Chris was 58 years old and had been with the Hollywood Fire Department since May 1999. Chris began his career as a firefighter and rode rescue for ten years. In addition, he was a CPR instructor and served on the Hollywood Fire Dive Rescue Team. In 2009, he was promoted to driver/engineer. In this role, Chris was assigned as one of the drivers for the department’s high water rescue vehicle. He found enormous fulfillment sharing his knowledge of the job, taking any opportunity to train and encourage his brother and sister firefighters.
Chris was a proud United States Army veteran, enlisting in 1984 and serving until 1988. He was recognized as a sharpshooter with the M16 Rifle, and marksman with hand grenade. He then served with the Florida Army National Guard from 1988 to 1994. Chris was a Sgt. E5, stock control supervisor while serving during Operation Desert Shield/Storm from 1990 to 1991. He was decorated with the Army Achievement Medal/Overseas Service Ribbon/NCO Professional Development Ribbon and was honored with the Gold Eagle Award for his service in the armed forces in the Persian Gulf Conflict. While attending paramedic school, Chris also served as a dispatcher with Margate Police Department and worked a short time for Plantation Fire Department.
Chris was a devoted and loving family man, leaving behind his beloved wife of nearly 32 years, Dora Allen; and their two children who he adored and was extremely proud of, Samantha and Christopher.
Chris loved listening to classic rock and roll and always had it playing anywhere he was—at the fire station, in the car, and at home. When live music was playing, he could be found tapping his foot, singing along with the song, and sporting a broad smile on his face. He enjoyed cooking, diving, camping, and all types of travel. Each year he would plan the family vacation while reviewing the bucket list of places to visit for his family’s next adventure.
Chris played an integral role in the department and our community. He was known for his love and devotion to his family, passion for cooking, his sense of humor, and dedication to the job at hand and the residents of Hollywood, Florida. Chris departed on a high note, doing something he loved, serving his community. This has been a great comfort to his family and friends that miss him dearly but know that he rests in perfect hands.
Thank you– Sarahjane Lay