Firefighter, 29, Dies After Dive Training Exercise

Dovie Salais

SOUTH HOLLAND, IL — A South Holland firefighter died after a dive training exercise in Kankakee, officials confirmed Thursday morning. Dylan Cunningham, 29, died at 10:40 p.m. Wednesday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner. Officials held a brief news conference Thursday afternoon but said they […]

SOUTH HOLLAND, IL — A South Holland firefighter died after a dive training exercise in Kankakee, officials confirmed Thursday morning. Dylan Cunningham, 29, died at 10:40 p.m. Wednesday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner.

Officials held a brief news conference Thursday afternoon but said they could not release any information on how Cunningham died following an underwater dive.

“We know you have many questions, and so do we,” South Holland Village Administrator J Wynsma said, noting that the incident is under investigation and adding, “Our efforts will bring conclusions that we will share with you in the coming days.”

Cunningham has been a member of the South Holland Fire Department since 2011, when he started as a part-time firefighter. He was sworn in as a full-time firefighter-paramedic in 2018 and also served in the National Guard.

“There are a lot of hurting people in that building behind me,” Wynsma said as he addressed reporters in front of the South Holland village hall. “Dylan was a very special young man,” he added, asking everyone to keep Cunningham’s family and loved ones in their thoughts.

A procession escorted Cunningham’s body from the hospital to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office early Thursday, according to ABC. An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday.

Officials have not yet released information on the Wednesday afternoon dive training incident. The training was held at Haigh Quarry in Kankakee.

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