On the 4th April 2023, 240FLM and her crew were proud to have been tasked to carry the late, Fireman Peter Bailes on his last shout to the Chilterns Crematorium, Amersham. Bucks.
Peter had spent all his service career in the G Division covering West and North West London and the vast majority of that time was at G28 Willesden Red watch with is last short period of service at the G Division HQ at Wembley.
He had a formidable character and amongst the lasting memories will be his award for his heroism in 1981 where with others, he rescued a number of trapped persons from the upper floors of the flats at the now demolished, Chalkhill Estate in Wembley using a Hook ladder and subsequently, a Escape ladder.
His and his colleagues actions that day are recorded here:
Fireman Peter Bailes (Willesden) and Fireman Robert Webb (Wembley) were Commended whilst Station Officer Lionel Galleozie and Fireman Michael Walker (Willesden) received Congratulations from the Chief Officer for their actions at the fire at Redcliffe Walk, Chalkhill Estate, Wembley in February. A severe fire was affecting the fifth and sixth floors of a block of flats. Access to the fire was severely hampered by vehicles blocking the way and sloping and muddy grassed areas. Station Officer Galleozie and his crew together with Wembley’s TL and crew went to the rear of the flats and saw a number of people, cut off by fire, screaming for help from their flats' balconies. With an escape pitched Fireman Bailes carried down one woman before assisting down the second. The fire was getting much worse the Station Officer ordered another escape pitched to the fourth floor and a hook ladder pitched to the fifth floor. Meanwhile the first escape had been re-pitched to another fourth floor balcony and Fireman Webb took a hook ladder to climb to the fifth, reassuring people as he went. Now assisted by Fireman Bailes they passed three children and two adults out from the fourth floor to other fireman on the escape. One person made his own way down. The escape was pitch for the third time and Firemen's Bailes and Webb went aloft carrying a lowering line. Fireman Bailes grabbed a hook ladder on the way up and pitched it from the head of the escape and climbed to the top floor. He and Fireman Webb lowered a woman and child to safety. With fire now affecting the balconies Webb and Bailes came down the hook ladder again to the fifth floor. In the mean time Fireman Walker had climbed the escape to the fourth floor and hook ladder to the fifth where he found a family trapped by fire. Station Officer Galleozie had followed him to the fourth floor was now sat astride the fourth floor balcony parapet. With the father placing one of his children on Fireman Walker's back he went down the hook ladder where the child was taken by Station Officer Galleozie. The operation was repeated for the second child before the wife was assisted down followed by the father.
Peter left an imprint on everyone he met and our condolences go out to his family and friends.