This is a list of fictional characters in the television series Chicago Fire. The article deals with the series’ main, recurring, and minor characters.
Chicago Fire Department
EMT Peter Mills (Season 1–3) was introduced as the Firefighter Candidate at Truck 81. Following in the footsteps of his father, Peter aspires to join the Rescue Squad. His father served with Chief Boden and Lieutenant Severide’s father Benny. Just minutes after arriving at the firehouse
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, he quickly finds himself caught in the middle of a spat between the firehouse’s two Lieutenants, who have been at odds with one another since Darden’s death a month earlier. As the new Candidate of Truck 81, he was pranked by his more senior counterparts and referred to by his whole name instead of his last name as per custom. At the end of season 1, he picks up an application for the Chicago Police Department because he does not get promoted to squad and to avoid Chief Boden. However, Mills later gets rewarded with a promotion to Squad 3. After badly injuring his leg in the season two finale Mills is put off work for six weeks but returns after four weeks in the season three premiere. After revealing to Lt. Severide that he gets dizzy whenever he isn’t up right, Severide tells him to see a doctor. The doctor tells him that he can no longer be a firefighter. This all happens after Dawson is named to be a candidate on Truck 81 so because Mills has EMT training, he applies to replace Dawson as PIC and gets the job and now works with Paramedic Sylvie Brett. In season 3, he stated his desire to return to Squad 3, only to find that Severide had already filled the vacancy left by Newhouse. In late season 2, he asks Newhouse, one of Severide’s men in Squad 3 who moonlights as a private investigator, to track down his father’s side of the family as he wanted to know why his mother had forbidden him to talk about his paternal relatives or contact them all these years.
Mills begins dating Gabriela Dawson in secret, later breaking up with her because she keeps the knowledge of an affair between his mother and Chief Boden from him. He tells Dawson that he would be willing to start over with her if she can tell him for sure that she does not have feelings for Casey, but she cannot, and the two officially end their relationship. He later dates Isabella, a friend of Dawson’s, and their relationship takes various turns: first they meet and she takes him to a formal event with Senator Wheeler and reveals her future ambitions; they feud because he felt used as his feelings of insecurity took over. Later they get over the feud and grow closer, Finally when the firehouse is in severe danger of closing he asks her for help to save 51 and they work together.
His sister Elise and mother ran a family restaurant following his father’s death and Mills quickly earns the favor of his colleagues at the firehouse for his cooking skills. After Mills is promoted from Candidate status, the men have a hard time finding a replacement, with Otis and Cruz both trying but failing miserably.
In season 3, Mills’ family is notified that his paternal grandfather has left them a restaurant in Wilmington, North Carolina. As their family restaurant had been burned in the previous season, his mother and sister jumped at the chance but Mills was reluctant to leave as he just returned to duty with the rescue squad. He finally decides to move with his family.
Chicago Fire Department
Gabriela “Gabby” Dawson (Season 1– ) is one of the few females at Firehouse 51 and was introduced as the Paramedic in Charge of Ambulance 61. Dawson has recently found herself in trouble for leaping before she looks on various calls, which leads to her being written up several times. She was partnered with Leslie Shay for much of the first two seasons and they shared a close friendship. Both were well-liked by the all-male crew at 51, who are all very protective of them. She transfers to Truck 81 in Season 3 after passing firefighter training. In Season 4, with the announcement of her pregnancy, she was tranferred to the Office of Fire Investigation (OFI) to work as an arson investigator.
Off-duty, she runs Molly’s, a small bar jointly owned by her, Otis and Herrmann. The bar is also popular with her brother’s colleagues from the 21st District. She is usually in charge of the food and beverage aspects, while Otis and Herrmann deal with the business and marketing aspects. Not long after Molly’s opens, Dawson befriends Jay, who was a regular customer at Molly’s, but breaks up with him after finding out that he was a “spy” for Arthur, a mobster-cum-landlord who repeatedly harassed them. She threatens to call the cops, only to find out that Jay was actually undercover cop Detective Jay Halstead. Halstead eventually arrests Arthur and Molly’s remains open.
