El Dorado Hills firefighter/engineer Matt Belleci undertook a massive project last year, planning a large-scale training exercise in the community’s Lakehills neighborhood. involving dozens of agencies and hundreds of residents.
His efforts spawned fuel reduction, a new fire safe council and good working relationships between agencies, which are now better prepared should a catastrophic fire strike.
“Matt did an amazing job,” said EDH Fire Chief Dave Roberts. “(The neighborhood) is safer for the residents and it’s also safer for the firefighters.”
For his efforts, the Belleci was named Firefighter of the Year at last week’s Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills meeting.
Grateful for the award and the opportunity to help his community Belleci said with a smile, “This drill was a lot of work and I’m glad it’s over.” He thanked the chief, captains and fellow firefighters for their support and also thanked his wife Gretchen, who was at home with four-month-old twins while he worked long hours.
Gretchen joined Roberts and other fire officials at Wednesday’s event.