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Assistant Director of Operations for Welsh Ambulance Service standing down after 43 years of service

A WELL-respected public servant has stood down from his final post with the Welsh Ambulance Service the Assistant Director of Operations, marking the end of a 43 year career.

Robert Tooby, Bob to his friends and colleagues, worked his final shift as Assistant Director of Operations on Thursday 18 February after beginning his career with the South Wales Police Cadets in 1978.

Bob’s working life has seen him rise from Police Cadet, to Constable to Chief Superintendent for Cardiff, becoming the first Anti Human Trafficking officer for Wales and since October 2012 with the Welsh Ambulance Service, most recently commanding the Incident Coordination Centre during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reflecting on his retirement, Bob said: “I am truly humbled to have spent 43 years working for the Welsh Emergency Services with such enthusiastic and dedicated colleagues.

“It has been an honour to serve our communities and whilst working at two Welsh Police Forces and more recently with the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST).

“My thanks goes out to each and every one of my colleagues as they are the persons dedicated to making a real difference.

“It has also been a pleasure to work with such excellent partners across the Emergency Services, the NHS/ Local Authorities and numerous charities improving the quality of life for all our communities.”

On his final day with WAST colleagues gave Bob a socially distanced send off and even decorated his office.

Someone who has known and worked closely with Bob is WAST Director of Operations, Lee Brooks, who paid tribute to him by saying: “Bob has an extensive public service career in Wales that includes time at police services and nine years in our ambulance service.

“Bob should be rightfully proud of this achievement.

“Whilst in Team WAST Bob has worked in the interests of patients whilst importantly working with the interests of our people at heart.

“He has provided strength, guidance, experience, leadership and support in a way that is unique to him which we will dearly miss.

“On behalf of us all, on his last working day as one of our Assistant Directors, I wish Bob all the very best for his retirement.”

Three generations of the Tooby family have worked and are still working in public service with his late father Alan, brother Steve and son Chris all enjoying careers with the police.

Bob now plans to take some well-earned rest.

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