The younger sister of Detective Antonio Dawson, a main character in spin-off Chicago P.D., Gabby is well-known for being able to hold her own in a largely male-dominated occupation and an all-male firehouse; she and Shay were the only women at 51 until Brett was assigned to Ambulance 61 in Season 3.
Dawson shares a close friendship with long-time colleague Matthew Casey even though they were each in relationships with different people. Later, she and the new Candidate Peter Mills bond over their mutual love for cooking and begin a relationship in secret. When their relationship is brought to light, Casey seems to be jealous and pulls rank to keep them apart at work. She later discovers that Boden had had an affair with Mills’s mother, and she keeps this knowledge from him. When he finds out that she had known about it and that she still has feelings for Casey, he ends their relationship but they remain mutual friends. She had a brief relationship with Detective Jay Halstead at the beginning of Season 2 but they mutually part ways. Following Casey’s near-death accident in the Season 2 episode “Not Like This”, Dawson and Casey start a very serious romantic relationship and Casey proposes to her. She later is a Candidate in the Fire Academy. She fails her physical exam by several seconds, after injuring her ankle. In season 3, she has passed the Fire Academy. However, her relationship with Casey poses a problem due to fraternization rules and she is initially assigned to Firehouse 105 in Austin under Casey’s nemesis Lieutenant Welch. Welch was against her assignment to his truck company due to a past bad experience with a female firefighter. He fills the spot and she is assigned as the Candidate on Truck 81, under Herrmann’s supervision. During her first few weeks on the job, Casey is extra protective of her, much to Herrmann’s frustration, but she eventually settles in. In season 4, she suffers a miscarriage. Her return to duty coincided with Chief Riddle’s quest to oust and make an example of Chief Boden so that he can make Fire Commissioner.
Chicago Fire Department
Paramedic Leslie Shay (Season 1–2) (1978-2014) was Gabby Dawson’s partner at Ambulance 61 and the designated driver. An experienced paramedic, she was well-liked by the mostly male crew of 51 and was frequently seen joking and horseplaying with them in the lounge during downtime. She and Kelly Severide share an apartment as roommates and are best friends. Shay is openly gay, often cracking self-deprecating jokes about it, and is entangled in a relationship with her ex-lover Clarice who was most recently married to and impregnated by a man. She is fiercely loyal to her friends, particularly to Kelly, for whom she has risked her job for several times. Towards the end of Season 1 and Season 2 she tries to have a baby through artificial insemination with Kelly but the process fails. She is also close with Dawson, but a rift comes between them when Dawson fails to be there for her during her downward spiral of guilt over a man’s suicide. She then gets mixed up with a girl she met, Devon, who she really liked, but that all ended when Devon robbed Shay and her roommates, Severide and Otis. Shay disappears and Severide tries to look for her. He asks for Dawson’s help and when Dawson finds her they rekindle their friendship and Shay goes back to Firehouse 51. An accident in the cliffhanger season finale of season two leaves Shay critically injured in the explosion of a building and she dies in the third season premiere “Always”. Her death affected the entire firehouse as she was popular with everyone and well-liked by the mostly-male crew. The subsequent investigation and Severide’s own observations reveal that Shay had been murdered. Chicago PD detectives later linked the fire with a string of unsolved arson cases dating back several decades. The investigation proved that the arsonist was Trenton Lamont under the aliases of Adrian Gish and Ross Mcgowan. He was later shot and killed by Chicago PD detective Antonio Dawson.
Chicago Fire Department
Paramedic Sylvie Brett (Season 3– ) joined Ambulance 61 following Shay’s death. Initially 51 was not enthusiastic about her coming in as most of the crew had known and worked with Shay for a long time and were still getting over her death. She shares an apartment with Gabby Dawson. Later in Season 3, Jessica “Chili” Chilton replaces Dawson as the new Paramedic in Charge (PIC) following Dawson’s transfer to Truck 81 and they strike up a friendship.
