Posts Tagged Chicago FD divers injured during rescue

Chicago Fire Department Lodd Firefighter Juan Bucio (more)

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Chicago Fire Department Lodd Firefighter Juan Bucio (more)

From CFD Media on Twitter:

Firefighter Juan Bucio Arrangements: Visitation – Sun, June 3rd, 3pm -9pm, @ St. Rita Funeral – Mon, June 4th, Noon, @ St. Rita Full Honors Burial to follow @ Mt. Auburn Cemetery, 4101 S. Oak Park Ave, Stickney, IL

CPD & CFD Honor Guard complete the procession of Firefighter Juan Bucio from the Medical Examiner’s Office to Blake Lamb funeral home.

CFD Media photo

CFD Media photo

CFD Media photo

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The Chicago Fire Department’s Widows’ and Children’s Assistance Fund announced where donations can be made for Bucio’s family.

The Ende, Menzer, Walsh & Quinn  Retirees’ Widows’ and Children’s Assistance Fund (EMWQ) set up a memorial fund. The organization said 100 percent of proceeds will go to the family. Donations can be made at or any BMO Harris Bank. For more information, visit

The 100 Club also set up a page for donations. Those wishing to make a donation can visit  In coming weeks, the 100 Club said it will visit the home of Bucio’s children to speak with their mother about providing educational assistance for the boys.

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Chicago Fire Department Lodd Firefighter Juan Bucio (more)

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Firefighters were faced with a double emergency Monday night: first, man overboard and then the loss of contact with one of their own. Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Jose Santiago said it happened abruptly.

The results of the rescue diver’s autopsy were listed as pending as of Tuesday night. The possibility of a medical emergency or even the boat striking Bucio have not been ruled out.

Bucio, a father of two young boys, and his fellow divers, were searching for 28-year-old Alberto Lopez. Lopez was last seen on a boat Monday night with his friend on the Chicago River. A frantic call was made to 9111, but now the rescue has become a recovery.

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Chicago Fire Department diver Juan Bucio who died during a rescue attempt on the South Branch of the Chicago River was remembered Tuesday as a devoted father who loved being a firefighter and a member of the marine and dive team. He became separated from his dive partner in the water Monday night while trying to rescue a man who had fallen off a boat into the river near Ashland Avenue.

Bucio, a 15-year veteran who served on the fire department’s dive team for more than a decade, disappeared briefly in the water, was located and then was lifted onto the riverbank. He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about two hours after firefighters received the rescue call.

Fire and police investigators are looking into the details of what happened to Bucio during the rescue attempt.  Two other divers were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in good condition, they were treated and released.

Bucio joined the fire department in 2004. A longtime lifeguard, he had the dive team in his sights and became a member a few years later. He was a strong swimmer who was adept at diving, working on the boats, and from a helicopter.

Nationally, Bucio is the 39th U.S. firefighter to die on duty this year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Water rescue- or dive team-related deaths are infrequent but not uncommon. Prior to Bucio’s death, nine firefighters died during water rescues between 2000 and 2017. But the fatalities of firefighters involved in water-related actions, from the searches for bodies to training, are more common.

The last on-duty fatality of a Chicago Fire Department diver was that of Eugene Blackmon, who died while attempting to recover the bodies of two men from the Little Calumet River in May 1998.

Bucio’s death came two days after a diver died while assisting with the recovery of a crashed plane in Ontario, Canada.

There will be a fire department procession when Bucio’s body is transported from the medical examiner’s office to a funeral home.

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An investigation continued Wednesday into how Juan Bucio, a veteran Chicago Fire Department diver, died during a rescue attempt on the Chicago River on Memorial Day.

A closer look at video, shot by an ABC7 photographer moments before Bucio disappeared under the water, shows him and his partner in trouble as a fire department boat comes by. A source said that something may have been wrong with Bucio – a 15-year CFD veteran — before he went under. As crews on the boat called out to Bucio and his partner, the video shows Bucio go under the front of the boat while his partner puts his hands on the side to prevent himself from following. Then there is a frantic search. Later, rescue crews pulled Bucio’s body out of the river.

A source said the video shows Bucio too low in the water, signaling a possible sign of trouble. The incident happened after both divers had been in the water for a while looking for the missing boater.

The Chicago Fire Department is now waiting for preliminary results from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office which would tell them if Bucio sustained an injury that could have caused him to lose consciousness or if he may have suffered from a medical problem before he went under the boat.

As part of an investigation, Bucio’s equipment is being analyzed, his air pressure tank is being checked and everyone who had contact with him before and during the incident is being interviewed.

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Chicago Fire Department Lodd Firefighter Juan Bucio

From Chicago Fire Department Media on Twitter:

The entire Chicago Fire Department’s prayers go out to the family of Firefighter Juan Bucio who tragically passed away answering a call of a person in the water near 2600 S. Ashland.

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The city of Chicago was in mourning after a Chicago Fire Department diver died Monday from injuries sustained during a rescue operation.

Juan Bucio, 46, was among the first responders firefighters called to a report of a person missing in the Chicago River near the 2600 block of South Ashland Avenue at around 8 p.m. Monday night. Fire officials said Bucio was searching for a 28-year-old man who witnesses said they saw jump from a boat into the river. At one point, Bucio lost communication with his dive partner during the rescue attempt.

He was later located and CPR was administered before he was taken in critical condition to Stroger Hospital, where he later died.

“An order was given to switch out divers to bring the second team in, give them a break,” Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago said at a news conference. “At that time, they were coming towards the boat. His partner turned around and he was missing, that quick.”

Bucio joined the fire department in 2003, and has been on the dive team since 2007. He is survived by his two sons, ages seven and nine, and nine siblings, including a brother who works for the Chicago Fire Department, and a sister who works for the Chicago Police Department.

Officials did not locate the missing boater, and a search for him was expected to resume in daylight on Tuesday.

Bucio was the 13th member of the Chicago Fire Department to die in the line of duty since the year 2000.

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