Battalion chief from Lee’s Summit laid to rest

Chris Tindall
Chris Tindall Courtesy photo

The final service call for South Metro Battalion Chief Chris Tindall aired over the radio last Wednesday afternoon, heard by scores of mourners at his graveside.

Tears flowed from the faces of family members, friends and the more than 100 uniformed firefighters from Cass County and elsewhere who attended the service to show their respect to Tindall.

The funeral was a solemn affair for those who knew Tindall, who died in the line of duty.

The 41-year-old Lee’s Summit man had been with the Raymore-based South Metro Fire Protection District for 15 years. He also was an assistant chief at the Prairie Township Fire Protection District in Lee's Summit.

The young father of two died Jan. 8 from a cardiac-related medical emergency after responding to a call for service.

Tindall went to the hospital and was treated and released. He died following his discharge from the hospital.

The service was held at the Pavilion at John Knox Village in Lee’s Summit.

Tindall’s nieces and nephews took to the platform first to share memories of their uncle. They talked about moments around the dinner table and how he will be remembered as their “bad ass” uncle.

South Metro Capt. Victor Adkins worked with Tindall on the “C” shift and shared about Tindall’s life at work.

“He was always ready for duty,” Adkins said. “Chris loved his department and the people he served. He showed and proved that everyday.”

As a young teen, Tindall’s dream was to become a military fighter pilot, but his aspirations were disrupted in his junior year at Belton High School when he grew six inches in one year.

He was too tall to be a pilot, so he changed his focus and began an EMT program.

The EMT classes led Tindall to a career in firefighting and rescue.

He started with South Metro in September 2000 and became a captain four years later. In 2007, he was promoted to battalion chief.

“He did whatever it took to reach his goals,” Adkins said. “When Chris was promoted to battalion chief, he found himself exactly where he belonged and exactly where he was most comfortable.”

During his career, Tindall developed another passion as a search and rescue K9 handler for Missouri Search and Rescue K9 Unit, Kansas City Disaster Dogs and Missouri Task Force One.

Robin Houston, a major with the Kansas City Police Department and a handler with Missouri Search and Rescue K9 Unit, also spoke to Tindall’s driven life.

“Chris was very passionate and dedicated to his volunteer work,” Houston said. “He went in to save lives and recover the lost.”

Houston announced that the Missouri Search and Rescue K9 Unit is retiring Tindall’s radio number, No. 6618, in recongition of his service.

Even in death, Tindall continued his mission to rescue others.

As an organ donor, he potentially will give at least three people lifesaving organs. Another 50 individuals will benefit from other tissue donations.

Tindall leaves behind two sons, Ryan and Tyler, and his wife, Melia. Burial was at the Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery.

By order of Gov. Jay Nixon, all flags at all state government offices were flown at half-staff last Wednesday in Cass and Jackson counties in honor of Tindall.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the Lee’s Summit High School AFJROTC or the Missouri search and Rescue K9 Unit.