Mouch (Christian Stolte) is a new man. The character may have developed a reputation for being a lazy albeit capable firefighter, but his near-death experience in Chicago Fire season 11 changed his outlook on work and life.
Mouch, or McHolland, as he now wants to be known, has reformed his lazy ways and dedicated himself to exercising more. He's also decided to give his all during work hours, which has impressed nearly all of his peers. It's worth noting, however, that Mouch is coming up on his retirement age.
The character, and the actor who plays him, is 61 years old, and the retirement age for Chicago firefighters was previously 63. That's not a lot of wiggle room to play with, regardless of whether he's in better shape than he has been in years.
Firefighter retirement age has been extended 2 years
Fortunately, the mandatory retirement age has been changed. Chicago Fire Andrea Newman recently told The Hollywood Reporter than the retirement age has been extended by two years, so that Mouch can continue to be a vital part of the 51:
""They raised the mandate retirement this year to 65. So, you can be a firefighter at 65 and a lot of these guys and women, they work hard to stay in shape and stay a part of it. But they also have to start thinking about the future.""
Mouch is more mindful of the future than ever, and the fact that he's entering the last phase of his career as a firefighter is not lost on him. He wants to make the most of it while he can, but he knows he will eventually have to embark on another, less physical chapter of his life when he turns 65.
Mouch still has 4 years left on the 51 truck
Newman, who has taken over showrunner duties from Fire co-creator Derek Haas in season 12, told the outlet that Mouch, and to a lesser extent, Herrmann (David Eigenberg), will be forced to confront "Father Time" as it pertains to their jobs:
""They are seeing these young guys come in and the questions are, do I have limitations and if so, what are they? And, will they hamper me on the job? But you know, they’re still tough!""
Herrmann is currently dealing with health struggles on the job, so it will be fascinating to see how he and Mouch deal with getting older as new characters come in and the 51 is gradually handed over to a new generation.