Throughout the course of its three seasons thus far, FOX’s procedural drama 9-1-1 has been a nonstop ride full of epic, unbelievable, and some downright baffling calls for Station 118 and the rest of LA’s first responders. Bobby, Athena, and the others have found themselves tasked with pulling off challenging rescues time and time again, all in the name of saving lives. Audiences tuning in often find themselves on the edges of their seats waiting to make sure that both the civilians and first responders alike survive each episode’s latest disaster.
As the eve of the fourth season of 9-1-1 is rapidly approaching, we’ve taken the time to reflect back on some of our favorite rescues (both large and small) that each of our characters have been involved in throughout seasons 1-3.
Captain Bobby Nash is the glue that holds Station 118 together; he remains an integral pillar in the strength of his team despite what he’s been through. As a leader, Bobby has often taken the heaviest burden upon his own shoulders in emergency situations, be it physically or mentally. When the danger is too great, Bobby would rather risk his own life than the lives of his team. One of his real standout moments was in the season 3 episode “Fallout,” when a vehicular accident involving hazardous, combustible materials led to a magnesium fire. With a man trapped in the truck, the situation became even more dire when the team learned that there was extremely dangerous radioactive waste further back in the truck. Once the Cobalt-60 ignited, they reached gamma radiation levels in the tunnel and Bobby was in serious danger. However, he refused to leave Ernest behind, doing everything in his power to try and pry the doors off of the truck and contain the fire. Bobby was very lucky to have avoided any ill effects from his exposure. This situation also felt very reminiscent of the season 1 episode “Worst Day Ever,” when Bobby wouldn’t leave the woman trapped in the plane crash wreckage behind (despite the fact that he, too, was on the verge of drowning).
Athena is a force to be reckoned with, both on the job and off. Her strong wits and no-nonsense attitude rarely steer her wrong as she fearlessly looks into the face of danger time and time again. During the tsunami arc, she was presented with a new challenge … one that was not for the faint of heart. In “The Searchers,” Athena came across Captain Cooper of Station 136, who was pinned underneath a car among the wreckage in the streets. With EMTs nowhere in sight, Athena and the Captain found themselves in a precarious situation. After making up her mind, Athena broke into a house and returned with alcohol, tools, and a rag. The plan? To amputate Captain Cooper’s arm in order to save him. This certainly wasn’t the first time that Athena saw a bloody situation on the job, but she wouldn’t normally be the one tasked with sawing through flesh and bone in order to conduct a rescue. Athena’s determination to save a fellow first responder in this episode was admirable, and certainly not something your average police officer would be doing.
Evan “Buck” Buckley
When there’s danger afoot in the vicinity of Evan Buckley, there’s one surefire guarantee: he’ll be the first one to dive in headfirst to save someone. Though this doesn’t always work out entirely in Buck’s favor, as he spent much of his time as a headstrong newbie in the first season being lectured by his Captain, there’s no denying his bravery as a firefighter and a human being in general. Over the years, Buck has grown tremendously as a person and within his role with the 118, and he’s had some pretty impressive and awe-inspiring saves along the way. One of the most impressive of them all took place in the season 3 episode “Sink or Swim.” At that point, Buck was still on medical leave from the ladder truck accident when he took Eddie’s son Christopher for a day out at the pier. However, off-duty or not, as soon as the raging waves of the disaster closed in, Buck automatically flipped the switch into firefighter mode. Not only did he fight tooth and nail to save Christopher from the sweeping waters, but he then dove right back in and continued to risk his life to help ferry as many trapped people as he could to the roof of the submerged firetruck. Buck’s unabashed bravery saved so many lives that day, and will forever be one of his best moments.
Henrietta “Hen” Wilson
Throughout all of the madness that the 118 continuously endures, Hen is consistently the backbone of the team and a much-needed voice of reason. Her start with the 118 in the days before Bobby, Buck, and Eddie certainly wasn’t the easiest, but Hen firmly planted her feet on the ground and made it clear that the fire station is where she belongs, and nobody can take that away from her. One of Hen’s most important rescues was shown in the season 2 episode “Hen Begins,” and she wasn’t even a firefighter yet at the time. During a meeting with her life coach, the other woman began having a heart attack. Hen, thinking quickly under pressure, helped to save her life by performing CPR while the paramedics were on their way. This defining moment, which occurred at a time when Hen had no idea what direction she was going to take her life in, made her realize what she truly wanted to be doing — saving lives.
