OC Employee Gave Ride To Girls With Alcohol During Bridge Ordeal

OCEAN CITY — An unidentified Ocean City employee has been disciplined for a clear lack of good judgment after providing a ride to private citizens carrying unopened alcohol in a town ambulance during last month’s Route 50 Bridge breakdown.

Around 3 p.m. on, July 26, the Route 50 bridge was stuck in the open position following a routine, scheduled open-closure during peak travel time on a busy Saturday afternoon. The bridge remained stuck in the open position for about five hours, causing gridlock throughout the resort and outward along Route 50, Route 90, Route 589 and Route 54 and into Lower Sussex County.

During the heightened response time for Ocean City emergency responders, a town employee on an ambulance allowed two female individuals to ride in a city emergency vehicle while they were carrying alcohol, in what was at worst an egregious violation and at best a temporary lapse in judgment. Ocean City officials recently learned of the incident after receiving a complaint from a witness.

“Recently, we received a complaint about an employee offering two walkers, who happened to be carrying packaged, unopened alcohol, a ride in an ambulance at the time of the bridge malfunction,” said Ocean City Communications Manager Jessica Waters this week. “The town of Ocean City holds all of our employees to a very high professional standard and takes very seriously any instance in which an employee behaves below our great expectations.”

Waters said the incident triggered an internal investigation and the employee has been disciplined.

“Although the specific details of the matter are confidential, we do have policies and procedures in place to hold employees accountable for behavior that is not consistent with our professional standards,” said Waters. “We take very seriously our safety practices and after a thorough internal investigation, the employee has been held accountable for their behavior.”