The newspaper recently reported that Albert Tempesta was involved in a code enforcement lawsuit (“Former Benton code officer sues town on age discrimination, whistleblower charges,” May 10), and also enclosed an insert extolling the virtues of Maine’s emergency medical services system.

Tempesta is one of Maine’s unsung EMS heroes. The Maine Legislature passed its first child carseat law in 1983, and in 1984, the Maine Office of Emergency Medical Services developed a series of procedures for treating and transporting infants and toddlers in car seats from motor vehicle collisions.

Tempesta, of Dexter Rescue, read about these new techniques in a Maine EMS Newsletter, and a few days later responded to a car collision where the driver was killed, and his two grandsons were alive in car seats in the back seat. Tempesta was the first EMT to use the new skills on actual pediatric collision victims.

For the next two years, the use of these techniques by Maine EMS personnel was studied, and in 1986, were published in a national EMS journal. Since then, they are part of the textbook used to train EMTs in the Maine Community College System.

For the past 40 years, Maine’s infant/toddler spinal immobilization techniques have been the nation’s standard of care for kids in car seats, but few remember the techniques originated at Maine EMS, and that Tempesta was the EMT who led the way.

Robert Gross


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