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Diary Of A Scottish Firefighter

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Diary Of A Scottish Firefighter
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I grew up in a catholic family of eight children; five sisters and two brothers. My mother was a religious fanatic and I suppose at that time so were the rest of us. There was no way of escaping the religious stuff and by the time I was seventeen, I was also pretty fundamentalist about being a catholic. The fact that protestants and catholics went to different schools tended to highlight the differences between us. I realised that protestants didn’t want to mix with catholics and it took a long time for me to understand this relationship based on a sort of apartheid.
Priests would say that protestants were mostly amoral compared to catholics. In the main protestants hated catholics and through cultural ascendancy reinforced their bigotry through the institutions such as the Boys Brigade, the Orange Order, Freemasonry and schools.
I joined the Fire Service when I was eighteen and was very naive about our cultural differences and how they impacted on social dynamics and other areas of life such as getting a job. However as far as the Fire Service was concerned I spent my first four years as a probationer and I just had to soak it up.
But then, something happened to me at an incident and changed my personality somewhat. I found out two things. The first was that I was at risk in incidents where I needed the support of my ‘brothers’ and the second was that I had had enough of the bullying and bigotry. I was to spend a further seven years battling to be accepted by my co-workers. This involved suffering psychological and physical abuse and culminated in me being medically discharged from the Fire Service.
I immediately started going to night school and was eventually accepted at Glasgow University when I was thirty-one years old. This was like recuperation to me! People actually wanted to talk to me and I evolved intellectually and socially. I realised that I didn’t need religion. I studied hard and was awarded an Honours Degree in Psychology. Later I gained a diploma in Adult and Continuing Education. This was on top of a pretty useless degree in Fire Engineering. As far as life opportunities were concerned I was ready for anything.
Unfortunately, though, the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, still had a hold on me and I suffered from work-place stress, depression, panic attacks and a burning sense of injustice. I found that I couldn’t keep the jobs I got because of stress and that as a provider for my family, I was not very successful. I compared myself financially and found that over the course of working life I had lost the chance to earn hundreds of thousands of pounds for my wife and two boys as a firefighter.
Something good happened though. My wife began a business in the Care Sector and we started a company supplying motivational Occupational Therapy which was delivered to clients in Nursing Homes. This enabled me to bring up our boys as a house-husband. They have now fledged the nest and encouraged me to write my book on my experiences as a firefighter. This is that story.

Diary of a Scottish Firefighter Martin T. Robertson
Diary of a Scottish Firefighter access read find get pc,...five...of...which...are...women,.........the....firefighters'....union....has....warned..........The....Diary;....Herald....View;....SH....View;....Letters;....Obituaries;"'haunted';....The....Irish....Sun;'; 48a4f088c3

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