PENN HILLS, Pa. — Up and down Frankstown Road, emergency vehicles lined up with their lights flashing at the William F. Gross Funeral Home in Penn Hills, as first responders said their final goodbyes to paramedic Nick Theofilis.
It was a touching tribute to Theofilis, who was not only a paramedic for Penn Hills, but also at White Oak. He was also a volunteer firefighter in Rosedale.
“I don’t know if you’d find one person in the area that has ever met Nick that didn’t love Nick,” family friend Mame Saltzman said.
With the siren blaring, his funeral procession made its way from the funeral home to Universal Road, where the Penn Hills Fire Department paid its respects with crossed ladders in front of the #227 volunteer fire department.
It was a difficult day for family and friends.
“I think if Nick had to pick a way for him to go, this would be the scenario he wanted, because that was his motto — giving unto others,” family friend Mary Chirdon said.
First responders from all over the Pittsburgh area turned out to bid farewell to Nick, who was only 23 years old when he died on duty.
It was a Sunday night when Nick drove a Penn Hills ambulance, which collided with a car in Shadyside.
When Pittsburgh police arrived on the scene, Nick was in cardiac arrest and died at the hospital.
He is remembered as an eager public servant — someone born to serve.
“Wherever he went, he made friends. That’s how he was — old, young, always looking out for everybody,” family friend Dani Scott said.
Nick was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery.
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