LyondellBasell’s manufacturing holdings in Pasadena, Texas, is so vast an enterprise that the single corporate fire brigade covering the three separate plant sites requires two fire chiefs to operate. One of the two chiefs, or emergency response coordinators, serving LyondellBasell’s Bayport Complex in Pasadena is Co Deborde. The nickname “Co” stands for Cecil O’Neal. A 27-year employee at Bayport Complex, Deborde began as an operator serving on the fire brigade. “We were all trained in ERT response,” he said. In addition, Deborde became a volunteer with the local municipal department, serving 17 years before retiring. Deborde is responsible for the Bayport Choate plant, a 280-acre plant that produces propylene oxide, tertiary butyl alcohol, propylene glycol, propylene glycol ethers and tertiary butyl hyderoperoxide. His authority also covers the adjacent plant, Bayport Polymers, which manufactures material used in consumer products such as food containers, medical syringes and carpeting. The site also produces material...
People usually mark the Labor Day weekend as the end of summer and a last chance to celebrate outdoors. Instead of a celebration, the outdoor event that Hugh Billings attended on Labor Day weekend in 1979 qualified as a conflagration – the explosion and fire aboard the SS Chevron Hawaii on the Houston ship channel. Today, Billings is the Health, Safety and Operations Manager for the OXEA Corporation plant in Bay City, TX. In 1979, he was a Safety Specialist at Celanese Corporation in Houston and responded as a member of Channel Industries Mutual Aid (CIMA), the industrial mutual aid group protecting the ship channel. “The biggest fire I ever went to was the chemical complex blast in Pasadena, Texas in 1989,” Billings said. “But the Chevron Hawaii was the most involved fire I ever fought in that you had a tank on fire as well as the...