Ill. firefighter-paramedic dies during underwater dive training

South Holland Firefighter-Paramedic Dylan Cunningham, 29, who served with the department for nine years, died Wednesday after an exercise at Haigh Quarry Lake

Duty Death: Dylan Cunningham - [South Holland, Illinois]

End of Service: 09/30/2020

Lucas Gonzalez
The Times, Munster, Ind.

LAKE COUNTY, Ind. — Fire departments across Northwest Indiana offered their condolences Thursday to a South Holland firefighter who died during an underwater dive training exercise Wednesday.

Dylan Cunningham, of Thornton, was pronounced dead about 10:40 p.m. Wednesday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

The 29-year-old firefighter's manner of death had not been determined as of Thursday morning. The incident related to his death that occurred at Haigh Quarry Lake is under investigation.

An image shared by several fire departments in the Chicago area shows Cunningham's jacket lying atop the front of a South Holland Fire Department engine — a symbol of honor and respect for the late firefighter.

"Our condolences go out to the South Holland, IL Fire Department," the Hobart Fire Department wrote in a Facebook post, with the photo attached.

Hammond fire officials likewise expressed a somber reaction to Cunningham's death.

"Our hearts go out to the South Holland Firefighters Union and the Family of Brother Dylan Cunningham," the department posted.

The department encouraged the public to send condolences to the South Holland Fire Department and to watch for details on an upcoming procession.

Cunningham served as a South Holland firefighter since 2011. He started as a part-time firefighter before joining the department full time in 2018. He was also a member of the Illinois Army National Guard since 2012, according to village officials.

"As you can imagine this is a very difficult day for all of us," said Julia Perla Huisman, a spokeswoman for the village. "It was just in February of 2018 that Pat Mahon and I swore Dylan in as a firefighter paramedic. He truly was a very special young man."

Mahon asked that the public support Cunningham's family in any way possible.

"We ask that you keep Dylan’s family and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers," Perla Huisman said.


©2020 The Times (Munster, Ind.)


From J. Wynsma, Village Administrator for the Village of South Holland: The Village of South Holland is deeply saddened...

Posted by South Holland Fire Department on Thursday, October 1, 2020


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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