When a fire claims one of their own, there's plenty of guilt and blame to go around. Lt. Matthew Casey, in charge of the Truck, tries to carry on, but butts heads with the brash Lt. Kelly Severide of the Rescue Squad - and each blames the other for their fallen team member. Adding to the turmoil, Casey, unbeknownst to his colleagues, is in the midst of a separation from Hallie. The firehouse also includes: Battalion Chief Wallace Boden, a fireman's fireman who is confronted by important personal decisions; paramedics Gabriela Dawson and Leslie Shay, who share a close bond and team together to face some of the most harrowing situations imaginable; Peter Mills, an academy graduate who is the latest generation in a family of firefighters; and Christopher Herrmann, a seasoned veteran who loses his home to foreclosure and now must uproot his family to move in with his in-laws.
Severide is hiding a serious shoulder injury sustained in the fire that killed Andy Darden, and grapples with his guilt as he fights to rescue a construction worker trapped in a building collapse. Adding to the burden, Darden's wife Heather turns on Severide at the annual firefighters' barbecue, blaming him for her husband's death. A call is made to an accident site at Hancock Tower, where two teenagers are pinned in a vehicle trapped beneath the falling debris of a broken window washer's cart. Meanwhile, Casey and Hallie work to figure out their future together.
When the drunk driver who hits a car and paralyzes a 16-year-old boy turns out to be the son of a dirty cop, Lieutenant Casey must decide whether or not to turn him in. Facing pressure and subsequent threats from the powerful and well-connected Detective Voight, Casey decides to tell the truth, inviting a stand-off. Additionally, Severide, who's fighting off the advances of the Chief's new assistant, learns he has a fractured vertebra in his neck that may never heal if he doesn't get treated, but ignores the doctor's advice so he can continue working. Meanwhile, Mills is torn between helping his mother at her restaurant and devoting himself full-time to the fire department, like his father did.
Chief Boden is accused of leaving a homeless man to die in a warehouse fire after ordering his men to evacuate the scene, creating negative press and bad feeling within the department. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Severide helps an elderly woman facing some neighborhood problems. Detective Voight ramps up his intimidation tactics aimed at Casey in an attempt to discourage him from testifying against his son. Shay is forced to revisit her heartbreak over her ex-girlfriend Clarice, when she finds herself face-to-face with the ex and her husband during a call. Hermann's temper flares during a rescue call at a Halloween block party.
Casey confronts Detective Voight about his harassing tactics, vowing never to back down, and ends up paying the price for his decision. Dawson faces disciplinary action for her on-the-job conduct. Meanwhile, Severide finds his arm failing him during a rescue at a construction accident, and reaches out to Anna, an old flame and pharmaceutical rep, hoping she might be able to help alleviate his injury problems.
Facing suspension, Dawson gets a hand from the same girl she saved through the procedures that landed her in front of the disciplinary board. Lieutenant Casey finds his fuse shortening as Detective Voight stops at nothing to get him to retract his statement. However, when Casey lays his life on the line during an apartment fire, he may have unknowingly caught the break he was needing.
Everyone in the firehouse is ordered to take a drug test after a call to a daycare center exposes them to a makeshift meth lab, and Severide stalls, not wanting his injury, or the painkillers he takes, to be discovered. Meanwhile, Truck and Squad find themselves pinned down by gunfire while trying to help the victim of a gang shooting, and a deep-fried turkey fire grows from small to explosive when a garage catches fire. Elsewhere, Dawson saves a bleeding man and Casey delivers a baby on the scene of a massive car pileup on the freeway.
At the site of a train accident, Peter Mills becomes deeply upset when he observes the dead body of a young victim. Unable to shake his emotional distress about the event, he questions his future as a firefighter. Dawson and Shay save a 6-year-old girl whose mother is abusing her - but their confrontation leads the woman to resort to dire actions. Meanwhile, Severide aggravates his injury while rescuing a heart attack victim and Shay sends Clarice, her married, pregnant ex-girlfriend, back home to her husband.
After he's injured in a terrible fire at an auto machine shop, Jose Vargas is forced to go on disability and leave his life as a firefighter behind - a task he finds incredibly difficult. Chief Boden tries to help a suspected teenage firebug. Also, Severide receives an enticing invitation from Renee, a woman who he saved from a car crash incident involving live electrical wires. Meanwhile, Cruz tries to save his younger brother Leon from the gang he is involved with.
