Chief Rufus Brinson was born at his family home in Reelsboro, North Carolina, on July 19, 1957. He graduated from Pamlico County High School in Bayboro, North Carolina, and went on to graduate from the University of Mount Olive, North Carolina. Brinson began his firefighting career with the Reelsboro Volunteer Fire Department in 1976. He served the department for nearly 32 years and was promoted to chief in 1987. Brinson served in many capacities within the department, including engine, truck, and rescue companies. He was certified as a hazmat technician and achieved certification in various technical rescue disciplines.
He was the coordinator and training officer for fire safety classes at Pamlico County Community College, where he was well-respected by his students, peers, and fellow firefighters. Following his death, PCCC renamed their Fireman’s Association training center the Rufus Brinson Jr. Training Ground.
When duty called, Brinson never flinched, as he faced the danger and uncertainty that was ahead. An admired public servant, his commitment to public service extended beyond the fire department. He gave unselfishly, and this was exemplified by his organ donation, so others could enjoy life as he did. He was a beloved and dedicated man with uncompromising principles. He was quite a jokester; he enjoyed laughing and making others laugh. He was eager to assist anyone at any time, always willing to put others before himself. He is dearly missed by his family, friends, and fellow firefighters.
Brinson was an honest, dedicated, and loving family man. He leaves behind his wife, Anna J. Brinson; his mother, Hazel L. Brinson; and his sister, Nancy White. Brinson was a faithful member and deacon at Reelsboro Christian Church. In addition to firefighting and teaching, he was a member of the Masons. Rufus enjoyed farming, golfing, riding his Gold wing, fishing, reading, and spending time with his family.
In loving memory of Rufus, his home fire station and firefighting brothers from the Reelsboro Volunteer Fire Department dedicated a flag pole and a service plaque. A lighthouse with a beacon was built and donated to his home fire station in his memory by local artists Mr. and Mrs. Luis Alberto Suarez. This beacon is a symbol to show his brother and sister firefighters how to find their way back home safely.
The memory of Rufus and what he did for his family, friends, and the community he loved so dearly will live forever in our hearts.