Attentive viewers to Episode 2 of the twelfth season of Chicago Fire may have noticed an unusual tribute prior to the credits that usually conclude each episode. The episode itself, which was called "Call Me McHolland," left fans with plenty to think about.
For some, though, the questions didn't end when the credits started rolling. At the beginning of the credits, the message "In Memory of Dale Hay" flashed across the screen. This message left many fans wondering who Dale was in the universe of Chicago Fire. Here's what we know about who Dale was and why he received this tribute.
Who was Dale Hay in the universe of One Chicago?
We know that there was a Dale Hay who passed away in Chicago in September of 2023 at age 57, but it's unclear whether that Dale is the same way being paid tribute to here. Past that, we don't know much about exactly what role Dale played with the show. There is no one by his name in the credits for the series, so it's difficult to say for sure how he was connected to the world of Chicago Fire.
It's widely believed that Dale worked behind the scenes on the show in some capacity, although it seems like it may not have been a capacity that warranted him being regularly credited by the show for his work. Regardless, though, the tribute card suggests that he left a major impact on the people who work on the show. This is not the first time that a Chicago show has paid tribute to someone, although it's not something that happens every week.
These dedication cards are common in the world of TV.
Any regular TV viewer is likely to be familiar with the way that TV shows deploy these sort of in memoriam cards to honor people who worked on or around the show. Usually, it's a fairly straightforward process to find out who a person was and why they are being honored. This case is a little bit more of a mystery, but only because Dale doesn't appear to have any sort of official role in the series.
The Chicago shows are definitely all about how a workplace can start to feel like a family, so it makes sense that the people who work on these shows would want to honor one another, even if those at home may not be totally aware of who these folks are every time their names show up on screen.
Working on a show as sprawling and long-running as Chicago Fire requires many more people than the ones that most people think of. There are people who have to scope out filming locations, people who decorate the sets, camera experts who actually shoot every episode, and so on and so on. While we don't know exactly what capacity Dale helped the show in, there are hundreds of things that need to happen for it to be broadcast in homes every week.