Category Archives: Ocean City Fire Department

Think “Safety” While Staying Warm

As the temperatures drop below freezing and snow accumulation increases in the Ocean City area, the Ocean City Fire Department would like to remind citizens and visitors to consider fire safety when utilizing supplemental sources of heat in their homes.  According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), winter residential building fires result in an estimated average of 945 deaths, over 3,820 injuries, and $1.7 billion dollars in property loss each year.

“Usually, fires caused by heating sources occur because the devices weren’t cleaned regularly,” said Ocean City Fire Marshal David Hartley.  “If heating sources are placed or installed too close to combustible materials, has design or operational flaws, or were fueled improperly, they can easily become a fire hazard.  We want to citizens to be warm and be safe at the same time.”

To prevent the loss of life and property resulting from heating fires, the Ocean City Fire Department recommends a few tips to help identify potential hazards:

  • Make sure all heaters have space by keeping anything that can      burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
  • Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized      testing laboratory.
  • Make sure all fuel-burning heating equipment is vented to the      outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
  • Only purchase portable space heaters with an automatic      shut-off so if they’re tipped over they will shut off.
  • Allow wood stove and fireplace ashes to cool before disposing      of them in a tightly covered metal container. Keep the container at least      10 feet away from your home.

For additional heating fire safety tips, visit:




John Holloway & Larry Sackadorf Retire After Nearly 27 Years with Ocean City Fire Department

(January 14, 2014) – John Holloway and Larry Sackadorf have retired after nearly 27 years with the Ocean City Fire Department.  Both men, who joined the Town’s career division full-time in 1987, have spent their careers working as firefighter/paramedics. In addition to Sackadorf’s work as a career employee, he also served as a line officer in the volunteer division where held the positions of lieutenant and captain.

While Sackadorf’s formal responsibilities included providing emergency first response to the residents and visitors of Ocean City, he also served as a field training officer and was a liaison between the Town of Ocean City and the National Aquarium, as a member of the Marine Animal Rescue Program.  During his career, he developed the SAMBOX project at Northside Park and established and organized the 911 Boardwalk Parade in Ocean City.  He served in the positions of secretary and treasurer in his years as a volunteer and acted as executive board member of the local International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).

Throughout his career, Sackadorf obtained numerous certifications in the fields of fire suppression and EMS.  He is a nationally recognized paramedic and is certified in advanced cardiac life support, advanced pre-hospital trauma life support, pediatric advanced life support and FADO pump operations.  He was a rescue technician, hazardous materials technician and aerial operations specialized.  Sackadorf also obtained his master diver scuba certification and served as captain of the Ocean City Recovery Underwater Search Team.

“I want to thank all of my co-workers and city officials for the continued support that I have received over the past nearly 30 years of my involvement with the fire department,” said Sackadorf.  “I hope to see the Town continue to grow and to remain a great place to vacation and a wonderful place to live.”

Holloway’s formal responsibilities also included providing emergency first response to the residents and visitors of Ocean City. In 2000, Holloway was in the first group of Fire/EMS career division employees to be promoted to Lieutenant. During his time with the OCFD, Holloway served on the Worcester County Health Department Crisis Response Team Advisory Board.  One of his many career highlights includes being appointed by Governor Robert Ehrlich to Maryland Fire Rescue Training and Education Commission, which he was reappointed to by Governor Martin O’Malley.

“It has been an honor to serve with some of the most professional, dedicated and skilled paramedic/firefighters in the service,” Holloway said.  “Many of my proudest accomplishments have come as a member of the Fire/EMS career division. I would like to give a special thanks to everyone who made my career so fulfilling and rewarding. Especially those at the beginning of my career, who taught me, mentored and guided me and gave me this opportunity to serve.”

Holloway and Sackadorf will both continue to serve the community, as Holloway has accepted a position as a supervisor for the Snow Hill Fire Department and Sackadorf has accepted a position with the Berlin Fire Department.

