Chicago Fire has always made a point of showing tactics and rescue missions that have a basis in reality. In fact, one of the cast members, Tony Ferraris, is a real-life firefighter, which lends an additional layer of authenticity whenever the 51 is tasked with a difficult mission.
It’s this attention to authenticity that led Chicago Fire to poke fun at some of the liberties that other firefighting shows take when depicting high-stress situations. Given the context under which the comments were made, it seems like the Fire writers had a particular target in mind…
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So the scene in question happened in the episode “Never, Ever Make a Mistake.” Mouch (Christian Stolte) and Tony (as in Tony Ferraris) are seen watching TV in the firehouse, and the former takes a moment to criticize what he sees as a ridiculous depiction of firefighters on the job.
“Come on! Some of these firefighter shows are a total crock,” Mouch explains. “That guy had a beard. How you supposed to get a seal on a mask with a beard? Do they not care about the truth?”
Tony then responds with “Tell ’em to call us. We’ll straighten ’em out.” Now the exchange itself is a harmless bit of fun, but the fact that Tony, the real-life firefighter of the cast, is given the last line, implies that they are targeting other shows that don’t call on the advise of actual professionals.
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The bit about the beard also provides a clue into which show Mouch could have been watching. The one that most eagle-eyed viewers have arrived at is Fire Country, which features a bearded Max Theriot in a starring role. Fire Country is a relatively new show on CBS, and has received a load of criticism from firefighters.
The LA Times ran a piece in which the Cal Fire team denied any involvement with the show and criticized its depictions of firefighting on the whole. “This television series is a misrepresentation of the professional all-hazards fire department and resource protection agency that Cal Fire is,” wrote Cal Fire director Joe Tyler.
While it’s unlikely that the Chicago Fire writers will confirm their intended target, Fire Country seems to fit the bill pretty neatly.
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