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Mind Matters #10: Marcel Van der Wal

I have known Marcel for 12 years and we lost touch about 6 years ago and last year we reconnected through a mutual friend, Dr Shayne Tracy, who I hope to chat with this year.

Marcel is originally from the The Netherlands. Growing up there eventually he decided to try his luck elsewhere and ended up emigrating to Canada. It was there that a terrible experience turned his life up side down and into a new direction. A work related accident that alsmost cost him his life, and the lack of steps to prevent it from happening again at the workplace made him decide to give up his job and begin to study Safety at various institutions.

After graduating he was quickly picked up by a mining contractor in Canada and his career started to take off. In the process he became a firefighter in Alberta to broaden his skills and to give back to the community. He was recruited by the Millet Fire Department in Alberta, deciding to be the best Firefighter he could possibly be, he was the first in this department to complete the whole firefighting program as set up by the Fire School in Vermillion, Alberta, even going as far as obtaining the first and second level of Fire Instructor. He has also participated in several Fire Fighter games, winning gold on several occassions. He served 12 years as a FireFighter.

While at BHP Billiton, he was recruited by them to lead the emergency response department as incident commander and completed UG Mine Rescue and Surface Mine Rescue as a rescuer and instructor. He was also influential in creating MR Teams that have successfully competed in National Mine Rescue Competitions. Marcel is very open about his experiences and why he is so passionate about wanting to help people. He has created and delivered a comprehensive package of training courses in Behavioural Safety, Safety Management and Coaching which have been delivered to clients in mining, construction among many.

You can get in touch with Marcel via the following:


Twiter: MarcelVderWal


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