Retired Fire Captain Suffers Hunting Accident in Kansas

by Samantha Whidden

A retired fire chief is heading home to Charlotte, North Carolina after he was involved in a hunting accident in Kansas earlier this month. 

According to a GoFundMe page, launched by Salute to Heroes Charlotte Foundation, retired captain Tripp Fincher was seriously injured. He fell more than 20 feet from a tree while hunting in Severy, Kansas. The incident happened on September 3rd. The former fire chief was airlifted to Wichita Kansas, where he underwent extensive surgery. Due to his injuries, Fincher is only able to travel by medical airplane. The donation campaign is to raise funds for his family. They will be paying for the flight home as well as the extensive recovery and physical rehabilitation. So far, the campaign has raised more than $57,000.

Due to the severity of the injuries sustained from the hunting trip, Fincher will be facing extensive months of rehabilitation. “Returning Capt. Fincher home for his extended medical recovery allows one of Tripp’s personal goals to support the Charlotte Fire Department’s Hockey Team in the upcoming Salute to Heroes Hockey game on April 15, 2023.”

City of Charlotte Issues Statement About Retired Fire Chief Injured While Hunting 

Meanwhile, the City of Charlotte further issued a statement about the GoFundMe campaign for Captain Fincher that was launched after the hunting trip. 

“Fincher has always helped citizens in the Charlotte community and beyond when 9-1-1 was called,” the City shared. “He responded to thousands of calls for help and was deployed many times locally and nationally with the Charlotte Fire Urban Rescue unit at Station 11.”

Fincher had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for first responders and their families during their times of need. “[He] coordinated a myriad of fundraisers from golf outings to fish fries and barbecues. Fincher was also team captain of Charlotte Fire Hockey and currently holds title of captain emeritus for the team.”

The Salute to Heroes Charlotte Foundation also shared that within the next couple of weeks, as Fincher progresses, it would like to help bring him home to Charlotte. “Tripp has been a dedicated public servant, mainstay organizer of the CFD Hockey team, and co-creator of the Charlotte Salute to Heroes Hockey game. Proceeds from the annual Charlotte Salute to Heroes Hockey match helps first responders and their families in their time of need.”

Lester Oliva, organizer of Charlotte Salute to Heroes Foundation, also spoke to WCNC about the injuries that Fincher sustained. “Unfortunately he did have a broken pelvis, broken sternum and ribs and a collapsed lung. These injuries are pretty intensive so it’s important that we get our brother back home.”

Nearly 440 people have donated to the GoFundMe campaign. Olivia added, “Very few times do we raise our hands and say hey we need some help. And this is our time when one of our own needs some help.”