“Chicago Fire”'s Alberto Rosende Is 'Proud' of Time on the Show but Says It 'Wasn't Easy' to Leave

Rosende joined the NBC hit in season 8 as firefighter candidate Blake Gallo

<p>Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC via Getty Images</p> Alberto Rosende as Blake Gallo on

Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC via Getty Images

Alberto Rosende as Blake Gallo on 'Chicago Fire'

Alberto Rosende is keeping Chicago Fire close to his heart after leaving the series.

The actor, who has played firefighter Blake Gallo since season 8, was revealed last week to be departing the NBC series and will make his final appearance in the show's season 12 premiere in January.

Opening up about the shakeup in an Instagram Story on Saturday, the 30-year-old actor briefly spoke about his time on the series — as well as how "proud" he was of the work he's done through the project.

"When I decided to end my time with Chicago, it wasn't easy," Rosende wrote, per Deadline. "The people I've met were truly special, the friendships I've made will last a lifetime, and the story I got to tell was one that made me proud."

Rosende added: "Can't wait to see what else is in store and I wish everyone the best in shooting the rest of the season."

Related: Chicago Fire Star Kara Killmer to Exit Series During Season 12

<p>Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images</p> Hanako Greensmith and Alberto Rosende on 'Chicago Fire'

Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Hanako Greensmith and Alberto Rosende on 'Chicago Fire'

Rosende joined the popular drama in its eighth season, playing new Firehouse 51 candidate Blake Gallo. The character's four-season arc included an on-screen romance with Hanako Greensmith's Violet Mikami. But before a fling emerged between them, Rosende was unsure if love was in the cards for the two characters, especially given Violet's romantic ties to Jimmy Nicholas' Evan Hawkins, who died in the season 11 episode "Completely Shattered."

"Hawkins and Violet's relationship is actually really a beautiful thing to see," Rosende said in October 2022, per Looper. "If anything were to happen to them, I think the audience would be crushed. So, I don't know anything can happen [with them breaking up]. In terms of her and Gallo, they're in a place where they're kind of in this middle ground and they both need to keep growing and evolving. Nothing's off the table."

Related: SVU, Chicago Fire, The Voice and More Set Return Dates as NBC Announces 2024 Premieres

<p>David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images</p> Alberto Rosende

David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Alberto Rosende

Going into season 12, Rosende's departure isn't the only change coming to Firehouse 51. PEOPLE confirmed last month that Kara Killmer — who has played paramedic Sylvie Brett since season 3 — will also be exiting the series during season 12.

However, Taylor Kinney will make his long-awaited return as Lieutenant Kelly Severide in season 12. His comeback comes after PEOPLE confirmed in January that Kinney, 42, was taking a leave of absence to "deal with a personal matter."

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Season 12 of Chicago Fire premieres Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

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