A legendary fireman who has spent nearly all his 31-year career based in Hammersmith is warning that budget cuts equal catastrophe, ahead of his retirement this month.
Keith Griffin, known as 'Grif' to colleagues, leaves his post as watch manager on March 31 after a glorious career.
He told the Chronicle of the brigade's massive success in reducing the number of fatal fires, but heads into well-deserved retirement fearful that swingeing government cuts could undo all that hard work.
Father-of-two Mr Griffin, 55, said: "There is a very, very difficult road ahead and I just hope hope our service to the public isn't affected.
"We are being asked to do an awful lot with less funding, but there is only so much we can do. The population is getting bigger and bigger and so are the risks.
"A lot of decisions are being made by people who haven't served on the ground and do not know the true picture.
"I just hope there isn't a drastic incident that we can't cover properly and the government isn't left thinking, 'Oh God, why did we do this'?"
Mr Griffin, who travels to work most days on his motorbike, says leaving the brigade will be a wrench, and he will especially miss members of the public he has got to know over the years.
"It's all about the public – I've never served the hierarchy, I've served the public and I will miss having them recognise me and wave.
"I can honestly say I loved my job and it's just amazing how quickly its gone, but this is a young man's game."
Of course, Mr Griffin has seen some horrendous incidents over the years, but it is something he is not keen to talk about.
"You can't dwell on things," he says. "You just have to do your job. I do reflect on certain things when I get home or when I'm out fishing, maybe what I could have done better – you learn from every single job.
"You don't become hard to it – you just deal with it.
"The younger lads don't probably get the experience that I had because the fires are just not as intense any more, and that's all down to smoke alarms – the effect they've had has been enormous.
"Hammersmith used to be the busiest station in London – in 1992/93 we got about 4,000 calls. It's amazing how things have changed."
Mr Griffin is thinking of applying for an administrative job with the service, but for now he's just looking to relax after his amazing career.
"It's going to be difficult but at least I'll have time to walk and ride my bike a bit more," he added.