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9 things I learned on the Station 19 set

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Jaina Lee Ortiz posing for the camera

I really hope that you have been watching Station 19. It is one of my favorite shows. I have been watching Grey's Anatomy for years now so when I heard about Station 19 I started watching it from the very first episode. This show is really fun because it connects often with my favorite Grey's Anatomy characters but it also shows us the behind the scenes life from the point of view of the fire fighters. Because I am already a fan of this show, I was very excited to hear that we would be interviewing Showrunner & Executive Producer Stacy McKee, actress Jaina Lee Ortiz (“Andy Herrera”) and actor Boris Kodjoe (“Captain Robert Sullivan”).

About ABC's Station 19

“Station 19” follows a group of heroic Seattle firefighters as they put their lives and hearts on the line. The latest series from the executive producers of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder” takes us inside the tough, tight-knit and sometimes heartbreaking world of the city’s bravest first responders.

Jaina Lee Ortiz, Boris Kodjoe sitting in chairsOur interview with Showrunner & Executive Producer Stacy McKee, actress Jaina Lee Ortiz (“Andy Herrera”) and actor Boris Kodjoe (“Captain Robert Sullivan”) was hilarious. I think that we laughed from the start to the finish. We were lucky to have Jaina Lee Ortiz join us for the interview because she wasn't previously on the schedule. I think that Station 19 must be one of the most fun sets to work on because the positive dynamic of the crew was so much fun. While later walking on set we were able to see more of the actors from the show and they all showed each other the same level of kindness and friendship. Here are 9 things I learned on the Station 19 set from our interviews. 

9 things I learned on the Station 19 set

  1. Showrunner Stacy McKee worked on Grey's Anatomy for 500 million years. She started on season one and worked there until Season 13. She was excited to come over to Station 19 to show her viewers what it would be like if they got into the ambulance and drove away with them and then started to see what their life was like. She felt it was the perfect natural extension of the Grey's universe.Jaina Lee Ortiz sitting on a chair
  2. Jaina Lee Ortiz, who plays Andy Herrera, was the first person cast on the show. And at the time, there wasn't even really a show. It was more of  an idea. Stacy was in her office frantically trying to finish an outline and she got a call from Shonda saying, we've met our Andy. And that was how that kicked off and that was amazing. Jaina said that she  signed onto the show the second she heard Shonda Rhimes was doing a spin off. "I said yes, I don't care what it is, just put me in."
  3. To prepare for the show, Jaina Lee Ortiz took the firefighters test. The hardest part was dragging a dummy out of the building that was 165 pounds.
  4. Boris Kodjoe also wanted to be a part of the show from the very beginning. He says, "Well I wanted to be a part of the show from the first episode as well. And unfortunately, that didn't happen. So I had to wait patiently in the wings until it was possible. Code Black was cancelled on a Friday and I think I met with Stacy on a Monday and it was pretty much done Monday night."A woman smiling for the camera, with Station 19
  5. Stacy McKee is excited to explore deeper storylines with season 2. She felt that season 1 is so much about developing characters that she is exciting to add more elements moving forward. She said, "I feel like we just barely scratched the surface in Season 1 and now we get to get into some really good juicy character stuff which is my wheelhouse."
  6. The interior of all the scenes are shot on their stages. The exterior is all shot on location in Seattle. So when you see those exterior scenes, they went to Seattle and shot all of those actually there on location. As for the incidents with the fires it is a combination of practical fire that they do a lot on our burn stage and then supplement and add a lot of CG fire.
  7. In filming, they wear all of the real equipment. Even the oxygen tanks. It is 40 pounds of gear with a helmet.Boris Kodjoe sitting in a chair
  8. They did a 2 day firefighters bootcamp so they could get used to putting the equipment on and off quickly so that everything feels fairly natural when you watch it.
  9. Every story you hear on the show is inspired by something they heard from a first responder. They have a lot of firefighter consultants and paramedic consultants both in the Los Angeles area and in Seattle because some of the specifics are regional and so they wanted to make sure they were being as authentic as possible.

A close up on a movie setJaina Lee Ortiz and Boris Kodjoe were both so kind to take us on a behind the scenes tour of the set. If you are currently watching the show, you will recognize all of these places. We were able to visit the station as well as the boat house. It is really fun to see the cool places from the show but have their be no ceiling because of all of the lights and cameras from set. They really do work some magic when making these shows. Here are some photos from the Station 19 set.

A kitchen with a dining table

A close up of a sign

A dining room table in front of a window

Clothes hanging on a wall


A display in a fire station

Station 19 and Jaina Lee OrtizJaina Lee Ortiz, Boris Kodjoe standing in front of a firetruckJaina Lee Ortiz standing in a kitchen preparing food, with Station 19 and Boris KodjoeBoris Kodjoe et al. posing for the cameraBoris Kodjoe standing posing for the cameraA group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera

We had such a fun time with this interview and set tour. I think the set tours are always some of my favorite because I get to see what it looks like on set in making a movie. When we were at the boat house set, they suddenly yelled, "quiet on set" because they were about to shoot a scene. It is fun to see the entire process from on set to watching it on tv. Boris and Jaina were so kind to let us take a picture with them on the set of ABC's Station 19. Station 19 is a fun tv show that faces real world problems while keeping it fun and exciting. Make sure and tune in Thursdays at 9|8c on The ABC Television Network or streaming on the app. 

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