Essex

Essex fireman Peter Ballisat was 'too tall' for tanks

  • 28 February 2013
  • From the section Essex
Peter Ballisat and Matt Anthony
Image caption 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.

Image caption 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.