Third Watch tells the stories of the members of the 55th Squad - police, firefighters & paramedics who work the "third watch" between 3 pm & 11 pm in New York City.
Two new recruits join the emergency services and work with older, wiser partners. Davis becomes a policeman, like his father, and Carlos a paramedic. Two other Paramedics, Bobby and Kim, find themselves rushing from emergency to emergency. Bosco and Yokas, the other police officers, and Jimmy and his fellow Fireman have their own crisis' to deal with.
Doc, Carlos, and Ty each feel guilty about the mistakes they made during Jerry's shooting; Jimmy gives Kim a bulletproof vest; the squads rescue a man dangling from the side of a skyscraper after an explosion; Fred wants Faith to quit her job; initially reluctant to discuss the circumstances surrounding Ty's father's death when Ty asks, Sully finally relents; Carlos and Ty commiserate about their partners; Sully's contacts on the street pinpoint an abandoned building as the location of Jerry's shooter, and Bosco takes the shooter down -- out a second floor window.
Bosco is caught on a security camera having sex in his squad car with the daughter of his Precinct Captain. Meanwhile Doc drags Carlos around the city on a personal mission to find the owner of a watch, found in the ambulance.
The two rookies, Carlos and Davis, experience disillusionment with their new jobs, and their training officers. Bosco struggles with Homophobia and gets himself involved in tit for tat games with Doherty.
Mercy's new E.R. attending gives the cops and paramedics a hard time while ignoring Carlos's attempts to hit on her; Doc is saddened to hear that Jerry has decided to take a disability retirement; Jimmy is upset when Joey goes to Bobby first after he becomes ill as a result of Jimmy's letting him overindulge in sweets; Jimmy and Bobby take out their conflict over Kim and Joey in a game of one-on-one; Sully and Ty arrest a purse snatcher who will do anything to stay in jail once he discovers that his victim's son is a mobster; Faith hands out street justice to a gangbanger responsible for the deaths of two little boys.
Sully and Maggie reconnect; Bobby visits his brother Matty and tries to prepare him for his release from prison; Sunny asks Kim for a place to stay and runs away when Kim refers her to a shelter; Carlos hits a pedestrian with the bus; Faith and Bosco investigate a grave robbery and ponder immortality; Jimmy rescues a new recruit who is trapped under a collapsed ceiling in an apartment fire; Bobby takes Doc's advice and tells Kim how he feels, only to learn that Kim feels she isn't good enough for him; Sunny ODs and Bobby helps a saddened Kim find out her real name and hometown so that her parents can be notified; Sully's approach to "problem solving" goes horribly awry in a domestic dispute; Carlos and Doc come to blows over Doc's training methods, forcing Morales to break them up; Sully learns that Ty has good instincts, enabling them to save a teenage girl from a sexual predator.
Ty is worried about Sully's dating Maggie; Faith and Bosco lose a witness who turns out to be the perp in a homicide; Bobby prepares for Matty's release from prison; while driving the bus, Carlos collides with a pregnant driver and later attempts to revive the baby she delivered prematurely after Sarah pronounces it dead, unaware of the consequences for the parents; Jimmy rescues a boy from a tree; Bosco and Ty take issue with Sully over his handling of a belligerent collar.
On Thanksgiving Day, Bosco tries to resolve a family conflict in a restaurant while Faith deals with the same thing in her own home. Bobby's mother refuses to allow Matty to attend the family's holiday celebrations, and leaves it up to Bobby to tell his brother. After a shooting, Ty and Sully disagree over how they should report the incident to their superiors and the investigating team.
When he goes on his first raid, Davis inadvertently endangers a young boy he is trying to help; Doc begins to think that the overdose his father took may not have been accidental; to get a critically ill woman to the hospital, the firefighters knock down an apartment wall and lower her out a high story window.
An explosion in a building about to be demolished leaves men trapped inside, forcing the firefighters to make terrible choices; Fred's drinking problem escalates; Doc cancels his date with Brenda.
Jimmy's failure to watch the firehouse door leads to tragedy; Morales, devastated by the loss of a young patient, reaches out to Doc for consolation; Sully's first partner commits suicide, prompting him to seek out Maggie and reflect on where his life has gone; Bosco tries to buy a '67 GTO from a homeless man; and Bobby continues to do whatever he can to get his mother to reconcile with his brother.
Ty spends the shift on foot patrol with Candyman and discovers some disturbing facts about both his late father and Candyman; romance blooms between Doc and Morales after Doc's father tells him to get on with his life; Matty's attempts to make amends for past misdeeds have upsetting outcomes; Jimmy has an unexpected and unpleasant visit with his bookie; Faith clashes with the mother of a missing girl; Sully puts in a good word for a hit-and-run driver to a completely unsympathetic D.A.; and Bobby is crushed to learn that Matty was an unwitting accessory to a felony homicide.
