Alumni continue family tradition of keeping state’s residents healthy while preparing next generation of EMTs

As the youngest of five children in a family of first responders, Kevin Ferrarotti ’02, MAT ’03, was fitted with a wooden pager by his siblings so he’d always be prepared for a pretend emergency. After all, somebody had to play the victim.

“I was, unfortunately, the test dummy for many splinting exercises,” Ferrarotti recalled with a laugh.

Following in the footsteps of his older brothers and his late father, Bill, who was one of the state’s earliest certified emergency medical services (EMS) instructors, Ferrarotti remembers being drilled on life-saving scenarios by the time he was 7 or 8. The family pool in Harwinton hosted hands-on training exercises for aspiring emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics, and it wasn’t long before, at just 16, he was riding in ambulances as a certified EMT.

Even after receiving his bachelor's degree in health science studies from Quinnipiac and, a year later, his master’s in teaching, Ferrarotti continued to moonlight as a firefighter and an EMT. “When it’s in your blood, you have a different appreciation for it,” he said.

Ferrarotti, 42, now serves as the senior system director of EMS for Hartford HealthCare, overseeing a bustling, statewide operation that includes seven hospitals as well as the Hunter’s Ambulance service. And he still teaches emergency training courses, including one at Quinnipiac.

As a graduate of both the School of Health Sciences and the School of Education, he’s been able to merge the two disciplines into a rewarding career that impacts thousands of lives. Being an EMS professional was a birthright, a family trait. But in coupling it with teaching, he discovered a lifelong passion.

Tim Ferrarotti MAT ’96, Kevin’s oldest sibling, traveled a similar path to his current position as the chair and program director of physician assistant studies at Quinnipiac. Sharing his father’s technical ability — Bill Ferrarotti was a telephone installer and a ham radio operator who ran his own communication company — Tim worked as an electrical engineer before he, too, felt the pull of a medical career.

It was at home, Tim said, where the Ferrarottis were instilled with a sense of professional curiosity and a willingness to pursue a variety of interests. The sight of the ambulance parked in the driveway was a constant reminder that helping others was a worthwhile starting point.

“Our dad did not settle, he did not rest,” said Tim, who graduated from Quinnipiac’s inaugural PA class. “Our parents showed us the way without telling us. We followed their example.”

In his role as an EMS instructor, Kevin has taught thousands of students ranging in age from 16 to 72. They go on to become doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers and athletic trainers, many of whom pass along their knowledge to future generations of first responders.

“There’s a multiplication effect,” Tim Ferrarotti said. “For every EMT or paramedic you teach, some will go on to teach others, most will impact thousands of people. It’s an unselfish way of impacting the lives of millions of people.”

Kevin Ferrarotti lives in Rocky Hill with his wife, Morgan, a fellow QU alum, and daughters, Samantha, 5, and Addison, 2. He’s traded the sleepless lifestyle of an on-call EMT for the sleepless lifestyle of a toddler dad, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. He hopes his story serves as an example of the unique and impactful careers you can forge for yourself at Quinnipiac.

“You don’t know where your career is going to end up — I think I’m proof of that,” Ferrarotti said. “You never shut a door and you try to open up as many doors as you can. You never know where life is going to take you, and you never know how your interests are going to change. So to be able to take a four-year degree that’s already so versatile and combine it with a teaching degree, that’s a tremendous advantage.”

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