The sight of Station 127's Captain Gorman, kneeling |
before McConike's crushed batallion car in a
prayer, drove away all further thoughts concerning his
own well being in DeSoto and the
sandy haired paramedic
left the depressing street to rejoin Johnny in the squad.
Gage was behind the wheel.
::Guess I'm not the only one feeling jumpy about
Cap today..:: Roy
At Rampart, Dixie kept looking
up at the hallway which
led to the main Emergency Doors. She had just arrived
from home to start
her swing shift when she had heard the
shocking news of Chief McConike's passing.
She had glanced
up for the fifth time when Kel, standing
next to her, finally commented about it. "Are you expecting
someone?" he asked. Then he quipped, "I mean apart from
the emergencies you and I usually see every
McCall chuckled with a wry smile. "As a matter of
fact, yes, I am. Though I wish I weren't.
I hate it when there's
a death in the FD. Seems every man on the department finds
his way here
to be with the deceased's family or with the deceas--."
she said, breaking off, not elaborating further.
Brackett looked up and stroked her arm in support.
"Yeah, they always come. But this particular
one's probably just
striking the men a little harder and deeper than most. He was a
Maybe even infamous to some. But I do
know his sudden death's effecting even me. Chief McConike was
of the lynchpin lecturers who helped me out in court during the
early stages of the paramedic
program. I honestly believe
that if it hadn't been for him, there'd BE no paramedic program.
Roy would probably be just another engine fireman. And Johnny.."
Dixie grinned. "And Johnny would
probably still be a juvenile
delinquent serving off probationary time as a volunteer
Brackett sighed, tapping the side of his unread chart into his
palm. "Well said.
And it's all true. We owe alot to what the chief
stood for and all that he's done for us.."
that still doesn't explain why no one's shown up yet, Kel.
Nurse Evan's told me that it's already
been an hour and a
half since he died."
"Maybe the initial shock and disbelief has a lot to
do with it.
I still can't believe it and I was there when Joe pronounced
him. It'll take time
to really sink in."
Dixie set down the coffee cup that suddenly didn't taste
"Anything I can do for you, Kel? ...You're
the only one within my empathy's range so far."
easy smile fell away. "The Chief's still in the treatment room.
And the mortician's now ready to do
his prelim death certificate
exam downstairs. Would you mind taking him down there
for me? Joe needs me in treatment five on the
case with ketoacidosis now that she's responding to
I won't have the time t--"
"Sure, Kel.. Somehow it's fitting that a friend, and not
nameless orderly, goes with him, to his last visited place here
at the hospital."
"Thanks, Dix." And Kel was gone in a flurry of white.
Dixie McCall took a deep breath before entering
darkened room. She was ready for just about
anything regarding the state of McConike's fatal
What she wasn't prepared for, was that Gail, was still there.
By herself. "Oh, my g*d,
Gail. You're alone?"
"Dixie?" said the older woman, lifting her head from McConike's
hand. "I-Is that you?" she sobbed.
Dixie hurried around the bed and enveloped the petite Irish
woman deeply into her arms. "I'm so sorry I wasn't here
when he was brought in. I just got on
duty about five minutes
ago." Then her anger rose. "When I get through talking with
staff about leaving you here like this, why I--"
"Dixie, it's not their fault. I asked them to
go away and to
wait on telling my family. I wanted to do it. Only, I haven't
been able to move..."
and she fell into yet another string
of crippling sobs.
Nurse McCall pulled over an exam stool
for Mrs. McConike
and sat her down. She then paced over to the medicine
cabinet and located some
kleenix. Then she knelt by
the distraught woman, holding her hand and set the box
of them onto
her lap. "It's ok, Gail. We'll tell them
just as soon as you've hold enough over your emotions
do it. Here, have some more." she said gently. Then she
hugged Gail tightly in utter sympathy and
her own eyes sting with moisture. "I know. I know.."
she soothed as Gail cried even
stronger. "Your husband
was a great great man, and I'm utterly proud of the fact
that I had the
wonderful privilege of knowing him." she said,
her voice breaking, too..
Gail clung closer
to Dixie and only then did
the full brunt of her grief finally come rippling out.
It was a
long time later, when Gail began to relax.
