Community rallies to help Minnetonka firefighter injured on the job

For 14 years, Tim Tripp has been a well loved member of the Minnetonka Fire Department.

Now he is in the fight of his life after a freak accident on the job.

"I think this week has been a bit of a roller coaster for us here at the fire department. The news at the beginning was absolutely terrible. That one of our own had gone down," said Minnetonka firefighter Sara Ahlquist.

Fire officials say Tripp was helping train a new firefighter by pumping water into an ice rink at a public park about a week ago, when he slipped on the ice and fell, hitting his head and suffering a severe head injury.

Tripp was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was placed in a medically induced coma, and doctors performed several surgeries to relieve pressure on his brain.

"Total shock. Very, very surprised. I've been in the department for 15 years and never have we had an accident like that, that's been this devastating for anyone," said Ahlquist.

Since Tripp is a part-time firefighter and self-employed, Minnetonka Fire set up a GoFundMe campaign to help his family pay rent and bills and for his 3 sons to travel back to help with his recovery.

"I feel like the community has stepped up to help. His kids all went to school in the area. He went to school in the area. So he's got a lot of support coming in, and we are excited about that," said Ahlquist.

Tripp's fellow firefighters hope he is able to make a full recovery and will soon be back on the job in the community he loves and that loves him right back.

"We're all kind of saddened by the fact that this is such a strange accident to happen, and it's really an eye-opener for everyone that anything can happen at any time.

He really just slipped on the ice. That's something any one of us could do, walking into our work or our home or into our school on any given day," said Ahlquist.