Brett is a small-Midwestern-town girl from Indiana and is a “runaway bride” who goes “up I-65 to Chicago” to escape her ex-fiancée Harrison after their engagement fell apart. Initially she has difficulty adjusting to city life due to her naivete, 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 from Truck 81. She appears to have a romantic interest in Officer Sean Roman from Chicago P.D. as they share a kiss in the season 3 finale of Chicago Fire.
Chicago Fire Department
Chief Wallace Boden (Season 1– ) is in charge Battalion 25 stationed at Firehouse 51. He is a scarred veteran of the fire department and served with Benny Severide and Henry Mills, the fathers of his current subordinates Kelly Severide and Peter Mills respectively. Chief Boden has unwavering dedication to the firefighters under him and has earned their loyalty and respect. He will go through great lengths to protect the integrity of the firehouse and his men, even if it means having to antagonize them by disciplining them. His career was threatened after a feud with Gail McLeod when she tried to overthrow him and install his former colleague Benny Severide as the chief of Battalion 25. Boden refuses to give up his house and fights for it. Later she tries to “justify” the closing due to an incident at a call where the victim had to be cut out of a $40,000 trash compactor. McLeod is eventually removed and Firehouse 51 remained open. Despite his serious exterior, he is open to advice from his men, particularly regarding his personal life; for example, he asks Herrmann, who has five children, for tips on how to deal with his pregnant wife Donna and infant son and Mills for some insight while he was dating Donna. He also views his firefighters as his extended family, especially his two lieutenants, Matt Casey and Kelly Severide, who view him as a mentor and fatherly figure at 51.
Boden is said to have been divorced twice and has a stepson by his estranged second ex-wife. In season 2, he marries Donna Robbins, an elementary school teacher, in a small ceremony at the firehouse. He had feelings for her for some time but was only convinced to propose to her after she tells him that she was pregnant and with the encouragement of his firefighters. They have a son Terence who was born in Squad 3’s truck en route to the hospital.
Boden’s father Wallace Sr. (Richard Roundtree) lives in Orlando, Florida. In the episode “Ambush Predator”, Boden finds out that his father has stage four cancer and was given four months to live. Wallace Sr. peacefully passes away at his son and daughter-in-law’s home at the end of the episode “Call It Paradise”.
Chicago Fire Department
Firefighter Christopher Herrmann (Season 1– ) is one of the senior firefighters of Truck 81. He passed the Lieutenant’s test during season 2 episode “Virgin Skin” but has yet to receive his new assignment due to one of Boden’s superiors having a grudge against Herrmann over an investment gone wrong. As of season 3, he is still waiting for a spot to open up so he can be promoted. He is generally considered Casey’s de facto right-hand man on the job by the rest of the truck company, as shown by the fact that he was made acting lieutenant in the episode “A Dark Day” as Casey was off-duty and shared a locker with Casey during the budget cuts in early season 2 and also oversees Candidates assigned to Truck 81. Casey once described him as “the heart and soul” of Firehouse 51.
Outside his job, Herrmann was a self-described “day trader”. There is a running gag in the show about how Herrmann would come up with ideas to solve his various problems and they would often backfire or go completely wrong. His sharp instincts on the job are in stark contrast to those when he is not at the firehouse, which include taking on several “get rich quick” schemes that have left him financially precarious, but had seemed to have finally made a good investment opening “Molly’s Bar” along with Dawson and Otis, after putting out a fire at the location and buying it out. Molly’s was nearly another of his failed investments as paperwork mishaps, building code issues and competition from a large sports bar located across the street threatens closure. In season 1, one of his investments goes bad and he loses his home to foreclosure, forcing him and his family to move in with the in-laws for several months. In season 4, he attempts to run a rude and condescending couple out of town, after they sued Molly’s for “breaching” the city’s noise limits, by hosting karaoake night at Molly’s and belting out the chorus of “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” over the microphone.