She sighed, looking at Dixie, but then she rose
the stool to take McConike's work gnarled palm
once more into her own. "I suppose you came in here,
and her breath hitched only slightly. "...to take him away.."
Dixie went to her side and
gripped her hand, but she
nodded. Mrs. McConike had as level a head as her
thirty years husband
once did and she said.
"Well, I suppose you do need this space for others
now. " she sighed quietly.
"Can I help you with him?" Gail
asked, suddenly seeking Dixie's face for anything,
any task at
all just to have something to do.
Dixie's face calmed then and she smiled slightly.
There's only a few things we need to do first
before I leave with him. We will be moving him to a
suite downstairs until your family comes."
"I'd really like that.. please.."
eyes were grief bright but brave, as she beheld her
husband's shattered body when Dixie lowered the
to disconnect all tubes from the quiescent machines
the arrangements myself.."
"Thanks.." she sighed.
"Do you think..uh,
do you think Melton felt anything
when the building--"
"No, no, Gail. I don't think he did.
said that he was unconscious immediately afterwards
because his helmet couldn't
provide enough prot-- uh.." she
broke off, mentally kicking herself for talking so frankly
speaking. "He was knocked out then, Gail. Right
away. So I don't think he was even aware of what
happening to him. Some of McGiven's personal notes said
as much on his run sheet."
just held a hand to her mouth, staying still, then she
spoke at last. "You two must be right, for
h-he does look
"He does.." Dixie instantly agreed.
Gail lovingly ran
her hand up the quiescent Chief's arm and to
his face before she gave him a soft kiss on his bandage
wrapped forehead around the cervical collar.
"Are-are you going to take that....out?" Gail said,
to the EOA still taped to her husband's very pale lips as
she smoothed down his gore
"I'm afraid we're not allowed to. That will have to stay there.
I'm sorry. But
you can help me with this if you like?" Dixie said,
unfolding a liquid proof satchel from a lower
that was person sized. ::Thank g*d, this looks like a
sleeping bag.:: Dix thought. "We
...have to get him off
...this backboard next." she said gauging Gail's reactions to
all her information.
But McConike's small wife was very solid
even at the height of her despair and her color never wavered
into fainting shades.
Dixie decided to let her stay in the room for the
rest of his post care.
"Ok..k" Gail said. "Can we wash him up first, Dixie? I-I don't
want him to look unpresentable
to--" she said, her voice
"Sure we can.. I'll go grab a basin from over there."
She knew from the tight bandaging on the chief's wounds
that most places she could
see on him could be cleaned without
unnecessarily horrifying Gail with their post death bleeding.
She had already seen the snugly taped off sites where the
earlier nursing staff had stopped the
chief's running IVs so
those punctures wouldn't do just that in front of family members.
they gave McConike his final bath, Gail began to sing
a hymn to him, very softly, and its sweetness
of Dixie's pain and her own, waft quietly away into the stillness
of the treatment room.
Lunch was completely untouched, but
sleep still tried
to sneak up on most of the gang hanging out in the rec room
and kitchen. Cap,
had secluded himself into his office, and
uncharacteristically, his door was shut to his men.
Gage had noticed that detail after he had taken his afternoon
shower. He looked up at Roy, pouring
himself a cup of coffee.
He made a face when the first sip entered his mouth, cold.
hadn't the heart to complain to Stoker to make any
new coffee despite it being his task today to cover
Johnny did it himself, without a fuss, only afterwards
saying.. "Huh.. not hungry either
eh?" he asked Stoker, patting
him on the shoulder around where the engineer
was hiding behind
his newspaper for some privacy.
"Not especially. Even Boot's not eating." Stoker replied without
taking the paper down between them.
"Really?" Gage said in surprise, looking around.
just where did Boot go?"
"He's in the office with Cap.." Chet said, looking up from a
find that he really wasn't concentrating on with any
enthusiasm. "He kept scratching on the door to
be let in
until Cap finally did it."
"Oh." The fact that Boot was sticking to Hank like glue
to worry Gage big time.
Roy had overheard the conversation but decided to be just a
listener for the duration. He got out a mop bucket on his
own volition and started methodically mopping
the undirty floor.
