MEET Tony and Shaana Coffey — the “Pappa and Baby Chino” of the Ambulance Service of NSW.
Cronulla locals Mr Coffey, 57, is acting station supervisor at Bondi while Ms Coffey, 27, is based at nearby Maroubra station.
But both agreed it was just a coincidence they chose the same careers, with Mr Coffey saying “she certainly wasn’t following in my footsteps” and her agreeing “it’s always been dad’s kind of job”.
FITZY’S FATHERLY ADVICE
Mr Coffey joined the service seven years ago while Ms Coffey was travelling overseas, with Ms Coffey joining a year later while her dad was posted in the state’s south.
The pair have worked just two shifts together, but it’s been enough for other paramedics to nickname them ‘Pappa Chino’ and ‘Baby Chino.’
Ms Coffey said the pair often ran into each other during hospital transfers and he was quick to tell everyone she was his daughter.
Pappa Chino’ is proud as punch of his daughter ‘Baby Chino’ and loves to tell his colleagues all about it. Picture Craig Greenhill
Mr Coffey said their colleagues were always chuffed they were related, but the first thing anyone asked when they worked together was who had driven that shift.
“The first thing anyone asked was ‘what did you think of her driving?,” he said, “And I told them I think she’s quite competent, I was the one who taught her!”
Mr Coffey said he had wanted to become a paramedic for many years before joining, but had wanted to wait until his kids had grown up so he wouldn’t miss out on things with the shiftwork.
“I think it was Shaana who said ‘you should do it, you’ll just become a grumpy old man if you don’t,” he joked.
Ms Coffey said it was great having a dad in the same job, but admitted she’d slipped a couple of times and called him ‘dad’ on shift, much to the amusement of their patients.
She said they made a good team because they knew how the other operated and would react in situations, saying he had only gone into dad mode once.
“When we worked together once he got a bit protective when we were dealing with an intoxicated person who was a bit aggressive,” she said, “but he certainly knows I can hold my own and I can be scarier than he is sometimes.”
Both agreed it was the tougher jobs which made the work connection with someone so close especially important, having their “own little support network” in each other.
There’s always going to be some job that’s going to play on your mind,” Mr Coffey said, “we can just have a quick chat or a text, or have a cup of tea or a beer after work to talk about it.”