The first episode of Fox’s 9-1-1 season 4 paid tribute to crew member John Kemmler, but who is he and what role did he play in the show?
Season 4 of 9-1-1 premiered on Fox on January 18th, after being postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The season premiere was tense to the max, with the dam holding back the Hollywood reservoir on the verge of collapse, leaving Athena’s fate in the balance.
Fans were greeted by a touching homage to John Kemmler as the credits rolled on episode 1, but who is he and what was his role in the creation of 9-1-1?
Who is John Kemmler?
- A crew member on the set of 9-1-1 was John Kemmler.
John worked as a transportation driver for the film, supplying equipment to ensure that production on the Fox series went smoothly.
Kemmler had lived in Long Beach, California, for a long time. He and his family moved to Belmont Heights in 2009 and became very involved in the neighborhood.
In addition to his work on TV shows like 9-1-1, John worked as an assistant scoutmaster for five years, helping to manage Scout Troop 14, which supported the group.
After contracting Covid-19, John Kemmler died on August 22nd, 2020.
He is survived by his wife Maria and three children.
John Kemmler’s family launched a fundraiser after he was admitted to the hospital to help pay for his medical expenses, and as of January 19th, the initiative had raised over $45,000.
The star of 9-1-1 pays homage
Following John’s death, Oliver Stark, who plays Evan “Buck” Buckley on 9-1-1, paid tribute to the much-loved crew member.
“John was one of the sweetest and kindest people I have ever met,” Oliver wrote in a Twitter tribute. Someone who went out of their way to be happy and make a difference. He worked Transpo driver on 911 and was a joy to be around every day. RIP John Kemmler.”
In the midst of this devastating global pandemic, Stark concluded his tweet by reminding everyone to wear a mask, which is critical for everyone’s safety. We can see why someone like Kemmler is so popular: transportation drivers have the opportunity to set the emotional tone and pace for the day. They offer actors the opportunity to build stronger bonds, particularly during the downtime that comes with the job.
A title card is one of the most powerful tributes to a cast or crew member. It’s a way of making sure they’re remembered well after the episode has aired. Years from now, the display will still be associated with John’s remembrance. That means more to his friends, family, and, of course, those who worked with him on a daily basis on the show than we can ever express. Thank you to 9-1-1 for including this at the end of the pilot.
During this tough time, our thoughts are with Kemmler’s friends, relatives, and loved ones. (Photo courtesy of Fox.)