OCEAN CITY – Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company (OCVFC) President James Jester said Saturday he has drafted a written rebuttal to last week’s interview with City Manager Dennis Dare.
The OCVFC and the town are currently in a transition period. Both sides agree fire service in Ocean City needs to come under the auspices of the town’s emergency services department. Details on exactly how that will be done have become a sticking point in recent months, particularly after Dare drafted a series of “talking points,” which OCVFC brass declared out of the question. However, when that document surfaced in the media last week, a firestorm has surrounded the OCVFC and the city.
In last week’s interview, Dare reiterated his support for the OCVFC, however he said the direction of fire service in Ocean City is going to change in the near future. He said that much is certain.
“I can’t emphasize enough that I do support the volunteer fire company. We need a viable volunteer fire company, but we are in transition,” Dare said. “My goal is to make them as viable as possible. We do not want to be an all-paid fire company. We want a good combination department and my vision would be that the paid guys are going to show up at the alarm bells at the Plim Plaza … If there’s a serious fire in the laundry room, then the volunteers will come in. The volunteers want to fight fires, they don’t want to be doing paperwork and responding to false alarms.”
Jester said Saturday afternoon, one day after the Dare interview was published, approximately half of the comments Dare made in last week’s interview on the specific “talking points” were erroneous. He said he spent last Friday night writing a response to Dare’s comments. He will be providing The Dispatch with that document by week’s end.
See this Friday’s Dispatch for the complete story.