A Champaign, Illinois man drowned Jan. 1 in a mall pond as the police and fire department stood by and watched. The man, Kenneth Brown, 20, slipped under the freezing water 18 minutes after falling through the ice, but local firefighters didn’t launch an inflatable boat until just before he disappeared. The firefighters pulled Brown’s body out of the water roughly an hour after they arrived.
At least one passing resident recorded much of the event, including the moment when Brown went under the water.
The crowd of onlookers demanded firefighters rescue the man, and some even volunteered for the task, but were told by the Champaign police to stay away while 22 firefighters and six vehicles stood on the nearby shore and watched Brown's slow-motion death.
The police and firefighters defended their inaction. “They followed our ice rescue guidelines pretty much to a T,” Champaign Deputy Fire Chief Eric Mitchell told The News Gazette.
“They established command … they made visual contact and attempted to talk to him, threw rescue devices, and went on the water,” he said. “Going on the water is the last thing you want to do. They did all the other things first.”
“The way we’re trained, you have several different positions that have to be filled to do water rescue safely. … You have a leader and a victim observer [whose] job is to make contact visually with the victim and try to talk to him.” ...More HERE