911 Show: Who Is Rico Priem? Grip Tribute Explained

By Richard Nebens Updated:
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9-1-1 ended its Season 7 finale with a tribute to late professional grip Rico Priem.

9-1-1's Tribute to Rico Priem

tribute picture for Rico Priem at the end of 9-1-1 Season 7, Episode 10
Rico Priem

9-1-1 Season 7, Episode 10 (titled "All Fall Down") ended with an emotional tribute to a crew member named Rico Priem, who worked as a grip on set prior to his unexpected passing earlier in May 2024.

Priem's tragic death on May 11 has sparked a movement among fellow movie & television production workers. Priem, age 66, died as a result of a car accident while driving home following a 14-hour overnight shift on the 9-1-1 set. That shift ended at 4 a.m., and it was his second of two back-to-back 14-hour days on set.

Ethan Ravens, who runs the Production Assistants United Instagram account (which aims to organize production assistants in Hollywood), also spoke on Priem’s death with Rolling Stone.

He explained that there was "no worse thing that could happen to you at work, or coming home from work" when looking back on Priem’s accident.

Writer Ted Sullivan also shared an Instagram post that reposed a tribute to Priem, which included his own message in the picture caption.

Paying tribute to Priem’s family, he implored the need for "strong unions" to "protect workers from corporate greed" while explaining what happens on long shoots like the ones Priem worked.

He made it clear that nobody should lose their life "making a TV show or movie," expressing solidarity with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) union in his message:

"Absolutely tragic news. Rico Priem was killed after working two 14-hour days in a row. He died trying to drive home. No one should die trying to make a living. The death of a crew member hits every production - it's losing one of your own.

My heart goes out to his family, friends and every crew member out there. This is why we need strong unions. We need to protect workers from corporate greed. We jokingly use the term Fraturdays for these types of brutally long shoots at the end of the week. But it's truly no laughing matter. No one should ever die making a TV show or movie.

We stand with you IATSE as you continue to fight for worker rights."

Priem, who was born on in Long Island, New York on August 4, 1957, is survived by his wife, three siblings, a niece, two grandnieces, two nephews, a grandnephew, three cousins, and a dog.

After aspiring to be an actor, he first started working as a grip in California in 1997, and he is credited with over 40 projects on his resume. 

For reference, a grip is a technician responsible for setting up rigging and equipment like dollies and tracks to support cameras and lighting.

Some of his most notable credits include Deadpool, Scandal, CSI, Curb Your Enthusiasm, This is Us, and Star Trek.

The Los Angeles Times reported on multiple quotes regarding Priem's incident, including an IATSE statement noting how "no one should be put in unsafe conditions" in pursuit of making a living:

"Workers have a reasonable expectation that they can get to work and come home safely. No one should be put in unsafe circumstances while trying to earn a living."

Nina Moskol, one of Priem's 9-1-1 coworkers, shared a lengthy message on a Facebook post about his death. 

She called it a "traumatic loss" and noted how she had just worked with him the day before the accident. She even explained to fans that he was "on the cusp of retirement" and looking forward to spending more time with his family.

20th Century Television also offered a statement on his passing, saying the following:

"On behalf of the studio and everyone at '9-1-1,' we send our sincere and deepest condolences to Rico Priem’s family and friends."

The IATSE union is currently in contract negotiations with various studios, making working conditions and long shifts two of the most important issues in discussions.

The Direct sends our deepest condolences to Rico Priem, his family and friends, and the entire 9-1-1 community during this difficult time.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.