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On Location with Dora Madison

The Chicago Fire star hits the streets of her adopted hometown

The vehicle we most closely associate with firefighters might be the traditional fire truck, but one star of the NBC series Chicago Fire has another ride in mind. “My boyfriend and I bought a motorcycle out here so that we could have a way to get around,” says Dora Madison, who plays the paramedic Jessica Chilton. “I don’t have a car right now, so we’ve been operating completely by motorcycle.”

Even off-road, Madison says she’s found Chicago—and the series, which she only joined this year after appearing on it sister show, Chicago PD—to be exceedingly hospitable. “Everyone has really kind and I never felt too much like the new kid,” she says with a laugh. “One of the things they always talk about on the show is that Firehouse 51 is a family and it’s really like that in real life. It’s awesome to come to work every day and really just have a great time. It almost doesn’t feel like work.”

The fun continues even when filming is through. “Chicago is such a cool city,” Madison says. “I had been living in California for about three years, and I was ready for a change. So when this fell in my lap, so I was really happy about it. There are a lot of really kind people out here and a lot of wonderful culture.” 

That doesn’t mean she’s staying put forever, though. “In April we get a two-and-a-half-month break, so I’ll probably go to Hawaii or Thailand, get out and see some stuff,” she says. “My boyfriend really likes going to South America, and he wants to go to Peru and show me all of the temples.” 

What’ll her ride be like there? True to form, she answers, “We’ll get some motorcycles and just ride around!”