OCEAN CITY – The Mayor and Council and the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company (OCVFC) celebrated this week the signing of a new contract of sorts between the two entities.

“This is a good occasion today … it has been an honor to stand together with our volunteers, and in this case our volunteer fire company,” Mayor Rick Meehan said.

The mayor stood with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the OCVFC and the Mayor and City Council that he was prepared to sign and execute that moment.

“The OCVFC has provided fire services to and for the Town of Ocean City for over 100 years,” a section of the MoU the mayor read aloud. “The Town of Ocean City recognizes the longstanding commitment of the OCVFC to the public safety of Ocean City and West Ocean City community, its businesses, residents and visitors, the value of the services of the members of the OCVFC to the Town of Ocean City, and the intangible and immeasurable benefit that all such charitable and volunteer organizations bring to civic life and wellbeing of the Ocean City community.”

That in one paragraph, Meehan said, describes what the volunteer fire company does for the community, the greater Ocean City area and all by their volunteerism.

The mayor pointed out the MOU also states, “the OCVFC reserves its longstanding right to communicate directly to the Mayor and City Council on all matters.”

Meehan said, “That is in this memorandum and it is consistent with the practice we have held in the past and did not change and it will not change.”

OCVFC President Cliff Christello thanked the Mayor and City Council, along with City Manager David Recor, and OCVFC 1st Assistant Chief Robert Duke who served as a negotiator between the parties.

“Everything I have had to deal with over the past number of years this was one of the easier ones,” he said. “It reinforces the OCVFC to the Mayor and City Council and that they are willing to work directly with the volunteers and still wants the volunteers to be here. We are one fire department as a whole.”

In 2008, the OCVFC became part of the new Ocean City Fire Department, which also includes the Fire/EMS Division and the Fire Marshals Office.