The 10 Best TV Firefighters of All-Time

Peter Mills Chicago Fire

There are many TV show genres out there that constantly get repeated. There’s no shortage of cop shows on TV, and you’ll always be able to find some sort of medical drama to put on. Then there’s lawyer shows, which go from your typical Law and Order entities to Emmy-caliber shows like The Good Wife. However, while there are a bevy of police, doctor, and lawyer shows that populate the television landscape, one type of series that you don’t see too often is the firefighter show, a series that totally focuses on the jobs and lives of the men (and women!) that run into burning buildings to save people. Recently, Chicago Fire has become a pretty solid hit for NBC, while Rescue Me did well on FX before that. So even though there are not many television series out there about firefighting, the ones that do exist produce some very entertaining episodes and some very memorable TV firefighters. These ten characters are the best TV firefighters of all-time.

Photo via NBC

Tommy Gavin

Tommy Gavin

Although he battles many demons throughout the series, from seeing visions of his friends that have passed away on the job to his sometimes crippling alcoholism, there’s no denying the goodness of Denis Leary’s Tommy Gavin when it came to the work he put in while he was on the job. As the lead of the series, he was the guy whose personal life was always in shambles one way or another, whether it was getting involved with the wrong women or dealing with a near-death experience. However, when it came to getting his job done and having the strength and fortitude to do it, there’s no denying that Tommy is one of the best TV firefighters out there.

Photo via FX

Sean Garrity Rescue Me

Sean Garrity

Famous for being a little dim-witted but also extremely kind-hearted, Sean Garrity was, in my opinion, one of the more likable characters to ever be on Rescue Me. In addition to putting out fires, Sean is also a trained EMT (proudly wearing the patch on his jacket), and when duty calls, even though he might not be one of the smartest TV firefighters out there, he’s definitely one of the bravest, which makes all the difference in the world.

Photo via FX

Kelly Chicago Fire

Kelly Severide

A perpetual ladies man who uses his charming personality and good looks to pick up women, it would be easy to dismiss Kelly Severide as just a non-serious firefighter playboy. However, Kelly shows real courage and kindness while he’s on the job on and off it. Specifically, his scenes with his newly discovered half-sister, Katie, really illustrate the genuine compassion and care that Kelly has for others, something that you most certainly need in order to be one of the best TV firefighters.

Photo via NBC

Peter Mills Chicago Fire

Peter Mills

A little more straight-laced and serious than his Chicago Fire co-worker, the charming Kelly Severide, Peter Mills becomes a firefighter to follow in the footsteps of his father, hoping someday to make the Rescue Squad. What I like so much about Peter is that he’s a family man and not just to his actual family but to the firehouse as well, which he shows when he goes to his on-again/off-again girlfriend, Isabella, to help save the firehouse after it is in great danger of closing. Peter consistently shows determination, compassion, and fortitude both on the job and not. He’s easily one of the greatest TV firefighters.

Photo via NBC

Alex Taylor

Alex Taylor

Before there was Chicago Fire, NBC also had another quite popular firefighter television show called Third Watch, which ran for six seasons on the network before ending. One of the best parts about Third Watch was that it wasn’t just the guys who got to be firefighters on that show – Alex Taylor, a woman, was also one. As a tomboy who idolized her father, Alex cared deeply about her family and any person that she saved while being both a firefighter and a paramedic. Unfortunately (SPOILER ALERT), despite being a very likable and strong character, Alex didn’t make it all the way through Third Watch‘s run. She died during season four, filling in at work for another paramedic and showing the selflessness and dedication of her character, cementing her as one of the best TV firefighters of all-time.

Photo via NBC

Jimmy Doherty Third Watch

Jimmy Doherty

Also a member of the Third Watch team, Eddie Cibrian’s Jimmy Doherty (not Jimmy Darmody, Boardwalk Empire fans) is, similar to Kelly from Chicago Fire, a pretty big ladies man. However, even though he begins the series as an immature and irresponsible member of the firehouse, over the course of Third Watch‘s run, Jimmy continually shows how much he loves his job and how much pride he takes in doing it. By the series end, he has transformed into a much more mature and respectable individual, certainly earning him a spot as one of the greatest TV firefighters of all-time.

