9-1-1 returns with an electric winter premiere: Preview the 'out of the blue' crisis leaving the 118 in peril

9-1-1: Kenneth Choi in the “In a Flash” episode
9-1-1: Kenneth Choi in the “In a Flash” episode

Jack Zeman/ FOX Chimney (Kenneth Choi) on '9-1-1'

Though it may seem otherwise after the past few weeks, Los Angeles isn't used to rain — and even less used to thunderstorms. So when the 118 faces a freak lightning event in the 9-1-1 winter premiere on Monday, sparks will fly and someone might die.

"Some of this was inspired by a few months ago," showrunner Kristen Reidel tells EW of the latest natural disaster to strike the Fox first responder drama. "We did have weird lightning out of the blue here in Los Angeles and people were injured, I believe some people even died. It's scary to think you're out there living your life and then literally you were struck by lightning with no rain, no way to see that coming. That gave us all the feeling of like, 'Oh God, I don't want to leave the house now.'"

That's not an option for a pregnant woman in labor who resorts to taking an Uber to the hospital on Monday's episode. The car is struck by lightning — and EW has an exclusive preview of what happens when the 118 arrives to help.

"Cars these days have all of these safety features that keep us safe and help prevent a lot of injuries from happening. But in this case the lightning sets off the air bags, and then they flip — so the safety feature actually causes the accident, in a way," says Reidel. "And that's why that crash is as violent as it is inside the vehicle because the airbags have already deployed before the moment of impact."

EW can reveal that in the moments after this preview clip, Bobby (Peter Krause) discovers that the woman's umbilical cord is visible, meaning the newborn is somewhere in the vehicle. But rescuing the new mom and child won't be the only crisis facing the 118 in the mid-season premiere. A teaser trailer released last month showed Buck (Oliver Stark) struck by lightning while climbing the fire truck's latter during a rainstorm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96Oz8Kh57uI 9-1-1 | Preview: The Return Will Shock You
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96Oz8Kh57uI 9-1-1 | Preview: The Return Will Shock You

Fox Lightning strikes on '9-1-1'

"When the rain comes, everybody feels a certain sense of relief. Like, 'Oh, finally. Now we can get this storm out of the way.' And then that's the moment that lightning strikes our team," says Reidel. "One of the most dangerous places to be in a lightning storm is on an enormous ladder. Basically you're standing on a lightning rod. Even for first responders, an emergency can strike out of the blue."

The winter premiere of 9-1-1 season 6 airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.

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