(Allentown, PA)- For Lehigh County Employee Travis Pezzuto, service has always come before self. Pezzuto, known to many as “Mattress Man”, has lived a life committed to serving his community and helping those in need.
He began giving back almost as soon as he could, starting during his time at King’s College. He volunteered at two local facilities: Riverstreet Manor Nursing Home and Jannuzzi Personal Care Home for the mentally disabled. A few years later, he also became an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and has continued to serve as one ever since.
Pezzuto took those skills to Forks and Easton soon after he transferred to DeSales University. He served on the Forks Township Emergency Squad running ambulance calls and with Pennsylvania Water Rescue in Easton as a Rescue Scuba Diver.
Before he started working at Lehigh County, Travis’s passion and commitment brought him to the Probation and Parole Department as an intern.
His time as an intern impressed his colleagues so much that shortly thereafter, he was brought on as an employee. Initially, he taught GED classes part-time before being hired full-time as an Electronic Monitoring/House Arrest Officer.
Over the years, his service to the county has taken a multitude of valuable and deeply important roles. He has worked as an Officer in the Repeat DUI Offender Program, a pre-sentence investigation writer, and an institutional pre-parole officer who investigates home plans for those planning to parole from the jail.
Despite the rigor and time required at the county, he continues to serve as an EMT and rescue diver.
Travis also does his part to ensure that other public servants have the skills they need to serve and protect. He works as a backup instructor for Prevention through Anti-Violence Education (PAVE), a certified firearms instructor, and a certified first aid, CRP/AED instructor. He helps oversee the recertification of county employees every 2 years. He also teaches Alcohol Safe Driving School for those going through the DUI system and Retail Theft Class.
Perhaps Travis’s most well-known community endeavor is his work to provide mattresses and furniture to those in need, many of them referred by Children and Youth Services. This is done through the Outreach Depot in Allentown, a charity organization that collects furniture to give away.
“To date, they’ve given away 130 full-size bed sets and 70 king-size bed sets, 35 blankets, 50 sheet sets, 125 pillows, and also five cases of diapers to a local mother/baby shelter. That work was aided by the Blue Crew, a work crew made up of inmates and work supervisors that gives those in prison a chance to give back during their sentence.”
The Outreach Depot can be visited at their site: http://www.lvoutreachdepot.org
Despite all of this, Travis’s service extends well beyond his duties on the job. His commitment to others extends beyond the walls of the county.
In 2005, he established The William J. Tauschman Memorial Cancer Volunteers, named for his grandfather, a World War II D-Day Veteran and Mack Trucks employee who passed at 80 from cancer. The organization has helped raise over $100,000 to assist patients of all ages.
Travis also regularly donates blood platelets to Miller Keystone Blood Center because of their limited 5-day shelf life. Travis has donated over 42 gallons to date.
Travis is a proud husband and has two girls, ages 11 and 13. All his time spent serving his community might lead many to ask if he has any time left.
However, even in this aspect he continues to be dedicated and active. He has coached his daughter’s volleyball teams and practices Jiu-Jitsu.
He continues to represent the very best that a community can ask of its public servants. Travis continues to work as parole officer for Lehigh County and is a lifelong resident of the Valley.
Information provided to TVL by:
Public Information Officer
County of Lehigh, Office of the County Executive
17 S. 7th Street, 4th Floor, Suite 436
Allentown, PA 18101