CFD Squad First Sent To Help River Search Had No Certified Divers

CHICAGO (CBS) — The body of 16-year-old Cameron Sanders was found in the Des Plaines River on Thursday, five days after he dove from a bridge near Melrose Park, and the Chicago Fire Department said the first city squad sent to help the search didn’t have certified divers working.

As Cameron’s loved ones waited anxiously for news after he was pulled under by the current last weekend, the call went out for crews to help search the river.

Chicago Fire Department Squad 7 was called to assist, and responded to the scene, but it had no certified divers on that shift.

Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said the city requires two certified divers per shift.

Later, when it was determined that Squad 7 couldn’t supply divers for the search, Squad 2 was called in.

The Squad 7 officer who accepted the call for assistance “is being retrained on proper protocol,” according to Langford.

Langford said the officer “made an error” and should have refused the run, since the squad did not have two certified divers.

As it turned out, the operation was mostly recovery and not rescue when Chicago was called in, and Langford said the current was too rough for any divers to go in the water.

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