TRIBUTES have been paid to a frontline hero who has become the first paramedic in Wales to die after contracting coronavirus.

Gerallt Davies, 51, who was based at Cwmbwrla Station in Swansea and had worked for the ambulance service for 26 years, died on Monday (April 20).

Mr Davies was also national operations officer for St John Cymru Wales, a role which saw him awarded an MBE for his services to first aid provision in 2009.

St John Ambulance Cymru led the tributes to "a passionate, caring and kind individual who ensured volunteers always had an outlet to help others".

A spokesperson said: "He joined us over 40 years ago as a Cadet and helped at local events in the South West Wales area where he eventually went on to lead Pontarddulais Division as Divisional Officer in Charge.

"He remained there for nearly 20 years transforming the division not least by increasing its membership to 150 but by also securing lottery funding for a purpose built community hall.

The Leader:

Gerallt Davies. Image: St John Ambulance Cymru/Twitter

"Some of his greatest achievements within St John Ambulance Cymru included his role as Commissioner for West Glamorgan (2008-14) where he developed his expertise in operational event management.

"In 2014, Gerallt was instrumental in the creation of our Swansea Help Point which, since its opening in 2015, has treated over 5,000 patients and is widely viewed as the ‘gold standard’ for this type of service.

"So much so, the set up was most recently replicated at the Royal Welsh Show, where Gerallt headed up the operation.

"In 2015 Gerallt become a member of the National Operations team and under his leadership St John become the leading provider of medical cover at events and his passion for the highest of clinical standards paved way for some of our most notable training and policy changes.

"Gerallt oversaw our work at the Liberty Stadium and was instrumental in co-ordinating our response and first aid cover across UEFA Champions League in 2016.

"He was one of the heroes of St John Ambulance Cymru and the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust. He will never be forgotten.

"Our heartfelt condolences are extended to Gerallt’s family, close friends and fellow volunteers during this truly difficult time."

Jason Killens, chief executive at the Welsh Ambulances Services NHS Trust, said: “Today, Monday 20 April 2020, the Welsh Ambulance Service lost its first colleague to Covid-19.

“Gerallt Davies MBE was a paramedic at Cwmbwrla Station in Swansea and his passing is a devastating blow for us all.”

Mr Killens added: “Gerallt’s loss will be sorely felt by everyone here at Team WAST, and we extend our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to his family.

“Our focus now is on supporting Gerallt’s family and bereaved colleagues at this very difficult time.”

Peter Hughes, regional secretary for Unite Wales, said: “This is incredibly sad news. I want to pay tribute to Gerallt on behalf of the entire Unite family. Gerallt was a hugely popular individual and a dedicated NHS worker and a member of our union for over 25 years.

“His incredible service to first aid as national operations manager for St John Cymru, was rewarded with an MBE just last year. He will be hugely missed by his fellow Unite members, colleagues and everyone who was fortunate enough to know him.

“Gerallt was a hero alongside all of our frontline NHS staff. Day in, day out they are selflessly putting themselves at risk in order to protect us all from this terrible virus. When all of this is over we must never forget their brave service and all of the sacrifices they have made.

“Unite Wales offers all its support and deepest sympathies to Gerallt’s family during this difficult time.”