Conscience of the past, hopeful for the future

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - In just these last four months Delek says it has spent $120 million. They've been rebuilding damaged equipment, buying new equipment, as well as keeping extensive training going for employees. They all say, however, while their work moves forward, Dale and Jim will forever be in their hearts.

"I knew Dale and big Jim both," said Delek employee Joey Bittick. "[They were] very good people. We're going to miss them dearly."

In their honor, they had a moment of silence. City officials, Delek executives, family and co-workers took time to remember the lives, which were tragically cut short November 20th, 2008.

"Both of them were, I called it, joyful because these guys they were fun to be around," said Bittick. "They weren't bashful."

Trying to prevent another tragedy, Delek's president says they've purchased new operator shelters to protect employees.

"In the past we've had concrete block type buildings for the operations department and we've bought blast resistant buildings that will withstand the forces of an explosion or a fire," said Delek's president, Fred Green. "We've opened and inspected almost every piece of equipment in the refinery to make sure that everything is adequate."

Bittick said he feels completely safe, but also has learned to treasure every moment with loved ones.

"The hours we work out here, it takes away from our family, and hopefully this is about to be over with where we have more family time," said Bittick. "You need to be looking upward. You need to be in contact with God because you don't know when your last day on this earth will be."

Delek said they are still not quite up to full production, but they hope to have repairs completed in about another three weeks.

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