AS MUCH as he would shy away from it, many in Leeton shire would view paramedic Chris Bailey as being the town's own guardian angel.
Mr Bailey is this month celebrating 50 years of service to NSW Ambulance.
That is a huge feat given the non-stop emergencies paramedics attend to each and every day.
The mental and physical toll can be huge, but having Mr Bailey on side is certainly something many Leeton shire residents have experienced in their time of need.
It is also highly likely Mr Bailey is one of a select few who have ever notched up 50 years of service to the industry.
Becoming involved in the ambulance service was something steeped in family history for Mr Bailey.
His late father, Superintendent Alan Bailey, is known as the instigator and director of the first NSW Ambulance School, having himself also worked throughout many country districts.
It was five decades ago that Mr Bailey first started out in the career, originally as an appointee to the Ambulance Board's nursing cadetship scheme in 1970 where he was the first male nurse to start.
He graduated as a registered nurse in 1973 and in 1976 started employment with the Central District Ambulance Service, working in several metropolitan stations.
As his continued training progressed over the years, so to did his skills and awards.
He has many commendations to his name.
Mr Bailey first came to Leeton in 1986 due to his late wife's illness and need to be near her family, applying for station officer.
During his time in Leeton he has not only helped countless of people in times of illness, tragedy and immense sadness, but he has fought hard for the rights of paramedics.
Mr Bailey's caring nature is something many have come across and, reaching 50 years in what can be at times a trying career, is certainly something to be proud of.
"What amazes me is just how quick the time has gone ... it's been my life," he said.
"To be honest, in every job, there is always there's ups and downs. One highlight for me is graduating as an intensive care paramedic.
"The biggest one was being awarded an Ambulance Service Medal, which was an Australia Day honour, and being presented that by Dame Marie Bashir."
Working as a paramedic regularly means long hours and there are tough calls to attend to during many shifts, but Mr Bailey has done his best to not only help people, but also work to better his skills and those of his staff members.
He has been involved in clinical support training and leadership roles during his time. It was only in September, 2018 that he stepped down as the Leeton station officer and manager.
His expertise is revered by many and his community work outside of the job has also been a big part of Mr Bailey's life.
This has included re-establishing the Leeton Ambulance Auxiliary, he was the co-founder of the Leeton Hospital Loss and Grief Group and teaching first aid courses for a number of sectors over the years.
What amazes me is just how quick the time has gone ... it's been my life.Leeton intensive care paramedic Chris Bailey
What hasn't changed over the 50 years is his dedication to the job and the community he serves.
However, over those 50 years of course there have been many big changes in the industry through different rules and regulations, the upgrade of ambulance vehicles, technology and much more.
"It's definitely very different today, but I still enjoy it," Mr Bailey said.
To this day, Mr Bailey remains working as a full-time intensive care paramedic in Leeton, caring for his patients, which is the thing he loves doing most.
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He said he has made many great friends for life along the way.
"I'm hoping to possibly start winding back to part-time, probably from next year," Mr Bailey said.
A small celebration will be held on Friday at the Leeton station to honour Mr Bailey and his service.
While it's hard to do justice to a 50-year career in a small space, one thing is for certain - the Leeton community will be forever grateful to Mr Bailey now and into the future.