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On February 27, 2020, NBC renewed the series for a ninth, tenth and eleventh season. The ninth season premiered on November 11, 2020. The tenth season is scheduled to premiere on September 22, 2021.
The show explores the lives, both professional and personal, of the firefighters, rescue personnel and paramedics of the Chicago Fire Department at the fictional Firehouse 51, home of the fictional Engine Company 51, Truck Company 81, Rescue Squad Company 3, Battalion 25 and Ambulance 61. Following the death of veteran Firefighter Andrew Darden, loyalties fracture and divide as Lieutenant Matthew Casey, officer-in-charge of Truck Company 81, and Lieutenant Kelly Severide, officer-in-charge of Rescue Squad Company 3, blame each other for the death of their long-time friend and colleague.
New to the station is Peter Mills, a Firefighter Candidate assigned to Truck Company 81, who is following in the footsteps of his late father and trying to find his place over the objections of his mother.
Alongside the firefighters are paramedics Gabriela Dawson and Leslie Shay. Shay dies in the third-season premiere "Always". Some new faces appear in the firehouse as the series progresses. Under the leadership of 25th Battalion Chief Wallace Boden, the firehouse family faces life or death decisions every day, but they treat each other like family, looking out for each other no matter what happens.
Jesse Spencer as Captain (previously Lieutenant) Matthew Casey, Truck Company 81. Casey is the Captain at Firehouse 51 and the officer in charge of Truck Company 81. As Captain, he serves as second in command to Battalion Chief Wallace Boden. A skilled handyman and carpenter, he freelances as a construction contractor when off-duty. He is also a former elected Alderman. Despite his reticence and aloof demeanor, he is fiercely protective of the firefighters under him and commands their loyalty and respect. He was briefly engaged to Dr. Hallie Thomas in season one and was married to Gabriela Dawson from seasons five to seven. He is promoted to Captain by Chief Boden in the sixth-season episode "An Even Bigger Surprise". In the ninth-season finale "No Survivors". he begins dating paramedic Sylvie Brett.
Taylor Kinney as Lieutenant Kelly Severide, Rescue Squad 3. Severide is the Lieutenant at Firehouse 51 and the officer in charge of Squad 3. As Lieutenant, he serves as third in command to Battalion Chief Wallace Boden. In contrast to Casey, he is charismatic and portrayed to be something of a "ladies' man". He and Casey have been friends since their days at the CFD Academy, but their friendship becomes strained after a mutual colleague dies on the job. His father was Chief Benny Severide, a long-time friend of Chief Boden and Henry Mills, father of Candidate Peter Mills. In the fourth-season finale "Superhero", he begins dating Stella Kidd. In the ninth-season episode "A White-Knuckle Panic", they become engaged.
Monica Raymund as Former Paramedic in Charge/Firefighter Candidate Gabriela "Gabby" Dawson, Ambulance 61/Truck 81 (seasons 1-6; guest, seasons 7-8). Dawson is one of the few women in 51 and is usually treated as a sister by the men. She was the Paramedic in Charge (PIC) of Ambulance 61, but transferred to Truck 81 after completing the fire academy and passing the physical exams. However, she later transferred back to Ambulance 61 after Jimmy Borelli transferred back to Truck 81 because it was a better fit for her. She briefly dated Peter Mills in season one and was married to Matt Casey from seasons five to seven. She left Chicago after the sixth-season finale "The Grand Gesture" to head a rescue-and-relief unit in Puerto Rico, but briefly returned to say goodbye to Casey in the seventh-season premiere "A Closer Eye" and again for a charity ball in the eighth-season episode "Best Friend Magic". She is the younger sister of Chicago P.D. and Chicago Justice character Detective Antonio Dawson.
