Sunday, July 6, 2014
For Assistant Engineer Christopher Coleman Bayles, 22, of Moncks Corner, fighting fires and helping people has long been in his blood. His uncle is a captain with the Mt. Pleasant Fire Department.
But his need to serve goes deeper than that. His grandmother had congestive heart failure. “We lived in a rural area with a volunteer fire department,” he says. “She went into full arrest and was revived in the back of an ambulance. I decided right then and there that I wanted to be a fireman and help people.”
He has been with Summerville Fire Department for three years as of May. For Bayles it was certainly trial by fire as his very first call was a fatal crash.
His worst experience, though, was an infant in full cardiac arrest…CPR did not help the baby. He says he has had two of those.
On the other side of tragedy, he says, he and the whole engine company – Engine 1 – got an award for the resuscitation of an elderly woman in a doctor’s office.
“We were very lucky to see it happen…she was conscious and alert [after the resuscitation] and trying to stand up…all before EMS got there!”
His professional goal is to become a captain. “I am working toward that now.”
He has a girlfriend name Tresa and a two-year-old Dalmation named Pierce (after the fire truck manufacturer). He owns his house and he and Tresa live together there.
He enjoys hunting and four-wheeling as well as paintballing with the guys from the department.
He enjoys music and loves to cook. “I’ve been told I am pretty good.”
Although he says he works a lot, he and Tresa enjoy going to the movies, out to dinner and four-wheeling together when he is off work.
“This year she plans to go hunting with me…which is good.”
His life goal is to retire from fire service “hopefully in one piece, hopefully without bad knees or back,” and own his own business.
He does bush hogging/land clearing and grading.
“That’s my goal for next year, to start my own business.”
Currently he works part-time with Prince’s Towing in Moncks Corner and volunteers at Whitesville Fire Department (in between Summerville and Moncks Corner) on the other side of Pine Ridge Fire Department. “It’s a rural fire department,” he says, just like his roots.