Chris Bellis has a natural inclination to help others whenever the need arises.
It’s what makes his job as a lineworker so rewarding. When storms or other circumstances knock out power to PPL Electric Utilities customers, Bellis is determined to get their lights back on as safely and quickly as possible.
“When people are out of power, we need to fix it to make sure they can go about their lives,” said Bellis, a 16-year employee of PPL Electric. “It’s really very gratifying to be able to help someone else.”
And that goes beyond his job. Bellis can recall a number of situations where he’s gone out of his way to lend a hand, whether it be helping someone at a traffic accident or helping a motorist change a tire.
Perhaps his most memorable helping moment came on Christmas Eve in 2021 when a normal day at work took a dramatic turn in seconds.
Bellis was driving on Hamilton Street in Allentown from one job to another when he noticed the area around him seemingly became foggy. It didn’t take him long to realize it was smoke.
He didn’t hesitate. He found a safe place to park, called 911 and then went toward the house to make sure anyone inside was able to get out.
“The 911 operator asked if anyone was in the house. I went to the back door and there was a lady coming out,” Bellis said. “I escorted her out of the house and got her into a warm vehicle. I then did my job by shutting off the power to the house so that firefighters could fight the fire safely.”
His heroic deed wasn’t lost on the city’s fire department or others.
Bellis, a former emergency medical technician and volunteer firefighter, received certificates of appreciation from the Allentown Fire Department, state Senator Patrick Browne and state Representatives Peter Schweyer and Mike Schlossberg.
Bellis was touched by the recognition and the fact that a city fire marshal nominated him for the honor.
“Safety, and keeping others safe, is a very important part of our job,” Bellis said. “And it’s important to keep that safety mindset everywhere you go.
“I just love to help people.”