The name of Chicago Fire's new character is an Easter egg (you won't guess how)

Chicago Fire changed the name of their new firefighter to honor a specific person.

CHICAGO FIRE -- "Call Me McHolland" Episode 12002 -- Pictured: (l-r) Rome Flynn as Derrick Gibson, Christian Stolte as Randy McHolland -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Call Me McHolland" Episode 12002 -- Pictured: (l-r) Rome Flynn as Derrick Gibson, Christian Stolte as Randy McHolland -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC) /
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Chicago Fire has a new firefighter, and we are stoked to meet him. The character will be introduced in the second episode of season 12, "Call Me McHolland", and will effectively serve as a replacement for Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosende), who left during the premiere.

The specifics of the new character were announced weeks ago, with Deadline revealing that he will be an amateur boxer with a "dark past", and someone who earns his spot on the 51 truck thanks to a "heroic act." The name of the character, however, has changed since this announcement was made.

The character's name was recently changed

Chicago Fire - Season 12
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Barely Gone" Episode 12001 -- Pictured: delivery truck -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC) /

Deadline claimed that the character would be named Jake Gibson, but the promo material, and the comments made by Chicago Fire showrunner Andrea Newman, established that this would not be the case. Instead, the character is named Derrick Gibson.

Related: Joe Cruz can't leave Chicago Fire and here's why

Why the name change? Well, Newman broke down the somewhat obscure Easter egg during a recent interview with TV Insider. While seemingly random on the surface, the name was actually switched to Derrick as a tribute to the show's co-creator and former showrunner:

""We gave homage to our amazing creator Derek [Haas]. He’s played by Rome Flynn, incredibly magnetic actor and character, and he’ll have a big hero moment in [Episode 2] and that will make Kidd say, 'That’s my guy. He’s coming onto Truck with me.'"

The spelling may be different, but it's the thought that counts. Derek Haas co-created Chicago Fire with Michael Brandt in 2012, and served as the primary showrunner for the show's first 11 seasons. Andrea Newman has been an executive producer since the pilot, and took over showrunner duties in season 12.

Derrick Gibson is a tribute to the show's co-creator

Derek Hass
2018 Chicago Press Day / Timothy Hiatt/GettyImages

During a separate interview with Fangirlish, Newman revealed that Derek Haas is still a huge part of the One Chicago franchise, even though he's no longer credited as its creative force. It makes sense, given that Haas played a role in all three of the franchise's shows:

""Oh my gosh, do we miss Derek! I really do talk to Derek every day. He’s still such a part of the show. He loves the show, he [co-]created the show, and we just text and talk all the time.""

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