When asked by Digital Spy if Dawson’s firefighting pivot was originally her idea, Monica Raymund revealed that it was, in fact, the case. “I had the idea and discussed it [it] with Steve Chikerotis, our resident Chicago fire department adviser — he’s actually kind of a legend in Chicago — and I spoke to him a bit,” the actress said.
Raymund asked Chikerotis, who was also credited as a producer on the show as of the season 10 finale (via IMDb), if female firefighters would come on board, to which he replied that the writers’ room hadn’t figured out how to integrated this concept into the show. That’s when Raymund came up with the idea of taking over the mantle himself. “I thought, ‘I think it makes sense; I want to be able to represent female firefighters; I’ve been here for two years or a year and a half… and I get the opportunity to be with all these firefighters all the time. I want to be able to represent them,” Raymund said.
To their surprise, the writers liked the idea and set about having Dawson do firefighter training on the show. Raymund even gave them a few pitches, which they eventually drew inspiration from as they fleshed out the plot properly. “I was really so shocked and humiliated that they actually took what I had to say seriously,” the actress confessed.