Equipment that could potentially save the lives of mourners attending funerals has been installed at Three Counties Crematorium.

Dignity, the operator of the facility, raised funds for a defibrillator through their charity partner, the British Heart Foundation.

In the past six months, there has been two deaths at crematoria in the UK when visitors have suffered a heart attack when attending a funeral.

Crematorium manager Sarah Gott said: “Every minute without CPR or defibrillation reduces a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by around 10 per cent.

“We will always call an ambulance, but we wanted to do everything we possibly can to provide immediate help.”

Donna stokes, of British Heart Foundation supported the initiative and said defibrillators should be installed in areas of the ‘greatest risk’ and in areas where people are ‘naturally anxious or under stress’.

In addition to Braintree, another 45 crematoria operated by Dignity have now had defibrillators installed.

The company are also investigating the possibility of adding them outside of their funeral premises and offices in areas where this equipment is not currently available.