A SON is marking the 20th anniversary of his father’s death by raising awareness of defibrillators and encouraging the public to get familiar with how they work and where they are located.

Ron Massey was an ambulance driver before becoming a paramedic officer in the area in 1989.

On December 29 1997, Ron was working at Abergele Hospital as a paramedic when he was requested to attend a road accident in the area. He collapsed at the side of his rapid response vehicle.

Ron had suffered a cardiac arrest. When a colleague found him, he was rushed to Glan Clwyd Hospital but never regained consciousness. He died the next day, aged 46.

Ron was well known in the area, especially to his work colleagues and staff at the hospital. His memorial bench is situated at the back of Rhyl ambulance station.

His son, Wayne Massey, who works as a cardiac physiologist for the NHS in West Yorkshire, is now opening up about his father’s death in the aim to help others and is urging people to know where their nearest defibrillator is located.

He said: “My job involves carrying out tests to help diagnose heart problems in patients, so I totally support the importance of people in the Rhyl community knowing where their nearest defibrillator is situated – especially in rural areas – and how to use them.

“They can now be found in supermarkets, train stations and sport centres. The chances of a person surviving an ‘out of hospital’ cardiac arrest is less than 10 per cent, and this diminishes by every second without that person receiving a shock to restore a normal heart rhythm.

“My dad did some voluntary work to raise awareness in how to deliver basic life support, bearing in mind this was 20 years ago when only ambulances carried defibrillators.”

Leading up to his death, Wayne said his dad “wasn’t ill at all”.

“He looked a little tired leading leading up to the day he had the cardiac arrest, but otherwise – no signs,” said Wayne, who was aged 20 when his father died.

“When a colleague found him, he was able to shock him but he had been there too long so didn’t survive the night on intensive care.

“I think the advancement in medicine and technology since 20 years ago has moved on dramatically, but the risks of having an out-of-hospital arrest still remain high.

“Public awareness of how to use defibrillators can save lives.”

“My mum still lives in Rhyl with my sister. I also have a brother and I now live in Huddersfield.

“My dad was born in Flint in 1951. We all moved to Rhyl in 1989 to be closer to his work at Rhyl ambulance station.

“ He had worked at Rhyl station since 1983, before becoming a training officer in Abergele in 1995.”

“He had been an ambulance driver since 1983 before becoming a paramedic in 1989. He was very passionate about his job and loved training new starters. He referred to them as his ‘little chickens’.

“He had a very dry sense of humour but got along with everyone. He loved to watch Rhyl FC and they even had a minutes silence at Belle Vue after he died.

"I think the advancement in medicine and technology since 20 years ago has moved on dramatically, but the risks of having an out of hospital arrest still remain high.