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   Crossing The
    Red Line
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The Story Unfolds...

Season Two, Episode Twelve..

 Crossing The Red Line

Debut Launch: 1 July 2004.

From :  Joan <>
Subject :  [EmergencyTheaterLive] A Test Of Wills
Sent :  Saturday, July 3, 2004 1:05 AM

The day was a typical day at Station 51. It was 2pm
and they had had three runs, 2 rescues and 1 fire, none
of which were bad, without any Code I’s.

Even Johnny came away unscathed, so far..

Chet, as usual, had drawn latrine duty, for having
sprung a water bomb on the Cap that was intended for
Johnny. As he mopped the latrine, he grumbled to himself,
“Man, how was I supposed to know the Cap was gonna open
the cabinet before Gage? MAN!”

Johnny and Roy were checking through their equipment
to make sure all their supplies were in order, while Stoker was
polishing ‘Big Red’.

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Cap was in his office trying to catch up on some of
his never-ending paperwork, while Marco was in the kitchen
making his famous chili for dinner.

The guys were all able to enjoy their dinner for once.

Suddenly the klaxons sounded and it turned out to be a
call for the whole station.

“Station 51. Unknown rescue at the Carson City
Hall. 534 East Carson Street. Cross Street Avalon. Time
out 1803."

While everyone ran to their assigned duties, Captain
Stanley acknowledged, “10-4 Station 51 responding. Carson
City Hall 534 East Carson Street. Cross Street Avalon. KMG
365.” And he then ran to the engine.

The men arrived to find the mayor and his secretary
waiting for them,while police and security guards were
trying  to keep people calm and away from the scene.

Captain Stanley went up to the mayor and asked, “Mr.
Mayor, I’m Captain Stanley of the fire department. What
seems to be the trouble, sir?”

“Well, Captain Stanley, the thing is I am not really
sure. All I know is I was in my office dictating a memo to
Linda, my secretary, here when this young man came
running into my office yelling. I thought maybe he was a
disgruntled citizen with a complaint of some kind, you

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Captain Stanley nodded and then introduced Roy and John as the
paramedics, and said, “Go on with your story Mayor Johnson.”

“Ok, well, as I said before, I thought that but it turned out he was
yelling for help. Seems he was sick or something, cause within a
minute or two, he passed right out on my floor and started foaming
at the mouth. After a few seconds, he appeared to wake up and yelled
at me, “Mayor Johnson, you need to tell everyone there is a wild rabid
dog running out right outside this building. I was cleaning the back
up and out of nowhere he attacked me!” After he said this, he again
passed out, and is now lying in my office and hasn’t moved since he
said that. I called you guys right away and I hope I’m not too late.
I have the animal patrol searching for the dog now. Please go
help him, but be careful of that dog. I have no idea where he could be.”

Roy and John assured the Mayor they would attend to the stricken
man immediately and Captain Stanley had his guys assist with the
search, telling them all to be very careful.

While John and Roy were upstairs, the animal control people had
found and corralled the dog and put him down, as he was too far-gone
to be helped.

Their patient, although stable, had never regained consciousness
and Rampart had ordered the dog’s body brought in as well; to
be sure it was rabies and nothing else.

With Roy in front and John in back, they began to transport the
victim. While doing this, John’s foot became entwined with some
loose carpeting in the stairwell and he tripped, losing the stretcher.
As it was only three steps to go, Roy was able to safely put the patient

Image of johnnyroymandownwithboxandstretcher.jpg Image of royrollvictim.jpg Image of johnnycopgrimaceclose.jpg

In the meantime, Johnny stumbled down and landed hard on his left
leg, and hearing a SNAP he fell over, saying, “Oh, Man! I think I
busted my leg, Roy!”

“Ok, Junior, just let me maneuver around you and the stretcher
and call for some help ok? Will you be ok for a minute?”

“Yeah, yeah. Man, what a dumb thing to do! You know, maybe
I should sue city hall.”  And he laughed.

“Glad you are in good spirits there, pal. I’ll be right back.”

