FOX’s flagship first responder series, 9-1-1, takes place in Los Angeles, California, and follows firehouse 118 as they endure crazy and insane calls. From the small ones like a proposal gone wrong to the big season openers that nearly take out the entire city, the 118 goes above and beyond at their job, even when it seems like there won’t be a light at the end of the tunnel.
With the upcoming season 4 beginning with a major mudslide that will take out the iconic Hollywood sign, we are looking back at some of the craziest calls throughout the first three seasons of 9-1-1!
Warning: Mild spoilers for 9-1-1!
The first season of 9-1-1 had some pretty insane calls, but none of them compare to a plane crash-landing into the Pacific Ocean. The 118 quickly deal with search and rescue that involves a mother’s leg pinned down and a couple trapped in the plane’s lavatory. All three passengers make it out safely, thanks to Bobby, Buck, Hen, and Chimney, and the mother is reunited with her son on dry land. Meanwhile, Athena is trying to control a situation on a stalled airplane on the tarmac between an airline security guard and a passenger who merely wants to get off. The guard isn’t letting his guard down, taping the passenger to his seat and being exposed for throwing the first punch, but Athena, as she does, controls the situation and “arrests” all the passengers, making sure they’re able to get off. At the call center, Abby had taken a call from a passenger on the plane that crashed five minutes before it went into the water. He wanted to say goodbye to his pregnant wife and his daughter. He doesn’t make it, and Abby plays the message for the wife. It’s an emotional episode, but a powerful one as well. Even in just the fourth episode of the first season, 9-1-1 really knew how to bring it.
Nothing like an earthquake to shake up the season. 9-1-1‘s sophomore season began with a 7.1 earthquake that rocked Los Angeles. While the 118 helped people in low and high places at a hotel, Athena was busy dealing with a collapsed freeway and dealing with looters. Maddie’s first day as a 911 dispatcher was one she will never forget as she helped a man get his pregnant and unconscious wife to first responders so they can be driven to the hospital. After an aftershock hits, it leaves Hen separated from everybody else while she was looking for a little girl and Buck and Eddie, as well as two victims they were helping, nearly crushed to death by an elevator. Hen, the little girl, Buck, Eddie, and their two victims, make it to safety. Along the way, lives were lost, but families were reunited. A high schooler hoping to shoot hoops in college didn’t lose his leg, and Hen even brought home a dog she had found. It was an emotional two episodes and an intense start to the show’s second season, but it was only just the beginning of what the season would bring.
Ladder Truck Explosion
Towards the end of season 2, someone had been placing bombs around LA, targeting very specific people. When it was found out that the bomber was the kid of someone who went to jail on a case of arson that both Bobby and Athena had worked on a few years back, everyone was able to find out who he would be targeting next. However, when it was realized that Bobby would be the next target and police searched his house and found nothing, Bobby figured that maybe they searched the wrong house. It was soon too late, and the 118 were already on their way to another call. Bobby tried to tell them through dispatch, but the ladder truck explodes, leaving some firefighters, including Buck, severely injured. Buck gets his legs crushed by the truck, and it takes several teams of firefighters, as well as dozens of bystanders, to finally lift the truck so Buck can be safely pulled out. The incident leaves Buck out of duty for a while, starting season 3 on an emotional rollercoaster for the first part of the season.
Like with the previous seasons, season 3 opened with a major call over the first few episodes. Buck and Christopher’s fun day at Santa Monica Pier turns disastrous and dangerous when a massive tsunami takes over. As Buck and Christopher try to survive and save others in the process, the rest of the 118 is on search and rescue duty. Athena and May are helping out civilians after a major pile up. Maddie has an emotional day hearing people take their final breaths over the phone and still saving others. Buck tries everything he can to make sure Christopher is safe, and they manage to stay on top of a firetruck for a while, helping people get to safety on it. But another wave makes Christopher go over, and he is soon lost, leaving Buck fearing the worst. But Christopher is later spotted at a VA Field Hospital with a woman who helped him, and he’s reunited with Eddie. Meanwhile, May saved a woman’s life who was severely injured in the car pile up, and it even gives her something to think about for her future. These episodes were much more intense than the earthquake opener of season 2, and it took a much more emotional toll on the first responders, civilians, dispatchers, and viewers.
Season 3 ended on a high note, literally. The penultimate episode of the season ended with a familiar face calling 911, saying there’s been a train derailment. Connie Britton made her return as Abby Clark in the season finale, being involved in the accident. Multiple crews, including the 118, tried rescuing people both on the train and in the RV park the train collided with. Buck has to put his feelings for Abby aside when he, Eddie, and Bobby try to help some of the passengers on the top car that is nearly collapsing, including Abby’s fiancé. While Hen and Chimney are on the ground trying to save a little boy in the RV park. Knowing that they can save either Abby’s fiancé or another passenger, Buck comes up with an idea to go from the outside in so they can save them both. The two passengers are successfully extracted from the train car, and the little boy that Hen and Chim were saving that had a spinal injury also safely made it to the hospital. It’s an intense call that will keep anyone on the edge of their seats, that has a mostly happy ending. Season 3 began intensely and ended intense, which, for 9-1-1, is not unusual.
Baby In a Pipe
One would think that when a show is first starting, the first couple of episodes would start calm, then gradually move into it, but not 9-1-1. The first episode involved a newborn baby flushed down a toilet by its own mother, and the 118 had to go to drastic measures to get it out of a pipe. She miraculously survived, and the moment only previewed how insane the show would be.
The season 2 episode, “Ocean’s 9-1-1,” involved a very intricate plan that nearly ended careers at the 118. A nerve agent that wasn’t really a nerve agent, Hen almost dying and stuck in a vault, everyone being interviewed, all so someone could steal money and diamonds. The entire episode keeps fans on the edge of their seats, wondering what’s going to happen. The simple call turned out to be much more than what the crew bargained for, but it’s one that they, and fans, will never forget.
A simple call involving a drone making a father and son crash their electric scooter turned into something more serious and dangerous that nearly cost Athena her life and left her traumatized. What went from a drone owner getting arrested for not having a drone license and reckless endangerment to finding out he’s really a Peeping Tom, then making the horrifying discovery that he’s a serial rapist was a rollercoaster from the start. The scene when he’s attacking Athena and all you could hear was her struggles is something we’ll never forget. She is a survivor. Athena’s continuing PTSD is something that will be addressed further in season 4, so it will be interesting to see how they handle it.
Check out the video below for more of 9-1-1‘s best disasters!
Catch the 118 deal with a major mudslide in the season 4 premiere of 9-1-1 on Monday, January 18 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on FOX, followed by the season 2 premiere of 9-1-1: Lone Star!