Happy 100th Birthday to Billy Huseman, Hollywood’s First Fire Chief

  • St Mary's County
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HOLLYWOOD, Md. - Billy Huseman, a founder and first chief of the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department turns 100 years old on November 12th. 

Fellow charter member of the Hollywood VFD, Elwood Joy, recalled the moment the two decided Hollywood needed its own fire service back in 1956. Joy said he stopped by the old Gulf Station in Hollywood (where Billy worked) to visit his friend.  While the pair talked, a Leonardtown fire truck raced by on its way to a fire on Sotterley Road. Mr. Joy told Mr. Huseman, “Hollywood needs its own fire department.”

Houseman installation as fire chief

Houseman, 4th from left at his installation as fire chief.

The pair soon organized their first community meeting at the old Hollywood Elementary School. Low on funds, the group asked for help and ten people secured a bank loan to start the organization. Joy said, “There was a community spirit and it was community organized.”

Hollywood's first firehouse and fire engine

Hollywood VFD's first engine parked in front of the original firehouse.

Huseman is still active in the department he founded and attends their Tuesday night meetings. At their last meeting, the VFD recognized Huseman with a special celebration of his 100th birthday.

Mr. Joy said,  “Because of Bill Huseman, the HVFD and community are all better off. Because of him, we still keep the high standard that was set back in 1956.”

Clark's Landing Fire

Clark's Landing fire

Thanks to the hard work and lifelong dedication of Former Chief Huseman, generations of firefighters have been inspired to serve their community and live up to his high standards.

Hollywood firefighters

Hollywood VFD on scene of Leonardtown fire.

Take some time out of your busy day to wish Mr. Huseman a very happy 100th and make sure to thank this humble and dedicated man for everything he’s done for our community.

Special thanks to Hollywood Volunteer Firefighter historians John Gatton, Sr. and Jim Lloyd for their assistance with this article.

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