Lauren German as Paramedic Leslie Elizabeth Shay, Ambulance 61 (seasons 1-2; guest, season 3). As an experienced paramedic, Shay was the designated ambulance driver and was well-liked by the mostly male crew of 51. She and Kelly Severide shared an apartment as roommates and were best friends. Popular with her co-workers, she was openly gay, often cracking self-deprecating jokes about it. She was killed in the third-season premiere "Always", continuing from the second-season finale "Real Never Waits" cliffhanger, in which a serial arsonist intentionally set a trap for the first responders. In "Three Bells", she was honored and remembered by her fellow co-workers at 51. She is memorialized by an inscription painted on the cab doors of Ambulance 61.
Charlie Barnett as Former Firefighter Candidate/Firefighter/Paramedic in Charge (PIC) Peter Mills, Truck 81, Squad 3, Ambulance 61 (seasons 1-3). Mills begins as a candidate on Truck 81, following in his deceased father's footsteps, but after proving his capabilities as a firefighter, he earns a spot on Squad 3. However, he was transferred to Ambulance 61 when he lost his firefighter certification after an illness. He recovers and gets his spot back on the squad, but chose to leave Chicago in "You Know Where to Find Me" to work with his family in North Carolina. He briefly dated Gabriela Dawson in the first season.
David Eigenberg as Lieutenant (previously Senior Firefighter) Christopher Herrmann, Engine 51, previously Truck 81: One of the senior firefighters at 51, he serves on Truck 81 before he passes the Lieutenant exam, after five previous attempts, and is officially promoted to Lieutenant in the seventh season episode "Thirty Percent Sleight of Hand" and takes over as officer in charge of Engine Company 51. As Lieutenant, he serves as fourth in command to Battalion Chief Wallace Boden. A father figure to the firehouse, the men and women often come to him for advice. He engages in many get rich quick schemes before he, Otis and Dawson jointly invest in a small bar one of their victims had been trying to sell, which they call Molly's. Molly's is also featured on Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med as a favorite hangout of cops and medical personnel.
Eamonn Walker as Battalion Chief Wallace Boden, Battalion 25. He oversees the firefighters and paramedics of Truck 81, Engine 51, Squad 3 and Ambulance 61 at Firehouse 51. A long-time veteran of the CFD, he is extremely protective of the men and women who serve under him, even putting his career on the line several times to help them.
Yuri Sardarov as Firefighter Brian "Otis" Zvonecek, Truck 81 (recurring season 1; seasons 2-8). Prior to Mills' assignment in the pilot, Otis was the latest candidate to be assigned to 81. He became the driver after Joe Cruz transferred to Squad 3. He was fatally wounded in the eighth-season premiere "Sacred Ground", continuing from the season seven finale "I'm Not Leaving You" cliffhanger and dies with Cruz by his side in the hospital. He was routinely assigned to work elevators, and his nickname "Otis" came from the Otis Elevator Company.
Christian Stolte as Senior Firefighter Randall "Mouch" McHolland, Truck 81 (recurring season 1; season 2 - present). Another of 51's senior firefighters, Mouch is the de facto "legal advisor" of 51 and is their union representative. His nickname is a portmanteau of "man" and "couch" since he is almost always seen sitting on the couch in the lounge watching TV when not on a call. He is married to Chicago P.D. character Sergeant Trudy Platt.
Joe Minoso as Firefighter/Chauffeur Joe Cruz, Squad 3 (recurring season 1; main season 2 - present). A native of the gangster-infested neighborhoods of Humboldt Park, he spends the first two seasons constantly trying to bail his wayward younger brother out of trouble. In the third-season finale "Spartacus", he transferred to Squad 3. He briefly dated Sylvie Brett in season three. In the eighth-season episode "Light Things Up", he marries Chloe Allen. He was formerly the designated driver for Truck 81 before his transfer to Squad 3.
Teri Reeves as Dr. Hallie Thomas (season 1). Matt Casey's ex-fiancée. They broke up due to differing views, her hectic schedule and his irregular hours which prevented them from spending much time together, but they remained friends. They briefly rekindled their relationship until she was murdered in a fire as part of a cover-up after she discovered that one of her colleagues at her clinic was selling medication to drug dealers.
