Joe Cruz is a firefighter on Squad 3 and the former driver of Truck 81. He is also a protagonist on Chicago Fire.
Cruz grew up in a rough part of Chicago, with his brother, Leon, having ended up in a street gang called the Insane Kings.
Season One Edit
The firehouse is called to an active shooting where two men have been injured. One of them is Leon, Cruz's brother and gang member. He helps him to the truck and they take him to the hospital. Although Cruz offers to pick him up when he's due to be released, Leon signs himself out of the hospital. (Two Families)
He later makes a deal with the gang leader, Flaco, to get Leon out of the gang, however Flaco wants a buyout of $10,000 which Cruz refuses to give to him. During an apartment building fire, Cruz finds Flaco in the building calling out for help. Cruz takes a minute, but leaves Flaco to die and tell everyone that the building is clear in order to save his brother from the gang. (It Ain't Easy) (Merry Christmas, Etc.)
Wracked with guilt over the incident, Cruz tries to confess to what he did to Matthew Casey but Casey says that he doesn't want to hear about it. He says he can either go to the police about the incident or pretend that it never happened. (God Has Spoken)
Cruz takes massive risks in order to save people, even though it's against the orders of Casey and Boden which leads to Mouch getting badly burnt. Casey tells him to hand himself into the police or that he'll do it for him. He goes to Church for help, crying through a lot of the priest's speech. Cruz comes back to hand in his badge to Casey, but Mouch forgives him and gets Casey to let him stay on. (Viral)
Season Two Edit
Cruz develops a relationship with Zoya, Otis' cousin from Russia, and eventually asks her to marry him so that she can stay in the U.S. since her work visa was expiring. However, she decides that she's going to move back to Russia because Joe wanted to marry her for the wrong reasons. She leaves without telling Cruz. (Rhymes With Shout) (You Will Hurt Him)
In Season 2, against Cruz's will, Leon later took an undercover mission to take down the new chief of the gang after a little girl was killed in a drive-by shooting in his neighborhood. Leon completed the mission but for his safety, he was sent out of town to his uncle's place.
Season Three Edit
Seeing the success of the bar Molly's owned by Dawson, Herrmann and Otis, Cruz decided alongside with Mouch to be part of the project for 'Molly's II'. Cruz came out with the idea of making "Molly's II" a truck. This project convinced Herrmann and was accepted. (Wow Me)
Finding a truck was difficult but Newhouse found one at the condition to have a 20% share in Molly's II. However, they suffer from continued problems trying to get Molly's II off of the ground. Firstly, due to the truck itself not being up to regulation standard and secondly due to Cruz's cooking skills -or lack therefore- despite him being the only manning the food side of the truck. (Just Drive the Truck) (Apologies are Dangerous)
Joe was the driver of Truck 81 and received a suspension from Deputy District Chief Joel Tiberg when 81 got involved in a t-bone collision with Truck 66 from Firehouse 105 in Austin since they were both en route to the same structure fire. The collision resulted in a number of serious injuries for both Truck crews. At first, he was accused of blowing a red light because he forgot the color of the traffic light and because he blew another red light 30 seconds before the accident, putting him at risk of manslaughter charges due to the seriousness of Molina's injuries. But when Molina woke up, he confessed that his Lieutenant, Tommy Welch, ordered him to beat Truck 81 so they could take command of operations at the scene. Despite being deemed not at fault for the accident, he recieved a three month suspension from driving the truck and was replaced by Otis. Chief Boden managed to get his suspension reduced following excellent work on the job. (Just Drive the Truck) (The Nuclear Option)
Sylvie Brett decides to go to a Zumba class, choosing the highest rated one on Yelp which happens to be taught by Cruz. Cruz confronts her in the class, asking what it would take for her to stay silent and she said that she'll be quiet if Cruz allows her to teach him how to cook for Molly's II. Cruz thinks of it as a weird deal but accepts the offer, working with her to make oven fried ravioli for the Molly's II menu. (Nobody Touches Anything)
Since Cruz regularly went to talk to her about the class, Casey became suspicious and went to talk to Brett about romantic relationships inside the firehouse. To clear the misunderstanding, she revealed to him that Cruz is actually her Zumba instructor. The rumour is then spread through the entire firehouse until everyone finds out about it and everyone from the firehouse turns up to his class. (Chopper)
They finally managed to get Molly's II the permits required to open under the condition that they sell energy water -a pyramid scheme which Herrmann was involved in and said that the money was guarteed- at the stand at the Christmas market. However, things don't go well as the truck ends up rolling down the hill and into other stands. In the end, they decide to close down Molly's II, giving the soup kitchen the truck. (Santa Bites)
In 3x23 after Scott Rice is given the boot, Chief Boden announces that Cruz received his squad certification just before the shift started and he is subsequently given Rice's spot just as a call comes in. At first, Otis is pissed Cruz did not tell him first due to the recent tensions between Truck and Squad but later congratulates him at Molly's.
- Joe runs a Zumba class in Pilsen. It's the best rated Zumba class on Yelp. (Nobody Touches Anything)
|Season 1 Appearances|
|"Pilot"||"Mon Amour"||"Professional Courtesy"||"One Minute"||"Hanging On"|
|"Rear View Mirror"||"Two Families"||"Leaving the Station"||"It Ain't Easy"||"Merry Christmas, Etc."|
|"God Has Spoken"||"Under the Knife"||"Warm and Dead"||"A Little Taste"||"Nazdarovya!"|
|"Viral"||"Better to Lie"||"Fireworks"||"A Coffin That Small"||"Ambition"|
|"Retaliation Hit"||"Leaders Lead"||"Let Her Go"||"A Hell of a Ride"|