UIC sets stage for TV firefighter drama
By Rana Khatib
If you’re watching NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” you might see some familiar sights.
Several episodes of the drama series, which follows the lives of firefighters, paramedics and a rescue squad at the Chicago Fire Department, have been filmed at locations on and around campus.
UIC has been a perfect place to shoot some episodes because of its locations and buildings, said Robert Hudgins, location manager for the series.
“There is such a wide variety of buildings on campus and UIC is so great to work with that we scout for as much as we can there,” Hudgins said.
If the exterior of the show’s fictional hospital looks familiar, that’s because it’s actually the School of Public Health, at Taylor Street and Ashland Avenue. The Feb. 20 episode of the show featured a scene shot in the College of Medicine courtyard.
Campus rooftops of the parking lots are an excellent asset when filming takes place, Hudgins said.
“We’ve used the rooftop of the building at Roosevelt and Halsted for the roof of the Fire Academy,” he said.
“Most recently, a hallway was converted to a psychiatric ward. We also rely on support areas like parking lots for our crew parking.”
Show representatives originally contacted the hospital with their interest in filming on campus, said Mark Donovan, vice chancellor for administrative services.
Show staff members contact UIC every few months to discuss filming on campus, he said.
“There is a standard use agreement that is used to make sure we meet all insurance requirements, indemnity, etc.,” he said.
Although the UIC area is a busy area filled with curious students, Donovan said filming has not proved difficult.
“So far, we have not had any difficulty in scheduling a filming; we do work with any departments that may be impacted to make sure that there are not any issues,” he said.
• Rana Khatib is a senior in English.