Ocean City Fire Department demonstrates capabilities of new fire boat
OCEAN CITY, Md. – For more than ten years now, the Ocean City Fire Department has been able to take their life saving efforts to the water thanks to a larger fire boat they have. However, that fire boat is currently in need of repairs so they have a new vessel that’s allowing them to continue saving lives.
“We’ve seen a tremendous response this summer with our fire boat being staffed and being able to provide that rapid service,” says Ryan Whittington, an Ocean City firefighter and medic.
On Tuesday, the Ocean City Fire Department demonstrated just one of the ways their fire boat saves lives by offering a dramatization of how they respond to patients experiencing a medical emergency in hard to reach areas offshore.
“The Fire Department responds to various calls on the water some of them could be due to boating accidents, jet ski accidents, rental boat accidents, anything like that,” says Whittington.
Officials say this type of response vessel is equipped with some impressive tools. “It has a fire pump. We can flow water if we have to do water supply for boat fires, marsh fires, we can handle it with that boat,” says David Peterson, the Battalion Chief and Water Rescue Commander.
However, what might be even more impressive is the wide variety of skills its team has. “We’re surrounded by water and it’s very important to have all the assets – dive team, water rescue team, surf rescue team, and also two fire boats to assist other agencies,” says Peterson.
Officials say their team uses those different skills to help other agencies they have partnerships with including Natural Resource Police, Ocean City Beach Patrol, the Coast Guard and others. Most recently, they assisted police who needed a smaller boat to reach a shallow area. “We were able to put law enforcement officers on our vessel and we were able to respond and they were able to apprehend the suspect,” says Whittington.
Ocean City Fire officials say it’s hard to tell when their larger fire boat will be repaired or what option they’ll pursue to fix it. But they’re confident their new equipment will help accomplish the same job.