Fire Chief Jensen retires after 35 years on the job

Brian Jensen is retiring, but don’t expect him to take up a rocking chair anytime soon.Jensen, chief of the Big Spring Fire Department, retired Friday after 23 years with BSFD and 35 years as a firefighter.Along with his wife, Debbie, and their children, Jensen will relocate to Denton this summer to be closer to relatives.At a reception in his honor Friday afternoon, Jensen said firefighting has been a very rewarding career.“I never grew up wanting to be a firefighter, but it’s a very good venue to help people,” he said. “It wasn’t just a job; it was a way to make a difference — and it was a lot of fun.”Jensen began his career as a volunteer firefighter in Coahoma before joining BSFD in 1988. He steadily worked his way up the ranks, serving as firefighter, paramedic and deputy chief before succeeding Frank Anderson as chief of the department in 2000.Asked what he will miss most about his time with the fire department, Jensen had a quick answer.“Oh, the people, for sure,” he said. “I’ve worked with a great group of folks over the years.”Deputy Fire Chief Rick Groves will head the department on an interim basis while city officials conduct a search for a permanent chief. City Manager Gary Fuqua said no timetable has been set for naming Jensen’s replacement.As for Jensen, he said he has no set plans for his retirement, but promised he’d stay busy.“I’m not one to sit around; I’ll be doing something,” he promised. “But I won’t be working 8 to 5, that’s for sure.”Contact Staff Writer Steve Reagan at 263-7331, ext. 235, or by e-mail at