Fire Capt. Jose Sanchez is the city’s Firefighter of the Year.
Sanchez, 42, was selected by his peers, who cited his dedication to the welfare of the community and his co-workers.
Sanchez has developed interactive training videos for the department’s emergency medical technician program, presented public education programs and helped with the county’s bombero program, which provides equipment and training to Mexican firefighters.
He also has volunteered for charitable functions across the city, including work for the Muscular Dystrophy Assn., the Marine Corps’ annual toy drive and youth sports teams at St. Juliana Catholic School.
The Placentia resident is a 20-year veteran of the Fire Department. He was hired as a dispatcher in 1976. Though he wanted to be a firefighter, Sanchez, who is 5-foot-6, was barred by a 5-foot-8 height requirement.
However, Sanchez became a firefighter the following year when that restriction was lifted. In 1982 he became a paramedic, and a year later he was promoted to fire engineer. He became a captain in 1987.