Author Archives: Communications Manager

OFF-DUTY LIFEGUARD RESPONDS TO BODY BOARDER IN DISTRESS

(September 17, 2014) – After a busy afternoon on the beach, members of the Ocean City Beach Patrol were preparing to call it a day when one Surf Rescue Technician (SRT) noticed a body boarder in distress in the area of 12th Street and the beach. The SRT quickly called for assistance and immediately entered the water, swimming south toward the distressed swimmer.

At approximately 5:45 p.m., multiple off-duty beach patrol employees responded back to the beach to assist in the rescue. In addition, Ocean City Fire Department rescue swimmers and Ocean City police officers responded to the scene, which unfolded near the area of 9th Street and beach.

The swimmer, a 49-year-old male from Rosedale, MD, was treated on scene and transported by Ocean City EMS to Atlantic General Hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased. “Today is a sad day for the entire Ocean City community,” said Director of Emergency Services, Joe Theobald.  “Throughout the day, our SRT’s were educating the public about the rough surf and dangerous rip currents. Our emergency personnel did an extraordinary job and had they not responded as quickly and professionally as they did, today could have been much worse.”

Due to rough surf and strong rip currents, swimming restrictions are currently in place. Beachgoers should check in with the lifeguard on duty every time you come to the beach and are reminded to keep your feet in the sand until a lifeguard is in the stand. After Labor Day, lifeguards are strategically located along the 10 miles of Ocean City beaches with multiple mobile patrols on duty as well. Lifeguard service continues until Sunday, September 21st.

“We urge our beach patrons to take the time to walk to and swim in front of the lifeguard,” Theobald continued. “Our deepest sympathies are with the two families who lost loved ones today.  We will certainly have them in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

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Ocean City Beach Patrol Responds to Water Rescues Within Blocks

(September 17, 2014) – The Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCBP) and public safety partners responded to two unrelated water rescues this afternoon that occurred within blocks of each other, less than 30 minutes apart. The first swimmer in distress call came into Ocean City Communications at approximately 12:34 p.m. in the area of 17th Street and the beach.  Only minutes later, at approximately 12:50 p.m., a second call was received by dispatchers for assistance in the area of 20th Street and the beach.

The first rescue occurred after three swimmers entered the ocean in the area of 20th Street and the beach and became caught in a rip current, which resulted in them drifting toward the area 17th Street.  Upon observing swimmers in distress, Beach Patrol Surf Rescue Technicians (SRT) immediately entered the water and were able to reach all three of the swimmers.

Ocean City police and fire departments, including the OCFD’s rescue swimmers, also respond to assist. Two of the victims required medical attention and were transported to Atlantic General Hospital (AGH) by Ocean City EMS. The first victim, a 19-year-old male, was transported with non-life threatening injuries; however, the second victim, a 52-year-old male victim from Huntingdon, PA, was pronounced deceased at approximately 1:30 p.m. at AGH.

As the first incident was stabilized, SRTs responded to a separate water rescue in the area of 20th Street.  The second incident was also a result of a rip current. The two victims were brought back to shore by lifeguards and did not require medical attention.

In all, five victims were rescued. Due to rough surf and strong rip currents, swimming restrictions are currently in place. Beachgoers should check in with the lifeguard on duty every time you come to the beach and are reminded to keep your feet in the sand until a lifeguard is in the stand. After Labor Day, lifeguards are strategically located along the 10 miles of Ocean City beaches with multiple mobile patrols on duty as well. Please take the time to walk to and swim in front of the lifeguard. Lifeguard service continues until Sunday, September 21st.

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A Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program is scheduled to begin in October 2014; citizens are urged to register now for this free training

(September 5, 2014) – Citizens can make a difference for their families by enrolling in the Community Emergency Response Team course planned to begin in October 2014 at the Ocean City Public Safety Building.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is designed to help citizens help themselves and their families in the event of a catastrophic disaster. Due to the fact that emergency services personnel will not be able to help everyone immediately following a disaster, CERT is a free training course that aims to provide citizens with basic information for preparedness and techniques when dealing with emergencies. Training covers basic skills including CPR/AED, first aid, recognizing natural and manmade hazards in our local communities, disaster preparedness such as emergency plans and disaster supply kits, hazardous material emergencies and basic fire suppression.

The CERT course is being offered by the Ocean City Emergency Services Department. This course is offered as part of Ocean City University. Citizens who complete the general studies program through OC University as well as the Citizens Police Academy, can earn a Ph.D by completing the CERT program.

CERT classes begin Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 6:45 p.m. and will run each Thursday evening for seven weeks, ending on November 20, 2014. (There will also be one class on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 8:30 a.m.) To register or for more information, call Carol Boyles, Ocean City Emergency Services at 410.723.6616 or e-mail her at cboyles@oceancitymd.gov Additional information can also be found at www.oceancitymd.gov. 

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September is National Preparedness Month

(September 15, 2014) – September marks the 11th Annual National Preparedness Month, and The Town of Ocean City is reminding residents, business owners and visitors that it is a perfect time to prepare for emergencies.  National Preparedness Month is designed to educate the public to be ready with an “all hazards approach” to emergencies in their home with families, the community and in business.

