As the new Responsible person for Cobra in the Netherlands, it is my pleasure to introduce myself.
As a child, I always wanted to be a dairy farmer and a voluntary firefighter. Growing up in the east part of the Netherlands, I spent many hours at the farm as well as in the local fire station. That I studied (bachelor) agricultural business was no surprise.
After this study, I worked a few years in the agricultural world, selling equipment to farmers in Northwest Europe. Becoming a full-time farmer wasn’t possible then, and because of that, I decided to switch my career plans into being a professional firefighter and a hobby farmer in 2000.
From 2000 till 2013, I worked at several fire brigades, starting as a basic officer, and left as a senior commander. I was also a member of the Dutch USAR team. I’ll never forget the operation I joined in Pakistan in 2005, after a major earthquake. In 2008 I graduated with a master in crisis and disaster management.
In 2009 I was asked to work for Holmatro, doing rescue training and fire and rescue consultancy all over the world. A great job, but not healthy for my private life and love.
Talking about my private life; I’m happily married to my first love. We live on a farm in the middle of nowhere. Together with my wife, I own a (small) company in renting agricultural machines. I like wildlife, and I milk the cows of a neighbour regularly.
In 2010 I re-joined the fire brigade. Being a firefighter is maybe the best job in the world, but my entrepreneurship became more and more a problem within this organisation. Liking the rescue world so much, I was glad I could move to a Dutch coachbuilder in 2012. Unfortunately, this family-owned company went bankrupt one year later. I then moved to another truck builder. In 2015 we relaunched Rosenbauer products in the Netherlands as the new importer. The big success we had was one of the reasons for the owner of the company (Pon holding) to decide to sell the company. After a period of due diligence’s, the company was sold. The new owner has his facilities at such a distance from my home that after the integration in his organisation, I decided to leave in February this year and to take a break to reconsider my next career step.
Leaving the fire and rescue world was never an option. Being invited by Cobra to talk about their plans and my eventual participation in these ideas was inspiring and felt amazing.
I’m proud to be chosen to establish the Dutch company for Cobra and to represent the organisation. I’m convinced that with the (extinguishing) capabilities of the Cobra, the nice colleagues and customers, we have a great future with lots of possibilities ahead of us!