Mark Finucane, Johnson City’s assistant fire chief, is retiring after 27 years of service.
“I’m not going to any special job, but this is going to open up some avenues for me to do some other things,” said the affable 56 year old. “The city and the fire department has been very good to me. I started thinking about retiring in September, and I made up my mind in January.”
Finucane said he plans on staying in Johnson City, where his wife works with First Tennessee Bank. He also is the State Fire Commission chairman, a post he was given by former Gov. Phil Bredesen.
“It’s a six-year term, and I still have four years left,” he said. “I want to see the commission continue to grow.”
Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., he came to Johnson City when he received a cross-country/track scholarship at East Tennessee State University. He ended up getting a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and served four years as a public safety officer at ETSU.
In 1986, he started out as an emergency dispatcher with the fire department and began working his way up. He became an entry-level firefighter about a year later and was promoted to sergeant in 1990. He became a lieutenant in 1995 and was promoted to captain in 1997.
“This will leave a void in the department that’s going to take a while to fill,” said Chief Mark Scott early Friday morning after informing the Johnson City Press that it was Finucane’s last day. “Mark’s been a longtime employee, and he’s done a lot for the department.”
Finucane and Scott were finalists for the fire chief’s position following the retirement of Paul Greene in 2009. Finucane served as interim chief for one year and Scott replaced him in the position in February 2011. Scott was named as he new chief on Sept. 16, 2011.
“I’ve always had a great passion for coaching,” Finucane said. “I’m not saying I’m jumping into a position, but I’m definitely interested. I’ll definitely stay involved with several community organizations, such as the United Way.”