10 Best TV Shows About Firefighters of All Time (Ranked)

The 10 Best TV Shows About Firefighters Of All Time Ranked 1

Real-life stories are always interesting for viewers, especially in media forms like television and silver screens. Over the years, dozens of emergency services dramas dominated our television screens, some of which are still on the air. Firefighters’ hard lives have been immortalized multiple times in the last few decades. After the lack of popularity of firefighting dramas in recent years, they became popular with the public once again.

In this article, we will rank our ten best TV shows about firefighters of all time, and for each one, write a short introduction and synopsis of the series. If you are interested in this topic, stay with us until the end of the article.

10. Tacoma FD (2019-)

10 Best TV Shows About Firefighters Of All Time (Ranked)

Emergency services series are mostly drama shows that mostly try to replicate real-life emergencies for viewers. However, we start this list with comedy because sometimes we need laughs in our lives. Tacoma FD is a television series about a firehouse in Tacoma, Washington, where rain is the dominant weather forecast. Because of the “wet” weather, the fire department doesn’t have that much work to do, but the crew always ends up doing some “less firefighting” things around the town … with added bizarre and funny situations.

The show is available on HBO Max, Spectrum TV, truTV, and Prime Video.

9. Fire Chasers (2017)

10 Best TV Shows About Firefighters Of All Time (Ranked)

The only mini docu-series on this list is Fire Chasers, produced by famous actor Leonardo DiCaprio. This Netflix show shows the dangers of firefighting jobs during the biggest California fire season in 2016 when the fire attacked houses and a vast territory of woods. Its format is a mini-series, and through four episodes, they explore four different perspectives during the huge firefights. Great documentary show that will make you think about the dangers of firefighters and their lives.

The show is available on Netflix.


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8. Emergency! (1972-1977)

10 Best TV Shows About Firefighters Of All Time (Ranked)

We are back with dramas, and we go all the way back to the 1970s, once popular TV show called Emergency! The show ran for 122 episodes from 1972 to 1977, and it’s considered one of the pioneers of emergency TV dramas in the United States of America. The show depicted the EMS job as realistically as possible and popularized the EMS and firefighting work even more. Emergency! mostly focused on the EMS and firefighters in Station 51 and the emergency room staff of Rampant General Hospital.

The show’s format is a simplified version of newer emergency dramas, where each accident lasts one episode, while some characters’ storylines are in the show’s background. Fifty years after its first release, the Smithsonian Institution accepted Emergency! Memorabilia in the National Museum of American History collection is part of the Los Angeles County Fire Museum today. The show is available to watch on Prime Video.

7. Chicago Fire (2012-)

10 Best TV Shows About Firefighters Of All Time (Ranked)

Around the 2010s, the emergency services content on TV was “popping off,” but one franchise fought through the hard competition and instantly became popular with the public. Chicago Fire follows the professional and personal lives of firefighters, paramedics, and rescue personnel of the Chicago Fire Department, which headquarters is in the fictional Firehouse 51. The station’s name is similar to the Emergency! one in the previous entry.

The story picks up after the death of veteran firefighter Andrew Darden which causes a division between Lieutenant Matthew Casey and Lieutenant Kelly Severide, who now have to work together to save the lives of people in danger. The show is currently airing on Peacock and Amazon Prime Video.

6. 9-1-1: Lone Star (2020-)

10 Best TV Shows About Firefighters Of All Time (Ranked)

9-1-1: Lone Star is a relatively new television show. Ryan Murphy created it, a spin-off show of the Fox original 9-1-1 show that was released a few years prior and achieved success with the viewers. We will discuss the 9-1-1 show further in the article. Lone Star follows a similar formula with different characters and locations in Austin, Texas.

From its first episode, the show succeeded with the viewers and offered a different storyline to its “parent” show, 9-1-1. Lone Star follows the story of a New York firefighter who relocates to Austin, Texas, with his son. Before his relocation, firefighter captain Owen Strand’s son T.K. overdosed on opioids, prompting him to move cross country to work in emergency services.