Kitchen Fire In Local Restaurant Injures Two

(December 19, 2013) – On Thursday, December 19, 2013, at approximately 12 p.m., Ocean City Communications received a call for a report of a burn injury to two employees at Seacrets.  Ocean City Fire Department personnel responded to the scene, which was located on 49th Street and Coastal Highway, and found no fire upon their arrival.

According to witnesses, two Seacrets employees were injured while operating a gas stove in the kitchen area of the restaurant.  Crews from the Ocean City Fire Department transported the patients to Peninsula Regional Medical Center.  The patients, whose names are not being released, were later transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for non-life threating injuries.

“The initial investigation indicates that the victims were injured by a brief flash fire,” said Ocean City Fire Marshal Captain Josh Bunting.  “The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental.”

There was no damage done to the structure of the building. According to officials at Seacrets, the bar will remain open tonight, however; the restaurant is not expected to open until tomorrow morning.  The investigation will be completed by the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office.


Hardwire, LLC Donates Ballistic Reeves Stretcher to Ocean City Fire Department

On Wednesday, June 19, the Ocean City Fire Department was the proud recipient of a ballistic Reeves stretcher, thanks to Hardwire, LLC.  Representatives from Hardwire, a local armor and survivability company located in Pocomoke City, presented the donation at the Maryland State Firemen’s Association’s Annual Conference.

The stretcher, which has the same functionality and flexibility as the current stretcher used on all EMS units but also provides ballistic protection for the first responders, was developed by Hardwire, using the collaborated input of the Ocean City Fire Department and Maryland State Police First Sgt. Keith Runk.

“The Ocean City Fire Department appreciates the donation of this innovative product,” said Deputy Fire Chief, Chuck Barton.  “This equipment is not only very useful, but provides protection to our staff as well.”

Hardwire, who has become the largest producer of Dyneema armor in the world, manufactures a number of composite-based armor products, including bulletproof shields, clipboards, whiteboards, and backpack inserts which are being used to protect police forces, SWAT teams, and most recently, schools across the country.  “As a Worcester County company, we are thankful for the hard work of our brave firemen and women in the Ocean City Fire Department,” said George Tunis, Hardwire CEO.  “We build armor that protects soldiers, policemen, students, and teachers, and believe our first responders deserve the best equipment.  The bulletproof stretcher donation is meant to protect those that protect us.”




Make Safety First on July Fourth

july 4The Ocean City Fire Department would like to remind the visitors and citizens of the danger involved with consumer fireworks as the July 4th holiday approaches. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that in 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 structure fires, 400 vehicle fires and 16,300 outside and other fires.  These fires resulted in an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.

“On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported fires, which is more than any other cause of fire,” said Ocean City Fire Marshal David Hartley.  “In addition to causing damage, fireworks can cause injuries and we want people to be safe during their holiday stay in Ocean City. The safety and wellbeing of all residents and visitors of the Town of Ocean City is the primary goal of the Ocean City Fire Department.”

Although the State of Maryland has approved the use of ground-based sparkling devices such as cylindrical and cone fountains, these are not legal to use or possess in Ocean City. All other fireworks that may be sold in neighboring states are not legal for use by the general public anywhere in Maryland. 

Within the Town of Ocean City, products such as handheld Gold labeled sparklers, “Snap-N-Pops”, “Black Cobra Snakes”, and “Party Poppers” are allowed to be used and possessed without a license.  However, injuries and property damage may still occur from these types of products, so parental supervision is always encouraged. 

Maryland law prohibits the shipping or transportation of fireworks into the state if the fireworks are to be possessed, used, sold, or distributed by citizens of Maryland.  Illegal fireworks found are subject to seizure by law enforcement authorities, and persons found in possession of illegal fireworks with the intent to use them run the risk of both criminal charges and the confiscation of the fireworks.  Fines for possession of illegal fireworks may be as much as $250, and those found selling or distributing illegal fireworks may be fined as much as $1000. 

Anyone with questions pertaining to fireworks should contact the Ocean City Fire Department, Office of the Fire Marshal at 410-289-8780.