At the start of season 1, Herrmann and his wife Cindy have three sons and a daughter. Prior to that, Cindy had suffered a miscarriage. Their fifth child and youngest son was born in the season finale after a difficult birth. Severide and Shay are named as godparents. Herrmann is shown to be a doting father and husband who often speaks of his family kelme running shoes. All five children were christened into the Catholic Church. Because Cindy is Catholic, she does not use birth control, which led to Herrmann’s much derided decision to do a vasectomy as his 20th anniversary present to her so that she does not have to go through another pregnancy without compromising her religious beliefs. His co-workers all tried to dissuade him from going through with it but their “concern” backfires against them as Cindy reacted by laughing and hugging her husband. He is the only member of his truck company with children. As such, he has a soft spot for young victims. In season 3, after learning that a young boy he had rescued died from a fire caused by his negligent alcoholic father, he had to be physically restrained by Casey from hitting the father in a fit of rage. Boden sought his advice many times about dealing with his pregnant wife and infant son. Herrmann is also the first to notice Dawson’s strange behavior prior to her and Casey revealing her pregnancy to the crew. In the episode “Path of Destruction” it is stated that he and his family live in the West Lawn area of Chicago.
In season 1, Otis, Herrmann and Dawson buy a bar which they call Molly’s. They had been called to a fire there and the owner wanted to sell it and move to Miami. After agreeing to buy it, they discover that a local mobster named Arthur had conned his way into being offered a “minority” stake. Arthur repeatedly harasses the threesome, even nearly setting Dawson on fire before Detective Jay Halstead takes him down and arrests him. After much difficulty, Molly’s has become an established bar and is popular with firefighters and cops (it is featured multiple times in spin-offs Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med).
Chicago Fire Department
Firefighter / Chauffeur Brian “Otis” Zvonecek (Season 1: recurring; Season 2– ) is a firefighter in Truck 81 and was the most junior at 51 until Peter Mills’ arrival. Nicknamed after the eponymous elevator company as he is frequently assigned to elevator or ladder duty, Otis had just recently finished his candidacy before Mills joined the truck company. He is eager to move up the ranks within the firehouse but often feels overlooked and unappreciated by the rest of his truck company. The other more senior firefighters would pull rank, including Lieutenant Casey, and assign him to do undesirable menial jobs around the firehouse or pull pranks on him. This led him to consider transferring to another firehouse, but he ultimately decided to stay with Truck 81 after Severide pranks him into believing that the rest of the crew had placed a bet on how long he’d last at 51. In Season 2 Otis begins a relationship with Katie, Kelly’s half-sister. He roomed with Shay and Severide but moved out after Shay’s runaway ex Devin absconded with their money and possessions. Later in the season, he and Cruz decide to room together. As the most tech-savvy of the crew, he becomes something of a cult figure amongst other firefighters due to his podcast, called “Good to be a goat” after Truck 81’s mascot, about life as a firefighter. He often comes up with ideas and solutions for everything, much to his colleagues’ amusement and derision. As of Season 4, he was “promoted” to chauffeur as Cruz transferred to Squad 3.
In season 1, Otis, Herrmann and Dawson buy a bar which they call Molly’s. The bar is also seen on Chicago P.D. as it is popular with firefighters and cops. Otis is shown to be the more business-minded one and often had to remind Herrmann about paperwork for inspections and bills.
Otis is unabashedly proud of his Russian heritage and frequently speaks of his parents and his grandmother (“Baba”), although actor Yuri Sardarov is actually of Georgian and Armenian heritage. It is implied that Otis was either born in the United States or emigrated as a young child. He comes from a large family and every season has seen him introduce or speak of various relatives, with his grandmother even moving in and sleeping in his bunk bed. Cruz was initially furious with Otis for only telling him the day “Baba”, who spoke no English, shows up at their apartment but relents after Otis explains his reasons. In Season 1 there was a running gag where he would tell his colleagues in any joint venture that he had “a cousin” who could come and help. For example, he gets his Russian cousin Zoya a job as a waitress at Molly’s but incurs the wrath of business partners Herrmann and Dawson after they find out Zoya barely spoke any English.
Chicago Fire Department
Firefighter/Chauffeur Joe Cruz (Season 2–present; recurring Season 1) is the designated chauffeur for Truck 81. In Season 3, he tries out for squad and has transferred to Squad 3 by the Season 4 premiere.
