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'Chicago Fire' ignites drama for NBC

New series from producer Dick Wolf is character-driven
BY JACQUELINE CUTLER Modified: October 11, 2012 at 10:59 pm •  Published: October 13, 2012

The actors talk about how, after spending time with firefighters and EMTs, they have a better idea of necessary coping mechanisms.

“They see a lot of life and death, but the way these people cope is through humor,” Raymund says. “It is fun to play that angle. It is fun to develop this relationship with our cast and laugh and joke and play pranks on each other.”

All the cast members talk about how meaningful it has been to be able to spend time with firefighters and paramedics. Raymund and Lauren German, who plays Gabriela's partner, Leslie Shay, shadowed female EMTs.

“Our characters are slightly inspired by them, and we have these two great women who are textbooks for this, and helpful and amazing and knowledgeable,” Raymund says.

The actors witnessed some of the horrifying moments first responders deal with.

“We saw a jumper on the 10th or 12th story of a building, on the ledge, in his underwear,” Raymund says. The EMTs told her, “‘Oh yeah, if he falls you are going to hear a big thump.' He did not jump. The squad came, and one of the firefighters grabbed him, and he was saved.”

The drama does a good job of revealing life at the fire station, the relationships among crew members and how their job takes its toll on their personal lives.