Buenos Aires refinery responders battle training fires in Texas

  Argentine emergency responders training in the United States expect to encounter language problems. What surprises Pablo Martin Fritz Oliver, fire chief at Shell’s 8,000-barrels-a-day refinery in Buenos Aires, is how easily firefighters overcome those stumbling blocks. “It’s not really anything debilitating,” the bilingual Oliver said. ”Firefighters all speak the same language, really. The objectives are the same, no matter what language you’re speaking.” Oliver and two other responders from the Buenos Aires ERT attended the Shell corporate fire school at Brayton Fire Training Field in April. The school is held three times a year in Texas to accommodate Shell emergency responders worldwide. Oliver’s ERT is essentially a volunteer organization supplemented by five fulltime professional firefighters, including himself. Per shift, the ERT typically has about 25 volunteer responders on site to draw from in an emergency. Parked at the refinery’s single fire station is an inventory of rolling stock that includes...
Continue reading
290 Hits

Chevron firefighters greet the dawn battling a live-fire training prop

  Scheduling nighttime live-burns at Brayton Fire Training Field becomes a challenge during the summer. Texas twilight lingers long past 8 p.m., making it hard to get an early start the next day, said Tonnie R. Hopson, operations chief for Chevron’s three-times-a-year corporate fire school. Instead, the Chevron firefighters hit the field at 5:30 a.m. on the last day of the four-day school. “The responders look forward to getting up and getting it knocked out,” Hopson said. “It means an early finish for them at around 2 p.m. and the rest of the day to do what they want.” An hour before dawn nearly 80 responders took up positions on three live-fire projects at the southeast end of the fire field – the chemical complex, rail car loading rack and tank and dike project.  When all three are ignited, it provided the first serious light to break the darkness. Slowly, the...
Continue reading
270 Hits

Chevron fire captain struggles with cancer diagnosis

Hearing the words, “You have cancer,” once in your life is terrible enough. Robert Taylor, captain with the Chevron El Segundo ERT, has heard it twice in the last eight years. At the Chevron corporate fire school in April and May Robert’s wife Jill gave his colleagues a complete update on his progress via Skype. Robert normally serves as chief of operations for the three Chevron schools held annually at Brayton Fire Training Field. Unfortunately Robert was too sick to participate. But by email he made it clear he intends to return to his fire school duties. “If a miracle happens, I do plan to return to the corporate fire school in 2019, yet I know Tonnie (Hopson) and the guys are doing a great job of running things in my absence,” Robert writes. Robert, featured in the Summer 2017 issue of Industrial Fire World, also plays a prominent role in...
Continue reading
322 Hits

Shell ERT plays host to autistic teen who yearns to fight fire someday

Leland Paniza is a teenager of few words, owing mainly to autism. What betrayed his excitement watching emergency responders from Shell work a live-fire training project at Brayton Fire Training Field was a shy smile that slowly spread across his face. “I want to be a firefighter,” Leland said. “I want to save people.” Leland, a student at A&M Consolidated High School in College Station, TX, has a friend who got word to the Shell responders training at Brayton about his fascination with firefighting.  The result was an invitation to come watch the big fire in person. He arrived at project 31 – the process complex prop – shortly after the flames were ignited. One of the Shell instructors took time to explain the training scenario underway as the firefighters labored to extinguish the propane fed chemical operations fire. Slowly the hose teams moved about, pushing back the various flames until...
Continue reading
284 Hits

Shell responder grew up surrounded by the refinery industry

    Working in a refinery is a career that can be unique for a young female college graduate. But refineries were an essential part of life where Shell process operator and emergency responder Victoria Reneau grew up. “It’s nice to be involved in something that you’ve been around your whole life but never really understood,” Reneau said. “Now I understand.” Norco, located 24 miles west of New Orleans, takes its name from the original refinery built there more than one hundred years ago, the New Orleans Refining Company The Shell Petroleum Corporation, a forerunner of Shell Oil Company, acquired the Norco Refinery in 1929. The chemical plant was added in 1955. The Shell Norco Manufacturing Complex, is an integrated petrochemicals asset that has the capacity to process 250,000 barrels of crude oil a day among other fuels. In addition, the site’s chemical plant produces ethylene and propylene, aromatic feedstocks, and...
Continue reading
262 Hits

LyondellBasell brings ERT to Brayton Fire Training Field

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...
Continue reading
235 Hits

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST FOR NEWS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, PRODUCTS, & MORE

Go to top