Dave Tempestini: Student and First Responder

Nicole Myers

CB South senior Dave Tempestini not only takes on the tiring schoolwork of three AP classes during the course of a typical school day, but when he goes home, it’s just the start of a long and eventful night.

Tempestini explained that he always knew that he was interested in the field of first responders, but what really got him hooked were the thrilling stories that his brother’s friend told him. The friend of the family has been working as a first responder for about a year and had an endless amount of exciting stories to share.

Eventually, Tempestini got up the nerve to ask him for more information about doing a ride along. After it was all set up and the day finally came, Tempestini realized that being a first responder was the job for him and continued his involvement from then on.

After a long day of school, he goes home to cram in his homework and dinner before leaving to start his shift at 6. If a shift falls in the middle of a school week, he will only be on call until around 11. On a weekend, a typical shift is either 6a.m.-6p.m. or 6p.m.-6a.m..

When he starts a shift as a first responder, there is no predicting what is in store for that day. Tempestini added that an average day can be anywhere from “bandaging a simple cut” to “doing CPR to save someone’s life.”

A normal day on the job as a first responder starts with minimal stress. He clocks in and checks the supplies that are in the ambulance. And that’s just about the only normal part of the job.

Sometimes he is needed to interview someone who is interested in volunteering, and he has even interviewed high school students and emergency room nurses. Some days, when there aren’t other jobs to do, the first responders will continue to train. Although on other days, they might not even get the chance to do that because there are so many calls that need to be taken.

He recalled a time when he went on call and received news that they needed to pick a patient up to take to the hospital. When the patient got into the ambulance, he was acting completely healthy and fully conscious.

Out of nowhere, as soon as the door closed, the patient went into cardiac arrest. Everything changed in an instant. Before Tempestini could think twice, he was leaning over the patient giving him CPR to ensure that the man would stay alive.

The first call he received as a first responder was of a patient who had just had a heart attack. “I was already scared because it was my first day, but when I found out my first call was something as serious as a heart attack, I froze up,” he said. It goes to show the amount of bravery and willingness some students have to make a difference.

“When I first started, I just did it to help people,” Tempestini said, “but now that I have experienced what it is like to provide care in the medical field, I want to go to medical school and become a doctor.” Working as a first responder changed his path for the future.

Most students work in addition to attending school, but students with jobs and commitments like Dave Tempestini really go above and beyond. As a 17-year-old, he proves that age is just a number, and students of the Central Bucks community are capable of anything they set their minds to.