Rob retired as a fireman in 2017, after serving in the fire service for 28 years. The father of three moved to the Algarve, Portugal from France with his wife in February of this year. He initially started a blog, which he revealed was “without a doubt a form of therapy” and then went on to publish: ‘Book 1: Fireman’s Tired Eyes: An insight to Service life coping strategies…dealing with trauma PTSD & Awareness of Mental Health Issues’ which he hopes gives “a better insight into the Fire Service life”, followed by ‘Book 2: Fireman’s Tired Eyes & Mind’, which “highlights some of the signs and symptoms and simple ways how I have helped myself” and his third book is “Fireman’s Tired Mind”, “is about how to do simple things to reframe and help yourself.”
“I am the healthiest I have ever been and I am in a good place mentally because I have got everything out.” “These books are all about helping others and I hope they offer support on mental health that arise from the effects of trauma witnessed in the emergency services that can manifest into acute PTSD.” With these books, “it was really highlighting what I was dealing with and what was coming up for me. I am quite outspoken but I always have been, so I have always argued about what is not right for my crew, the public and myself. Just because I no longer have a tunic anymore, I am still the same me and I still speak for them now.”
Additionally, he told me that whilst still in service, he established his own Falconry business called ‘Wings and Talons’ which he was extremely passionate about, where he gave educational talks and small displays, which “I loved doing for autistic children and I did visits to OPH's, including weddings and 5-star hotels.” He found that whilst he was working as a fireman, he never had to deal with how he was feeling and was always looking out for others, however, when he retired, he found that he no longer had any distractions and that is when everything started to come up.
“We came to Portugal and it has given me a chance to stop and heal, which connects to one of the quotes in my book being “you cannot heal in the same environment that made you sick”. He kindly opened up about the triggers he dealt with after retiring back in England and said “that it was hard to heal there because of the constant reminders of traumatic events on duty” and he is goes into detail about his career and his life, which are aimed at military personnel. However, he assured me that these books can also be applied to anyone who is going through PTSD and other mental health issues. All the money raised from sales of these books are going to the Firefighters Charity in England and to the ‘Bombeiros’ here in the Algarve. It is an important message and he really wants to give back to the local community. All three books will also be translated into Portuguese with the help of Silves Bombeiros and there will also be a documentary and a possible book tour to come.
To support Rob Evans worthwhile mission, you can purchase all three of his books in paperback and as Kindle editions on Amazon. Additionally, Rob has a blog which is very informative and inspiring, where you can keep up to date with everything relating to Fireman’s Tired Eyes and more, please check out: https://www.firemanstiredeyes.com/ and you can find his Facebook page @FiremansTiredEyes and Instagram page @firemanstiredeyes.
Following undertaking her university degree in English with American Literature in the UK, Cristina da Costa Brookes moved back to Portugal to pursue a career in Journalism, where she has worked at The Portugal News for 3 years. Cristina’s passion lies with Arts & Culture as well as sharing all important community-related news.