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After 28 Years, Popular Bethesda Firefighter Calling It Quits

By Aaron Kraut

Tuesday - 5/27/2014, 1:00pm  ET

MCFRS Batallion Chief Jim Resnick is retiring after 28 years in MCFRSAction always seems to find Jim Resnick, even on his last day on the job.

The Bethesda native and charismatic Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services battalion chief is on his last official shift on Tuesday. As he took his kids to the dentist on Tuesday morning, there was a car crash in the parking lot.

Fortunately for those involved, Resnick was already on scene to help.

“Trouble finds me I guess,” Resnick said.

Resnick has seen most facets of fire and emergency services in his 28 years as a full-time employee for MCFRS and 10 years before that as a volunteer for the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad.

In October 2002, his second day on the job at Montgomery County’s brand new Office of Emergency Management, the Beltway sniper murders began. Resnick has worked as a public information officer, in administration, in the field, in more rural areas such as Gaithersburg and Damascus and, of course, in his hometown of Bethesda.

“The nature of this job is that if you sit around reminiscing, something important is going to pass you by,” Resnick said.

Since 2005, Resnick has been a battalion chief mostly in the Bethesda area. He’s the guy on the scene managing the firefighters responding to house fires, Beltway car wrecks, near drownings at the local swimming pool and the many other emergencies that happen every day.

His movement around all corners of the department and county is no coincidence. He likes learning new things, something he said his parents instilled in him while he was growing up, attending Burning Tree Elementary, Pyle Middle School and Whitman High School.

He also loves teaching. Through years of teaching one-off CPR and First Aid courses, he figured out that he wants to try the profession year-round.

Resnick hasn’t officially left the fire department, but he’s already got plans to complete the necessary college coursework and become a middle school science teacher. Resnick and his wife will remain in the area with their two kids — one in high school and one who’s about to enter high school.

“I’ve never had that experience of a full-time classroom, to have the same group of young men and women for a year to teach,” Resnick said. “I can make a difference there. I just want a chance to try something new.”

On Tuesday, he was still on duty, waiting for the next call.

“We haven’t had any major, large scale incidents so far this morning,” Resnick said. “But there’s been enough going on that you can’t rest on your laurels.”

Photo via Jim Resnick/Facebook