The show is entertaining and offers the viewers good stories about the characters and real-life emergencies. 9-1-1: Lone Star is available on the Disney+ streaming platform.

5. London Burning (1988-2002)

10 Best TV Shows About Firefighters Of All Time (Ranked)

We all know that some 1980s shows were going on for decades, and that is the case with the popular English firefighter TV series London Burning. This vintage show started airing on the ITV network in 1988 and aired in 2002 with few pauses over the years.

The show follows the members of the London Fire Brigade, ones from Blue Watch at the fictional Blackwall fire station. The show didn’t only deal with the classic emergencies but the racial and social issues the diverse firefighters had to go through while trying to save the lives of people in danger. London Burning was a fresh outlook on the genre since it implemented deeper issues and situations of people who go through similar things while working as firefighters. The show is available on Prime Video.

4. Station 19 (2018-)

10 Best TV Shows About Firefighters Of All Time (Ranked)

Another spin-off on this list goes to Station 19. The show started developing in 2017 as a spin-off series of the popular hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy. Of course, Grey’s Anatomy is set in Seattle, and Station 19 is set in the same city in the Seattle Fire Department, where men and women are trying to save the lives of their citizens.


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Station 19 has a similar formula to Grey’s Anatomy, where firefighters are doing their dangerous jobs but simultaneously dealing with personal problems that sometimes interfere with their work. Of course, being in the same universe, Station 19 always has guest appearances of characters from Seattle Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. The show is renewed for a new season this year and is available for watching on Disney+ streaming platforms.

3. Third Watch (1999-2005)

10 Best TV Shows About Firefighters Of All Time (Ranked)

Surprisingly, we have a New York set to show on the list, and it’s called Third Watch. This American crime drama aired from 1999 to 2005 and is probably one of the best emergency services dramas. It may seem a bit outlandish since it wasn’t popular like other shows on this list, but Third Watch has considered one of the more underrated emergency shows ever. It follows men and women from New York Police Department, Emergency Medical Services, and New York City Fire Department.

The characters have their own storylines but are all connected through their work and have to cooperate every day. Third Watch has a special episode for September 11 attacks in New York in 2001 and is one of the series’ most heartbreaking episodes. The show is available on Apple TV and Prime Video streaming platforms.

2. 9-1-1 (2018-)

10 Best TV Shows About Firefighters Of All Time (Ranked)

One of the best firefighting emergency dramas currently on television is 9-1-1. This Ryan Murphy project first aired in 2018 and has gained great popularity amongst viewers. It follows the lives of Los Angeles first responders – police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and dispatchers.

At first glance, a regular emergency shows that we saw before, but on a second glance, most people realize that 9-1-1 is far from being ordinary. Besides emergencies, the show deeply analyses the characters’ personal lives, state of mind, and how that impacts their professional lives. For example, one of the firefighters, Buck, struggles with PTSD, depression, and other health that drive him to dangerous situations, not valuing his life. Representation is a huge factor in 9-1-1, enough to not overwhelm the show’s storyline, which fans like. Definitely one of the best firefighting projects on television.

9-1-1 is available on Disney+ streaming platform.

1. Rescue Me (2004-2011)

10 Best TV Shows About Firefighters Of All Time (Ranked)

Finally, we are at the end of this list, and we decided to put Rescue Me at the top – for a good reason.

One of the most popular “pure” firefighting series on this list is Rescue Me. It aired on Fox from 2004 to 2011 and, in its time, was one of the most popular emergency TV shows on television. Rescue Me follows a veteran New York firefighter Tommy Gavin, and his colleagues after the 9/11 attack. Firefighters struggle with PTSD, which impacts their domestic and professional lives.

The show focuses on the bravery of struggling men, their problems, and their mental health, which is more than important in that type of work. Tommy is considered selfish and manipulative, but when he’s a firefighter, he is brave and selfless, sacrificing his life for other people.

Rescue Me is available on Disney+ streaming platforms.

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