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From :  Cassidy Meyers <>
Sent :  Thursday, July 15, 2004 9:11 PM
Subject :  The Unknown Factor

Johnny watched Roy depart, wheeling the
stretcher out into the large lobby of city hall
to where he could see the gang milling about
outside with the Mayor through the paned
glass windows. The ambulance attendants who
had been outside cleared a path through
the crowd of onlookers and took over the
fair haired paramedic's stretcher and the big
Mayfair angled on the curb was quickly loaded up.

Immediately, Johnny saw Cap nod a few seconds
after Roy shouted something to him.  At an order, Marco
and Chet ran off to grab the splint box out of the squad.
He almost blushed in embarrassment when he saw Cap
plaster a face against the doors to see how he was doing.
Seconds later, he saw Mayor Johnson lead the way to show
the firemen the stairway Roy and Gage had used to reach
the office and the mysteriously stricken man.

Cap was right on their heels. "Gage? You ok?" he
boomed no nonsense.

"I'm fine. Just my leg. Might be a fib fracture. It
didn't sound loud enough to be anything else."

"This from the voice of experience.." Kelly nodded.

"Oh,.. cut it out. The carpeting here, came up on
the stair. See?" Johnny waved a hand at everybody to
distract them from looking at how red his face was
becoming under their penetrating eyes.

The mayor did see. He leaned over and told Linda
the secretary to go get an employee with a camera
to take pictures of the area. "Don't you worry about
a thing, Mr. Gage.  I've been at the maintenance
department for weeks about how loose that was.
I'll have your medical bills covered. I set aside
some of my own party's funds to handle all insurance
claims filed for accidents occurring inside the building
a few weeks ago once I found out how badly I was beating
my head against the wall trying to get things done around
here fixing city hall's architectural problems, including that stair."
Just let my secretary know about your bills when they
arrive." and he handed over a business card. "And that
includes any lost wages on the job." he said empathetically.
"I'll have this carpet nailed down in half an hour or my name
isn't William A. Johnson, Jr." He waved over one of the security
guards to stand over the spot until environmental services could
place a caution sign over the area. "It's just a shame that such
a dedicated city servant like you, had to get hurt first to
expedite things."

Johnny took the card, meekily, in awe that he had
such a response so fast from such a high up city official.

Kelly nudged his shoulder with an elbow while
he and Marco splinted up his left lower leg.
"Start moaning. Maybe you'll get more." he
whispered, sotto voce. "Roy told us about what
you said after it happened while he was loading up
the guy."

Gage scowled. "Chet, I was only kidding about that.
Ow, not so tight! Guys, get my shoe off so I can
see how my circulation's doing under that splint."

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Cap came back after radioing on ahead for
a replacement paramedic to take Johnny's
place at the station when they all cleared from
the call. "I had to let Roy go on ahead to Rampart with
the victim. He started right back into another convulsion.
Eight's is shadowing him in their squad in case he gets
into hot water. They were a minute away just off a
cancelled call." He watched with interest while Kelly
and Lopez gingerly peeled off sock and shoe from
Gage's foot. "Is it an open fracture?" he asked,
leaning over to look for blood on the leg.

"No, closed and simple." Johnny grimaced, wiggling his
toes in a neuro and circulation check around the air splint
Lopez and Kelly had applied. "Ok, get me on my feet."
he told them. They helped him up, slinging Johnny's shaking
arms over both their shoulders. "Cap, I can go in the squad.
I'm still fine pain wise."

Cap studied him closely. Gage felt a trickle of cold sweat
pour down his face, betraying him. "I'm not objected to
you calling in another squad to get to some pain meds."

"Cap, this is embarrassing enough as it is without the
entire fire department finding out yet again about another
Gage mishap. It's a stigma I've been trying to erase for
years now."

"This wasn't your fault." Cap reasoned.

"I know that. Neither was just about everything else
that's happened to me. But the other stations are still
keeping bets on my tally. Somehow, they've already found
out about the snake, the monkey virus, my fall off the ladder
because of that flashover, my hit and run accident...."

Mayor Johnson piped up. "Don't forget to tell my attorney
when he calls about your pain and suffering, too. I'll not have
that unaccounted for in your compensation figures." he said
before he hurried away to harrass the just now gathering
maintenance crew.

Gage winced when he realized how that must have
sounded to the frustrated city mayor. He immediately
felt guilty. But the queasy feeling growing in his
stomach made being tactful nearly impossible.