Kara Killmer as Paramedic in Charge Sylvie Brett, Ambulance 61 (season 3 - present). Sylvie is a paramedic who joins Ambulance 61 in season three, replacing Leslie Shay after her death and is promoted to Paramedic in Charge (PIC) after her third partner, Jessica Chilton, is fired. She is a small-town girl from Fowlerton, Indiana and is a "runaway bride" who goes "up I-65 to Chicago. Initially, she has difficulty adjusting to city life due to her naiveté, as shown by the fact that she leaves cash out on the table with the windows open and rented an apartment in a neighborhood known for crime because the rent was cheap. She briefly dated Joe Cruz in season three and shared an apartment with Dawson prior to the latter's marriage to Casey. She dates Dawson's brother Antonio on and off from seasons five to six and was also briefly engaged to Chaplain Kyle Sheffield from seasons seven to eight. In the ninth-season finale "No Survivors", she begins dating Captain Matthew Casey.
Dora Madison as Former Paramedic in Charge Jessica "Chili" Chilton (recurring season 3 episodes 21-23; main season 4 episodes 1-14). She was brought in to replace Peter Mills as the new Paramedic in Charge (PIC). Her arrival was initially met with some frostiness from the rest of the crew as they were still getting over Mills' sudden departure. She was previously with a firehouse in the West Side and is experienced in dealing with victims of major trauma. She briefly dates Jimmy Borelli in the fourth season. She is later fired by Chief Boden during the fourth season after the death of her sister causes her to nearly kill a patient by giving her the wrong medicine and later relapse to alcoholism. After she is fired, she calls Kelly Severide for help and he takes her to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
Steven R. McQueen as Former Firefighter Candidate/Paramedic Jimmy Borrelli (recurring previously; main seasons 4-5). He was introduced in the fourth-season premiere "Let It Burn" as the new candidate assigned to Truck 81. He briefly dates Jessica "Chilli" Chilton in the fourth season and also briefly replaces her as a paramedic on Ambulance 61 after she is fired. After his brother dies in a collapsed building, he blames Chief Boden and transfers back to Truck 81. He is critically injured by an explosion early in the fifth season that leaves him requiring round-the-clock care, thus ending his firefighting career.
Miranda Rae Mayo as Lieutenant (Previously Firefighter) Stella Kidd: Truck 81 (recurring season 4; main season 5 - present). Jimmy Borelli's replacement on Truck 81. She briefly replaces Otis as driver in season six and permanently replaces him after his death in season eight. She is promoted to Lieutenant in the ninth-season episode "What Comes Next" after passing the exams. In the fourth-season finale "Superhero", she begins dating Lieutenant Kelly Severide. In the ninth-season episode "A White-Knuckle Panic", they become engaged.
Annie Ilonzeh as Former Paramedic Emily Foster, Ambulance 61 (seasons 7-8). A bisexual former medical student who replaces Gabriela Dawson on Ambulance 61. In the eighth-season finale "51's Original Best", she re-applies to medical school, and in the ninth-season premiere "Rattle Second City", Brett says that she was accepted back and is working in a COVID-19 ward.
Alberto Rosende as Firefighter Candidate Blake Gallo, Truck 81 (seasons 8-present). Firehouse 51's latest recruit on Truck 81, replacing Brian "Otis" Zvonecek after his death. Gallo became a firefighter after he lost his entire family in a house fire.
Daniel Kyri as Firefighter Candidate Darren Ritter, Engine 51 (recurring seasons 7-8; main season 9). After Herrmann forcibly transfers Firefighter Barns for his disrespect, Mouch suggests Ritter as a replacement. Previously with Engine 37, Mouch helped him when he froze up during a fire, and he ended up making his first save. He is openly gay, has a boyfriend named Eric, and is the owner of Tuesday the Dalmatian.
