by Mitchell Crawley
THIS Anzac Day, Kingscliff's Rob Potts will sign off exactly 56 years after he started as a volunteer with St John Ambulance.
He doesn't yet know how he might feel but said he's certain he'll miss it.
"It's a bit ironic,” he told the Tweed Daily News.
"My first ever duty with St John was Anzac Day in Wollongong and my last duty will be Anzac Day up here, so it's a bit ironic how it's worked out.
"When I realised it would be my last duty I was surprised. It hadn't really hit home yet, but it's all part of the journey, I suppose.
"It was hard when I stopped being a paramedic and I'd say this is another step again.”
Mr Potts remains the St John area manager for Coffs Harbour, Kingscliff and Lismore until April 30.
When asked how many lives he's helped in his 56 years at St John and his 49 years as a NSW Ambulance paramedic, he was unwilling to suggest a ballpark figure.
But if he helped 25 people a week for 56 years a conservative suggestion would be about 72,800.
"I also think back and wonder, 'gee, how many kilometres did I drive?'” he said.
"An average day would be 300km, but I've had up to 600km - it'd be a lot.”