OC Fire Department Celebrates Annual Honorees

OCEAN CITY — The Ocean City Fire Department held its Annual Awards and Recognition Ceremony at Ocean City Fire Department Headquarters last month, honoring members for their commitment to public safety and protection of the Ocean City community.

The celebration, named Firefighter of the Year, Member of the Year, and Paramedic of the Year, along with several Years of Service Awards, Distinguished Service Awards and Resuscitation Awards.

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David R. Macia was named OCFD Career Firefighter of the Year. Pictured, from left, are Battallion Chief David Peterson, Macia with his family and Bowers. Submitted Photos

Along with Fire Chief Richie Bowers, Deputy Chief James Jester, and OCVFC President Freddie Senger, several dignitaries attended the ceremony, which began with the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company (OCVFC) Ladies Auxiliary Awards. The OCVFC Ladies Auxiliary Member of the Year Award was given to Susan Teach and the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to JoAnne Wagner. In addition, the Ladies Auxiliary donated funds they raised to the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company.

Following the Ladies Auxiliary, awards were presented for length of service and incident citations.

“As fire chief, I am humbled by the selflessness and dedication of our firefighters and EMS providers, who serve our community day in and day out. Years of service awards are a small token of appreciation for the immense sacrifices these individuals make, and they serve as a testament to their unwavering commitment to protecting the lives and property of those we serve,” Bowers said. “We are grateful for their service, and we look forward to celebrating their continued dedication in the years to come.”

Also, the department recognized successful resuscitations of patients who were in cardiac arrest. These were

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Paramedic of the Year Yvette M. Rode is pictured with her award and Bowers.

patients who were successfully resuscitated and discharged from the hospital with no deficit from their quality of life before their Cardiac Arrest. This comes after the Ocean City Fire Department adopted a High-Performance CPR program that has increased the department’s survival rate to almost 40 percent, which is well above the national average of 11 percent. In 2022 there were 8 calls in which a person survived cardiac arrest because of the care provided by our paramedics and EMT’s.

Award recipients included:

  • Volunteer Firefighter of the Year: Michael A. Knowles
  • Career Firefighter of the Year: David R. Macia
  • Paramedic of the Year: Yvette M. Rode
  • Member of the Year: J. Mark Wilson, Jr.
  • Training Award: Thomas D. Saunders II
  • Chief’s Award: Anthony J. Villani Jr.
  • President’s Award: Patrick J. Mumford & Kevin K. Knowles

Incident & Unit Citations: Robert Magee, Darrick Elliott, Ryan Stacey, Richard Koch, Sr., Cory Brown, Travis Hearn, Daniel Wills, Justin Harper, Ryan Wooten, Aaron Driscoll, Alexander Bean, Christopher Shaffer

5 Years Active Service: Cory J. Brown, James E. Carter, Ryan L. Cropper, Michael A. Knowles, Kyle H. Tanner, S. Ryan Wooten

10 Years Active Service: Joseph Lessman

15 Years Active Service: Frederick A. Senger IV, Parker Shandrowsky

20 Years Active Service: Darrick R. Elliott

25 Years Active Service: William C. Savage, III

35 Years Active Service: Christopher M. Shaffer

45 Years Active Service: David N. Cropper

50 Years Active Service: Reginald H. Bell, Roger A. Steger, Sr.


Pictured, from left, are Fire Chief Richie Bowers, Deputy Chief James Jester and 50-year honorees Roger A. Steger, Sr. and Reginald H. Bell.

“On behalf of the Ocean City Fire Department and the entire community, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to David N. Cropper for his 45 years of dedicated service,” Jester said. “David’s unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of our community is a testament to his outstanding character and devotion to the fire service. We are grateful for his contributions and the sacrifices he has made to keep our community safe.”

Highlighting, 50 years of service, Jester acknowledged the following members, saying, “Reginald H. Bell and Roger A. Steger Sr., 50 years of dedicated service, highlights your unwavering commitment to the fire service and the safety of our community. Reggie and Roger’s selfless acts of courage, sacrifice, and dedication have made a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals. In conclusion, Chief Jester noted the sacrifices of the firefighters families, “These families represent 100 years of saying goodbye to their loved ones, not knowing if they would return with all their digits, all their limbs, or even returning at all. They deserve our recognition and thanks as well.”