Mike dutifully lifted up his feet when Roy got to his side of the table.
cooked today?"DeSoto finally asked, seeing the untouched
stroganoff pot cooling on its orange potholders
on the table.
"Cap..did. He got it made and on the table in less than ten
minutes while you
two were out back helping Marco hang
that hose." Kelly replied.
Roy tried a little psychology.
"Man, sure smells good. It would
be a shame to let such a great meal go to waste." he said
room at large.
"I don't see you eating any.." Marco said from his place slumped
on the couch,
pretending a snooze with a magazine over his
Roy mildly cocked his eyebrows at being
outsmarted in his
own game. "I might...." he admitted, sliding the pot of pasta with his
to a place more center on the table. Stoker
began unnecessarily straightening out a few table place
as Roy concluded his sentence.."..later..." DeSoto admitted.
Johnny finally moved
from where he was numbly standing,
seeking a seat. He almost sat in Cap's recliner when he
his mind at the last second, nimbly. "Oh, no..
I'd better stay out of his SPOT.. He might be coming
any second now. "
"Wanna bet?" Chet said sarcastically. "Cap's really busted up.
you see his face out there, Johnny? I've never seen him
so hurt, not even when he was partially electrocuted
wire the other year."
Johnny's crafty helping grin fell away into one of worry almost
as deep as Marco's.
Even Roy stopped mopping.
"Just what do you think he's doing in there?
Sounds quiet. If he
wanted to get away to let loose a few tears he could've gone
out into the yard.
No one would've bugged him until the tones
"Who knows, Chet.." Johnny said sharply.
"How can any of us
say how Cap should be reacting right now? I mean he just lost
his best friend.."
then he amended himself. "All right, maybe
not his completely best friend, but McConike sure as h*ll
a close fellow colleague and coming to that, now that I think
about it, McConike was Cap's
old CAPTAIN, long before
any of us even KNEW about firehouses.." Gage concluded.
"So of course
he's bound to act a little weird. I know I would
act a little nuts myself if I had found out that
Cap had been
the one squashed in that car this morning."
No one debated Johnny's theory or
voiced an opinion about
the tacky way Gage referred to McConike's grisly end.
The silence dragged
almost as slowly as the afternoon sun.
Until Roy began mopping again.
Johnny rubbed his face
in fatigue and parked on the couch
next to the nonsleeping Marco. "Man, what I wouldn't give
an alley dumpster fire right about now, anything for a
From : "Cory Anda" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
: [EmergencyTheaterLive] Sky Heat...
Date : Sun, 06 Apr 2003 04:08:03 +0000
It was as
if a diety had been listening. The tones
went off and they went off long. Johnny flung his
upward in a grateful gesture and said,
"Thank you.." with all the sincerity he could muster.
51 with brush assignment Station 36.
Automobile accident. Half mile north of Topeka Canyon
Alameda Way. Half mile north of Topeka Canyon on
Alameda Way. Engine 36 reports smoke showing off
road. Be advised Chopper Nine has been notified.
Time out, 14:06.##
As one, the gang rushed
out but not before grabbing
a breadstick or two each from a lunch basket for
was nearest, so he acknowledged the
run, "Station 51, 10-4, KMG 365."
Running along the wall
towards the squad,
Johnny saw Cap's office door open as Cap ran out
towards the engine. In a brief
glimpse, he saw a dusty
file open on Cap's desk with official looking papers
lying there. And
Boot was under the desk, watching
Cap go. ::I wonder what in heck those are?:: Johnny
But then the door swung shut on its own,
blocking out the sight and then there was no more
En route, Cap came over the squad's radio on side
channel.##Engine 51 to
squad 51. I've just spoken to
Captain Carter of 36's. He reports two victims. A mother
daughter panicked and left the scene; a girl of
eleven. His men are trying to locate her but they
hampered by a grass fire discovered in the area.##
"10-4, Engine 51. " and Johnny
hung up the mic on its spigot
when he heard the frequency close. "Man, that canyon's still
be tinder dry. Remember it from our visit with those
anthrax sick wool weavers from last month? I
this one doesn't escalate into a wildfire."
"Yeah.." Roy commented as they sped
destination. "I heard from Dwyer yesterday over lunch
that all our water choppers
are already busy out at the
Murphy Canyon Blaze over in the next county. It's
amazing that L.A.
managed to find one for our call."
