First Responders Recognized In Big Spring - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/7/08

First Responders Recognized In Big Spring

Nearly two months ago, they fought the biggest fire they'd ever seen and Monday hundreds of West Texas first responders were honored for it. The job they were recognized for was the Alon Oil Refinery explosion on February 18th.

The explosion rocked the city of Big Spring and halted oil production from that plant for almost two months.

"We arrived that morning to see probably the worst I think we've ever seen," said Big Spring Deputy Fire Chief Richard Grove.

He and his volunteer firefighters, along with nearly 250 other first responders came together to battle the Alon Oil Refinery explosion on February 18th.

"For us it looked just like a worst case scenario," added Grove.

But thankfully for all involved, in that worst case scenario, no lives were lost. Monday the hard work and determination of many was recognized by congressmen and other public officials in Big Spring.

"It means a lot to see this kind of support behind us," said Grove.

"This is an opportunity to thank a very special group of first responders," said Congressman Randy Neugebauer.

"When people saw the event of February 18th they could probably have never imagined that we'd get it done that quickly and that's a credit to the people at the big spring refinery and the first responders," said Jeff Morris, the President/CEO of Alon.

"We've made good progress," Morris said.

Though repairs continue, Morris says the Alon plant was back on line last week. And he believes there's no way the progress they've made could have been made so quickly without these first responders.

"There's no question in my mind that the injuries were reduced and the damage to equipment was significantly reduced due to the quality of response by the first responders," Morris said.

"Knowing that these people are behind us and they trust us to do our jobs and that they welcome what we bring to the community. It means a lot," Said Grove.

2/19/08
Big Spring Refinery Explosion
Take a look at some of the pictures of Monday's refinery explosion in Big Spring sent in by viewers.

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