Joe Cruz is a firefighter on Squad 3 and the former driver of Truck 81. He is also a protagonist on Chicago Fire.
Cruz is a great man who has a troubled younger brother, Leon, in the street gang Insane Kings that he is desperate to keep out of harm's way. He is haunted by a decision that he made on the job related to his brother that later effects his own safety and the safety of his fellow firemen. Indeed during a fire, he let Flaco, the boss of his brother's gang, die in which Casey threatened to go to the police about Flaco if Cruz did not resign. Casey later reconsidered his decision. Leon was after able to leave the gang and even went to university. 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.
At the end of Season 1 and into a portion of Season 2 Joe begins a relationship with Zoya, Otis's immigrant cousin and decides he wants to marry her to get her to stay but she feels that is not right so she leaves.
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. Cruz came out with the idea of making "Molly's II" a truck. This project convinced Herrmann and was accepted. Finding a truck was difficult but Newhouse found one at the condition to be a 20% associate.
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 Mouch sustaining a major eye laceration, 2 guys from Truck 66 having a broken arm for one and a broken leg for the other, and the driver Jason Molina was knocked unconscious. 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. 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. He was cleared of the accusation and since Molina woke up, he was not charged with manslaughter. He still got a 3 months suspension from driving the truck and was temporarily replaced by Otis, who was next in line to drive 81. However, Chief Boden managed to reduce his suspension.
In season 3 (03x07), it is revealed that he also works as a Zumba instructor. it was Brett who found out by attending one of his class after looking on Yelp for the best rating Zumba class. She promised to keep his secret if he accepted to learn how to cook under her guidance, his cooking skills being a disaster. 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 instructor. Casey talked about to Dawson who told Herrman and so on until the whole firehouse knows about it. In 03x08, the guys from Truck 81 and Squad 3 came to assist one of his classes. 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.
|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"|