Derbyshire firefighter cuts off dreadlocks to raise vital funds for mental health and fire service charities
A Derbyshire firefighter has fundraised more than £1,000 for a mental health charity and an organisation to help injured firefighters after he pledged to chop off his dreadlocks.
Martin Mcshane, from Hillstown in Bolsover, decided he will cut off the distinctive locks he’s had since 2007 after he said his hair became a ‘hindrance’ to his job, as it prevents his firefighter helmet and face mask from fitting properly.
The 36-year-old on call firefighter who is stationed at Bolsover Fire Station, has crowdfunded a total of 1,092 for Mind and The Fire Fighters Charity through his Just Giving donation page – surpassing his initial £500 target.
While Martin admitted the decision to chop his dreadlocks was something he ‘never wanted’ to do, he added that he had dreamed of being a firefighter since he was a child and hopes shorter hair will help him pass the Breathing Apparatus section of his training course.
He first started training to join the force in January this year, after initially enquiring about the firefighter role in September 2020.
"Getting the kit on fast and efficiently is slowed down by my hair, so I have 2 choices, I walk away from the service or I cut it off and follow something that I thought would only ever be dream”, Martin said.
"I've decided that despite everything I've said and thought about never cutting my hair, I'm going to say goodbye to it.”
While the fire service haven’t asked the 36-year-old to cut his hair, Martin explained he feels the decision is for the ‘greater good’ and has booked an appointment to get rid of his long locks on May 5.
The on-call firefighter added: "I've thought which one will benefit more people, my hair or joining the fire service and as cool as I think my hair is and as much as I love it, it doesn't really benefit the people of Bolsover.”
Martin said the support and donations he has received has made a ‘hard decision easier’.
The 36-year-old also shared that he specifically chose both a mental health charity along with an organisation that supports injured firefighters, who will split the funds equally, due to the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
To view or donate to Martin’s fundraiser, click here.