Eugene Williard Blackmon, Jr., Firefighter

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Firefighter Blackmon was conducting an underwater search for two reported drowning victims in the Calumet River. While going from shore to a boat he lost his grip on a flotation device and slipped under the water. He had removed his SCUBA tank prior to entering the water. Firefighter Blackmon was recovered after approximately 10-15 minutes and provided with emergency medical care. He was airlifted by Fire Department helicopter to a local hospital but was pronounced dead at the hospital. Further information related to this incident can be found in NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation 98-F-18.

Department information

Chicago Fire Department
121 North LaSalle
City Hall-Room 105
Chicago, Illinois 60602

Chief: Fire Commissioner Edward Altman

View NIOSH Report »

Eugene Williard Blackmon, Jr. was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.
Age: 38
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Career
Incident date: May 19, 1998
Date of death: May 19, 1998
Cause of death: Caught or Trapped
Nature of death: Drowning
Activity type: Search and Rescue
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Non-Fire