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Fundraiser Launched For Family Of PA Firefighter

A Pennsylvania firefighter of over 50 years has died, according to his family and friends.

John Bruetsch.

John Bruetsch.

Photo Credit: Dustin Weese

John Bruetsch, 65, a New Cumberland native living in Enola, passed away on June 9, his sister Karen Blazina announced on Facebook.

In her post she wrote the following:

"Today I lost my younger brother. Unexpected that the man, the husband, the father, the grandfather, the brother, the uncle, the fireman, the PIO for Cumberland County answered his last call on earth. He is loved and will be missed. You fought a great fight John Bruetsch ....peace."

He passed away at  Penn State Holy Spirit Hospital, Camp Hill, according to his obituary. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help his family. 

He began volunteering as a firefighter at 13-years-old, as explained in his obituary.

According to his own Facebook profile, he was a class of 1977 Trinity High School graduate who went on to graduate in 1979 from Fire Science Technology at HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, and in 1986 studying Fire Science Technology at the University of Maryland, College Park.

He went onto work as a "Logistics Coordinator [at] Veritiv Corporation, Camp Hill. He previously worked at Konhaus Farms, Harrisburg Paper and Xpedx. He served as Chief Public Information Officer for East Pennsboro Twp. and Cumberland County and served as Treasurer for Pennsylvania National Fire Museum," as stated in his obituary.

In his off time he "loved photography, helping others, along with the fire service and watching the Notre Dame" and spending time with his family, as stated in his obituary and shown on his Facebook profile. 

John had previously posted on Facebook in Dec. 2023 that he had been in the hospital for serious health issues following a Traumatic Brain Injury. 

"To all my friends- most of you are aware that I had been in in hospital since the end of November suffering from a traumatic brain injury which required brain surgery including placement of a drain and removal of a piece of my skull. During this time, they found I have a fracture of a bone in my spine. So now I have 2 incisions on my skull and a brace from my chin to my lower back.I would like to thank everyone who called, visited, offered to help especially David and Richard who spent countless hours with our dog Raina while Julie visited with me. Thanks to you both. Finally, Julie. Not enough words to express my feelings. I love you more than anything. You were my rock throughout this whole ordeal. Thanks again for everything you do..."

Details about his death were not public shared, but the love from his community was as many remember him as a great man who was always giving back. 

He is survived by his wife, their sons, granddaughter, siblings who reside in Mechanicsburg, and several nieces, nephews, and great-nieces, according to his obituary. 

A Celebration of Life for John Bruetsch will be held at the Enola Sportman Club from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, according to Karen. 

Instead of flowers, please make a memorial contribution to the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum, 1820 North Fourth Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102, https://pnfm.org/.

Click here to read his full obituary

Click here to donate to the GoFundMe campaign. 

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