Faith, Bosco, Sully, Ty and Candyman race through the neighborhood on foot in pursuit of a trio of Uzi-armed thieves; Candyman risks his life to save Ty; Bosco's cold refusal to get medical assistance for one of the perps leads to the robber's death; Ty searches for the truth about his father; Bobby's mother tells the police where to find Matty, who desperately pleads with Bobby to give him some getaway money; Bobby agrees, but begs Matty to turn himself in; Matty gets high and takes off, leaving Bobby crushed and seeking consolation from Kim; and Carlos finds out about Doc and Morales.
It's Valentine's Day and Bobby and Kim have spent the night together; Bobby's confession of love leads Kim to realize that they've made a big mistake; after agonizing all day, she finally confesses and breaks Bobby's heart; seeking solace in a bottle, Bobby finds himself at a local bar next to a woman who has also been jilted that day, and they go off to her place; Fred drunkenly totals the car on the way to pick up Emily and Charlie; Faith arrests him and refuses to bail him out; when he finally arrives home, Faith has his things already packed and throws him out; Carlos tends to a girl who runs into a bus and then falls for him; the gay community is targeted by a gunman and a vigilante group forms to find the killer; Ty arrests a girl for auto theft who turns out to be Malcolm's sister; and Faith lets Bosco know that she is fed up with his bigotry.
As he comes around a corner in pursuit of a gunman, Davis shoots a man who is pointing a gun at Sully, unaware that the man is innocently returning the service revolver which Sully dropped when he fell. Davis's guilt leads him to doubt whether he should remain on the force, until Sully straightens him out. The tension between Bosco and Faith continues to escalate. Both Bobby and Jimmy introduce their new girlfriends to Kim, who isn't thrilled with the potential competition.
Dealing with the aftermath of gang warfare, Doc and Carlos disagree over reaching out to prevent an eleven year old boy from following his brother into a gang; Bosco's decision to turn the tables on two men who try to rob him when he's off-duty could cost him his badge when the two men turn up at the precinct to report the crime; as he continues his losing streak, Jimmy gets deeper and deeper into his bookie, which puts Joey in danger; Kim begins to worry about how much time she spends with Joey after he gets into trouble at school.
The three squads are stationed at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel to provide protection during a Clinton-Giuliani Senate race debate. The cops are assigned to the kitchen and discuss politics and the death penalty while Sully tries to get a reluctant head chef to feed them. The paramedics are parked in the hotel's garage where they talk about their worst cases, religion, relationships, and how life doesn't turn out as planned. Kim and Jimmy have it out again over his irresponsibility after her paycheck is garnished to cover one of his bad debts, and Jimmy resolves to clean up his act.
Yokas continues to have marital difficulties with Fred and, when she meets up with an old flame at the scene of a car accident, she finds herself very tempted to accept his invitation to meet him in his hotel room to catch up on old times. Doc's dad ends up in intensive care leaving Doc with some hard decisions. A perp accuses 'Candyman' of stealing money from him when he arrested him. Davis believes the criminal and is not sure how he is going to answer IAB's questions about what happened, even though he didn't see anything happen. The police station takes on the fire station in a basketball game.
Carlos falls behind in his studies and then hears some shocking news from Vangie; the cops search for a two-year old girl missing after her family is involved in a car crash; Bosco and Faith contend with a disabled man dealing drugs to children; Sully and Davis track down the alcoholic who attacked the pastor of Sully's church.
Doherty shows his bravery trying to save the mother of two young children from a fire. Meanwhile Bosco and Faith are out looking for the man suspected of starting the fire in the first place. Davis tries to set Sully up on a blind date and after her pimp beats up Malcolm's sister they try to find him before he kills the man who did it. Carlos' girlfriend problems escalate and Doc's relationship looks like going to the next stage.
Yokas and Bosco chase a carjacker into a multi-level garage. When the thief drives off the edge of the top level and crashes to the ground, Bobby risks his own life to save the driver. Much to the surprise of everyone who knows him, Bosco goes to the opera with Nicole and her parents. Carlos gets into trouble with his boss and Vangie. Sully and Ty go to help Candyman on a job, and Ty tells Candyman exactly what he thinks of him. Jimmy has news for Kim which surprises her, and annoys Bobby everytime Kim tries to talk to him about it.
Doc and Carlos are rescued by the firefighters when they get trapped in an eighteenth floor apartment with a patient who cannot walk; Ty comes to the end of his probationary period; Faith discovers that she's pregnant again; the firefighters come under fire from a madman when they arrive to fight a car fire.