Adriyan Rae as Former Paramedic Gianna Mackey, Ambulance 61 (season 9). Emily Foster's replacement on Ambulance 61. Gianna grew up in the same neighborhood as Joe Cruz, who recommended her for the job after Foster left and is very protective of her. She quickly makes a good impression on her co-workers and enters a casual relationship with Blake Gallo. In the ninth-season episode "Double Red", she transfers out of Firehouse 51 to a new house for better advancement opportunities.
Hanako Greensmith as Paramedic Violet Mikami (recurring season 8-9; main season 10). A paramedic from Firehouse 20 and Blake Gallo's old rival from the fire academy. She and Gallo briefly date in season eight. In season nine, Chief Boden asks her to temporarily transfer to Firehouse 51 to fill the spot on Ambulance 61 after Gianna Mackey leaves and Brett shortly convinces her to transfer to Firehouse 51 permanently.
Michael Cognata as Julian Robbins (season 6-present): Chief Boden's brother-in-law.
Randy Flagler as Senior Firefighter Harold Capp: A member of Squad 3.
Anthony Ferraris as Firefighter Tony Ferraris: A member of Squad 3.
Mo Gallini as Firefighter Jose Vargas (season 1): A recent transfer to Squad 3 from Truck 81. A sixteen-year veteran, he is forced to retire after he is injured in a warehouse fire and considers suicide by jumping from his apartment building rooftop, but Severide and Casey talk him out of it.
Shiri Appleby as Clarice Carthage: The pregnant ex-girlfriend of Leslie Shay, who briefly rekindles their relationship.
Kathleen Quinlan as Nancy Casey: Matthew and Christie Casey's mother who was incarcerated for murdering their verbally abusive father and her husband Gregory in 1997, fifteen years prior to the beginning of the series. She has grown estranged from her children while in prison, but Casey is successful in getting Nancy released and she stays with him as part of her parole. However, things become tense when Casey voices his discomfort about her going out with a "penpal" just hours after being released and she moves in with her former cellmate, but not before telling her children to mend their relationship.
Sarah Shahi as Renee Royce (seasons 1-2, 6): A woman who becomes attracted to Kelly and briefly dated him after he saves her in a traffic accident.
Treat Williams as Benjamin "Benny" Severide: Kelly's father, who served with Chief Boden and Peter Mills' father, Henry. He had a love-hate relationship with his son as he had left Kelly and his mother when he was ten years old. In the seventh-season episode "All The Proof", he suffers a stroke and dies.
Melissa Ponzio as Donna Boden (season 2-present): A school teacher whom Chief Boden falls for and eventually marries. She is the mother of his son, Terrance.
Jeff Hephner as Lieutenant Jeff Clarke: A former Marine turned firefighter. After his firehouse is closed, he is transferred to Squad 3. Initially not well liked by the rest of the crew as he was extremely private and preferred to read newspapers at the squad's table rather than socialize with them in the lounge, his arrival at 51 coincided with McLeod's efforts to close Firehouse 51 and he is accused of being her mole. After getting injured on the job he quits the CFD and starts as a medical student at Chicago Med.
Edwin Hodge as Rick Newhouse, Squad 3: A transfer from the fictional Squad 6. His experience and charismatic personality quickly wins over Severide and the rest of the men, although Herrmann initially antagonized him as he had yet to come to terms with the recent suicide of Candidate Rebecca Jones. When off duty, he moonlights as a skiptracer and entertains his coworkers with stories of his "clientele".
Michelle Forbes as Gail McLeod: A financial consultant hired by the state to help trim the budget of the CFD, which includes closing firehouses.
John Hoogenakker as Lieutenant Spellman: A firefighter assigned to Firehouse 51, along with Clarke, after city budget cuts force the downsizing of the department.
Christine Evangelista as Allison Rafferty, Paramedic in Charge, Ambulance 61: Dawson's replacement on 61 after she starts training at the Academy to become a firefighter.
Brittany Curran as Katie Nolan: Benny Severide's daughter, and Kelly's half-sister.
Alexandra Metz as Elise Mills: Peter Mills' sister. She helps run the family restaurant with her mom and is torn between being protective of Peter and encouraging him to follow his passion for public service.
