Christopher J. Hunter’s call to serve came early in life, when at the age of 16 he joined the Cinnaminson Fire Department as a junior firefighter. A lifelong Cinnaminson resident, Chris served as a volunteer firefighter and became a career firefighter with the department in 1998. A consummate professional, Chris progressed to the rank of lieutenant during his 22 years with the department.
Lt. Hunter was highly qualified in all operational and procedural aspects of the job. He had a voracious appetite to learn about new techniques and was always reading and researching to advance his skill set. He shared his knowledge and implemented new and current tactics with his crews. He was a true role model for all of the firefighters in the department and has inspired others to follow in his footsteps.
Lt. Hunter was involved in numerous projects within the department, including the recent design of two of the department’s newest apparatus. In fact, the department’s new rescue-engine is dedicated to Lt. Hunter for his efforts.
Over the years, Lt. Hunter received many awards during his time with the Cinnaminson Fire Department, including the CPR Life Saves Award and Career Firefighter of the Year. Lt. Hunter was also recognized for his heroic efforts while responding to a call. In 2004, Lt. Hunter received a Meritorious Service Award from the 200 Club of Burlington County for his role in rescuing an Alzheimer’s patient from a burning apartment building.
On November 15, 2014, Lt. Hunter passed away at home within 24 hours of working a shift and responding to emergency incidents.
Although Lt. Hunter’s passion for the job was an important part of his life, his love for his family was immeasurable. His wife, Claire; his son, Christopher “CJ” (age 8); and his daughter, Emma (age 4); survive him. He is the loving son to James and Marion Hunter, brother to Sheri Hunter, and uncle to Dylan Hunter. Lt. Hunter was very proud of his family and spent much time with them enjoying sports or taking trips to Long Beach Island.
To honor his passion for training, a foundation has been created to help libraries offer fire-training books for first responders. The Hunter’s Heroes Foundation is being run by Lt. Hunter’s wife and three of his coworkers in South Jersey to preserve his spirit and legacy.