Having grown up in the gangster-infested neighborhoods of Humboldt Park where he was regularly “lulled to sleep by gunfire”, many of his peers were gangsters and he is constantly trying to keep his younger brother Leon out of the local gang. He is haunted by a decision that he made on the job related to his brother that later effects his own safety and the safety of his fellow firemen, forcing Casey to discipline him. When Leon realizes what his older brother had done, he vows not to let Joe down and enrolls at a local community college. Sergeant Voight seeks Cruz’s permission to send Leon back into the gang, albeit undercover so that the Chicago PD can shut down the gang once and for all. The takedown is successful but came at a cost: Leon took a bullet and eventually left Chicago for his own safety and start a new life away from gang influence.
Cruz is generally well-liked by his co-workers and is often seen cracking jokes and exchanging banter with the rest of the crew. He and Otis often bicker with one another in the lounge during down-time over the most trivial matters. They later share an apartment together, thus referring to their arrangement as “Crotis” (a portmanteau of Cruz and Otis). He had been looking for a roommate after Leon leaves Chicago to start afresh.
At the end of Season 1 into a portion of Season 2 Joe begins a relationship with Zoya, Otis’s Russian immigrant cousin and decides he wants to marry her to get her to stay but she feels that is not right so she leaves. In season 3, he begins dating the new paramedic, Sylvie Brett.
Cruz is a dance instructor and teaches zumba when off-duty, a fact which he keeps secret about until Sylvie coincidentally turns up at his zumba class as she lived nearby. He asks her to keep it a secret as he did not want to be ridiculed by his colleagues at 51. A running gag in the show is Cruz’s inability to cook; he tries to fill in as the firehouse cook after Mills is promoted from Candidate status but his cooking is often met with ridicule from the rest of the firehouse.
Chicago Fire Department
Firefighter Randy “Mouch” McHolland (Season 2–present; recurring Season 1) is one of the veteran firefighters of Truck 81. As a senior member of Truck 81, he, along with Herrmann, are often seen as the ringleaders and respected by the rest of the crew as such. Mouch serves as union representative for the members of the station when they face disciplinary action or a lawsuit and is knowledgeable in the legalities and political side of the fire department. He has a part-time job as a security guard. Instead of “McHolland”, he has “Mouch” written on the back of his turnout coat. With the help of Herrmann, he joins the race for fire union president but loses his chance to win due to his refusal to play dirty. When Firehouse 51 is about to be shut down, Mouch is the one who rallies the union’s executive committee to stand up to Gail McLeod.
Infrequently referred to as “Randy”, Mouch gained his peculiar nickname due to the fact that he can almost always be found on the couch watching television when not on a call (“half man, half couch”). He offends Boden’s secretary Connie, who has the couch moved to the space outside Boden’s office. He spends much of the episode distressing over the loss of “his” couch before succumbing to Herrmann’s advice to apologize to Connie. She finally returns the couch to the lounge after Mouch apologizes twice.
Mouch was in a long distance relationship with a Japanese woman named Mari. Later Shay sets him up with a “Golden Oldies” dating profile and he acquires a blind date. His lack of social skills around women hinders him and his colleagues have had to “coach” him on the idiosyncrasies of taking women out on dates. He meets Chicago PD Sergeant Trudy Platt (Amy Morton), who also appears in Chicago P.D., by accident at Chief Boden’s wedding reception and they have been dating ever since. As such, Mouch has appeared on Chicago P.D., usually to visit Platt. In season 4, he finally finds the courage to propose to Platt but it goes down the drain and they have to part ways after he is called to an emergency. Platt eventually proposes to spare him the embarrassment and they agree to get married.
Dr. Hallie Thomas (Season 1) was a resident at Lakeshore Hospital and Casey’s former fiancée. In the pilot episode, the two break up, but reconcile soon after. Their relationship becomes strained when Hallie reveals that she does not want to have children and she leaves Casey. When she returns, the two mend their relationship. After reuniting with Matt, the clinic she worked in was set ablaze. Hallie was trapped in the drug lockup but was rescued by Casey. After being pulled from the blaze, she was transported with CPR in progress to Lakeshore Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.