Rural Fire Service Volunteer
A VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER IN NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia, has been arrested and charged with setting at least ten small fires during August and September.
Alex Noble, a 21-yr.-old member of the Rural Fire Service in the Rutherford area was arrested yesterday (Tuesday) and charged with 10 counts of "knowingly causing a fire and being reckless about its spread."
Alex Noble (Facebook image)
NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the Service had zero tolerance for arson and the man had been immediately suspended. He said information provided by the RFS led to the arrest of the man on Tuesday.
'This arrest shows that our investment in new technology such as the Arson Trend Analysis System, our growing team of more than 160 specialist fire investigators and having a NSW RFS officer embedded in the Police Arson Squad is working,' he said.
Any RFS volunteer who started fires represented 'the ultimate betrayal' all members, he said. 'If anyone engages in this kind of criminal activity, we will do everything possible to bring them to the attention of police,' he said.
Noble was held without bail until his appearance in court today where he surprisingly pleaded guilty to all ten charges. But his troubles are far from being over. News reports are suggesting that he may be facing further charges in the next few days.
The Newcastle Herald reported in detail:
Alex Gordon Noble said his motivation for the arson attacks was to gain experience with firefighting and, ultimately, to gain full-time work with Fire and Rescue NSW, police allege.
A statement of police facts tendered in court said Noble, a crane driver, called triple-0 on 17 separate occasions to report the sighting of fires in Wyee on the southern fringes of Lake Macquarie.
His modus operandi was to light a fire, call triple-0 on his way to Wyee fire station, and then wait for a ‘‘fire activation page’’ which would allow him to attend the fire as a firefighter.
At times the RFS would arrive on the scene to find Noble there and already in his FF gear/clothing. Read the full and detailed report of all the fires he admitted to in the HERALD HERE.
He is scheduled to be sentenced in November.
Hat tip: Mark D.
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