Dual roles help protect the environment and the community

Tackling waste crime and putting out fires is all in a day’s work for one Natural Resources Wales (NRW) employee.

Ricky Hartleb, aged 39, works as a waste crime officer and during this time is available as an On-Call Firefighter for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

Anglesey resident Ricky is based in Bangor as part of NRW’s Wales-wide team investigating and preventing waste crime in a number of areas including the illegal dumping of waste. He said:

“NRW’s flexible working arrangements allow me to make myself available to the Fire and Rescue Service during my working day when the work plan allows, so I can attend incidents if a call comes in while I’m at my desk. This enhances the availability of fire appliances in Benllech and Llangefni, something I am most grateful for.
“There is a natural partnership between NRW and the Fire and Rescue Service, with both having priorities to protect the environment. My two roles have given me a greater understanding of the effect fires can have on the environment, and what firefighters can do to help protect it.”

Fire and Rescue Service training also provides Ricky with additional skills and experiences he can utilise during his day job with NRW.

Ricky is also on call outside of his daytime hours.

He added:

“I’m a big believer in partnership working and there is a natural link between both roles. As firefighters, we have a duty of care to save life, property and the environment and at NRW I am part of a team helping protect the environment, ensuring it can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

During one incident, a protracted fire on an agricultural property, Ricky attended as part of NRW’s incident response to provide advice to the Fire and Rescue Service on limiting the impact on the environment. He then attended the same incident as a firefighter, taking over from the crews who had been dealing with the incident earlier in the day.

Paul Jenkinson, Head of Response for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said:

“We’re very grateful that NRW has policies and flexible work systems in place that enable people like Ricky to support our daytime rotas.

“It’s also great to see skills Ricky has acquired through his work as a firefighter can be applied to his work with NRW. Our firefighters receive continuous training and many of the skills learnt are often transferable to their primary roles."

You can register your interest in becoming an On-Call Firefighter at On-Call Firefighter Recruitment - On-Call Firefighters - Recruitment and Vacancies - About Us - North Wales Fire And Rescue Service (gov.wales)