Dapto paramedic retires after 40 years' service

After more than 40 years as a paramedic in the Illawarra, Tony McLeod has seen it all.

He has experienced the carnage on Mount Ousley Road before the creation of the concrete jersey barrier, the traffic chaos of the commute to the steelworks in the 1970s, and has treated plenty of motorbike riders after accidents on Macquarie Pass.

But for all he's witnessed, Mr McLeod isn't keen on telling battle stories, and said they were "best kept among colleagues, shared over a cup of tea back at the station".

Mr McLeod, who has spent the past 13 years of his career as station officer at Dapto, retired last Friday.

Highlights of his career include Dapto Ambulance Station becoming the first in the Illawarra to achieve a 50-50 ratio of male and female staff, a mix maintained to this day.

A skilled panel beater, in conjunction with two other staff members he instigated a TAFE project to build a "Billy B Safe" (mini ambulance) children's education vehicle, which visited schools and fetes in the late 1980s and 1990s.

A keen vintage car enthusiast, Mr McLeod's first project in retirement will be to restore an early Holden.

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