Covid: 'True gentleman' ambulance call handler dies with virus

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image copyrightWelsh Ambulance Services Trust
image captionColleagues described Paul Teesdale as the "heart of the department"

An ambulance call handler who died after testing positive for Covid has been described as being "the heart of the department" by colleagues.

Paul Teesdale worked as call handler for the Welsh ambulance service's non-emergency patient transport service.

The 64-year-old from Pontyclun, Rhondda Cynon Taf, tested positive for the virus on New Year's Day.

The trust's chief executive Jason Killens said he was a "straight-talker" with a "wicked sense of humour".

He is the second member of the Welsh Ambulance service to die with Covid, following the death of paramedic Gerallt Davies in April.

Mr Killens said: "Colleagues describe Paul as a 'true gentleman' and the 'heart of the department' as well as a font of all knowledge, especially for new recruits.

"Losing one colleague to Covid-19 was difficult, but losing two is devastating and it's hard to find the words to express how colleagues across the service are feeling as they hear this news.

"Paul's loss will be sorely felt by everyone here, and we extend our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to his family."

image copyrightWelsh Ambulance Service Trust
image captionPaul Teesdale was in the fire service for 32 years before becoming an ambulance call handler in 2012

Mr Teesdale joined the ambulance service in 2012 after a "long and distinguished" career in the fire service.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service's chief fire officer Huw Jakeway said: "We are extremely saddened to have been informed today of the passing of retired watch manager Paul Teesdale.

"Having served for more than 32 years with both Mid Glamorgan Fire Service and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Paul was a professional operational officer and a highly respected trainer within our service.

"Paul was committed to making a positive difference to the lives of others and he was dedicated to public duty and helping others."

"The thoughts and sincere condolences of all at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service are with Paul's loved ones, colleagues and friends at this tragic and extremely sad time."

Mr Teesdale is survived by his wife Tina and his two children, Ruth and Nicky.

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