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Why Did Boden Leave Firehouse 51 on Chicago Fire?

Boden decided to take a job elsewhere in the CFD. Here's why the character made this move. 

By Jessica White

The Chicago Fire Season 12 finale revealed that Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker) has decided to quit his longtime position as Deputy District Chief of Firehouse 51. 

How to Watch

Watch Chicago Fire on NBC and Peacock.

Read on, below, for details on why Boden made this decision and what's in store for his career.

Why did Boden leave Firehouse 51 on Chicago Fire?

Chief Boden left his longtime post after accepting a position as the CFD's Deputy Commissioner, a.k.a the firefighter at the top of the CFD. Boden wasn't initially interested in the position, but after learning the department was destined for ruin under a problematic frontrunner, he tossed his hat in the race and swiftly won his colleagues over. 

After the Deputy Commissioner position became available, the no-good Paramedic Chief Robinson (Laura Allen) announced her campaign, spending months collecting bids and support. Robinson hated everything Boden stood for and planned to phase out the older generation of firefighters in favor of a new wave of candidates. Even worse: Her competition for the DC position lacked passion and integrity, so Boden couldn't back them, either. That made Robinson seem like a shoo-in.  

RELATED: Chicago Fire Executive Producer Reveals Everything About Where the Show Is Filmed

A closeup of Eamonn Walker as Chief Wallace Boden

But obviously, Boden wasn't going to allow Robinson to assume control of the CFD that easily. With just days to spare, Boden put his name in the running. As soon as he knew his plan, Boden made the announcement to his 51 friends.

"OK, listen up, people," Boden announced to the firehouse. "I've decided to throw my hat in the ring for Deputy Commissioner."

There was a beat of silence as 51 processed Boden's news. If he won, he would no longer work at their firehouse.

"Hey!" Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg) said, snapping everyone out of it. "That is awesome, Chief."

"The CFD couldn’t do any better,” Randall "Mouch" McHolland (Christian Stolte) added.

"You’re the man for the moment, Chief," Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) commended. "No doubt."

"Listen. Everyone knows that I try to avoid the politics of the CFD as best I can," Boden explained. "But it isn't about me anymore. It's about the whole department, and with the current state of leadership, I have decided that I can't just sit by and watch. So I'm headed to HQ to do what I can fast. Promote myself through the rounds. I hear I have a day or two at best."

Boden chose a seasoned 51 family member as his replacement

Christopher Herrmann in Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 11

As the station processed the looming possibility of losing their commander, Boden began considering his replacement. The station had already undergone so much change, so his replacement needed to be a longtime 51 family member. 

Boden also needed someone reliable and passionate and empathetic. Upon his return from his recent furlough, Boden learned Herrmann stepped up as the firehouse's counselor. Herrmann always stays positive and is the first person to support his friends in need. Boden was 51's longtime anchor, but Herrmann has been the glue that's held the station (and neighborhood bar Molly's) together for over a decade. 

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As Boden began his expedited campaign for the DC position, he called Herrmann into his office. Boden said that if he got the DC position, he wanted Herrmann to replace him. Herrmann couldn't believe his Chief's words, saying he was "no Boden." 

"You don't have to be me," Boden said. "You just have to be you. The Christopher Herrmann who looks out for people, who listens. Who always leads with his heart."

"Whatever happens, boss," Herrmann replied tearfully. "You'll never know how much that means to me."

Boden won the Deputy Commissioner job

Brettsey Get Married | Chicago Fire | NBC

When Boden got a call from HQ, he nervously arrived and bumped into a dejected Robinson before crossing paths with former CFD Deputy Commissioner, Gloria Hill (J. Nicole Brooks). It was Hill's recent move to Oakland that prompted this election. Hill was excited to see Boden, teasing that he likely had no idea Stella had contacted her in Oakland to give Boden a dazzling recommendation.  

RELATED: Yes, Chicago Fire's Chief Boden (aka Eamonn Walker) Is Actually British in Real Life

“The kind of loyalty you inspire in your firefighters is something you should be very proud of, so I put aside my duties and made the trip here today," Hill explained. "Lieutenant Kidd told me you walked her down the aisle, and you officiated at the wedding of two members of your house. It's so symbolic, it's almost silly, Wallace. You bring people together. At a time where all of us, including the CFD, need it most."

"Why have you been ignoring my good advice after all these years?" Hill continued. "You should be running this place."

"Thank you for your kind words," Boden said. 

"They're not just words," Hill clarified. "Congratulations, Deputy Commissioner Boden."

Firehouse 51's tearjerking goodbye to Chief Boden

Chief Wallace Boden smiles in his office on Chicago Fire Episode 1001

Boden's goodbye to his 51 colleagues was emotional. 

"You," Stella told him. "You've raised and trained and inspired a group of firefighters who know the meaning of bravery and sacrifice."

"And being forgiven when we're idiots, so we learn from it," Herrmann quipped. "Well, some of us—"

"Now, you get to do that for the whole CFD, and they'll see how lucky we were," Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) added.

“You made 51 a family, Chief," Cruz (Joe Miñoso) commended. "And this firehouse a home."

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