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Ocean Pines fire president shares fundraising plans, fire safety tips

Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department President Joe Enste shared plans raise money for renovations to the South Fire Station and fire safety tips during the Ocean Pines Association board’s latest meeting.

Joe Enste

Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department President Joe Enste addresses the Ocean Pines Association Board March 23.
Submitted photo

By Tara Fischer, Staff Writer 

The Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department is raising money to renovate the aging South Fire Station. 

At an Ocean Pines Association board meeting March 23, Joe Enste, president of the fire department, mapped out fundraising plans, which include a brick campaign and annual cash bingo.

Through the brick campaign, individuals can buy 4-by-8-inch bricks for $100 or 8-by-8-inch bricks for $200, which will be used to erect a unique feature at the updated station.

The cash bingo event, which will be held at the Ocean Downs Casino at 5 p.m., April 18, had only 80 tickets remaining. Enste urged homeowners interested in attending to buy entrance passes quickly. They can be obtained for $35 on the department’s website. 

Other initiatives include the Queen of Hearts fundraiser, where community members can buy $5 tickets to win a growing jackpot, which is currently up to $2,513, and a vehicle raffle. Enste said the department now has the means to cover all the winner’s taxes, tags, titles, and fees associated with the automobile. 

Enste also touched on the importance of fire safety during the March 23 meeting.

He referenced a March 16 house fire on Castle Drive that resulted in hospitalization of a resident and passing of four family pets. Enste emphasized the need for proper smoke detectors to prevent similar tragedies. 

“The smoke alarm is a simple yet powerful tool that can make a life-saving difference,” he said. “These small devices are like silent guardians constantly monitoring the air for any signs of smoke. When they detect even the slightest hint of danger, they’ll sound the alarm and give us precious time to escape safely.” 

However, Enste said having a smoke alarm installed is not enough. He urged the meeting attendees to regularly test these apparatuses to ensure they are in working condition. 

Evacuation plans are also vital for fire safety. Knowing the quickest escape route and practicing it often is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones.

“Fires can happen unexpectedly and spread rapidly, posing a significant threat to lives and property,” Enste said. “…By taking a simple yet essential step, like installing and maintaining smoke alarms and having an escape plan, we can better protect ourselves and our loved ones. Let’s work together to make Ocean Pines safer for everyone.” 

This story appears in the March 28, 2024, print edition of the Bayside Gazette.