AN AMBULANCE worker who served for 42 years has had a defibrillator dedicated to his memory.

Before he died, Derek Peter Emery wanted one installed to help the public treat someone suffering a heart attack.

It was unveiled at a ceremony at St Nicholas Church Hall in Saltdean attended by family, friends and members of the ambulance service.

Derek’s widow Dot Emery said: “Derek loved the ambulance: it was his life”.

Derek died in September last year aged 67.

The defibrillator has been fixed to an outside church wall.

Defibrillators are now commonplace in public areas.

They are often known as public access defibrillators because anyone can use them in an emergency.

They deliver a high-energy electric shock to the heart and should be used when someone is in cardiac arrest.

Each year in Britain some 30,000 people are struck by sudden cardiac arrest outside hospitals.

The British Heart Foundation says for every extra minute it takes to find a defibrillator, a patient’s chances of survival reduce by up to ten per cent.