After putting out a kitchen fire in an upscale townhouse, Casey, Herrmann, Mouch, Cruz, Otis and Mills find themselves accused of stealing a $50,000 diamond necklace from the home, touching off an internal investigation. Cruz’s brother Leon is caught in the middle of an escalating gang war, leaving Cruz to make a desperate choice to save him. Meanwhile, Dawson invites Casey to her cousin’s fancy Christmas party, and a frustrated Shay has reached her limit with Severide.
Eaten up by his guilt over Flaco’s death in the fire, Cruz goes to Casey to confess. While Shay recovers from a head injury sustained in the ambulance crash, Severide asks Dawson for her help in dealing with his own injury. Casey is caught in the middle of a family conflict between his mother and sister. Elsewhere, Herrmann finds a business deal hard to stomach.
Severide finally addresses Chief Boden about his injury and makes some important personal decisions about his future. Meanwhile, Casey struggles with family matters and Dawson takes matters into her own hands when she discovers a young girl who is the sole survivor at the scene of a rescue call.
Firehouse 51 is rocked by the events that lead to a surprising death. Meanwhile, Severide makes an unexpected move towards his future.
Severide finds that he shares a familiar past with Eric Whaley, the Lieutenant who was brought into the firehouse to help out. Dawson lets Shay in on her secret, while Casey deals with family issues. Meanwhile, a bad batch of heroin on the streets has Boden and the team scrambling, while Clarice and Shay find they have a new problem to overcome.
Dawson attempts to help her brother Antonio unravel the details of his drugs-and-gang investigation, and goes behind his back in turning to an unlikely source for assistance. Casey and his mother, Nancy struggle with their new relationship. Meanwhile, as a favor to Lieutenant Whaley, Severide visits someone important from his past, while Herrmann and Otis learn some hard truths about their "silent partner" in the bar.
The anguish that haunts Cruz over his previous actions boils over, as he puts himself and his fellow firefighters in jeopardy. Casey and his sister Christie try to solve their issues with their mother and each other. Meanwhile, Severide reaches out again to an important person from his past as a favor to Lieutenant Whaley and the squad gains new perspective after assisting the bomb squad on an extremely dangerous call.
Old emotional wounds are opened when Lieutenant Severide’s father Bennie comes to town and clashes with Chief Boden over the death of their former colleague. Mills helps a distraught driver who caused an accident and Shay makes a decision about her future with Clarice. Meanwhile, Herrmann, Otis and Dawson get to the bottom of a mystery about their bar.
With tensions still running high between Chief Boden and Bennie Severide, things boil over when Mills confronts Bennie about the fire that killed his father. Meanwhile, Severide, Casey and Bennie uncover the truth behind two mysterious diner fires and Shay takes a new direction with her plan to have a baby.
Tragedy strikes when a rescue attempt at a tenement building proves unsuccessful, leaving the men and women of firehouse 51 affected by the loss of the victim. Severide's decision to put Mills on the fast track to move from Truck to Squad doesn't sit well with some of the others and tension mounts between Severide and Casey over Heather Darden. Shay and Dawson are forced to deal with a junkie's crazy behavior while on a call and Shay considers a different way to have a family. Meanwhile, the team draws the ire of local drug dealers who threaten the peace and safety of the neighborhood and firehouse.
Mills finds himself the target of resentment from some colleagues when Severide supports his desire to join Squad. Tara, a paramedic candidate, joins Dawson and Shay on the job for a few shifts. Meanwhile, Shay comes to the aid of Cindy Herrmann, who suffers from pregnancy complications while her husband Christopher is out of town. Elsewhere, Dawson and Casey draw closer as the grand opening of Molly’s draws near, and Casey receives a surprise visit.
Detective Voight returns, looking to collect on the favor that Dawson owes him for helping her brother, Antonio. Casey falls back into old patterns in his personal life, while Dawson, Herrmann and Otis become the proud owners of a real neighborhood bar as Molly's prepares for its grand opening.
