Chevron produces energy to meet the world’s needs, but Chevron itself is a product of its workforce and ingenuity. The “Day in the Life” series showcases that ingenuity, our Human Energy, at work across the breadth of our businesses. Through this series, we highlight the people that make our company unique, as they give us an insider’s look at their work days and share a bit about their lives at Chevron.
day in the life: firefighter
Growing up, Corena LeDonne was hooked on the TV drama, Emergency!, which featured firefighters serving as paramedics. Back then, she had no idea how closely her real life would resemble her favorite show.
Corena has been a Chevron employee for 28 years and a firefighter with the Chevron Richmond Refinery for the last 16.
did you know?
In California’s Bay Area, the region that’s home to Chevron’s corporate headquarters, Chevron is the only refinery with a full-time fire crew, additionally supported by a volunteer fire brigade. This means that the Chevron crew – on a typical shift that’s the captain, the lieutenant, a firefighter, a battalion chief and a dispatcher – responds to incidents not only at Chevron’s refinery but at any refinery in the region. And as a 24/7 refinery, the crew is always on stand-by.
She started her career with Chevron as a mail clerk in 1988, and later became a lab technician in the Richmond Refinery. It was her good friend, and one of the current chiefs of the department, that piqued Corena’s interest in the fire department and encouraged her to join. During her research center role, she spent her days in the lab and her evenings in fire science classes, keeping her goal of becoming a firefighter in sight. She also volunteered with the department before coming aboard full-time. Looking back on her journey, she can’t imagine doing anything else.
“This is my family – the
Chevron firefighter family.”
Refinery firefighters carry a big responsibility, to Chevron, to the Richmond community and to fellow Bay Area firefighters. From managing hot work permits, which are needed when a job contains any type of spark such as welding, answering medical calls, and even saving lives on the job – Corena is always prepared for her typical day – and each day is anything but typical.
Corena once had to perform CPR on an employee who had stopped breathing. She and her crew revived him, and subsequently visited him during his recuperation; he is now back to work.
“To be able to save somebody’s life? It’s
amazing. That’s what I live for.”
One of Corena’s recreational passions is boating, so she jumped at the opportunity to introduce a fire boat to the department and train the crew on its use. Prior to Chevron having their own boat, the department collaborated with the U.S. Coast Guard or the Richmond Fire Department if an incident occurred. The fireboat is used mostly for security rounds for the tankers, but is also outfitted to respond to any type of fire on the water – and having their own boat makes the crew more nimble in response in these situations.
Corena grew up in the Bay Area, owns a horse and a dog, aptly named “Sparky.” She credits Chevron with her safety-first mentality, in all situations. When she’s not protecting the refinery, her friends look to her to make sure they are always safe, even during off-work hours, and she readily accepts her nickname --“the safety officer.”
Published: November 2016