Howard “Chimney” Han
Chimney is one of the unsung heroes of 9-1-1. He’s always around saving the day with the 118, but he’s never quite front-and-center in the madness. This is partly because his role as a firefighter paramedic requires him to be available to provide treatment on-site, so he can’t necessarily be both the muscle and the medic at the same time. However, it’s not just blazes of glory that save lives, it’s also the quiet moments when our characters realize something is terribly wrong. In the season 3 episode “The Taking of Dispatch 9-1-1,” Maddie and the rest of the dispatchers found themselves turned into hostages in their own workplace. With her hands essentially tied, Maddie tried to give Chimney a hint by telling him that she loved him before she was forced to hang up the phone. Chimney was quick to realize that it was weird that she said that, and after she failed to answer his texts, he tried calling 9-1-1 directly — to no avail. While Chimney was trying to convince Buck that something is wrong, Athena had already become suspicious as well for her own reasons. The three of them ended up teaming up to investigate the situation. Though Chimney may not have been the one to storm the call center in riot gear, his innate need to trust his own instincts played an important role in helping to address the dangerous situation that was quietly playing out inside of the dispatch center.
The season 3 episode “Eddie Begins” finally gave viewers a much-needed look into Eddie’s past, showing the things that he went through that shaped him into the man that he is today. The episode was twofold, however, as it also included one of the most nail-biting and stressful rescue efforts that we’ve witnessed on 9-1-1 so far. The 118 arrived at the scene to find that a young boy had fallen into a well, and upon determining that their other rescue efforts weren’t viable, Eddie volunteered to be the one to be lowered down into the narrow tunnel to rescue him. The team ran into an issue when they realized that the cord lowering Eddie down wasn’t going to reach the boy, and due to the time-sensitivity of the situation, the firefighter made the decision to cut his cord in order to reach him. This decision proved reckless but wise, as Eddie was ultimately able to free the terrified child and pass him to Chimney. However, thanks to a disastrous turn of the weather, the tunnel collapsed and began to fill with water before they could extract Eddie. Thankfully, Eddie was able to remain calm in the face of disaster and remembered that the well was connected to a series of underwater tunnels, so he found an alternate escape route as his panicked team helplessly waited on the surface.
There’s no doubt that Maddie and Evan Buckley are related. Maddie’s background as a nurse and current role as a 9-1-1 dispatcher tie in with Buck’s job as a firefighter, and they’re both strong-willed individuals with a passion for helping others. In taking the job as a dispatcher, Maddie has made a habit of trying to go above and beyond. And even if that doesn’t always work out exactly as she plans, her intentions have always been for the sake and safety of others. In the season 3 episode “The Taking of Dispatch 9-1-1,” Maddie suddenly found herself on the other side of the table as the danger she typically faced on the phone had planted itself directly in her lap. Maddie’s quick thinking to tell Chimney that she loved him was her first genius feat of the day, as it tipped him off that something was wrong, but her real moment to shine came later in the episode. As her co-worker Linda fell from her chair pretending to have an allergic reaction, Maddie took advantage of the moment and stabbed one of their captors with Linda’s EpiPen and then stole his gun. After all Maddie has been through, her bravery in this moment was astounding.
Though we were only able to spend the duration of the short first season with Abby, she wasted no time in proving her skills and dedication to her job as a 9-1-1 dispatcher. However, one thing that constantly lingered on Abby’s mind was the fact that she never had the opportunity to experience the full outcome of the calls that she took because people typically hang up once the first responders arrive on the scene. Despite her lack of hands-on experience, Abby was an expert when it came to calmly talking people through an assortment of situations over the phone until help arrived, which can absolutely make all the difference when every second matters. And Abby’s real time to shine was on her first date with Buck on Valentine’s Day when he began choking on a piece of bread. She found herself on the other side of things for once as the 9-1-1 operator that she dialed walked her through performing an emergency tracheotomy on Buck right in the middle of the restaurant.
May found herself in a difficult situation in the season 3 episode “Sink or Swim” when she and her mother Athena were a part of a major car accident. Athena quickly flipped over into work mode, realizing the imminent danger present on the accident scene full of injured people. In surveying the area, they found a woman that was trapped in her car and bleeding heavily from her neck. There weren’t enough helping hands to go around, so Athena instructed May to help keep pressure on the woman’s neck to buy her time until the paramedics arrived to help. As a teenager, May was initially overwhelmed at the thought of having someone’s life placed in her hands. However, the woman ended up surviving, and May learned how it feels to help save a life.
Bonus: Buck and Eddie
Watching the first responders of 9-1-1 work together as a team is always an enjoyable experience, but there’s arguably no better team to watch in action than Buck and Eddie. When Eddie joined the 118 at the beginning of the second season, he and Buck didn’t exactly start off on the right foot. However, everything changed when they found themselves teamed up in a tense situation diffusing a grenade in the back of an ambulance. Their joint bravery and talent allowed them to save a man’s life that evening. After that, despite some ups and downs along the way, they were unstoppable. Some other notable feats by the two of them include their death-defying rescue of a man and a woman trapped in an office in a high rise that was halfway knocked over during an earthquake, and when they stood on top of a firetruck while it sped down a runway in order to save a man danging from an airplane.
Season 4 of 9-1-1 will premiere on FOX on January 18 at 8 p.m. EST, followed by season 2 of the spin-off series 9-1-1: Lone Star.
What were some of your favorite rescues from the past three seasons of 9-1-1? Let us know in the comments!