While it’s undeniable that people were shocked when Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire on April 15, 2019, the global efforts, hopes and prayers that followed brought everyone together. However, as Netflix’s “Notre-Dame, la Part du Feu” carefully recounts, the unwavering way in which all the Paris firefighters mobilized was simply exceptional. They did it under the command of General Zacharie Ducourt in this six-part drama – so if you’re curious if it was the same thing in reality or not, we’ve got you covered.
Is General Ducourt a real person?
From the moment General Zacharie Ducourt first encounters our screen, he has this sheer presence that makes it obvious he can take control of a room whenever and however he wants. This despite being presented to us in a somber way – mourning the death of his son (from a fire two months prior) and determined to resign from the service after three decades. He even has the resignation letter in his pocket when he gets the call about Notre Dame, prompting him to rush to the scene without hesitation since leading the Brigade was his second nature.
The general struggled with his own demons as well as the risk factor because he didn’t want to expose himself to loss or loss of life, but he was eventually able to start listening to his instincts again. It was then that the Paris Fire Brigade (BSPP) was able to bring the situation under control and put out all the flames inside the culturally significant structure. Also, in the end, his growth was evident as he not only burned his abdication letter to the Chief Commissioner, but he also became more accepting of his late son’s partner and their unborn child.
However, the truth is that General Ducourt doesn’t really exist – he’s just a strong, fictional individual created from the ground up to fit the complex narrative of this French production. That’s not to say every aspect of him came out of nowhere, as the current Brigadier played similar roles in 2019, but likely without the dark personal issues. It was General Jean-Claude Gallet, and he exercised the same command over the firefighters on duty as General Ducourt does in the series – as also indicated in Romain Gubert’s book “La Nuit de Notre-Dame”.
It’s imperative to note that this book (English title: “The Night of Our Lady”) actually serves as inspiration for the show, especially since it includes first-hand accounts from those directly involved. General Gallet’s basic professional characteristics therefore probably gave way to General Ducourt’s design, but their sagas are apparently so different that they simply cannot be compared. In other words, while the latter draws some of its essence from real, brave people who willingly risked their lives to save a historic landmark, it’s fictional in every way that matters.
Where is Jean-Claude Gallet now?
General Ducourt had only planned to do so, but General Jean-Claude Gallet actually chose to step down from his position after three decades of active service on November 30, 2019. The then 55-year-old has publicly stated that he was happy to have been given the opportunity to lead the fire department for over two years (September 2017), but it was just time for him to start a new chapter in his life. Therefore, today, from what we can tell, the native of La Roche-sur-Yon continues to reside around Paris, France, alongside his family, where he works as an author, volunteer and character. audience.
Read more: Is Notre-Dame based on a true story?