OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Fire Department’s Station 5 is on track with its estimated completion date and under budget, despite the icy conditions thrown its way the last couple weeks.
Construction began this past summer on the new fire station, located in West Ocean City. The building is on track to be complete in about two months.
“We are on schedule for a March 1 completion and are under budget,” Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company (OCVFC) President James L. Jester said. “Other then the snow we’ve just had, they have only lost two days of work and that doesn’t put us behind schedule. “Things are running along beautifully. … The members of the volunteer fire company are extremely excited to get this new building done and to keep the operation up and running.”
In comparing the old station with the new, its like “apples and oranges”, Jester said.
“This building will have additional space for apparatus, a live-in or bunking facilities, kitchen facilities, a work out room or weight room, a multi-purpose room used for meetings or training, a gear room, and individual offices for the president and chief,” Jester said.
The Trimper family donated the station its warehouse off Route 611 to store its large equipment during the construction last summer. With the offseason here, the station has moved its equipment to a garage in Ocean City, courtesy of the town.
“They allow us to keep three pieces of apparatus in there so we can continue to have fire service in the area we’re responsible for,” Jester said. “There are no gaps in service because of the construction.”
Over the past 10 years, the volunteer fire company has been able to put away $100,000 each year to fund the new station, equaling $1 million saved. The remaining balance is going to be funded from the Bank of Ocean City.
“We have had a few fundraisers over the past couple of months, and we’re looking to do additional fundraisers in the upcoming months to offset that number that we have to borrow from the Bank of Ocean City,” Jester said.
The public can make donations, specifically for Station 5 at any Bank of Ocean City branch or can go online to www.ocvfc.com where donations can be made specifically to the project. The public can also participate in the upcoming fundraisers in the spring and summer.
“We don’t know the final cost. We have budgeted $2.6 million, with $1 million already paid for we have a maximum right this moment of $1.6 million that has been approved by the membership,” Jester said.
The completion date of the construction phase is scheduled for March 1. Then there is an estimated month following to finish the station’s final touches.
“That’s so we can get the TV’s on the walls, the furniture inside, all the things that will make it a working firehouse,” Jester said. “The computers, the televisions, the chairs, the beds, that sort of thing. Were hoping to have the actual building operating and functioning at 100 percent capacity on the first week in April.”