Chris was 47 years old when he passed away from occupationally caused renal cell carcinoma on November 30, 2020. When Chris was diagnosed in September 2018, he was given two years to live. He fought so hard and made it two years and two months. He was a fighter to the very end. At the time Chris passed away, he was a medically retired fire captain and paramedic for Fort Carson Fire and Emergency Services. Before joining Fort Carson Fire, Chris was a police officer and a fire captain for the City of Fountain, where he grew up.
Chris significantly impacted the EMS, wildland, and hazmat programs at Fort Carson. He made sure that they were running well and that safety was of the utmost concern with each of the programs. It did not matter if Chris was on shift or off; he was available to answer questions about work. He wanted to make sure that his crews were given the appropriate knowledge and resources they needed to do their jobs well.
Throughout his almost 30 years with the fire service, Chris received several awards, including lifesaving awards and unit citations. His most recent lifesaving award came from a structure fire he was on with his crew. Chris was so humble that he did not want to be recognized for this action. He would always say that he is just “Joe the Fireman” and was not anything special. All his guys and gals would certainly beg to differ. He was SO special. He brought so much to the job. He was constantly teaching and was constantly keeping people laughing.
Chris was an avid hunter. He was also a talented woodworker and welder. He welded things that he and one of his coworkers thought were needed at the station houses or at the training center. They were always on the hunt for things to build to improve the stations for the guys and gals, and they both put in a lot of work for those improvements.
When Chris passed away, he and his wife, Dana, had been married for ten years. Chris and Dana had a beautiful blended family. Chris brought a daughter and a son to the family, Katelynn and Garrett; and Dana brought two daughters, Delaney and Riley (Cross). Besides his wife and four children, Chris was survived by his mother, Bonnie; his sister, Heather; her husband, Jeff; and their three daughters. Chris had a very large family, and he was survived by many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Chris was preceded in death by his father, Albert, as well as his grandparents.
Captain Carneal was an amazing person. He led from the front and made us all better firefighters and better people. He is missed every day at Fort Carson. I know he is looking over all of us.
Love you brother.
Torben Dalstra, Captain– Torben Dalstra
Because of Christopher and his wife Dana’s tremendous dedication this is the first year that federal firefighters can be added to this memorial it was introduced in Congress by the gentle woman from New Mexico and passed With one dissenting vote And for the first time Federal firefighters can receive Workers Comp. benefits. The federal firefighters community owe a huge debt to Christopher and Dana. He will always be missed especially by his children and Dana and his family. I pray for all of the families of the fallen firefighters and the pain they go through.– Bonnie Carneal
Chris was an amazing man, firefighter, husband, and father. He is missed everyday! Love you brother.– Brook Luke
Love and miss you brother…I remember us having to push Santa in the fire truck. Say Hi to Kendell Bryant, he is there with you.– Randy Chambers