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David Sartorelli

2017 Distinguished Alumnus

David Sartorelli, 2017 SAIT Distinguished Alumnus

"Everybody is someone."

That belief informed the work of David Sartorelli over his 32 years of service as a paramedic. Working in Calgary's downtown core, Sartorelli was in constant contact with those society doesn't always care for. But Sartorelli cared. He'd share a kind word, give a reassuring touch, advocate for a patient who wasn't being heard. On calls, he would ask, "Is there anything we can do for you?" He talked potential suicides off bridges, delivered more than 25 babies and was always attuned not just to the patient — but to the person. He died of a heart attack in 2014 at the age of 57.

But his legacy lives on. Passionate about sharing his knowledge and positive outlook, Sartorelli served as a mentor for new paramedics and taught courses in advanced cardiac life support. He eagerly learned from those around him and constantly strove to do his best for his patients.

In 2013, Sartorelli received the Alberta College of Paramedics Award of Excellence and the Federal Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service Medal — the first person ever to receive both. A memorial award in his name, donated by his family, supports SAIT students studying to enter the profession.