OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company is looking for a productive way to discuss ongoing concerns with emergency services leadership.
At an Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company (OCVFC) Board of Directors meeting last Wednesday, the board declared “no confidence” in Ocean City Fire Chief Chris Larmore. The “no confidence” vote is the first ever taken by the OCVFC board and is rooted largely in staffing concerns and requirement for paid firefighters to take on additional overtime and the increased stress being placed on the volunteer ranks as a result of the city being shorthanded.
The rift between the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company, which has been around for 100 years or more, and the paid fire and EMS divisions grew wider in February 2008 when the volunteer company threatened to leave the town of Ocean City altogether and set up shop in West Ocean City. The Mayor and Council at that time agreed to come together to hash out the differences. The OCVFC responded to the Mayor and Council’s proposal with a counterproposal that would place the volunteer company in charge of all fire-fighting responsibilities within the town, while leaving the paid fire/EMS division in charge of all medical and emergency response.
Out that rift, the Mayor and Council unanimously approved appointing Larmore as the one chief, hoping it would be a first step in unifying the fractured paid and volunteer departments. The measure was confirmed with an Memorandum of Understanding reached between the town and the OCVFC in May 2008.