OCEAN CITY – The city recognized this week Deputy Fire Marshal Jack Hastings’ retirement after 24 years of service in that capacity and 47 as a town employee.
“You may or may not know but he has invested interest in Ocean City at an early age, he attended elementary school here,” Deputy Chief Fire Marshal David Hartley said.
Starting in 1966, Hastings started working for the town as a mechanic and driver for the Ocean City Fire Department (OCFD) and in late 1980’s he transferred over to the Fire Marshal’s office to serve as a fire safety inspector. Eventually, he was promoted to serve his current position as a Deputy Fire Marshal.
“I would like to highlight a couple of his achievements and the work that he has done over those 24 years,” Hartley said.
Hastings has been the coordinator for the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Quality Assurance Program that began in 2001 and has assisted to build that program into a success story since then.
According to the Town of Ocean City, the Quality Assurance Program is used to guarantee that fire protection systems are receiving consistent, quality service, testing, inspection and maintenance, thereby helping to ensure that they will function as intended in the event of an emergency. With this in mind, the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office created a common inspection certificate to help further facilitate consistency.
“Our Quality Assurance Program tracts over 2,800 fire detection systems throughout town in over 1,500 buildings,” Hartley said. “Those are your fire sprinkler systems, your sand pipe systems, and fire alarm systems, and he makes sure that each and every one of those systems is tested according to standards by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and also the Ocean City Fire Prevention Code.”
Hartley added that when the program first started the town had a 50-percent compliance rate, and as of last year Ocean City was 96-percent compliant.
Hastings has also been the coordinator for the High-rise Life Safety Program, a code set-forth by the NFPA.
“We had 19 buildings that were affected back in 2005 and with a compliance date of 2017, as of right now we have 13 buildings fully compliant,” Hartley said. “We are ahead of schedule … and this gentleman’s relationship with the building managers, associations, and the owners has been instrumental in that.”
On top of coordinating those two programs, Hastings spends his days completing fire inspections for special events and liquor licenses and at times on complaints and referrals. He was also a member of the Fire Investigators and Hazardous Materials Response Team.
Hartley furthered that Hastings is always at least 15 minutes early for work every day and is a task master.
“If you give him 10 things to do, he will do 11 and do them well, that I am going to miss very much,” he said. “I wish his wife, Jane, and his daughter, Stephanie, the best of luck in keeping his to-do list full because he will need that.”
Hartley concluded that Hastings has realized the importance of life safety throughout his career and in keeping Ocean City’s entire buildings safe, as firefighters, EMS and police enter them on a regular basis.
“Jack, with all of that being said I would like to thank you for your efforts done over the 24 years in our office making our town, our visitors, and our citizens that much safer,” Hartley said as he presented Hastings with his retirement badge.
Next Mayor Rick Meehan presented Hastings with a Proclamation and a Key to the City recognizing him for his 24 years of service.
“These are the type of good and bad moments for the Mayor and City Council because we are very happy for you and your family to now be able to enjoy retirement but we are sad to see you leave,” the mayor said.
Hastings is a graduate of Stephen Decatur High School. He is also certified as a Fire Prevention Specialist, a Hazardous Materials Technician, a Fire Investigator and a Fire Inspector III. Upon retiring, Hastings plans to travel, bowl and work in his workshop.
“It has been honor to serve the town for the past 24 years,” said Deputy Hastings. “I was born and raised in Ocean City and have experienced the good and bad changes over the years. What I will miss most are the friendships I have developed within all of the departments.”