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Johnny tried not to frown as Marco and Chet aided
him out the very crowded antehall and back outside to
the vicinity of the engine and the squad. Cap followed behind
with Johnny's helmet and his sock and shoe. With every hop,
Gage's bound leg felt like it was on fire. ::The splint's on right.
What's the problem?:: he thought, thinking things through.

He made them set him down on the squad's seat with
the door open long enough for him to do a self blood pressure
check when Cap wasn't looking. It was oddly low, and when he
weaved from where he sat, he wasn't surprised when
Mike Stoker suddenly ran up with the engine's spare 02
and clattered it open. Gage never felt himself being lowered
to the ground.

His companions' urgent voices swirled away
into a loud hissing that was announcing the arrival of a
complete and utterly terrifying blackout. His heart started
pounding frantically, rising into his eardrums. Then silence
slammed down over his awareness and he knew no more.


"What the--" Cap startled from his place leaning on the Ward's
doorframe. He had just finished informing L.A. of their status.
He snatched up his HT just as he saw the guys cradle
Gage to the sidewalk under the squad's passenger door.
"Kelly, what happened?" he said as he watched Stoker
set a demand valve over Johnny's nose and mouth and begin
to punch the button on its regulator, delivering fully assisted

Chet looked up from Gage as he and Marco got Johnny's
shirt open. "Don't know. He took his own pressure, gasped,
and then keeled over. Now his heart's racing and Stoker
says he's barely breathing."

"What was it?" Cap asked of the blood pressure reading
his afflicted paramedic had found.

"Eighty palpated." said Lopez.

Hank thumbed his talk bar on the walkie talkie. "L.A. Engine 51. We
have a Code I at our location. Respond an additional squad and
ambulance to 534 East Carson Street and Avalon."

##10-4, Engine 51. Time out, 18: 51.##

Then Cap looked down and saw a spreading rash quickly appear over
Gage's skin and across his chest and neck. "Hold it, hold it."
he ordered when he saw Kelly and Marco starting to free their hands
up for possible CPR. "Guys, keep your gloves on. That looks like
a toxic chemical reaction."  

In horror, they both looked down.

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A gust of wind rose, fluttering Gage's opened uniform shirt and cut
apart T shirt. Chet suddenly groaned and looked away, grabbing
his face. "Oww! My eyes!"

Cap shouted to the security guards to pull the crowds back
from around the firemen, firetrucks and Johnny. "Get them
back!  Way back! There's an unknown chemical effecting us!
Start clearing out all the areas that victim we treated may have
been in contact with. And that includes the stairway! Move
out all civilians using other routes! Do that before
you do anything else!  Mayor Johnson stays on scene.
It'll be your ever lovin' rears if he doesn't. He's possibly been
exposed to whatver this stuff is the same as we have!"

The many city hall guards hastened to follow Cap's orders.

Hank grabbed an air bottle off its exterior rack behind E51's cab
and slid it on. "Marco, get into your air gear, first. I'll get Mike's.
THEN deal with helping Chet wash out his eyes. Whatever this
chemical is, it's potent.."

"I thought something was fishy about that guy.." Chet
coughed, eagerly snatching the reel line Cap dropped
by him to start washing his face and eyes clean. "Rabies
infection doesn't ever set in that fast.."

Air masked donned, Cap got on the radio once again.
"Engine 51, L.A.  Call in a full Hazmat Response Team immediately
and three additional fire stations. Two firemen are down with symptoms
of sudden toxicity. Evacuations of the first floor city hall and second floor
office suites have been initiated by city security personnel. An immediate
Battalion Chief is requested at my scene. We may have an unknown number
of casualties inside the building."  He dropped to his knees, pulling
up his turnout's collar and he bent over Gage to take over his
ventilation care while his engineer hastily got into his SCBA gear.

##10-4, 51. Time out, 18:54.  Response ETA of the rescue squad
is estimated at six minutes to your location. Hazmat and Battalion
reports an arrival in ten.##

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"10-4, L.A. Engine 51 out." Stoker answered for Cap on the
abandoned HT near Cap's knees. "How are you feeling?" Mike
asked Hank ironically as he shoved on his bottle's air mask.

"I'm fine. Calm as peaches, outwardly.." Hank joked.
"You?" he said giving Gage another breath with the ventilator
when his chest didn't rise high enough on its own for his liking.

