Former Charlotte fire captain hospitalized after falling from tree


A Retired Charlotte Fire Captain remained hospitalized on Friday, nearly a week after plunging 20 to 25 feet from a tree while setting up a hunting stand in Kansas, a Medic spokesperson said.

Retired Charlotte Fire Captain Tripp Fincher was seriously injured after plunging 20 to 25 feet from a tree while setting up a hunting stand in Kansas, a Medic spokesperson said. Charlotte Fire Department

Tripp Fincher broke his pelvis, sternum and a few ribs and suffered a collapsed lung, Medic spokesman Lester Olivia told the Charlotte Observer. It’s a miracle he got a cell phone and was able to call for help because he “was deep in the woods,” Olivia said.

“He was so lucky,” Olivia said.

Fincher and two other retired firefighters were in Severy, Kansassetting up high chairs on trees on Sept. 3 to prepare to hunt, Olivia said.

Friends and former colleagues expect retired Charlotte Fire Captain Tripp Fincher to be flown home on a medical plane from Wichita, Kansas on or around Thursday, September 15, 2022. Charlotte Fire Department

fincher was seriously injured and required “extensive surgery” after being airlifted to Wichita, Kansas, according to a press release from the city of Charlotte on Thursday. Severy is about 64 miles east of Wichita.

The association Tribute to heroes Charlotte The Foundation raised $30,640 from 222 donors in one day GoFundMe to bring Fincher home to Charlotte next week and help pay for his long rehabilitation. The foundation has set a goal of $75,000.

The amount raised Friday at 11 a.m. — $30,640 — should at least cover his medical flight home, Olivia said. Due to his serious injuries, Fincher can only travel by medical aircraft, according to the press release from the City of Charlotte.

Fincher joined Charlotte Fire in 1990 and was promoted to captain in 2002, city officials said. He retired on May 11, 2019, “after more than two decades of dedicated service,” according to the city’s press release.

Fincher has responded to thousands of calls for help and repeatedly deployed to rescues and other local and national emergencies with the Charlotte Fire Urban Rescue Unit at Station 11, sources said. officials in the press release.

He also raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for first responders and their families in times of need, according to the statement.

Donations for Fincher and his family can also be mailed to Salute to Heroes Charlotte Foundation, 11809 Pheasant Lane, Charlotte NC 28277. Write “FOR TRIPP” in the memo line on checks.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, a “Rally For Tripp” event is scheduled for the Palmer Building, 2601 E. 7th St. in Charlotte. Organizers will be accepting donations and filming video messages of encouragement for Fincher.

This story was originally published September 9, 2022 12:08 p.m.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989, covering locals, towns and major news events in the area, and served as editor of the newspaper’s press office. He is currently reporting on the latest news.


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