Category Archives: Ocean City Fire Department

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.



Ocean City Fire Department Responds to Two Residential Fires within Four Minutes

Boat_Showell_005(June 27, 2014) – It wasn’t an average Thursday evening in Ocean City yesterday, as the Ocean City Fire Department (OCFD) was on the scene of two significant residential fires in Worcester County, occurring at the same time.  With the calls for service coming in to the Ocean City Commination’s Division only four minutes apart, the OCFD quickly responded to the areas of Riverview Drive and Old Bridge Road shortly after 7 p.m. on the evening of June 26.

The first call, recorded at 7:20 p.m, requested the assistance of the OCFD’s Fire Boat 1.  Responding to assist the Showell Fire Department, Fire Boat 1 arrived to the 11000 block of Riverview Drive and crew members immediately engaged in water supply operations.  In addition, in support of fire suppression operations, Fire Boat 1 supported efforts by placing its roof-mounted master stream in service.

Only a few minutes later, approximately 7:24 p.m., another call came into Communications for a house fire in the 12000 block of Old Bridge Road in West Ocean City.  Multiple alarms were called and units from Worcester and Wicomico County, as well as units from Delaware responded to the area.  “The response from all of the fire departments from the county, as well as our neighboring counties, was extraordinary,” commented Ocean City Fire Chief Chris Larmore.  “It was a true demonstration of team work and I am extremely proud of the efforts of Ocean City’s first responders and those of our allied agencies.”

By 11 p.m. last night, OCFD units had cleared the area of both incidents.  No injuries were reported and the cause of the fires is now under investigation by the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office.  “I want to personally thank all of our first responders,” commented Deputy Chief David Cropper, who was the Incident Commander on scene of the fire at Old Bridge Road.  “It’s very unusual for us to have multiple residential fires at the same time, requiring such significant resources.  Our members were professional and did exactly as they are trained to do. They should be tremendously proud of their hard work because I am certainly proud of them.”



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    




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.