"Nothing on my end." Stoker said. "I got him.."
and he took over for his captain, gripping Johnny's
pale, dripping face firmly under his gloves to keep
a good open airway.

"Just keep all skin exposed areas on yourself, covered up."
Hank said, rising, his adrenaline heightened breaths whistling
noisily behind his SCBA's face plate. "Marco will stay in case he
crashes further." he added when he saw Lopez's thumbs up from
the solid wash he was giving Chet's head and hair.

Kelly's shirt and coat were abandoned on the sidewalk
and he was down to his white T shirt, kneeling over
the curb to let the hose outwash flow into the sewer drain.

Cap went on, keeping verbal contact with Mike through
both their air masks. "If Kelly checks out ok, I'll put him on
communications until the other stations get here.
Need a relay to Rampart?"

"Yeah, Johnny's throat's getting tight. He may need
to be intubated before the squad gets here." Stoker

"Aren't you glad you've been cross training in the
experimental intermediate paramedic program of Brackett's?
That's been just as innovative this past month as Kelly's cross
training as a backup engineer for us behind DeSoto. I guess
now's your time to shine." he said without a smile. "I'll grab
the spare resp kit from the engine."  

Cap rose in a hurry and tapped Marco on the shoulder,
jerking a gloved thumb over his shoulder at Gage
and Stoker.

Lopez nodded to Kelly, who was shaking his
head like a dog to shed off his contaminated water. "I've got
to go. Gage's in the weeds. Stoker's getting a tube out."
And he dropped the hose into off before he started running.

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Kelly slid into his air mask and bottle that Cap had clunked by his
feet and blinked water out of his eyes. "You, too, Cap. Go on.
I'm ok now.. That strange burning's gone."

"You sure?" Cap asked, keeping a safe short distance between
himself and Kelly.

"Yeah.." Chet voice hissed as he tested his air bottle's regulator.

"Ok. Get on the horn and raise Rampart. Stoker's gonna
need a doctor for.."

"I know.. Marco's just told me." and Chet rushed back to
the other firemen.

A minute later,  Stoker had an HT tucked under one helmeted ear on
open talk mode to Kel Brackett when Cap said. "Ch.. r*st All Mighty.
I forgot about Roy! He's still with the guy who started all of this." Cap
straightened up on his knees and started to call the Mayfair, now half way
to Rampart, speeding Code Three. He whipped up his walkie talkie.
"L.A. Engine 51. Clear me on Tactical to Squad 51's HT. Emergency!"

##Engine 51. You are on Situation First - Go.## came Lanier's crisp

Hank shot to his feet. "Engine 51 to HT 51. Do you read me? Over...."

He barely saw Mike Stoker and Marco Lopez being talked through
Johnny's endotracheal airway insertion. He didn't envy the difficulty
they were facing being stuck inside their work gloves and wearing
their steamed up air masks.

"Engine 51 to Squad 51. This is Captain Stanley on Priority Override.
Do you read?"


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From:  Sam Iam <>
Date:  Fri Jul 23, 2004  12:36 pm
Subject: Threading the Needle

Mike Stoker shouted into the handy talkie perched
onto his shoulder. "Rampart this is Engine 51." he
yelled through his SCBA mask. "My victim is
unresponsive to pain and under full ventilation
support. I have access to basic airway equipment
as the squad is off scene. Victim is showing
a sudden onset rash across his torso and neck
with no evidence of hives. Chest rise is nominal.
There is no obstruction we can see.."  he said
as he got an affirming nod from Marco who
checked yet again for the effectiveness of
the demand valve's seal over Johnny's face.
The latin american firefighter was watching
closely for signs of movement in Gage's limbs
or eyelids and for bad airway trouble in the form
of chest noise.

The engineer sighed as he watched Cap run fast
to coordinate the evacuation of city hall with
a hand held megaphone. He could see Hank was torn
between learning more about their inadvertent chemical
problem and conducting the start of a Level 1 CIS setup.
As yet, there were no other engines, nor batallion chiefs
within earshot. Stoker and Kelly and Lopez never felt
so alone as they did in that moment when Cap
disappeared in the crowd.

