Essex fireman Peter Ballisat was 'too tall' for tanks

Peter Ballisat and Matt Anthony Peter Ballisat (left) plans to ride to Paris for charity with friend Matt Anthony

A firefighter has told how his dreams of driving an army tank were dashed - because he was too tall.

At 6ft 8in (2m), Peter Ballisat, of Halstead, is thought to be Essex Fire and Rescue Service's tallest fireman.

The 20-year-old joined the Household Cavalry two years ago because he loved horses and tanks.

He left the regiment when he learned he was too tall to drive one of their Scimitar vehicles.

Mr Ballisat said he had always wanted to work in public service and joined the fire brigade two years after leaving the Army.

Peter Ballisat Peter Ballisat was told he was too tall to drive a Household Cavalry tank

He is now enjoying his new role as a retained fireman in Halstead.

He said being the tallest firefighter in Essex felt "pretty good" though he had to watch out for door frames more than his colleagues.

"The other day we had a call and it was in an old-style low down bungalow and the beams were very low.

"So I spent a lot of time ducking down watching my head. That is something I always have to watch."

Mr Ballisat, who works with his father as a plumber for PB Builders, is planning to cycle with his friend Matthew Anthony from London to Paris in July for Macmillan Cancer Support.

BBC Essex

Weather

Chelmsford

Min. Night 10 °C

Features

  • Two sphinxes guarding the entrance to the tombTomb mystery

    Secrets of ancient burial site keep Greeks guessing


  • The chequeBig gamble

    How does it feel to bet £900,000 on the Scottish referendum?


  • Tattooed person using tabletRogue ink

    People who lost their jobs because of their tattoos


  • Deepika PadukoneBeauty and a tweet

    Bollywood cleavage row shows India's 'crass' side


  • Relief sculpture of MithrasRoman puzzle

    How to put London's mysterious underground temple back together


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.