of rental properties are encouraged to display a complete address, including the name of the building, on the back of the front door of their rental.  Lastly, visitors are encouraged to know where they’re staying.

 

“We certainly hope our visitors never need to call us,” Theobald finished.  “But in the worst case, if they need us during their trip to Ocean City, we want to be there for them and we want to be there fast.”

  

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Ocean City Public Safety Personnel Respond to After Hours Rescue

Shortly after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 26, Ocean City Communications received a call for a swimmer in distress in the Inlet. First responders were immediately dispatched to the area, including Ocean City Fire Department (OCFD) rescue swimmers. In addition, several off-duty beach patrol employees were the first to the scene, arriving only minutes after the call.

According to witnesses, an 18-year-old male victim appeared to be stuck in a rip current and was having difficulty getting back to shore. Witnesses stated that at one point the victim was overtaken by a wave, submerged and did not resurface.

Ocean City Beach Patrol Surf Rescue Technicians (SRT) and OCFD rescue swimmers began a search of the area and located the victim approximately 13 minutes after the initial call. The victim was treated on scene by EMS personnel and then transported to Atlantic General Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

As we enter into a very busy weekend, the Ocean City Beach Patrol reminds beachgoers to keep your feet in the sand until a lifeguard is in the stand. Due to the tropical storm activity, which is normal for this time of year, causing larger surf and increased rip current activity, swimming restrictions are likely to be put in effect. In addition, beach patrons should swim in front of a lifeguard and always check with a lifeguard to learn about the current ocean conditions.

Update from Communications Manager, Jessica Waters: (Wednesday, August 27, 2014): Despite an extraordinary effort by our public safety personnel, including our Beach Patrol and Fire Department rescue swimmers, the life saving measures after yesterday’s water rescue were unsuccessful. The victim, 18-year-old Jose Maudiel Hernandez, from Manassass, VA, was pronounce deceased at Atlantic General Hospital last evening.

Our most heartfelt sympathies go out to the family, friends and loved ones of the victim. On behalf of the entire Town of Ocean City, our thoughts and prayers are with them during this very difficult time.

As we enter into a busy Labor Day weekend, the Ocean City Beach Patrol reminds beachgoers to check in with the lifeguard on duty every time you come to the beach. An increase in strong rip currents can be seen on our coast because of tropical storm activity off-shore. Beach patrons are reminded that there are swimming restrictions in effect until further notice. Swimmers are asked to remain knee deep in the water or less. Citizens are also strongly encouraged to only swim when lifeguards are on duty.

Long Term Town of Ocean City Employees Retire from Public Works Department

(charliebuntingAugust 26, 2014) – Charles Bunting and Frank Marshall have retired after almost 70 years of combined employment with the Town of Ocean City.  Marshal, who joined the town full-time in September of 1974, retires as the Construction Supervisor for the Public Works Department.  Also leaving the department, Bunting will be finishing his last day in the maintenance division almost 30 years to the date of his hire on August 27, 1984.

Marshall, who worked for the Town of Pocomoke before coming to Ocean City, was involved in numerous projects during his career with the town, including the Beach Replenishment Program.  In addition to his role in Ocean City, Marshall was an active member of the United States Army, where he served his country for six years.  Bunting, who worked for the maintenance division of public works, helped keep Ocean City clean and maintained for residents and visitors.  During his career, Bunting operated small and heavy equipment including beach tractors and street brooms.  Before his time with public works, Bunting worked for Worcester County and with the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department, where he helped maintain facilities at Northside Park, as well as other park locations in town.

“I’m looking forward to traveling with my family and relaxing and enjoying my life,” Marshall said.  “I am very thankful to the Town of Ocean City, the City Council and my co-workers who continue to work together for the community.”

Bunting also plans to enjoy his family members, further his education, continue his work with the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company, where he is a Gold Bade Member, and travel.  “Basically, I have done it all serving the town’s residents, vacationers and visitors during my 30 year career,” Bunting added.  “I was born and raised in Ocean City and attended kindergarten through 6th grade at the old Ocean City School which is now City Hall. Now that I am retired, I am going to have a chance to enjoy this community even more.”

Recently married, Bunting added that he and his new bride also plan to do some traveling. “I am looking forward to spending some time fishing. In fact, we are leaving town tomorrow for our first trip.”

 

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Ocean City Fire Department Encourages Citizens to Be Heart Smart

kim3Cardiac Arrest is a medical emergency in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating.   Last year, the Ocean City Fire Department responded to more than 50 cardiac arrest calls, contributing to approximately 359,000 incidences of cardiac arrest that were recorded in the United States alone.

“According to the American Heart Association, you can improve a victim’s chances of surviving cardiac arrest with three steps,” commented Ocean City Firefighter Paramedic Kim Tull. “The three steps include immediate recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system (911), Early CPR with an emphasis on chest compressions, and Rapid defibrillation (AED).”

AED’s are portable devices that can check a person’s heart rhythm and if needed, it can send a shock to the person to restore their heart rhythm.  “They are safe, effective and easy to use,” Tull continued.  “The Town of Ocean City has AED’s in specific locations throughout the town to promote early defibrillation in the event of cardiac arrest.”

According to the Ocean City Fire Department, knowing where the closest AED is located can save minutes in an emergency.  The town’s public access AEDs are located at Eagles Landing, the Ocean City Airport, City Hall, the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, and various public buildings including the wastewater plant, the transportation building, the public safety building and Northside Park.

“Becoming familiar with CPR and AED use could save a life,” Tull finished.  For more information, or to learn more about the town’s public AED’s, contact the Ocean City Fire Department’s Training Department at 410.520.5421.

 

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Program Your Radio Station to 99.5 FM – Ocean City’s New Emergency Advisory Radio Station

IMG_5838(August 25, 2014) – Thanks to a hazard mitigation grant from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Town of Ocean City’s Emergency Services Department now has a new FM emergency advisory radio system.  The FEMA sponsored Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides grants to states and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures.

Ocean City’s HMGP grant award to install the new FM Emergency Advisory radio system is $55,000, with a Federal Share of $41,250, and a non-federal share of $13,750.

“We received a very generous grant that will help us better communicate to our residents and visitors during times of emergency,” commented Emergency Services Director Joe Theobald. “We were also very fortunate to receive two licenses from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and had our extraordinarily talented Electronics Services Manager, Robert Dimaio, and staff to build the station from scratch.”

A studio was constructed in the Ocean City Public Safety Building, located at 65th Street, by the emergency services personnel.  “We have an amazingly experienced staff, who custom built the news station to fit our needs,” Theobald continued.  “Thanks to their skill and dedication, we can now have a quality channel to provide Ocean City residents and visitors real time information, including public service announcements, evacuation traffic management, and alerts for weather and emergency alerts.”

Pre-Recorded and live programming will transmit on WPSB 99.5 FM from the 65th Street Radio Tower & WWOP 100.3 FM from the Race Track Road Ocean Pines Radio Tower. In addition, the radio station has the ability to automatically broadcast live dispatching and emergency responders operations.

“It is a very rare and valuable resource,” Theobald finished. “Now we need to make our residents and visitors aware of the tool and have everyone, including our business partners, program their radio’s to the 99.5 FM station. When the roadside alert lights are flashing, the public can tune in and be informed of emergency information.”

Pictured from left to right: MEMA Hazard Mitigation Planners William Carroll and Mark James and Ocean City Electronics Services Manager, Robert Dimaio. 

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