Robyn Coffin as Cindy Herrmann: Christopher Herrmann's wife, and mother of their five children.
William Smillie as Kevin Hadley: A member of Squad 3 who is transferred after playing an inappropriate prank on Peter Mills.
Damon Dayoub as Jake Cordova (season 6): A confident, rugged man's man firefighter who is assigned to Truck 81 as a temporary replacement for Otis after he is injured on a call.
Gordon Clapp as Chaplain Orlovsky: A CFD Chaplain who offers spiritual advice and therapy.
Teddy Sears as Chaplain Kyle Sheffield: Orlovsky's replacement as CFD Chaplain. He was briefly engaged to Sylvie Brett from seasons seven to eight.
Pouch the dog: Mills is given a dog by a child from a family who could not take care of it. Herrmann, Chief Boden and Mouch initially decide against it, but eventually agree to let her be adopted by the team. Pouch's name was decided by Herrmann, who suggests that she should be named after Mouch (half man, half couch) as Pouch (half pooch, half couch.)
Tuesday the dog: A Dalmatian dog belonging to Ritter. She has separation anxiety, so Ritter brings her to the firehouse and she ends up becoming the firehouse dog, replacing Pouch.
"8:30 PM" (Chicago P.D. Season 1, Episode 12) - In the first crossover with P.D., beginning on "A Dark Day", an explosion occurs at Chicago Med, sending the fire and police departments in a race against the clock to find the culprits.
"Chicago Crossover" (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 16, Episode 7) / "They'll Have to Go Through Me" (Chicago P.D. Season 2, Episode 7) - In the first crossover with P.D. and SVU, beginning on "Nobody Touches Anything", a routine house fire uncovers evidence of a pedophile ring spanning from Chicago to New York.
"A Little Devil Complex" (Chicago P.D. Season 2, Episode 13) - In the second crossover with P.D., beginning on "Three Bells", Firehouse 51 and Intelligence search for the serial arsonist who killed Leslie Shay.
"The Number of Rats" (Chicago P.D. Season 2, Episode 20) / "Daydream Believer" (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 16, Episode 20) - In the second crossover with P.D. and SVU, beginning on "We Called Her Jellybean", a fire uncovers evidence of a serial arsonist suspected of committing rape and murder in Chicago and New York.
"Malignant" (Chicago Med Season 1, Episode 5) / "Now I'm God" (Chicago P.D. Season 3, Episode 10) - In the first crossover with Med and P.D., beginning on "The Beating Heart", a member of Firehouse 51 is rushed to Chicago Med for a stabbing while an attempted suicide uncovers four cases of chemo overdose, leading to an investigation that becomes personal for Voight.
"Don't Bury This Case" (Chicago P.D. Season 4, Episode 9) - In the third crossover with P.D., beginning on "Some Make It, Some Don't", Severide becomes the prime suspect in a case of vehicular manslaughter.
"Emotional Proximity" (Chicago P.D. Season 4, Episode 16) / "Fake" (Chicago Justice Season 1, Episode 1) - In the only crossover with P.D. and Justice, beginning on "Deathtrap", the prime suspect in a warehouse fire is put on trial.
"Profiles" (Chicago P.D. Season 5, Episode 16) - In the fourth crossover with P.D., concluding on "Hiding Not Seeking", Firehouse 51 helps Intelligence investigate a series of bombings targeting members of the media.
"When to Let Go" (Chicago Med Season 4, Episode 2) / "Endings" (Chicago P.D. Season 6, Episode 2) - In the second crossover with Med and P.D., beginning on "Going to War", the victims of an apartment complex fire are rushed into Chicago Med and Intelligence races to find the culprit.
"Good Men" (Chicago P.D. Season 6, Episode 15) - In the fifth crossover with P.D., beginning on "What I Saw", Cruz helps Intelligence track down robbers who have been using a firehouse lockbox key.
