Tributes paid to tireless volunteer responsible for saving many lives

Mike Dean SUS-170316-094112001
Mike Dean SUS-170316-094112001

The life of a man who dedicated his energies and many skills for the benefit of the community will be celebrated in the church where he worshipped.

Mike Dean died on March 1 following a long fight against cancer. He will be remembered in Bexhill for his service as town centre police officer, but his commitment to the community extended far beyond his working life.

Mike was born in Southall. His working life began with Seeboard, in London showrooms for 12 years and then as manager of the Bexhill branch in St Leonards Road.

The cornerstones of Mike’s life were his Christian faith and his family. Marriage to Wendy brought daughter Heidi and sons Phil and Ian, followed by grandchildren Emily, George, Katie, Elizabeth, Jonathan, Ted and Dorrie.

Mike joined the Sussex Constabulary in March 1969 at Eastbourne. He transferred to the Polegate Traffic Division where he served until 1979 before leaving. He re-joined the police in January 1984 at Bexhill where he served until 1989, before returning to the Traffic Division in Hastings, remaining there until his retirement in 1996. During the period he was out of the police, he served as a retained fireman at Pevensey Station.

Mike was committed to the cause of road safety. He provided driver training for the Institute of Advanced Motorists and was an examiner. Jill Andrews, who succeeded Mike in the role, said: “Mike became Divisional Superintendent of Bexhill St. John Ambulance in 1996 and straight away set to work raising the profile of the division. Though first aid for the community was his priority, his many connections and contacts in the town enabled funds to be raised for two brand-new ambulances and the conversion of a building to house them.

“One of Mike’s last initiatives as Divisional Superintendent was to lead Bexhill Division in a joint venture with Sussex Ambulance called the St. John Neighbourhood First Responders. This was later to become South East Coast Ambulance Community First Responders, with Mike as team leader and is a lasting legacy to his care and compassion for the people of the town and beyond.”

John Dowling, president of the League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital, said: “Mike served the League of Friends loyally and energetically for many years. He brought a wealth of knowledge and experience gained with Sussex Police and a St John Ambulance and Community First Responders volunteer.

“As a committed Christian, Mike cared passionately about people and about the health service in its broadest sense.

“He was responsible for saving many lives through his work for First Responders. This involved turning out at a moment’s notice with a defibrillator– day or night – knowing how vital the first few precious minutes were to a heart attack victim. He pursued the goal of placing defibrillator machines in public and community areas with missionary zeal. The defibrillator demonstrations he gave to members of the public at the Hospital Garden Party did much to further this cause.

“The League’s sympathies go to Wendy, and her family. Mike’s legacy is the example he set to all of quiet, self-effacing but selfless public service.”

Monday’s service will be at 1.30pm. In lieu of flowers the family are inviting donations to the Lymphoma Association.

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