A frustrated Severide, turns to an unlikely ally to resolve his current dilemma. Casey begins to find satisfaction in his personal life, while Mills and Dawson face personal challenges. Meanwhile, the squad is called to the scene of a harrowing apartment building collapse.
Events force Lieutenant Casey to team up with the Intelligence Unit, now run by Voight, who doesn’t appear to have changed his crooked ways after his stint in prison. Shay’s excitement at the prospect of becoming a parent grows, while Mills and Dawson face some personal challenges. Meanwhile, the house comes together to support the opening of Molly’s.
When a call comes in from the Cook County jail, the squad steps into a volatile predicament and are tasked with trying to defuse an escalating situation. Shay remains hopeful about her baby dreams and Hermann’s wife Cindy goes into labor with their fifth child. Meanwhile, Mills and Dawson face key decisions in their personal lives.
While alone at the station, Dawson is faced with an emergency that puts her training and confidence to the ultimate test.
An arsonist targets Lt. Severide. Meanwhile, Station 51 is under scrutiny by Gail McLeod, a consultant with the State Marshal’s office who is deciding if any firehouses should be closed. Mouch receives a visit from his Japanese girlfriend, Lt. Casey reflects on the one-year anniversary of Andy's death, and Shay has suspicions about Severide's paternity.
In the wake of Heather's incident, Lt. Casey is having a hard time handling his newfound responsibilities. Lt. Severide is on edge dreading the next attack from the firehouse's arsonist. Meanwhile, with Renee back from her mother's, Severide knows he has to confront her about his paternity suspicions. Elsewhere, Mouch begins his campaign for union president and Shay and Dawson feel that they need to get out more.
Severide tries to prove his suspicions about the arsonist's identity, while Casey gets accustomed to his new lifestyle. Molly's bar is in difficulties, Dawson goes on a date with a regular from the bar, and Mouch is on the campaign trail.
Lieutenant Severide is anxious to implicate the serial arsonist, while Dawson and Shay get a shock on a routine call. Meanwhile, suspicions continue to point to Clarke as the mole inside the firehouse and Molly’s falls deeper into the red. Elsewhere, Mouch campaigns for union president, with the aid of Isabella, and Boden butts heads with Gail McLeod.
Boden’s future with Firehouse 51 is on the line and McLeod keeps on him about his past wrongdoings, pushing him toward an early retirement. With Boden considering his options, McLeod calls on an unlikely candidate to potentially replace him as Chief. Meanwhile, it becomes clearer who the mole inside the firehouse is and everyone takes measures to make their disdain for him known. Meanwhile, Shay’s social life is in full bloom and Arthur continues to take money from the struggling Molly’s.
While out on a jog, Severide comes across a secluded and empty construction site and encounters a young boy who has been trapped in a backhoe loader and is in dire need of assistance. Boden and McLeod continue to butt heads about the future of the firehouse and Boden breaks news about his future to Casey. Meanwhile, it's election day for the union presidency and Mouch and Greg Sullivan have a debate on Otis' podcast. With rival bar Game Day's future in peril, the finger is being pointed at Molly's.
When a tanker collides into a commuter train that subsequently crashes into a warehouse, the firehouse is called to the horrific scene that tests everyone to the limits as life and death hangs in the balance. With the ultimatum in place for him or the firehouse, Boden is tasked with making life-changing decisions regarding his future. Severide learns more about Katie, the young woman he saw with his father. Meanwhile, Shay and Dawson are still at odds and Casey’s responsibility of being a surrogate father takes a sharp turn.
When the shooting of a young girl happens in their neighborhood, Cruz and his brother, Leon are forced to think about the gang they have tried to escape. The battle between Chief Boden and McLeod continues to escalate and Isabella convinces Mills to dress up for a fancy gala. Meanwhile, Lt. Casey is sad Dawson won't be coming by as much now that his parental duties are over, Shay is fed up with the firehouse and digs in deeper with Devon and Zoya's visa is expiring, prompting her to come up with an idea.
Chief Boden prepares to counterattack McLeod in a final effort to save the firehouse from closure and the romance between Dawson and Casey escalates. Leon is making progress in the gang murder investigation, but Cruz cannot stand being left in the dark by Voight, fearing for his brother's safety. Meanwhile, Severide and Katie bond to make up for lost time and Otis feels uncomfortable living with Severide and Shay after Devon's latest escapade.
