Paramedic job was Bob’s ‘true calling’

IF your life has been saved by an Exmouth paramedic, there is a good chance you knew Brixington’s Bob Mason, who died suddenly at home just short of his 56th birthday.

Robert Mason, 55, from Brixington Lane, had worked as a paramedic for 27 years – the last 11 in the Exmouth-based Liverton Business Park HQ.

Born in Cowbridge, South Wales, on September 8, 1955, his father Philip was in the RAF and, from 1977, he worked as an insurance salesman for Pearl Assurance.

He found ‘his calling’ in 1984 and qualified as a paramedic, and worked for the Two Shires Ambulance NHS Trust in Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire.

But when his wife Annette landed a job at Budleigh Salterton Hospital as a senior nurse, they upped sticks and he joined the South Western Ambulance Service Trust in Cullompton in 1997.

Bob, a computer buff, who produced his own DVD and conducted his own online discussion forums, then transferred to Exmouth in 2000.

James Searle, operations manager for Exeter and East Devon South West Ambulance Service, said: “Bob was a pleasure to manage.

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“His mother, Norma, was immensely proud when he wanted to become a paramedic.

“She thought it was his calling and he was always keen to make a difference.”

He added: “Paramedics work so closely together as there is a real sense of companionship, we are really close knit.

“You can experience things that sometimes it is even too difficult to talk to your own family about. That creates a bond.

“We can find another paramedic to work in Exmouth, but you can’t replace someone’s personality and sense of humour.

“Bob was held in very high regard by work colleagues. He will be sorely missed.

“I feel honoured to have worked with him and to have known him.”

Bob is the third member of the Trust paramedic team who has died in just 12 months, following Exmouth’s Ian Newbury and Colin Craig, in what Mr Searle says has been a very ‘tough year’ for the service.

His memorial service was conducted at the East Devon Crematorium at Whimple last week.

Bob leaves a wife and two sons.