‘Chicago Fire’: Take a Look at the Inner Workings of the Station

by Shelby Scott

There’s been a lot of talk surrounding “Chicago Fire’s” Truck 81. Earlier this season, Captain Matt Casey, formerly played by Australian actor Jesse Spencer, vacated his spot on the emergency vehicle. Following the Captain’s departure, fans assumed that, as Stella Kidd had just passed her Lieutenant’s exam, the female firefighter would simply move into Casey’s position. However, when she took off for the East Coast with hopes to expand Girls on Fire, recurring character Jason Pelham officially took over that spot.

With all this talk surrounding the commandment of Truck 81, Outsiders less familiar with the rank and organization of our fire departments might find all the jargon and titles confusing. As such, Looper has jumped in to help explain the various roles each of Firehouse 51’s trucks and members play.

Breaking Down ‘Chicago Fire’s’ Vehicle Structure

To start simply, Firehouse 51 houses four rescue vehicles in its bay. And until the calls blare over the intercom throughout the station, “Chicago Fire” fans can never be sure whether the entire house will respond or if it will only require the assistance of one or two trucks. That said, what determines which truck responds?

The first, and most basic, rescue vehicle is Ambulance 61. 61 sees command from lead paramedic Sylvie Brett, partnered up with Violet Mikami.

Next is Truck 51. 51 serves as Firehouse 51’s primary emergency response vehicle. The truck is responsible for carrying water and a generous supply of hoses, all in different lengths and sizes. Lieutenant Christopher Herrmann, who is often buddied up with his younger right-hand man, Darren Ritter, maintains control of 51. The truck further supports an engineer and three additional firemen.

Often seen competing with the members of Truck 51, Truck 81 boasts several favorite regular cast members. As per the outlet, 81 is “Chicago Fire’s” second firefighting vehicle. While it also carries a supply of water, it differentiates from Herrmann’s command as it boasts a huge extension ladder. And in the Windy City, where commercial and private structures grow up rather than out, we often see 81 responding to the majority of calls alongside 51.

Finally, there’s Squad 3, whose purpose varies greatly compared to Trucks 51 and 81. With no capacity for water, Squad 3 is commanded by Lieutenant Kelly Severide. The series original character remains responsible for firemen Tony Ferraris, Harold Capp, and right-hand Joe Cruz. Together, they maintain Firehouse 51’s sole rescue vehicle. “Chicago Fire’s” rescue truck carries all tools necessary for intense rescue operations. These include saws, spreaders, jaws, and even diving equipment as we saw way back in the season nine finale.

Who Will Lead Truck 81?

For now, it’s a toss-up as to who will officially take over Casey’s position on “Chicago Fire.”

While Lieutenant Jason Pelham‘s recent inter-department drama ended on a positive note, his brief absence from Truck 81 enabled Stella Kidd to step into the Lieutenant’s role for a moment. And as we saw in the episode “Show of Force,” 81’s crew, including veteran “Mouch” McHolland and the adventurous Blake Gallo, not to mention Chief Boden himself, was majorly impressed with Kidd’s leadership.

And Pelham witnessed that positive feedback firsthand.

As such, will we see the lieutenant make room for Stella on 81? Or will “Chicago Fire” take us in another direction entirely?