Death of paramedic, 53

A MUCH-loved and respected paramedic who had ‘caring in his blood’, helping saving lives across East Devon for more than 34 years, has died.

A MUCH-loved and respected East Devon paramedic who had ‘caring in his blood’, helping to save lives across the district for more than 34 years, has died.

Serving ambulance man Ian Newbery, 53, of Withycombe Road, Exmouth, died in hospital on January 5 with his mum and his 17-year-old son at his bedside.

He started his career in Honiton and his funeral service was held in Axmouth.

All his adult life, Ian saved lives. He joined Devon Ambulance Service aged just 18 in July 1976, after serving as an active member of St John Ambulance.

He joined the service as a trainee in Honiton, earning just �34 a week, before qualifying as ambulance technician and, later, a paramedic in 1997.

He also trained fellow staff in coping with potential chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear threats.

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During Ian’s career he worked across all stations in East Devon including Seaton, Axminster, Sidmouth and Honiton before eventually transferring to the Exmouth Station in 2007, based in Liverton Business Park.

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

“His flexibility towards working across East Devon was second to none. He received many letters of appreciation from patients following the care and dedication he has provided the people in East Devon for the last 34 years.

“Ian always maintained a positive outlook on life, particularly during his recent cancer treatment.

“He was held in very high regard by work colleagues, friends and also his fellow volunteers in St John Ambulance. He will be sorely missed.

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

Ian’s brother-in-law, Paul, said: “He was never off duty and would always stop and help people in their moment of need. He had two families, those he was actually related to and his family at work.”

His mum, Barbara, added that she was ‘particularly proud’ of his commitment to work and the huge effort he put in to become a paramedic.

The Rev John V Mapson, Vicar of Axmouth with Musbury, added that in his 1976 work reference, Ian wrote that he was not joining the Ambulance Service through the need of employment, but because of a real interest in ambulance work. “He had a calling because caring is in his blood.”

A thanksgiving service in Ian’s memory is on Tuesday, January 18, at 2pm at St Michaels Church, Axmouth, and all are very welcome to pay their respects.

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