Brownies Beach Cliff Collapse
By Fire Sergeant Bryce Callis
January 30, 2020


Brownies Beach Cliff Collapse Press Release

On January 30, 2020, at approximately 0913 hours, units from Companies 1, 2, 5, 6, 10 and the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office were alerted to Brownies Beach in Chesapeake Beach, MD for a report of a cliff collapse with possible subjects trapped. Squad 1 arrived on location at Brownies Beach and immediately started a search. Chief 1 arrived shortly after and established command. Squad 6, Squad 2, Engine 21 and Chief 6B reported to the Randle Cliff side of the incident. Safety Officer 5 oversaw the Search Group. Units from Company 1 operated from the Brownies Beach access.

Safety Officer 2 oversaw the Operations Division of the incident. Chief 6B oversaw the Randle Cliff Sector. Squad 1 searched in the woods from Brownies Beach to Randle Cliff. Zodiac 1 searched the shoreline. Calvert County Sheriff’s Office deployed their drone to provide a broad area view of the incident. Command alerted SYSCOM (Maryland’s EMS statewide communications system) and requested a helicopter from Maryland State Police to also assist in the search. Trooper 7 responded.

After 40 minutes of searching, the missing subject was located at 0958 hours a quarter mile from the cliff collapse site still searching for fossils and shark teeth uninjured and okay. Units from the incident returned to service shortly after. Approximately 30 Fire/EMS personnel operated on the scene.

The North Beach VFD and its response partners would like to remind fossil searchers, hikers and beachwalkers the cliffs areas are very inviting, but extremely dangerous. The land mass making up the cliffs is very unstable and subject to collapse without warning. We are all thankful the incident turned out with a happy outcome.

Units operating from Company 1 (North Beach VFD)
Squad 1: (Sgt. B. Callis)- 3 personnel
Chief 1: (C. Mills)- 2 personnel
Engine 12: (M. Weber)- 3 personnel
Zodiac 1: 2 personnel
Ambulance 18: (J. Tyrrell)- 2 personnel

Additional Units Operating

Safety Officer 2 - M. Sharpe (Prince Frederick VFD)
Safety Officer 5 - D. Gibson (Dunkirk VFD)
Chief 6B – W. Ward Jr (Huntingtown VFD)
Engine 21 and Squad 2 (Prince Frederick VFD)
Squad 6 (Huntingtown VFD)
Car 10 (Calvert ALS)

John Tippett