You can’t miss Trent “Trentman” DiMauro if you visit Merrill Campground at Eagle Lake while he and his family are there on vacation. Trent is a 16-year old young man with a contagious smile, bright eyes and a loving spirit. Trent faces the challenges of cerebral palsy, which is why you’ll see him moving about the campground in his motorized chair; but he certainly doesn’t let that stop him from making friends and changing the lives of those he meets. In fact, the group that vacations at Merrill Campground has grown over the years as Trent meets new people and brings them into his family circle.
Trent’s family has been spending their vacation at Eagle Lake for the last 29 years. Several years ago, CAL FIRE Captain Eric Thompson had the opportunity to meet the DiMauro family when he and his crew from Eagle Lake Station drove through Merrill Campground in their fire engine. They have been visiting Trent each year since. “It is wonderful to see the excitement on Trent’s face when he sees the fire engine arrive,” said Captain Thompson. “Each year we find out when he’s going to be visiting and make sure to come by and say hello.”
In 2009 Trent became an honorary captain with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) when Captain Thompson, Firefighters Cody Leventon, Matt Falkowski, Robbie Whitchurch, and Smokey Bear presented Trent with a special helmet designed by Firefighter Rick Kelly. “This will be my last year at Eagle Lake Station,” said Captain Thompson, “and I wanted to do something special for Trent. He brings a lot of joy to the people around him. We wanted to give a little of it back.”