36 years as an 'ambo' taught Wayne Bull about compassion

Compassionate: Wayne Bull signs off after 36 years as an ambulance officer. Picture: John Veage
Compassionate: Wayne Bull signs off after 36 years as an ambulance officer. Picture: John Veage

Wayne Bull cared for thousands of patients during 36 years as an "ambo", including 27 years in rescue and special operations, but he had a special dedication to the elderly.

"Elderly people don't like calling you out and they say things like, 'I am sorry to disturb you' and 'you must have more important things to do'," Mr Bull said as he was farewelled by colleagues at Caringbah Ambulance Station.

"I would say, 'You are the only one who matters at the moment - you called us, so let's talk about what's happening with you'.

Wayne Bull's graduation day. Picture: supplied

Wayne Bull's graduation day. Picture: supplied

"Often, they are a bit wary at first because you are a stranger, but then they open up.

"Being an ambulance officer is a bit like being an investigator - you have to listen to people to understand what is going on."

Mr Bull joined NSW Ambulance in 1984 when he was 24 after completing a sheet metal work apprenticeship and working in security.

He wanted to join the Fire Brigade but was late putting his application in and his father, a police superintendent, suggested the ambulance service.

Mr Bull said it was a good advice and the work he did was very fulfilling.

He spent many years at Rockdale and Caringbah stations and was a member of the Ambulance Rescue Squad and Special Operations from 1988 to 2015.

Wayne Bull as a member of the Ambulance Rescue Squad. Picture: supplied

Wayne Bull as a member of the Ambulance Rescue Squad. Picture: supplied

"I have attended some really traumatic jobs over the years, but there are also many nice memories," he said.

"Delivering a baby for the first time was a very stressful but also a great occasion.

"I have learnt a lot, especially about being compassionate."

Mr Bull said he had also enjoyed the friendships he made over the years with colleagues, whom he says are "more like family".

Mr Bull and his wife Carmel are long-time Jannali residents and parents to Nathan, who died from cancer two years ago, Aaron, Gabrielle and Isabelle.