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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


New Fire Engine for OPVFD

By Cindy Hoffman

Staff Writer

(Feb. 23, 2023) The Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department (OPVFD) has signed a contract to purchase a new 2023 Sutphen fire engine.

The engine, which is equipped with a 1,500-gallon pump and a 750-gallon tank, will have 200 feet of half-inch preconnected line; 1,000 feet of five-inch supply line; 800 feet of three-inch supply line; 250 feet of one-and three-quarters-inch of preconnected attack lines and 350 feet of two-inch pre-connected attack lines.

“It’s a little more hose than what we have on the older truck,” Fire Chief Steve Grunewald said. “We need 350 feet of hose for some of these houses that are three stories. We’ve made adjustments to keep up with the buildings.”

The older truck,Engine 1101, will become a reserve engine for OPVFD. The total cost of the new engine is $808,000, according to Grunewald.

The purchase of the new engine follows the county guidelines for one piece of capital apparatus that is less than 20 years old.

“We have what we call an apparatus replacement schedule. Every year we update that. This ensures that we have the money for every apparatus as they come due,” said Dave Van Gasbeck, president of the OPVFD.

Fifty percent of the funds for the engine come from the Ocean Pines Association and the other 50 percent come from fundraising efforts conducted by the OPVFD, based on a memorandum of understanding.

“The 50 percent provided by OPVFD comes one hundred percent out of their fundraising efforts, including the raffle and mailout,” said Van Gasbeck. “It’s critical that we do have fundraising efforts. The funding does not come from the state or county. All of our members are required to do a certain amount of fundraising every year.”

Engines like this don’t come right off the lot, construction will take 30 months.

“We have an apparatus committee of eight people. We met with three different vendors. We go through a list of 200 questions that will tell the engineer how we want it built,” said Van Gasbeck. “We will have to start looking at a replacement in about 5 years for our next engine that is coming up on the 20-year mark.”

Fundraising also continues for the capital campaign for a new fire house. At the February board meeting, Van Gasbeck provided updates on these efforts.

“Last year, Sen. (Mary Beth) Carozza and Del. (Wayne) Hartman got us a PayGo grant of $1.35 million. I submitted two bond issues last year, which they both supported,” Van Gasbeck said. “We got another $100,000 from the House and another $150,000 from the Senate. I just recently submitted another bond initiative to Del. Hartman.”

He expects to get between $100,000-$200,000 from that request.