Hollywood Park City Council recently approved an initiative to install a memorial to the town’s volunteer fire department.

What happened?

Council unanimously voted June 25 to formally make the fire department memorial a city-backed initiative. Council member Glenna Pearce has been working with community members Alverne Halloran, Shannon Sims, Holly McBrayer and Debbie Johnson to develop the VFD memorial, which will be located at Memorial Park, also known as Triangle Park.

The entire project, estimated to cost $13,600, will feature a 6-foot bench accompanied by a cast aluminum sign and bricks.

The names of 38 original members of Hollywood Park’s former VFD will be honored across the memorial, with greater emphasis placed on the name of Robert “Bob” Oakes, a local volunteer firefighter who died on the job in February 1971.

The background

Oakes’ widow, Halloran, said the memorial will serve as a tribute to the history of Hollywood Park’s VFD, which was founded in the 1950s by a group of local men who attended a firefighting school at Texas A&M University and decided to apply their skills to helping shore up safety in Hollywood Park.

What they’re saying

Pearce, who thanked fellow community members for helping develop the VFD memorial project, said the memorial will act as a public tribute to past volunteer firefighters who were committed to public service.

"We’re at the spot where we need to start ordering with the goal of presenting this to the public in the fall,” Pearce said.

Halloran said she looks forward to seeing the VFD memorial become a reality.

"It means a lot to me and my children to honor my late husband,” she said.

Council member Dale Randol, a longtime resident, said he could recall when the VFD served an area larger than Hollywood Park’s city limits, including neighborhoods on Thousand Oaks Boulevard and Northwest Military Highway, and even northward to SH 46.

"I think it’s an honor for the fire department and the people who went out, at first, when there was no equipment,” Randol said.