Judson "Judd" Ryder is a character on FOX's 9-1-1: Lone Star who was the sole survivor of Austin's original 126 house after a rescue call ended in tragedy. He débuts in the first episode of the first season of 9-1-1: Lone Star and is portrayed by starring cast member Jim Parrack.

Six months after the tragedy of 126, Judd struggles with PTSD that he denies having and refuses to accept help nor return to his old job (in which he felt everything was being thrown away and replaced with the arrival of Owen Strand) until his wife, Grace Ryder, the 9-1-1 operator who also took the call the night of the tragedy convinced him to try again. After seeing that Owen had made a visual memorial for his fallen crew, he breaks down for the first time since the tragedy, feeling his trauma coming to surface. With Owen's encouragement, he begins to go to therapy with Grace, and returns to the 126, acting as a mentor and co-leader of the new crew.

History

Judd was born in Seguin, Texas. Before the series began, he had become a firefighter of the 126 since he was in high school. He worked with the crew whom he called his "brothers" and felt they were like family to them. He worked there for about 20 years before the tragedy.

Tragedy of 126

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During a call where a fire broke out at a fertilizer company, the Austin firehouse #126 responded, and Grace, who was taking the call, advised them of the caller who was stuck in the middle of the compound. Judd answered, theorizing that the fire was moving fast and looked like a four-alarm. The crew rushes in to rescue the caller and begins putting out the fire with hoses. The captain of the firehouse advises his men to give it all they got as the fire worsened and he finds another person calling for help above the water tower. They try and put more pressure on the hose, but the water runs out. Judd lets his captain know he spotted a hydrant about 100 yards away, and he gets clearance to run a four-inch line towards it. Judd makes it to the hydrant and the water begins to successfully spray out further and they cheer in excitement.

Judd lying unconscious after the explosion

However, Judd suddenly receives a call back from Grace, who tells him that a maintenance man who called in reported that the factory stored ammonium nitrate fertilizer, a highly explosive compound. Judd runs back towards his men to warn them to pull back, but he is too late as the entire factory explodes, tragically killing everyone, but knocking him back and leaving him unconscious. He spent six weeks in the hospital recovering. [1]

Return to Work

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Six months later, Judd returns to the firehouse he formerly lived in, to see it being cleared out from the memorials of the rest of the 126, intending to get his job back. When Owen tries to give condolences, Judd rebukes them, angered that he had to get reinterviewed for a job he already had. Owen tells him he invited him down with respect to see if he was ready to return to the job, and based on their conversation, he wasn't. Angered, he denies having PTSD and acknowledges himself as the best firefighter in Travis County, and that Strand had no right to come in and rehire an entirely new crew except for him who has experience working in Texas. He storms out in anger, unaccepting of the "fake ass condolences".

Later that night, Grace comes home and asks Judd how the talk went, and he tells her that it didn't go well. Believing the PTSD was an excuse for him to not get rehired, Grace reminds him that he had recurring nightmares. When she suggests for him to get another job at a different station, he refuses, thinking if he left 126, it would be like leaving his crew behind. Believing that Strand had it out for him and it wasn't fair, Grace reminds him of the situation he went through when asking for her hand in marriage: her father said no, and he, not giving up came back daily to ask him again until he said yes. She reminds him not to give up, as he hadn't ever taken no for an answer yet.

After Grace gives Owen some encouragement to give Judd a second chance, he tells her to bring him back down to the station again. In the morning, Judd sees that the memorial for his fallen crew was now in the trash, notably upsetting him. Judd apologizes to Owen, but remarks that his old job no longer existed, as it now had been "trashed" along with his crew, since every memory of his former crew was now gone. Owen defends this, saying that nothing had been thrown away but they did need a fresh start after the tragedy. Still upset and feeling that Owen was doing this to gain instant respect just because he had survived 9/11, Judd gets up to leave, but Owen stops him, telling him of his cancer diagnosis. Owen tells him at some point, he would have to face his diagnosis just as Judd would have to face what he had lost. Judd expresses his worries of facing them, thinking he couldn't get "the monster back in the cage." He apologizes for everything and expresses his appreciation for Owen trying to help but feels it would not work out.

Owen comforting an upset Judd.

As Judd walks outside the station, he looks up and sees a large visual plaque, of pictures of every single one of his crew. Remembering their voices and unable to handle the emotional toll, he breaks down crying in front of everyone. Owen comes downstairs, clears the room and tells him it was the first thing he put up back in Manhatten as well. He tells him the monster was coming out either way, to which Judd understands. A short time later, Judd is seen working with the newly rebuilt 126 once again, later promising to go to therapy as well.

Personality

Judd is a passionate, caring person for the people he loves most and finds himself as a leader. Riddled by the slight feeling of guilt towards himself on being unable to warn his former crew before they were all killed, he often pushes this feeling away, and it results in him feeling very caring towards the newest crew, especially when he is put as leader of an emergency. He feels responsible towards them all and it can be seen towards his behavior to them often. When it comes to his own pain, he struggles with it, afraid he could never be the firefighter he once was, but is slowly being pushed out of this mindset while in therapy.

Relationships

Grace Ryder

Owen Strand

Trivia

  • Jim Parrack, the actor who portrays Judd, is a Texan in real life as well, as he was born and raised in Allen, Texas.
  • Judd has a tattoo on his hand of Psalms 31, a lament psalm in the Book of Psalms.

Appearances

Season One
"Pilot (9-1-1: Lone Star)" "Yee-Haw" "Texas Proud" "Act of God" "Studs"
"Friends Like These" "Bum Steer" "Monster Inside" "Awakening" "Austin, We Have a Problem"

Gallery

References

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