Calgary's Emergency Services community has been dealt a blow after one of its most senior and respected members died in a motorcycle crash.

Eric Arnestad was killed while riding his motorcycle near Seely Lake in Montana on Friday.

According to Stuart Brideaux, with Calgary EMS, from the time Arnestad graduated as a paramedic in 1978 until his death, he set a standard for emergency services in Calgary.

"Recently when I was working with his new emergency communication recruit classes, I would hold him up as the standard the new recruits would want to emulate," says Brideaux.

Arnestad was instrumental in the founding of STARS Air Ambulance, and was a mentor to hundreds of present day paramedics. That is how he met his wife Ellen.

"I know there are a lot of paramedics out there that he was their preceptor and he is very well loved by a lot of paramedics here," says Ellen Arnestad.

Fifteen years ago, Eric Arnestad contracted hepatitis C on the job, which would lead to liver failure.

Jim Lawson, offered to donate part of his own liver for a live donor transplant

"They (the doctors) told him that they couldn't because they want people to have known the recipient for two or three years," says Ellen Arnestad. "They don't want anonymous donors because it is a fairly high risk surgery even for the donor.":

Eric Arnestad had planned a motorcycle ride across Canada raising awareness of hepatitis C.

He was riding through Montana with Lawson to see if he was strong enough to make a long trip.

Eric Arnestad crashed his bike and died Friday afternoon.

Arnestad had been working in Calgary's 911 call centre. Steve Dongworth, the Public Safety Communications Manager, says Arnestad will be impossible to replace.

Ellen Arnestad is still struggling to come to grips with what happened.

"I'm the happiest married person I know. We have no issues, we just get along so well, and I'm going to miss him a lot. "