All seems lost with firehouse 51 on the verge of closing its’ doors, thanks in no small part to Gail McLeod, but Chief Boden and the rest of the house refuse to allow themselves to sit by and let it happen. An emergency call to an apartment structure fire tests everyone’s limits and puts the squad in harm’s way. Meanwhile, Dawson receives some life-changing news and union president Greg Sullivan makes headlines, which has an immediate impact on Mouch.
Lt. Casey struggles on his return to Firehouse 51 with the injuries caused by his near-fatal accident. Shay's new partner - Alison Rafferty, isn't that polite. Dawson enrols at the Fire Academy to find a Lt. Severide is her instructor. Clarke doesn't co-operate when questioned about a murder case he is prime suspect in. Molly's future prospects continue to get worse.
Lieutenant Casey struggles to come to terms with his near-death incident in the line of duty as his memory loss becomes more apparent. Shay continues eluding a lawyer wanting to talk to him about Daryl's suicide as he comes into a large sum of money. Dawson notices new recruit Rebecca's test-taking abilities. Otis and Katie play a board game. A woman with a negligent landlord is helped out by Boden.
A drunk driver leaves a neighborhood without power when he drives into a transformer, leading to the team at Firehouse 51 to offer assistance on a cold night in Chicago. Most people from the community spend the night at the station leading to tempers rising and some romantic involvements heating up. Molly's bar leads to a dispute amongst it's stockholders about it's future and Casey continues to deceive both himself and Dawson about the condition he's in.
Chicago Blackhawk players Shay Seabook and Duncan Keith make friends with Clarke and end up helping out a case when Shay gets an unusual tip. Severide's sister Katie is missing and he feels sidelined as Detective Lindsay takes the case on. Casey finds out more about his head injuries. Dawson tries to pass a test.
When Vince Keeler manages to walk free, Severide gets more and more impatient with the force. A girl trapped in a donation bin needs saving. Connie becomes someone not to be messed with as Mouch crosses her. A serious fire erupts in a 20-story downtown office block.
Lt. Severide hits the top of the list as Det. Lindsay starts calling in suspects with the clearest motives to make the guy who kidnapped Katie disappear. Meanwhile, Jones is still having trouble fitting in as word of her disruptions reach the fire department’s headquarters. Elsewhere, Herrmann celebrates his twentieth anniversary with his wife, but no one supports his idea on the gift he intends to give.
Lt. Severide is reminded of his own past by a man he saves from a car accident and feels compelled to help him. Elsewhere, Lt. Casey and Chief Boden grapple with how to dock Jones per her father’s orders. Meanwhile, Mouch and Dawson have troubles with the opposite sex and an emotional call to duty creates ripples throughout Firehouse 51.
Lt. Severide sticks his neck out for Dave Bloom, a fellow firefighter from Denver who is troubled by addiction. Elsewhere, Dawson and Shay leave town for a "girl's weekend" at a cabin in the woods. Meanwhile Jones struggles with the knowledge that her father is pressuring Chief Boden about her career path and Mouch's internet dating profile gets an upgrade with the help of Mills and the guys.
A suicide note is delivered to a surprised Dawson and Lt. Severide digs deeper into Bloom’s dark past. Elsewhere, Chief Boden learns shocking news, and with the help of Shay, Lt. Casey goes on the search for a life-changing item.
Lt. Casey and Dawson volunteer to help at a charity run at Chicago Medical when a massive explosion sends Chicago into chaos. With one of their own missing in the blast, the firehouse is tested like never before.
With everyone’s support, Dawson makes final preparations to retake the fireman’s exam, but a call to the field may throw a major wrench into her plans. Elsewhere, Lt. Casey has an important matter to discuss with Antonio. Meanwhile, Lt. Severide and the firehouse welcome Rick Newhouse, the latest addition to the squad, Shay gets an uninvited surprise guest and Chief Boden makes a bold move.
A fire at a boarding school leaves Lt. Severide shaken and wondering if he could have done more. Meanwhile, with the firehouse in full support of Dawson as she retakes the fireman's exam, Lt. Casey attempts some political maneuverings on her behalf. Elsewhere, Mills looks for answers about his father's mysterious past and Chief Boden's grand plans take a detour.