TRIBUTES have been paid to Homebase worker Dennis Knox, who died suddenly last week.
The 48-year-old, who was originally from Penicuik but moved to Hawick, suffered a heart attack while working at the store last Tuesday.
The divorced father-of-two had lived alone for the past two years in a ground floor flat in a housing complex in Elm Court.
Neighbours of Mr Knox have spoken of their shock at his sudden death.
Derek Shotton, 39, said: “He was a big Celtic fan and used to come over to the house to watch the games with some of the neighbours. But he was a very quiet, private person. Good to get on with but he kept himself to himself.
“He lived for his job at Homebase and it’s ironic it is so close to the ambulance station.”
An investigation has been launched into Mr Knox’s death after the 999 call for help was delayed by five minutes as a result of technical difficulties. The ambulance then took a further 12 minutes to arrive on the scene.
Ralph Harrison, 72, who lived opposite Mr Knox, said: “I would knock on his window to see if he would want a chat. He was always doing little odd jobs for the elderly neighbours round here but sometimes he would lock himself away in the flat for days. He was a very quiet person.
“I have never trusted these new phone systems. Five minutes can make all the difference between life and death.”
Meanwhile, members of the GMB Union have rejected the latest offer from the Scottish Ambulance Service which included a £50 payment for each individual call-out on top of an annual payment of £250.
Mike Conroy, senior organiser of GMB Scotland, said: “Members have again voted by 82 per cent to reject the latest offer from management as it does not deal with the core of the problem, which is that the members want to be on duty at all times to serve the Scottish public.
“This is not about pay, it is about ensuring that the Scottish Ambulance Service has the resources and the policies to provide a proper service to the people of Scotland.”
The two largest unions represented in the ambulance service – Unite and Unison – are not expected to reveal the result of their membership ballots until Septemebr 20 at the earliest.