Maine EMS Pioneer Passes Away

Goodwin was the first statewide emergency medical services training coordinator,


MEREDITH GOAD, Portland Press Herald | | Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Most of the people who were touched by the life of C. Frederick Goodwin Jr. had no idea who he was or exactly how he helped them.

But through his work and his teaching he saved many lives, directly or indirectly.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Mr. Goodwin - who was known as Freddie - worked as a volunteer on a Scarborough rescue unit. He and his co-workers were the forerunners of modern Emergency Medical Technicians.

With no formal medical training, it was their job simply to make people comfortable and get them to the closest hospital as quickly as possible.

''He basically started on the Scarborough Rescue and came home one day - I'll never forget it, Christmas Day - crying because there had been no training and the patient died because meat was stuck in his throat,'' recalled his wife, Patricia Goodwin of Freeport.

''He decided he could make things better, and that's how it all began.''

Mr. Goodwin went to the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., to get medical training, and in the early 1970s taught the first EMT course in southern Maine. He worked full time as a chemistry instructor at Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute, but in his spare time wrote federal grants to get the financing for EMT training in Maine.

Mr. Goodwin was the first statewide emergency medical services training coordinator, and in 1989, he was awarded the State Emergency Medical Services Award.

''He really enjoyed helping people,'' his wife said. ''He and I are so different. I would ride around on calls with him and sit in the car and cry. That was my role. And he was the type that, quite honestly, people would see him coming and they would calm right down and then do what they were supposed to do.''

Patricia Goodwin met her husband when they were both students at Colby College in Waterville. She said she was drawn to his intelligence, good looks and his ''very quick, dry, New England sense of humor.''

They married in January 1966, eloping to Florida.

''Throughout our life, we had our times, as couples do, but overall he made me feel that he could take care of everything for us,'' she said.

In the early years of their marriage, the Goodwins salvaged shipwrecks along the Maine coast that Mr. Goodwin had researched.

In 1969, Patricia Goodwin recalled, ''it rained all summer and we were up at Pemaquid, staying in a tent and working on shipwrecks. It was amazing.''

A daughter, Danielle, came along in 1971.

Mr. Goodwin was something of a Renaissance man, who could teach chemistry or physics one day and work on cars or do some landscaping the next. He and his wife enjoyed refinishing furniture and fixing up old houses.

The Goodwins stayed married for 20 years before divorcing. They lived apart for about 17 years, and then, in 2001, decided to remarry.

They eloped once again, this time tying the knot in front of the Freeport town clerk.

''We've always been best friends, so it just made sense,'' Patricia Goodwin said. ''Some of my friends thought I was crazy, but it has worked.''

Mr. Goodwin died unexpectedly at his home Friday morning at age 68. He'll be remembered during a graveside memorial service at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Scarborough's Black Point Cemetery.

''He was a good guy,'' Patricia Goodwin said. ''He really was.''

Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy

Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, obituary

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS


Get JEMS in Your Inbox


Fire EMS Blogs

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts


EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Maryland Pool Chemical Leak Sends 35 Campers to Hospitals

Patients transported to four area hospitals.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Pennsylvania Ambulance Catches Fire

Investigators look into cause of fire.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Stolen Florida Ambulance Back in Service

Rig was stolen from outside of ER.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Ambulance Service Returns to Illinois City

Fire district picks up after ATS Medical Services.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Hands On July 2014

Check out the latest products and innovations in JEMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Wounded Veteran Resiliency

Marine is one of many in quality of life study.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

National EMS Memorial Bike Ride 2014

Over 50 riders honor those killed in the line of duty in 2013.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >

More Product Videos >