‘9-1-1’ and ‘Lone Star’: Do Cast Members Wear Real Firefighting Gear When Filming?

by Jennifer Shea

Viewers of “9-1-1” and “Lone Star” may have wondered about the shows’ authenticity. How much of the actors’ gear, for example, is real firefighting equipment?

Assignment X put that question to “9-1-1: Lone Star” actor Brian Michael Smith last year. And he said the shows’ costume designers went for the real deal.

“No, we have to put the gear on,” Smith said. “And the tanks are not always full of air, so that helps take down some of the weight. But when we put those packs on, we are feeling a good thirty pounds of weight on there. And it can be something. The helmets also have a lot of weight to them, too. So you get a taste of what the real first responders have to deal with.”

‘9-1-1: Lone Star’ Also Tries to Be Authentically Texan, Sort Of

Much as it strives to depict real life for first responders, “9-1-1: Lone Star” also strives to be a show about Austin, Texas. Even though it’s shot primarily in Los Angeles.

“How the hell did this show capture Texas life so authentically?” the Texas Monthly wondered half in jest last year, before going on to critique the show for casting Texans as “a bunch of racist, red-state rubes.” (As the Monthly points out, the show’s second episode was literally titled, “Yee-Haw.”)

Most of the Austin footage featured on the show is likely squeezed in over a couple days and then sprinkled judiciously between scenes shot in L.A. Still, the show gets in plenty of nods to tourists’ Austin, from frequent references to Travis County to the obligatory mentions of South by Southwest to randomly name-dropping Sandra Bullock.

Okay, so some aspects of the show are more authentic than others.

Both Shows Back with New Seasons

“9-1-1” has already returned with Season 5. But after “9-1-1: Lone Star” got renewed for Season 3, fans wanted to know when they could expect some more episodes.

The “Lone Star” cast began filming Season 3 last month, per an Instagram update posted by cast member Ronen Rubinstein. It’s due out in January. The first episode of the new season will be titled “The Big Chill,” perhaps a reference to the deep freeze that rocked Texas in February.

According to Good Housekeeping, “9-1-1” will stop airing new episodes when 2022 hits. And then it will be “Lone Star”’s turn to shine. At some point, “9-1-1” will resume and the shows will air back-to-back episodes on Monday nights.

Looks like “9-1-1” fans will be covered, one way or another, through the new year.