##Let's hope we don't need it. ## Gage said, his eyes
tracing the horizon for telltale smoke over by
the mountains to the north. ##Last thing I wanna do
sweat to death hiking all over those hills wearing
SCBA and then needing a sudden bath in a water
Roy made a face of mutual dislike at the thought and
waggled his head in agreement.
"Don't speculate too
much. I'm not liking the picture you're painting, pally."
"Wow, would you look at that?" Gage said. "Looks
like there's a storm sitting over our mountain."
"Oh, yeah?"Roy said, not looking away from his
driving. "Fat lot of good that'll do. That'll
relief at all. It's too hot to rain."
Fifteen minutes later, 51 arrived at the isolated
L.A. indicated. The squad pulled a "U"-ie so that it
pointed back towards the way out and
the cumbersome engine. 36 had already strung hoses
from the rural parkland hydrant system
and his men's attention were divided between staying
with the victim by the shattered
car and fighting a
brush flare that didn't seem to have been caused
by the car itself.
gang bailed out. Johnny and Roy immediately
headed for the woman seated and hysterical on the
She was being supported upright by one of
Carter's men. She was already wearing a nasal cannula
and was being encouraged not to move around where
she sat upright against his shoulder. He told them
more. "She got a little too much smoke here. Don't
think she's injured. Found her walking around when
we got here."
He glanced around while Johnny introduce them and who
to her. DeSoto looked up at Captain Carter
before Hank could drag him away for the fire's details.
"Where's your paramedics?" he asked him.
Steven punched down his HT's antennae after listening|
to a report from his hose team insinuated inside
the smoking tall grass. "On another call. That's why
you got one." he said with a shrug. Then he turned
attention to his primary hose line washing down around
the car itself to dilute any spilled
Roy grunted in sympathy and turned his attention back
towards his victim.
barked out orders. "Marco. Flank around upwind with
our brush hose and back up the beta team in there.
with you. Chet, start searching for the missing girl. And this last
is for all of
you. Have your air bottles glued on tight and I
mean it." he insisted, knowing the tendency of his
to not want to secure any straps snugly down over their
thick coats in such hot weather.
"Right, Cap." they all replied and they scattered.
Hank and Steven locked into further planning
The woman blurted out actively when she overheard the
part about Kelly going after
her daughter. "Please, find her.
Ohmyg*d. Her name's Alex."
"Alex?" Cap asked. "Chet, you
"Yeah, Cap." he shouted, flying into his gear and a
search rope tied to the engine
in record time. "Are you
covering my rope?"
"I was so stupid.." the woman gasped.
"Why didn't I
expect a bolt to hit the road.. I.."
"A bolt? Bolt of what?" Gage glanced up
he was carefully examining the mother.
"Heat lightning." Captain Stanley said from
"It's what started this fire. Just look at that tree. It's
peeling like a piece of rotten
fruit." he pointed.
"It was s-so.. loud.." the woman sobbed. "I lost control
of the car and
crashed into the rocks at the edge of
"All right. All right.." Roy soothed. "Don't
your daughter. We'll find her. Just start concentrating
on yourself, ok? Try to calm
down. You're breathing
a little too fast and you're hyperventilating. Just try to
The woman fought to obey, clutching at Roy's jacket.
"Do you hurt anywhere? How's your
and neck?" DeSoto asked her while Johnny got
a BP off her arm carefully.
ok.. I think."
"No pain here?" Roy said palpating around her head and
around her neck after
he checked out her eyes with
The woman shook her head. "I'm fine. *cough* Listen,
forget about me. I have to go find Alex..!" she
tried to rise. All three of them restrained her.
"We are. We are.." Roy insisted."We have someone already
doing that. Now you're going to have to
calm down a bit and
let us finish checking you out. Ok?"DeSoto spoke soothingly.
"If you try not
to panic, you'll feel a lot better."
Chet felt like he was the only one in the world inside|
the smoky canyon. He felt the drag of the
bite into his waist as he yanked it over brush and shrubs
as he called out. "Alex?! Can you
Already, the air mask dangling about his neck weighed
a ton as he shoved through gnarling
masses of dried canyon
rushes and oriented himself downridge. ::If I were running
Where would I go?:: he thought. Then his
eyes swept into the shadowy trees. ::Man, I sure hope
didn't go in there, that's a high place. Totally unsafe
under these clouds.::
Right then, from
the very thick copse of eucalyptus trees
he was studying, Chet heard a frightened shout. "Mom!?
