Voices From The Readers

Voices From The Readers

Firefighters Appreciated

In reference to the “How We See It” last week, it was written the only time the general public really gets a feel for what firefighters do on a day-in and day-out basis is during fires. That’s not so.

I learned June 7 taking a stroll up Coastal Highway, near the 15th Street firehouse where I collapsed and flat-lined unexpectedly at their front door. Thanks God Bill Hall and Bill Tilghman were on duty at 9:04 a.m. and did exactly what they were trained to do. Today, four months later, I am up and walking, living and breathing and am thanking our Ocean City Fire Department men and women for all they do regularly in Ocean City.

Ten days later, on June 17, I slipped and fell at 1 a.m. in the morning and could not get to a phone until 4 a.m. to call the fire department to help pick me off the floor. Thank you again Ocean City firefighters.

Every time I hear a siren, I automatically stop and send a prayer to almighty God to watch over the special men and women who are on call and ready and willing to do all they are trained to do for we the citizens of this great city.

Thanks to all, EMS services, firefighters and our great police force in this town. I have lived here 34 years and don’t plan to leave here. Love to all of you.

Ardella Gray
Ocean City

Be Grateful For Majority

I must admit I do like to watch the Ocean City Council meetings. Where else can one get so much entertainment for free and learn so much about human behavior?

It never ceases to amaze me when some of the council members say some of the things that they do. And usually it is just for political reasons. Yet it leaves you with the impression that these people are not very bright.

For example, during last week’s work session, Councilman Ashley was discussing the idea that when you allow skate boarding on the Boardwalk there will be some type of collateral damage to city property.

Councilwoman Knight promptly accused Ashley of being negative. She said she was positive. Actually in the past the mayor too has made similar remarks about certain individuals on the council being negative while he too was positive.

To the successful problem solver, there is a huge difference between being “negative” and being “objective”. And Councilman ashley was being objective. He realizes with relaxed skate boarding laws there will be some damage as a by-product. After all, kids will be kids. Ashley was just trying to make the point that perhaps if you are going to allow skate boarding on the Boardwalk that perhaps a fund should be set up to repair the probable damage.

A good problem solver always sees the downside to any action. They aren’t being negative, but rather they are being objective or just plain realistic. They want to be prepared for as many problems that might arise as possible. I think Councilwoman Pillas in defending Ashley used the term “reality check” which to me is the same as being objective.

The tax payers of Ocean City ought to be glad that they have thinkers like Ashley and Pillas on the council. These two individuals see beyond the here and now. They have vision which all great leaders have.

On the other hand, maybe Knight and Meehan ought to take a crash course on problem solving and they too will learn that there is a tremendous difference between being negative and being objective. Once they learn the difference between the two terms, maybe they won’t be so quick to accuse one of their fellow members of being negative just to score political points. They should welcome objective thinking.

There are hundreds of individuals as well as their loved ones that wished there were some objective thinking prior to April 10, 1912 when the invincible “Titantic sank”. There is nothing wrong with objective thinking. As a matter of fact, it is essential in today economic environment.

Tax payers ought to be glad that the majority on the council are questioning the issues they face each day.

David Clogg
Timonium, md

Hoping For Smoking Ban

Year after year, I keep the faith that those who make the decisions for Ocean City will be brave enough to ban smoking on the beach and on the Boardwalk. My husband and I have been residents of the area for 20 years, and the smoking issue is a major one for us and our family. We have witnessed three close relatives die of emphysema and lung cancer, and don’t wish to become victims ourselves or to have the health of our children and grandchildren jeopardized.

The risks of second hand smoking are well-known and documented by the EPA, yet we continue to be exposed to it daily on the beach and/or the boards. We almost always have to rearrange our seating, as invariably, someone comes along, sits next to us, and lights up, with no regard for the small children with us. Our grandson was recently burned on the face by a cigarette being flailed by someone standing on the Boardwalk.

As Ocean City’s reputation is that of a family resort, perhaps we should show the same concern that our neighbors to the north have displayed by banning smoking. The beach and Boardwalk are places that can and should be enjoyed by all without fear of health risks.

Sharon M. Anthony

‘Have Two Ways Out’

It’s 3 AM. You and your family are awoken to a beeping smoke alarm. You are tired and confused from the effects of the smoke. You know you need to reach safety but, when you head for the front door, you find that escape route is blocked by a quickly-spreading fire. What do you do?

While this scenario is one we hope you never encounter, the statistics tell us that many people do — every day. The 2011 data is still being calculated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). According to the NFPA, in 2010, one home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds. That added up to 369,500 home structure fires, which caused 13,350 injuries and 2,640 deaths. We also know that most fatal fires kill one or two people. However, in 2010, 19 home fires killed five or more people, resulting in 101 deaths.

The numbers are frightening; however, there is something you can do to help ensure your family’s safety should a fire break out in your home: Have Two Ways Out! The Ocean City Fire Department is teaming up with NFPA during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13, to urge residents to “Have Two Ways Out!” This year’s theme focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.

Only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. And of the three-quarters of Americans who do have an escape plan, less than half have actually practiced it. As we saw in the scenario above, fire is unpredictable. Seconds can mean the difference between life and death. We want to ensure that Ocean City residents, and everyone across Delmarva, see this message. Preparation is an important part of being able to deal with an emergency, and it is crucial you take steps to prepare your family for the potential of a home fire by having an escape plan and practicing it.

Although preparing for the unexpected is difficult, reviewing the information below, and taking action based on it, could save lives. The Ocean City Fire Department recommends the following tips for planning your family’s escape. If you have children, make the following a family activity:

Make a map of your home. Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.

Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they’ve escaped. Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.

Sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape drill with everyone living in your home.

Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and practice the drill twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.

If your family is all adults, walk through your home and identify two ways out of each room, choose a meeting place outside in front of your home and practice your escape drill twice a year.

To learn more about “Have Two Ways Out!”, visit the Town of Ocean City’s Fire Department web site at www.oceancitymd.gov/fire_department

Ryan L. Whittington
(The writer is the Public Information Officer for the Ocean City Fire Department.)

Weigh Vote Carefully

There are 100,000 units in Ocean City who pay taxes but only the 6,000 residents can vote in any Ocean City election. I appeal to these residents to review all issues and candidates and then make an informed decision on their ballot because it affects the 94,000 that cannot vote in Ocean City, including me.

I rely on you to make the right decision. Ocean City’s future is in your hands.
Pat Doviken
Ocean City

Thanks For Not Flushing

Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT) and Assateague Coastkeeper would like to thank the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, the Berlin Police Department, the Ocean Pines Fire Department, the Ocean City Fire Department, Ocean City Police Department, Maryland State Police, Worcester County Health Department and the volunteer members of ACT for helping to make the Sept. 29 Operation Medicine Drop event so successful.

Local residents who cleaned out their medicine cabinets of unused medications made their homes safer, and through everyone’s efforts we helped to keep hundreds of pounds of pharmaceuticals out of our waterways. We encourage Worcester County residents to take advantage of the permanent drop off boxes now located at the Ocean City Public Safety Building on 65th Street, and also at the Ocean Pines Police Department throughout the year. Please don’t flush your unused medications.

Kathy Phillips
(The writer is the executive director of Assateague Coastal Trust.)