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Retired fire department captain hurt in hunting accident returns to Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — A retired Charlotte Department firefighter returned to the Queen City Thursday after he was seriously hurt in a hunting accident earlier this month.

Retired Capt. Tripp Fincher spent 28 years serving the local community. He fell from a deer stand in Kansas a few weeks ago breaking his pelvis and sternum and collapsing a lung.

After two weeks of recovering across the country, Fincher was taken for treatment and rehab in Pineville. Atrium Health MedCenter Air brought Fincher home in one of its critical care airplanes.

Fincher was welcomed by colleagues from the Charlotte Fire Department, the Charlotte Salute to Heroes Foundation, as well as friends and family.

Nonprofit raises money to help

Following Fincher’s fall, a group of colleagues along with a local nonprofit stepped in to help out.

Charlotte firefighter Rob Griffin worked with Fincher at Fire Station 11. He’s now one of many people coming together to help him in a time of need.

“I touched base with him this morning. We’re almost a week into it and he’s still in tremendous amount of pain,” he said last week. “It’s hit me hard, and just trying to step up and do what he would do for others.”

Griffin is part of the Salute to Our Heroes Charlotte Foundation, a nonprofit that support first responders. It started this GoFundMe page with the goal of raising $75,000, so Fincher can afford to fly home in a medical airplane.

“That would cover the cost of a airplane trip, as well as the ambulance rides and also the additional costs as Tripp recovers from his injuries,” said Lester Oliva with Salute to Our Heroes.

For Griffin, the fundraiser is about helping someone who has done so much in our community. Over the years, Fincher has raised thousands of dollars to help others, from people who are homeless to those who are retirees.

“It’s really surreal to see people step up and help out, especially when it’s Tripp,” Griffin said. “It shows a lot of people care about him. And I know he’d be grateful when it’s all said and done.”

The hope was to bring Fincher home in a few weeks. After, Griffin says he’ll need months of support as he recovers.

>> If you would like to contribute to the GoFundMe, click here.

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