Chet shouted back. "She's over here by me! Fire
Department!" Then Chet saw a glimpse
of white come
towards him. ::It's her!:: he thought excitedly. "This way
honey. This way! Come
Just as quickly, a tremendous jolt of lightning from the
parched sky shot down into the
child's thicket in front of Chet,
knocking him to his knees. Chet reflexively threw an arm over
eyes as the bolt's thunder deafened him and rattled
through his very bones. It died away immediately
was not repeated. But the angry snarl of new fire
crackled into slow life in the canopy above
him and flaming
sparks rained down on top of him as fresh smoke rose
to strangle him with its sharp
bite. He hastily put on his mask,
crawling forward. "Alex?!"
There was no reply. Chet Kelly
no longer knew which
direction he was heading in. But the image of the girl's
figure was still
blazed in his mind's eye. Something made
Chet redirect to his left and uphill. His gloves hit clothing.
She moaned where she sprawled on the ground, half
unconscious. Chet could smell burned
from her arm. ::She's been hit?:: he wondered.
Kelly whipped off his air mask
and gave it to her, coughing
in the growing smoke. "It's all right. I got you. Just hang on.
taking you to your mother." He crouched low
enough over the child to monitor her while his other
hand dug into his pocket for his HT. "HT 51 to Engine 51.
I found her. Help me back! And send a hose
down my line.
There's another hot spot!"
##They're on their way. Do you need a stokes?## Cap's
"Negative.. Just take up my slack..!" Chet answered back.
pal ! I'm taking up your line now.##
Chet snatched up the girl into his arms just as he felt his
rope tighten and pull him along by the waist, guiding him
up the hill. He kept eyes on the girl's
chest as she
breathed in the clearer air inside the mask as he struggled
with her to the top and
the road. Once he saw vehicle red,
he shrugged off his bottle and her mask and sank down
curb by the squad's fender, shouting. "Cap! I'm up!
Get Johnny over here! I think the lightning got
her real bad!"
He lowered the girl to the road just as she went limp.
"Sh*t. Sh*t. Sh*t..."
Chet murmured, getting a grip around
her jawline, feeling for the presence of a carotid and assuring
that she had a clear airway. He could feel how cool and diaphoretic
she seemed despite the heat.
A pulse was there, thudding
irregularly. He slipped a hand to her stomach as he listened at her
"Alex... Can you hear me?" She twitched but failed
to breathe adequately to Chet's liking. "Come
on, Cap! Gage!
I'm over here! Get the O2 on the fly!"
Alex's lips starting turning blue. Kelly carefully tipped back the |
girl's head more where they
lay and gave her a breath of his
own, followed by another.
Cap shot out of the smoke, dropping
Chet's lifeline and
crouched by them. "She got a heartbeat?" he asked
when he saw Chet doing mouth
Together, Cap and Chet moved off the parking lot curb
the girl out flat and Stanley shoved her
white shirt up out of the way, baring her chest so they
monitor her ventilations better. He wrapped his
hands around her torso, feeling the effect of Chet's
After giving her another two breaths, Chet heard and felt
the girl start to cough
weakly and he lifted his mouth
away as her ribcage began to seesaw slightly.
Johnny came running
through the murky haze with
the clattering oxygen apparatus and the biophone.
"I think that last bolt grazed her." Kelly
replied. "She quit breathing for a bit. Now, she's
"Let me at her.." Gage said. He hastily set a
pediatric demand valve over her face and gave her
a couple of rich shots into her lungs. After three,
he felt her actively resist his aid, against the
and he said. "Doing good now. Take this from me.
Looks like she's taking draws on her own."
Kelly slid to her head position, wiping the sweat off
his brow as he took over her airway care.
Cap glanced at Johnny. "Need me?"
"Nah.. she's stable enough. Don't think she'll
now." Gage said, yanking his stethoscope
from around his neck to his ears so he could listen
her breath sounds. To himself, he was glad
the smoke was thick enough to keep the girl's
from seeing her daughter yet.