National Preparedness month for 2014 focuses on turning awareness into action by encouraging individuals and businesses to create an emergency preparedness plan.  The Town of Ocean City’s Emergency Services Department encourages residents and visitors to be prepared by following these simple steps;

  1. Become knowledgeable about emergency preparedness in your community, town, county and state by identifying sources of information that will be beneficial before, during and after an emergency.
  2. Create a family plan for emergencies that includes an emergency supply kit customized to meet the needs of your family and pets.  The key component of National Preparedness Month is to be prepared for any emergency preparing your family to be self-sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours but realistically 96 hours or greater to be without power, utilities, water service, supermarkets, gas stations and possibly no Police, Fire or Emergency Medical Services response.
  3. Understand that preparedness requires involvement from the public with government to create a whole community approach to disaster preparedness.
  4. Get involved with volunteer organizations that help citizens and the community before, during and after an emergency.

“National Preparedness Month is a great time to make sure you have the needed tools to survive a crisis or major disaster,” said Joseph Theobald, Emergency Services Director for the Town of Ocean City. “By taking a few simple steps – creating a disaster supply kit, making a family disaster plan and staying informed – citizens can help make preparedness a priority in the community.”

Ocean City residents and businesses should prepare to be self-sufficient for at least three days after an emergency. After a major disaster, electricity, gas, water, and telephones may not be working. Transportation routes and businesses may be closed. Services in the Ocean City area may also be impacted as staff may be handling serious incidents during the initial hours of the disaster. It also may take some time for public safety personnel to reach those in need.

The Town of Ocean City Department of Emergency Services offers presentations several times a year on preparedness and is willing to schedule presentations to organizations or groups.  They also offer citizens training in the fall for the Community Emergency Response Team program.  For more information or for helpful preparedness tips, call (410) 723-6646 or visit the Ocean City Emergency Management website www.ocmdemergency.com.

In conjunction with National Preparedness month, the revised Storm Survival Guide is available to the public. Copies are available in Town at City Hall, Public Safety Building, Ocean City Library, 15th Street Fire Headquarters, Roland E. Powell Convention Center, Northside Park and the Chamber of Commerce in west Ocean City. The cost of printing was reimbursed to the Town through the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. The brochure provides valuable information related to preparedness before, during and after a storm and includes the following text from the State:

“Part of your long term preparation for storm events can include mitigation measures to provide permanent protection from storm damages.  Ocean City works in cooperation with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to develop hazard mitigation strategies for the city, and to provide opportunities for property owners to participate in the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).

The HMGP provides grants to State and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major storm disaster declaration.  The purpose is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.

HMGP funds may be used for projects that will reduce or eliminate losses from future disasters, and must provide savings greater than the cost of the project.  All mitigation projects must be cost-effective, technically feasible, and meet Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation requirements in accordance with FEMA Guidance.  In addition, all mitigation activities must adhere to all relevant state and local regulations, and requirements.”

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Sunfest kicks off Ocean City’s ‘Second Season’

Rick Springfield, Eric Paslay, Parmalee and Righteous Brothers in event line-up

(September 8, 2014) – Sunfest, which recently ranked number one on Sunshine ARTIST Magazine’s annual 200 best shows list for 2014 , celebrates its 40th year as it takes over the Inlet Lot and beach Thursday-Sunday, September 18-21. The town kicks off its “second season” with four days of music, food, arts, crafts and just plain fun. Admission to Sunfest is free.

Earning the top spot for “traditional arts and craft shows in the nation,” Sunfest boasts over 180 crafters, along with live music, hayrides on the beach and a wide and delicious offering of food.  Opening day on Thursday, September 18 begins with a parade down the Boardwalk beginning at 9:30 a.m. at 12th St. and the Beach Plaza Hotel and ending at the festival grounds with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m.

Also adding to the excitement is this year’s fireworks and beach laser light shows.  The fireworks will be displayed on opening day, Thursday, September 18, at 10 p.m. in the area of North Division Street.  Guests won’t want to miss the OC Beach Lights shows on Saturday, September 20, when the five-story inflatable sphere lights up the night sky.  The shows, which are approximately 8 minutes in length, feature a visual laser, lighting, special effects, video and audio production with visibility along the Boardwalk.  Also including a firework effect, the shows will take place at 9 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Live entertainment plays throughout the event. All entertainment is free with the exception of evening headline shows.  Headliners start on Thursday night with an evening of classic soul hits with the Righteous Brothers’ Bill Medley. Country music fans will flock to the festival on Friday night, when Eric Paslay and Parmalee take the stage. Finally, the ladies will swoon on Saturday when 80’s heartthrob Rick Springfield performs on the Sunfest stage.

Tickets for all three shows are on sale at the Ocean City Convention Center Box Office on 40th St. Box office hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets will also be available on site during Sunfest, or at www.ticketmaster.com , 800-551-7328.

Parking is restricted at the festival grounds so it is advised visitors take advantage of the Town’s park and ride services. The West Ocean City Park and Ride on Route 50 just west of the bridge provides a convenient location for attendees with free parking and shuttle service to and from the South Transit Center on S. Division Street, just a block from Sunfest. Shuttle service is $3 ride all day.

Special Event express shuttle service is also available at the Convention Center on 40th St., where you can park for free in the south lot and ride the express shuttle directly to Sunfest. Fare is $3 ride all day, as is the normal Coastal Highway bus fare service. Additional park and ride locations are also located at the Public Safety Building on 65th Street, the municipal lot at 100th St. and Northside Park at 125th St. (walk to bus stop on Coastal Highway).

The $3 ride all day pass is valid for use on Coastal Highway, Park n Ride and Express Shuttle buses from 6am to 6am. Exact fare is required. The Boardwalk tram also will be in service during the event with fare of $3 one way. For additional information regarding bus fares for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons, Medicare Card Holders and Children please call Ocean City Transportation at 410-723-1606 or visit the Public Works Transportation webpage at www.oceancitymd.gov

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