Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker) has commanded the 51 longer than Chicago Fire has been on the air. His history with the fire department is well established, as evidenced by the fact that he worked alongside Benny Severide (Treat Williams) and Henry Mills, the fathers of men he would go on to command.
Boden is a Chicago Fire institution, a steady hand even when everything around him seems to be spiraling out of control. He’s a father figure to many, and it’s difficult to imagine what Fire would look like without him. But how many years does the character have? Will he have to deal with a possible retirement in season 12?
Is Chief Boden leaving Chicago Fire?
First, let’s establish some timelines and ground rules. We discussed this in greater depth in a separate post, but Boden is believed to have joined the fire department in 1982, when he was 20 years old. If we are to operate by this logic, then Boden is the same age as the actor who plays him — 61 years old.
According to the Firemen’s Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago, the mandatory retirement age is 63 years old, which means we still have a few more seasons of fun before Chief Boden is forced to hang up the jacket. That is, of course, assuming that the show decides to be consistent with Chief Boden’s age.
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TV has a tendency to fudge numbers and retcon the ages of different characters if its suits the story. The elder status of the Halstead brothers on Chicago PD and Med, for example, has flipped without any real reason, so it’s completely within reason to assume that Fire will age Boden down if they want to keep him around for a while longer.
Even if they don’t, that means Boden has at two more seasons to patrol the 51 and make sure all the firehouses in the district are running smoothly. The character got the spotlight to himself a few times during season 11, especially during the hostage episode “What’s Inside You”, so we hope to see even more of Boden in action when Chicago Fire eventually returns.
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