Photo via NBC

Roy Emergency

Roy DeSoto

Apparently, NBC is the only network out there that has made shows about firefighters, because this next character, Roy DeSoto (played by actor Kevin Tighe) is also from an NBC series, although one that’s a little older than Chicago Fire or even Third Watch. Roy is one of the central characters of Emergency! (along with John Gage, who you will also find on this list). Although quiet and sometimes maybe a little too serious, Roy is a strong and gifted firefighter and paramedic, who helps keep his more impulsive partner, Gage, under control. Controlling his partner alone makes him one of the best TV firefighters ever.

Photo via NBC

John Gage

John Gage

Out of the two central characters on Emergency! John Gage (played by Randolph Mantooth – what an awesome name) was definitely the “bad boy” of the pair. Constantly chasing after ER nurses and attempting to use his charm and wit to get out of bad situations, John was definitely a precursor to the likes of Kelly and Jimmy from Chicago Fire and Third Watch. However, you always respected John as a character because of his dedication to his job, as he declined numerous possible promotions so that he could remain both a paramedic and one of the greatest TV firefighters until the end of the series.

Photo via NBC

Lou Rescue Me

Kenny “Lou” Shea

While Lou is certainly one of the best TV firefighters of all-time (and one of the best characters on Rescue Me period, in my opinion), he’s also quite the unique firefighter, a more sensitive guy who subverts the stereotypes of the job by being passionate about art, poetry, yoga, and spirituality. Like Tommy, Lou deals with his drinking problems throughout the majority of Rescue Me, but despite any personal demons that he struggles with, he always gives it 100% when he’s on the job. In fact (SPOILER ALERT), Lou actually is actually killed during an explosion during a five-alarm fire in Rescue Me and the show’s series finale focuses greatly on his death, honoring and celebrating the character throughout the entire episode.

Photo via FX

Chicago Fire - Season 2

Chief Wallace Boden

Viewed as a father-like figure by many on Chicago Fire, Chief Wallace Boden is a scarred veteran who truly cares for his fellow firefighters and has earned their loyalty and respect through not only his work as a firefighter but his treatment of others. His unwavering dedication to Battalion 25 does not go unnoticed by his peers or by viewers of Chicago Fire, who I don’t think would have any problem calling Wallace of the best TV firefighters of all-time.

Photo via NBC

Add Comment

American Horror Story BMF Cobra Kai Dexter Hawkeye Heels Money Heist Ozark Shark Tank Squid Game Stranger Things Succession Ted Lasso The Mandalorian
Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman Did Not Support Maya Hawke’s Acting Career at First
What Do Sheryl Lee Ralph and Jackee Harry Have in Common?
Courtney Henggeler Decided to Quit Acting Just Days Before Cobra Kai Audition
Action Adventure Comedy Documentary Drama Fantasy Horror Movie Lists Mystery Romance Sci-Fi Thriller
Movie Review: Everything Everywhere All at Once
Movie Review: Gotti
Why Kirby Needs His Own Movie
Comics Lists News Things You Didn't Know Whatever Happened To
5 of the Most Chaotic Villains of All Time
5 Reasons Why Adam Sandler Shouldn’t Join the MCU
Why Did Max Thieriot Leave Seal Team?
OPEN WORLD RPG
Open World RPG Games Every Anime Fan Should Play
Aldis Hodge on Today Show
6 Aldis Hodge Movies and Tv Shows You Should Watch
The Photograph (2020)
6 Best Black Romance Movies of the 21st Century
joker characters across comical franchises
Joker Characters Across Comical Franchises To Check Out
Call Of Duty Modern Warfare II Shows That Activision Can Still Make Great Games
Splatoon 3
The Splatoon Video Game Series Detailed
Oregon Trail Video Game Headed Back to Computers
Everything We Know So Far About the Upcoming Diablo 4 Game