Retired fire chief is ready for his closeup -- Bouma is an extra on this week's 'Chicago Fire' episode

2013-02-23T23:02:00Z 2013-12-17T10:52:36Z Retired fire chief is ready for his closeup -- Bouma is an extra on this week's 'Chicago Fire' episodeALISON BAUTER alison.bauter@journaltimes.com Journal Times

MOUNT PLEASANT — This week, scour Wednesday’s episode of “Chicago Fire” and you might just spot a familiar face.

Look over the shoulder of character Benny Severide (played by guest star Treat Williams) and you’ll likely see retired Fire Chief Bill Bouma of Mount Pleasant.

“It depends what tape they’re going to use... but it sounds like I’ll be on TV quite a bit,” said Bouma, clearly pleased.

The “Chicago Fire” casting agent who brought Bouma on was also apparently pleased. In

addition to his background appearance on Wednesday’s show, Bouma was called back, becoming one of only four extras to wear a white command shirt during another episode filmed last Tuesday.

Both trips down to Chicago yielded long days, but a lot of satisfaction for Bouma, who said the extras and actors “just had a blast.”

“I have been thrilled to part of this show and it

has added excitement to my retirement,” said Bouma, who stepped down as the South Shore Fire Department’s chief last year.

Bouma described learning to “speak” without making a sound, silently moving his lips as he sat at various tables in the background of a large ballroom scene for Wednesday’s episode. According to Bouma, between 13 and

14 hours of shooting and 35 to 50 takes resulted in about 10 minutes of film. Then, he said, producers had about 10 days to turn the footage around and put out an episode.

That episode, “Better to Lie,” airs Wednesday night. According to NBC’s episode description, Severide — father to main character Kelly Severide, played by Taylor Kinney — “returns to dig up a dark secret.”

Come March 6, Bouma will be back in another

episode, this time costumed as a command staffer and accompanied by Rochester Fire Company Assistant Chief Cathy Wagner, former Kansasville Fire Chief Chad Franks and South Shore firefighter and paramedic Joe Schauer, Bouma said.

Although he’s not sure how much screen time they’ll receive, Bouma said he and the other Racine County locals enjoyed their day as extras, even bringing along a couple kringles to share (they were a hit, he said).

And long days or not, Bouma said he and his fellow Racine County extras would all return to the show in heartbeat if asked.

“This was a happy set of people and a great cast and crew,” Bouma said, describing meeting several of the actors. “You could tell the show is really doing well right now and they are really excited about it.

“It’s one of the things on my bucket list that I can now scratch off.”

ON THE AIR

Program: “Chicago Fire”

Episode title: “Better to Lie”

Network: NBC (Channels 4 and 5)

Time: 9 p.m. Wednesday

Bill Bouma’s scene: Ballroom

Copyright 2014 Journal Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(6) Comments

  1. H8Whinners
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    H8Whinners - March 10, 2013 4:52 pm
    That Bill Bouma sure is one good looking guy!!!!
  2. H8Whinners
    Report Abuse
    H8Whinners - March 10, 2013 4:51 pm
    EVEN MORE TIRED I hope someday when you are in desperate need of help, I hope these guys that you consistantly bash are grilling their Brats after a long fire that they just got back from. Hopefully they have the music up and are celebrating a another safe day. This way maybe they wont hear your cry for Help....

    Then again this will never happen, because these gentleman are true heros. They will risk there lifes from a whiny whimp like you. They will risk alot, to save your property. Maybe they should let it burn just to teach you a life lesson. Grow up and put all your energy towards something positive in life. You are the type of person that thinks they can solve everything form the couch, but realistically you have never done anything worth a darn..
  3. jason30
    Report Abuse
    jason30 - February 25, 2013 11:10 am
    Even more tired
    Get a job!!!! Anyone that sees your posts know that you hide behind the computer and complain about everything. If you do not like something then be a solution for the problem. If you were to call 911 for police or the fire dept I bet you would be the first one to complain that they did not come fast enough. What is the root of your problem with public employees? Jealousy? To Bouma have fun and enjoy your retirement after 30 plus years in the fire service you deserve it.
  4. Even More Tired
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    Even More Tired - February 24, 2013 6:38 pm
    I'm sure you guys will fit in seeing the show between washing your cars and grilling brats...waiting for the big one to come in!
  5. Doodlebug
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    Doodlebug - February 24, 2013 2:00 pm
    @Even More Tired: Go back to bed if your tired and grumpy.

    Happy for Chief - hope he has many more great opportunities in retirement. Chicago Fire is one of the best shows on TV - love it!
  6. Even More Tired
    Report Abuse
    Even More Tired - February 24, 2013 1:40 pm
    ...look for the guy with the big red hair and the red ball on the end of his nose.
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