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Northern Ireland Troubles & Firefighting

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I did 32 years in London and went to two IRA bomb incidents with a total of 3 fatalities from them. That was plenty enough for me thanks very much

I have read books about the Northern Ireland F&RS and the job they did during the troubles. It was the same job as mine but at the same time, nothing like it. 

The BBC have made an excellent documentary which I don't mind admitting, bought a lump to my throat and tear to my eyes. Please do find the time to watch it

Firefighters On The Frontline

I now have the great pleasure in visiting NI several times a year on business (& a few times for pleasure) and have had dealing with the NIFRS. I was even in a restaurant exactly one year ago when the ducting caught fire and was able to experience a fire from its origin to when the NIFRS pitched their 135 and I enjoyed every second (including the crew forgetting to remove the pin before sliding the 135 off - how many times have I done that? :)!!!!  

Its difficult to see & recognise the now thriving city centre in the BBC film. In the 9 years I have been going there, so many hotels have been built, so many bars and there still is lots of investment. No longer is the city empty by 7pm. I had to queue to book into my hotel a couple of years ago behind a coached of Chinese tourists - its amazing!

Lets hope that whatever happens with Brexit, the fragile peace in NI isn't damaged. That would be a price too high just to leave the EU

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I struggle to comprehend what the people of Northern Ireland went through in The Troubles.  I guess, being that much younger and perhaps  like most of us outside of Ireland, it only really came to the forefront of my consciousness when bombing campaigns hit the mainland .  Even then it was news for a few days and then it was replaced by the next big story, or at least that is how it seemed in the 70s and early 80’s to pre-teenage me.  I definitely can’t comprehend what it must have to live with it, week in, week out as a firefighter in the thick of it.  I too hope that whatever Brexit brings, the relative peace and normality of the last 20 years is strong enough to endure.

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We had a now retired DO, who spent the first 10 years of his career in NI. Some of the stories he used to tell us were chilling to say the least. I remember him once telling me that when he was a proby and attended his first bombing, his Stn O tasked him to go through the rubble and if he saw anything that resembled a "Dusty Chamois Leather" to pick it up and bag it, as it was probably a body part. Those would have been a tough few years. 

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