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Remembering a classic in the community

Remembering a classic in the community

Greenwood Fire Department Investigator John Brinkman passes away after 50 years of service on the force

By Jeremy Nicholas

Early in the morning on Sunday, Jan. 21, the Greenwood community lost a man who spent most of his life in service to this area.

John Eric “Johnny B” Brinkman passed away at the age of 64 after complications from a stroke, ending a story of service that lasted for the better part of five decades.

Brinkman had a role model growing up that influenced his career choice. His father, George, was also a Greenwood firefighter.  

After earning an associate degree in landscape design and architecture from Indiana Central University, (now the University of Indianapolis) Brinkman began his career in ambulance driving. Starting in 1977 with Myers Ambulance Service, he was soon hired with the Greenwood Fire Department. Brinkman obtained the rank of Captain and was a cadet advisor. His lengthy career with Greenwood would also see him as a city building inspector and fire investigator. He was primarily at Greenwood stations 91 and 93.

Brinkman’s friends and coworkers shared positive and heartwarming stories.

“As his supervisor, JB was the epitome of selfless service to his co-workers, his family, and the citizens of Greenwood,” stated Greenwood Building Commissioner Ken Seal. “As his friend, he’s the one you are going to miss for a good long while.”

Senior Building Inspector Matt Correa added, “John Brinkman was always quick to find the good in everything. He was a great co-worker, and we will miss him dearly. He was akin to being the City of Greenwood historian.” 

Additionally, Dawn Cox of the Greenwood Community Development Services said,

“He was a great guy and was awesome to work with.”

Greenwood Deputy Mayor Terry McLaughlin remembered Brinkman as a consistently positive, genuine person. “I have known Johnny B. since the early 60s,” he said.  “John has always been the same person and has never changed. He was always in a good mood and loved his job. John was a great person.”

Obviously, words cannot fully express the loss of someone who spent so much time touching so many lives. Still, speaking their praises helps to keep them in our hearts.

They truly don’t make many of them like “Johnny B” often. He will be missed.

To donate to John Brinkman’s memory, the family has requested memorial contributions are sent to the Greenwood Fire Foundation, 155 E. Main St., Greenwood, IN 46143.

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