Toronto

Toronto paramedic remembered as 'bright, shining light' as hundreds attend his funeral

Family, friends and members of the emergency medical services community paid tribute on Friday to George Eliadis, the Toronto paramedic killed in a motorcycle crash earlier this month.

George Eliadis and his partner Shari Keyes-Williams died in Haliburton, Ont., earlier this month

Mayor John Tory was in attendance at Friday afternoon's funeral for George Eliadis, the Toronto paramedic killed in a motorcycle crash earlier this month. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

Family, friends and members of the emergency medical services community paid tribute on Friday to George Eliadis, the Toronto paramedic killed in a motorcycle crash earlier this month. 

Eliadis, along with his partner Shari Keyes-Williams, were two of several motorcyclists hit when a car crossed the centre line on a Haliburton County highway on July 15. Both were killed in the crash.

"George Eliadis was a trusted colleague, dear friend and a pillar of our work family," said Siobhan Carlin, who worked with Eliadis for all but one of his 27 years in the Toronto Paramedic Services. "He was a bright, shining light, he will be a treasure to us all for years to come."

Siobhan Carlin, who worked with Eliadis for 26 years, described him as a pillar of her work family. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

Many paramedics attending Friday's funeral chose to wear their uniforms. The honour guard and Toronto Mayor John Tory were also in attendance.

Carlin described the large turnout as a "testament to truly the man that he was."

Many paramedics chose to attend Eliadis's funeral in full uniform. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

Marc Dugas worked with Eliadis for 20 years and remembered him as a natural born leader.

"You never had to worry if you were on a call with him," he said. "He looked after people, he took care of people."

Marc Dugas remembered Eliadis as a natural born leader who always had a handle on difficult situations. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

Eliadis was known for his emergency planning work for some of Toronto's biggest events, said Toronto Paramedic Services spokesperson Kim McKinnon, including the Pan Am Games, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, and Pride.

Michael McCallion worked closely with Eliadis during the Toronto Pan Am Games in 2015, and said he "was instrumental in the many changes we made in how we interact with police services and fire services."

Michael McCallion had fond memories of Eliadis's Greek honey balls, which he used to bring into the workplace and the Greek sayings he taught them over the years. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

He vividly recalls how proud Eliadis was of his Greek heritage, and the Greek honey balls he would often bring to work. 

"I just really miss him ... we just really miss him," he said. 

Toronto paramedic George Eliadis (right) and his partner Shari Keyes-Williams (left) were killed when a vehicle hit a group of motorcyclists in Haliburton County. (Facebook)

"George proudly served for 27 years with the city's paramedic services where he helped Toronto residents during emergencies," Tory said in a statement earlier this week. 

Eliadis was a loving father of two, Christopoulos said, a new grandfather and longtime partner to Keyes-Williams.