A WELSH Ambulance Service worker based in Cwmbran has become the second of the service's employees to die after testing positive for coronavirus.

Paul Teesdale, a call handler for the Trust's Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service, died overnight after testing positive on New Year's Day.

Mr Teesdale was described as a "straight talker" who was known for his "wicked sense of humour".

Colleagues described the 64-year-old, who lived in Pontyclun, in Rhondda Cynon Taf, as a "true gentleman" and the "heart of the department".

He joined the ambulance service in June 2012 after a long and distinguished career with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

He worked as an ambulance care assistant in Hawthorn until April 2014, when he took up a call handler role for the Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service.

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

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Jason Killens, chief executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Paul Teesdale, who was a much-loved and highly-regarded member of our organisation and who took great pride in his work.

“A straight-talker best known for his wicked sense of humour, 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 at Team WAST, and we extend our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to his family.

“Our focus now is on supporting Paul’s family and bereaved colleagues at this difficult time.”


South Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s chief fire officer, Huw Jakeway, added: “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.

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“On retirement from our service, he went on to work with the Welsh Ambulance Service.

“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 the second Welsh Ambulance Service colleague lost to Covid-19, following the death last April of paramedic Gerallt Davies MBE, 51, a paramedic in Cwmbwrla, Swansea.