## 10-4, Engine 51.. uh, is this Mike Stoker ?##
came Dr. Brackett's face.


Dr. Brackett tilted his head in surprise at
Dixie. He lifted his finger from the talk button.
"I wonder where Roy is?" he frowned at McCall.

Dixie handed him a chart. "Joe handled his call.
He's on the way with an unconscious.  A male of
about 45. Roy said he was an unknown type seizure
with pyschotic episode with no known etiology
other than possible rabies.. Six minutes out."

##That's affirmative, Rampart.## came Stoker's
muffled reply on the radio to Kel's question.

Kel lost all doubt in the firefighter's abilities.
"Stoker. You know the drill. Have your head man start
hyperventilating him. I'll walk you through best
I can. I know you've never done one in the field but
I have full confidence in you. I should know, I trained
you. Now things'll be harder to see on a live
person than what you were used to from the
program. At no time do you hurry. The soft palate's
sensitive in some cases of collapse and the last thing
we need is a laryngospasm clamping down and really
making things difficult. Let me know when you
see the vocal cords, Mike.. You have a minute after
Johnny stops getting vented in order to get in a successful
route. If you can't get one. Wait. Just hyperventilate again for
another two minutes and then try it. Suction is critical if he
vomits from his chemical exposure. Be sure to watch out
for that."

Image of stokerpensiveengine.jpg Image of brackdixjoeekgreadmed.jpg

Stoker's jaw set into a firm line. He didn't even notice
a hose dripping Chet insert himself between Marco and
his arms to start applying cricoid pressure. "I got
this. And a flashlight so you can see what you're doing.."
Kelly coughed and he threaded his second gloved arm
through Mike's hands to light up Gage's face.

Marco had already placed an engine block under
Gage's shoulders to keep his head fallen back.

"Are you hurt?" Stoker asked Kelly, without looking up
from the blade of the scope he was placing carefully into
the right side of Johnny's mouth. "Give me the time."

"Twenty eight seconds since the last breath. And no..."
Chet said. "Just handle Johnny. L.A. says that 24's is
four minutes away. Can you see them yet?" he
mumbled through his breathing gear as he kept
up the hold that now showed Mike the only
passageway down.

Stoker's forehead began to sweat. "Where are they?"
he whispered to himself, moving the strangely
foamy palate away with his blade, searching for the
pearly white vocal cords. Louder he said, "Marco, hand
me a size 7.0 and peel it.  D*mn.. Grade 2, I'm not seeing
all the cords, he's swelling a bit.."

"Take your time, man. Gage's ok, his color's still very
good."Lopez said quietly. "Here. I got it near your left

Mike slid the MacIntosh blade a little lower and
groped for the endotracheal tube. Suddenly,
Johnny's throat locked up and clamped shut.
His mouth fell open in an astonished "oh.." that
translated into the handy talkie.

##What's the problem, 51?## came Brackett's

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"Spasm.. It happened when I lifted the scope. I
can't see anything.." Mike said a little too fast.

##Relax Stoker. You must've bumped the superior
nerve. It'll ease in a bit since he's not chilled. You guys
haven't given him his hose bath yet. Just bag him
gently on ambu until it loosens. Bound to from hypoxia.
Flood him with O2 and try again.## Kel said firmly.
##We've plenty of time..##

"Should I let go?" Chet said of his pressure hold.

"No..." Mike said. "You're probably keeping him from
getting sick. Don't want him aspirating. Keep his
esophagus sealed off just like you're doing."

Kelly was nervous and took the suction wand up
into his free hand nonetheless. Gage's chin twitched.
"Is he waking?"

"Nah. Doc said it's all reflex in class." Mike gasped as he
kept a cross fingers scissor between Johnny's
teeth to keep him from injuring himself on the blade's

##Try pulling back a little, 51.## Dr. Brackett said.
##There'll be less stimulus..##

Mike eased back just a bit and withdrew the blade up
an inch and suddenly, a vocal cord popped into view when
Gage's neck muscles stopped cording. "There! I'm
threading it." he announced with more confidence than
he felt. He tried to keep his hands from trembling.

Kelly looked at his watch. "52 seconds."

Stoker slowly advanced the tube until it settled
onto its mark. "I'm in." he said. "Hand me the
ambu.." he said, inflating the airway's internal bottom
cuff with a syringe.

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   Crossing The
    Red Line
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