"Burden of Truth" (Chicago P.D. Season 7, Episode 15) - In the sixth crossover with P.D., beginning on "Off the Grid", Sean Roman gets involved in the investigation of opioid overdoses connected to his sister.
"Infection" (Chicago Fire Season 8, Episode 4/Chicago Med Season 5, Episode 4/Chicago P.D. Season 7, Episode 4) - In the third crossover with Med and P.D., a bioterrorist spreads a deadly bacteria throughout Chicago.
The series pilot, co-written by creators Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, was filmed in Chicago and, according to an NBC representative, the series would continue to be filmed there. Producer John L. Roman was involved from the beginning having worked with the Chicago Fire Department and Deputy District Chief Steve "Chik" Chikerotis on Backdraft.Mayor of ChicagoRahm Emanuel made an appearance in the series' pilot episode. Emanuel stated: "It's easier being mayor than playing mayor. I told them I'd do it under one condition: the TV show is making an investment to the Firefighters' Widows and Orphans Fund."
The title "Chicago Fire" has sparked some confusion in the show's first season in regards to it being shared with a local major professional soccer team; the Chicago Fire Soccer Club (now called Chicago Fire FC). Actor Taylor Kinney has said "If you (say) 'We're working on "Chicago Fire,"' they ask you if you're a soccer player". Producer Dick Wolf hoped that fans of the team might watch the show. The Chicago Fire team themselves have accepted the shared name with the show and have shown the series premiere on October 2, 2012 at Toyota Park after a game with the Philadelphia Union.
The network placed an order for the series in May 2012. After receiving an additional script order in October, Chicago Fire was picked up for a full season on November 8, 2012. On January 29, 2013, Chicago Fire had its episode total increased from 22 to 23. One week later, on February 6, 2013, Chicago Fire received one more episode, giving it a total of 24 episodes for season one. The pilot episode had an early release at NBC.com, before the series' premiere on television.
On November 9, 2015, NBC renewed the series for a fifth season. The season premiered on October 11, 2016.
On May 9, 2018, NBC renewed the series for a seventh season, which premiered on September 26, 2018. On February 26, 2019, NBC renewed the series for an eighth season, which premiered on September 25, 2019. In February 2020, the series was renewed for a ninth, tenth and eleventh season.
The building used in the show for the firehouse exteriors is a working Chicago Fire Department firehouse, and is the headquarters of Engine 18, located at 1360 South Blue Island Avenue at Maxwell Street, between 13th & Racine. Housed here is ALS Engine 18, 2-2-1 (Deputy District Chief - 1st District), 2-1-21 (1st District Chief), 6-4-16 (High-Rise Response Unit), and ALS Ambulance 65. The interiors of Firehouse 51 are filmed at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. The station house used for exteriors in Chicago PD is just a few blocks away at 949 West Maxwell Street at Morgan Street (interiors likewise filmed at Cinespace).
Chicago artist and retired firefighter Lee J. Kowalski's oil paintings of fire scenes can be spotted in several episodes.
Molly's, a small bar owned by Herrmann, Dawson and Mouch, was filmed at Lotties in Bucktown. Filming no longer takes place on location to avoid disrupting business. Instead, the interior and exterior surroundings were recreated at Cinespace.
In November 2012, WGN-TV reported a plane crash at 29th and Martin Luther King Drive on their morning newscast and showed live footage for a few minutes before realizing it was merely a set piece pre-staged for Chicago Fire and not an actual emergency situation.
On March 13, 2020, Universal Television shut down production on the series due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first season holds a score of 49 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Chicago Fire was the first show of what would become the Chicago franchise. Additionally, Chicago P.D. aired a backdoor pilot of the short-lived legal drama series Chicago Justice which ran from March 1, to May 14, 2017.
In Canada, the series aired on Global for seven seasons, then moved to CityTV.
Ion Television has acquired the off-network rights to air the series. Episodes began airing in June 2021.MyNetworkTV also acquired the off-network rights to air the series. Episodes began airing in September 2021.