Cap then rose and..........
From :Sam Iam <email@example.com>
Subject : [EmergencyTheaterLive]
Oh For A Drop of Rain...
Date :Sun, 6 Apr 2003 11:56:34 -0700 (PDT)
.....took a good
look around him. ::This is just a
two point fire from the looks of it. Just here
by the car and
then down in the grove where the
little girl was found.::
John gave him a fast glance briefly,
flickering of the eyes as he checked the little
girl for signs of lightning strike.
Cap offered a token nod. "There's no way I'm gonna
let that blaze surround us. Not if I can help it."
Johnny and Kelly both grinned while they worked
to assess Alex's true condition.
Cap, it's more like YOU needing to relax. We trust ya, "
he joked. "It's all that
desert dry brush out there that's
gotta listen to ya now. Like we do everyday.."
smile was scant. "How's she doing?"
Johnny's smile dropped away in a flash when
he got his
final blood pressure reading. "Ask me
that again in two minutes..all right?" And Gage
to the girl's ear around the oxygen
mask. "Alex.. honey, you're doing just fine.
coming any minute to be with ya.
Ok.. so don't worry about that. We got ya here
with us now safe
Watching, Hank was touched on a deep level. He didn't
know Johnny talked to his
unconscious patients like
that, on a one to one, being so personal. ::Maybe I just
that before, being always too busy directing
a fire scene to see him do it.::
thoughts were disrupted when Steven
Carter jogged up to them from the direction of
He spoke quietly to just Cap.
Hank noticed that both Steven's gloves were wet.
asked. "You took up a hose.. Is everything all
"No. The first fire's getting away from
our men. We've gotta
Hank gripped his HT even tighter in worry. "Our victim
be moved yet, she's only just been pulled out of
"Sorry, Hank. Tell that
to the fire."
In reply, the bright hazy skies spit heavy heat lightning out
at them in an angry
rumble, very close above them, making
both captains duck reflexively.
Johnny and Kelly, too,
both hunched over the burned little
girl protectively, eyeing the sky uncomfortably. Chet voiced
"Do it. Immediate evac. The fire's winning. So we're not waiting
on the ambulance.
You and Gage have five minutes to do what
you've got to do. Then I want her packaged up to be taken
Chet nodded, and he relayed Hank's orders to Johnny when
he had a pause on
the phone verbally.
The smoke only got thicker, and there was a subtle change
causing the hair
at the nape of Cap's neck to suddenly prickle
in warning. The smell of pungent burning meadow had
tarry and Cap's eyes suddenly stung in searing steam as
a powerful wind gust swept new
ash and embers into
his face. ::That's blacktop on fire.:: he thought, even
though he couldn't
see it. ::Aww, nuts.. We don't even have
THAT little time?..:: He gave a shout. "Everybody! Masks
No exceptions! We've a fireline making its way up. It's
hit the road already. I want all hose
teams to find that
new phalange of burn and snuff it out. If we get trapped in
no hope for us on having any air to breathe.
Airway protect those victims!..These fumes are only
to get worse."
Steven Carter of 36's lifted his HT. "L.A., this is Engine
the status of Chopper Nine? Our fire situation
is escalating more rapidly than we realized. We've
on the road. We need an immediately path cleared
along the way out of here, a.s.a.p! Respond
four company brush assignment."
##10-4, 51. ## There was a pause in their HQ
##Chopper Nine has made a
pickup at the reservoir and will rendevous to your
location in five
minutes.## dispatch answered.
"10-4. Engine 36 out." and Steven pocketted his
HT. "There you
have it, Hank. It's a scoop and run
"We'll be ready.." Cap replied about his
responsibilities and the extra duty his station had
to manage them.
The two captains
separated to go watch over
their own company's activities while they waited
for their ace in the
hole, Chopper Nine, to come
zeroing in. Cap aimed one of the engine mirrors up
into the sun as
a reflector point to catch the pilot's
eye. ::It's not like there's a ton of metal beyond
on our vehicles. He'll spot us just fine..::
he reasoned. Already, the sun was lighting up the
dancing black, gray and white smoke arching
over them from the canyon, fanned by the rising storm
To go to Page Four, Click the Biophone