Chicago FD honors 1-year anniversary of firefighter's death

A Scuba Dog was dedicated in honor and to the service of Firefighter Diver Juan Bucio

Javonte Anderson
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Exactly a year after firefighter Juan Bucio, a Chicago Fire Department diver, died during a rescue attempt in the Chicago River, the department held ceremonies to commemorate his service, unveiling a scuba dog sculpture to ensure his legacy and sacrifice will be remembered.

"This is something that will be here for the family, and for the boys, forever," Chicago Fire Commissioner Richard C. Ford II said referencing the scuba dog while speaking at the Chicago Fire Academy, 558 W. De Koven St.

The service dog statue wears a wet suit equipped with a scuba mask, tank, and diving fins. Bucio's name is on the wet suit and the dog is wearing Bucio's badge number.



Bucio died last year while trying to rescue a man who had fallen off a boat on the South Branch of the Chicago River. Alberto Lopez, the man Bucio was searching for, also died.

Dozens of Chicago firefighters, donning their dress blue uniforms, were in attendance along with Bucio’s family and two sons. Earlier Tuesday, the Fire Department held a memorial bell-ringing ceremony at Canalport Riverwalk Park, near 2900 S. Ashland Ave., near where Bucio died.

"Not only is his badge here on the wall, but now the dedication of the scuba dog will always be there so that the family and his sons have a connection knowing how the city feels about their dad's sacrifice," Ford said at the academy.

Bucio was the 13th Chicago firefighter and most recent to die in the line of duty since 2000, according to the Illinois Fire Service Institute.

Bucio joined the Fire Department in 2004 and became a member of the dive team in 2007. Bucio has a sister who is a Chicago police officer and a brother who is a Chicago firefighter.

Check back for updates.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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