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Firefighters honor fallen dive team member on 1st anniversary of his death

A wreath of red and white carnations was dropped into the Chicago River Tuesday at the spot where Juan Bucio died while searching for a missing boater.

Chicago Fire Commissioner Richard C. Ford II escorts the siblings of fallen firefighter Juan Bucio, Isaac, a fellow Chicago firefighter, and Maria, a Chicago police officer, during a wreath-laying ceremony Tuesday on the first anniversary of Juan Bucio’s
Chicago Fire Commissioner Richard C. Ford II escorts the siblings of fallen firefighter Juan Bucio, Isaac, a fellow Chicago firefighter, and Maria, a Chicago police officer, during a wreath-laying ceremony Tuesday on the first anniversary of Juan Bucio’s death.
Mitch Dudek / Sun-Times

To mark the first anniversary of the death of Chicago Fire Department dive team member Juan Bucio, more than 100 colleagues gathered Tuesday morning at the spot of along the Chicago River where he died while searching for a missing boater.

”His spirit always and forever will have a place in our hearts,” Chicago Fire Commissioner Richard C. Ford II said before escorting Bucio’s loved ones to the banks of the river near 2900 S. Ashland Ave., where a wreath of red and white carnations was dropped into the murky water.

Bucio, 46, jumped from a helicopter into the river May 28, 2018, but soon became distressed. He was found in 17 to 19 feet of water about 15 minutes after sinking.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled his death an accident attributable to a rare heart condition and depletion of his air tank.

Bucio’s brother, Isaac, also a Chicago firefighter, and his sister, Maria, a Chicago police officer, attended the event.

Fire Department officials are waiting to sort through the findings of a report on Bucio’s death that’s expected to be released in the next several months by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a federal agency that conducts independent investigations of firefighter line-of-duty deaths.

The report’s goal will be to identify factors that contributed to Bucio’s death and provide recommendations to the Fire Department to prevent future tragedies.

A spokeswoman for the federal agency said Tuesday that investigators are still drafting the report.