BP's commitment to safety: Jon Parker's career story

Jon Parker, Assistant Chief & Safety Adviser at the Toledo Refinery features in BP America's latest ad highlighting our commitment to safety.

As an eighth-grader attending career day with his father, Jon Parker knew exactly what he wanted to do when he grew up: He wanted to work in a refinery, just like his dad. It wasn’t long before he got his chance.

By age 17, Parker was working with his older brother for an industrial cleaning contracting company. The two performed a great deal of work at the local Standard Oil refinery, and when he was 18 years old, Jon got an offer to join the Sohio team on a temporary basis. His 6-month "temporary" stint developed into a permanent job and a life-long career, as Jon marks 25 years at what is now BP-Husky Refining in Oregon, Ohio.

The day he was hired at Standard Oil, Jon immediately signed up to be a member of the Emergency Response Team (ERT). He began his emergency responder training under Fire Chief Chris Herman. "From day one I could tell that Jon would be an excellent firefighter. He’s completely dedicated to helping others and that’s the heart of firefighting – to always be there to meet a need," said Chief Herman.

In 2007, Parker became Assistant Chief at the BP Toledo Refinery, a job he still holds today.

When asked why he became a firefighter, Parker replied, "It’s about the people; that’s why I do what I do."

Outside of work, Jon continues his passion for helping others. Currently he is a captain for a local volunteer fire department. "The satisfaction of helping save a life or being able to help others in time of crisis is so powerful, so indescribable."

Parker was building a new home and preparing to occupy it when he was dispatched to help with recovery operations in the Gulf. Within days he was promoted to Operations Section Chief where he led a team of 2,800 first responders. He spent approximately 3 1/2 months in the Gulf (three tours) assisting with strategy development and tactical directives for spill recovery operations, deploying boom, and managing safety reporting from marine vessels. A normal day began at 4 am and ended at 9 pm.

"Assisting in the Gulf gave me an opportunity to be a part of the response team," said Parker. "I wanted to go down there to try and make a difference - to help make it right."

Jon resides with his wife in Toledo, Ohio. His hobbies include all kinds of "do-it-yourself" home improvement projects and carpentry. He also plays bass guitar in a cover band "The Wazzoo Band." The current face of BP’s commercials concludes by noting "I’m just a common dude."

Last edited - 28 May 2013