Meet the ‘Chicago Fire’ Star Who’s Also a Former Marine

Currently in its 10th season, NBC’s “Chicago Fire” stands as the longest-running series in the “One Chicago” universe, which includes “Chicago P.D.” and “Chicago Med.” Created by Dick Wolf, known for the “Law & Order” franchise, “Chicago Fire” explores the personal and professional lives of firefighters at Chicago’s fictional Firehouse 51.

Deadline reports that the show has been renewed through its 11th season, securing its place on our screens until at least 2023. The show’s success is largely attributed to the chemistry among the cast members, who convincingly portray a close-knit family of colleagues, and its commitment to authentic storytelling.

To ensure accuracy in its depiction of firefighting, “Chicago Fire” employs an ex-firefighter as a technical advisor and opts for real controlled fires over CGI. “Everything is real—from the tools to the trucks,” stated Charlie Barnett, who portrayed firefighter Peter Mills, in a 2013 Independent interview. “Dick Wolf ensured we had everything we needed to make it feel authentic, including real firefighters in the background.”

Adding to the realism, one series regular leverages his real-life military background to enhance his portrayal of a firefighter, a role he approaches with great respect and dedication.

Lieutenant Christopher Herrmann, portrayed by David Eigenberg, is one of the show’s most cherished characters. Herrmann, a father of five, extends his paternal instincts to Firehouse 51, often mentoring younger firefighters. “It’s my job as an old firefighter to teach the young firefighters how to become old ones,” Herrmann says.

Eigenberg, who joined “Chicago Fire” at its inception in 2012, previously served in the Marines, an experience he credits with fostering his deep understanding of service. His commitment to this ethos continues as he actively supports the USO, a charity that aids U.S. Armed Forces personnel, reflecting his ongoing dedication to service communities.

Eigenberg’s connection to service extends to his personal life as well; he met his wife, a fellow former service member, through the USO post-9/11. On a 2019 USO tour at the Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois, Eigenberg made a point to express his gratitude to the fire department, acknowledging the shared sense of service:

“They [firefighters] understand that you understand service,” he noted. This real-life experience and commitment to service enrich his performance, helping ensure that his portrayal is not only entertaining but deeply respectful and true to life.