A 57-year-old paramedic who died after catching coronavirus was extremely fit and had no underlying health conditions, his friends have said.

Mark Stanley, who was stationed at Halifax Ambulance Station, in West Yorkshire, died in Calderdale Royal Hospital on Thursday after a week-long battle with the virus.

Mr Stanley, who was a paramedic for more than 30 years after military service in the Life Guards, leaves a wife and two grown-up daughters.

Colleagues gathered outside his station in Halifax on Thursday evening to pay tribute to him during the Clap For Carers.

Friend Mark Rattigan, who is also a paramedic, said: "He was just a very, very decent, dedicated guy who lived for his family.

"I aspire to be someone like him. He was such a great bloke.

"I knew him for 32 years from when he came out of the Army."

He added: "He was as fit as a lop. He used to do open water swimming, he cycled everywhere, he didn't smoke, he drank infrequently, he looked after himself.

"When we were having fish and chips he'd be having a salad and nuts.

"He was as fit as you can get for a 57-year-old. You would struggle to find a 30-year-old with his level of fitness.

"But it's taken him down in a week."

Mr Stanley, from Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, was the second member of Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) staff to die this week after contracting Covid-19.

The other has not been named but YAS said they were an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician, from North Yorkshire, who died on Tuesday.


Chief Executive Rod Barnes said: "Both colleagues had worked tirelessly for many years serving their local communities, and were married with families.

"On behalf of everyone at YAS, we would like to offer our deepest sympathies to their families.

"We know that many people within the trust are affected by this very tragic news and we are supporting our staff at this very difficult time."