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Car seat specialist aims to serve

In over 20 years as a crash investigator with the Manchester, N.H., Police Department, Guy Tremblay saw firsthand the results when children traveled in outdated or defective car seats. In response, he began to conduct safety checks of child passenger seats. The experience proved very gratifying. "People would thank me and hug me," he says. But Tremblay was only doing what he had been taught to do—"reaching out to the poor . . . the ones who don't have the new cars or the new car seats." He couldn't imagine doing anything else.

Photo: Mark Austin-Washburn

Several months ago, he heard about a position with the Injury Prevention Center at DHMC as an instructor who would train police officers, firefighters, nurses, and others as child passenger seat inspectors. Tremblay felt he was perfect for the job. "It was as if somebody said, 'Here you go, buddy.'"

But things didn't always come so easily for Tremblay. Originally from a small town 160 miles north of Quebec City, he arrived in Manchester as an 18-year-old immigrant who spoke only French. After a year and a half of laying bricks, he went back to high school. When he graduated, it was 1966 and he figured he'd be drafted even though he wasn't yet a citizen—so he enlisted in the Marines' air wing. After a distinguished tour in Vietnam, he was tapped to work on the presidential helicopters at Quantico, Va. "It was really quite an honor. But when they found out that I wasn't a citizen, I got booted."

Not long after his discharge, though, Tremblay did become a citizen and eventually earned a degree in criminal investigation at St. Anselm's College in Manchester. He began his lawenforcement career on the west side of town—where immigrants and poorer families lived. After five years, he applied for the position of traffic investigator. He received numerous commendations, but when asked what he's most proud of, he says: "Many times I was called to help others, and I enjoyed it."

He brings the same strategy to his new job as a child passenger safety specialist at DHMC. Indeed, when asked his goals, he sounds a familiar note: "We're helping everybody, but I'm trying to reach for the poor." Some things never change. J.J.D.

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