The acclaimed firefighter drama Rescue Me ended 10 years ago on September 7, but the small screen has seen no shortage of hook-and-ladders since then. Firefighter shows aren’t as ubiquitous as cop shows, perhaps, but they give TV viewers an inside look into a dangerous profession—from the safety of their living room couches, of course.
“Most people will never have a close encounter with a firefighter or spend a shift in a fire station. They don’t know what it’s like to run 30 calls in 24 hours,” retired fire officer Linda Willing wrote for FireRescue1 earlier this year. “The general public wants to like and admire firefighters, but they are also open to understanding them. In this regard, TV can help to tell the story of the fire service as it really is and as it could be.”
Here are 10 shows — dramas, reality series, and even a comedy — that focus on firefighters, with varying degrees of accuracy!
9-1-1: Lone Star
In Fox’s spin-off, Rob Lowe plays a firefighter captain transplanted to Austin from New York City, where he lost the rest of his firehouse in the September 11 attacks.
Like 9-1-1, this NBC show also tracked Los Angeles first responders, airing across six TV seasons in the 1970s. These days, fire trucks from the show are on display at the Los Angeles County Fire Museum.
This A&E spinoff of Live PD is a docuseries giving viewers live ride-alongs with firefighters across the United States, with Captain Garon Mosby from the St. Louis Fire Department offering expert commentary.
Comedian Denis Leary co-created, starred in, and earned Emmy nominations for this FX drama, playing a firefighter suffering from PTSD and survivor’s remorse after losing friends and colleagues at the World Trade Center.
ABC’s second Grey’s Anatomy spinoff shifted the action out of Grey Sloan Memorial and into the titular firehouse, where the close-knit team of firefighters battles blazes and, in recent seasons, social injustice.
A rare firefighter comedy, this truTV series follows the boredom-staving antics of underworked firefighters in one of America’s rainiest cities.
True to its title, this 1999-2005 NBC show chronicled NYPD and FDNY workers covering the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift at a fictional New York City precinct.