The Face In The Mirror by Patti Keiper ( Anotherjaneway )
Rating: [G] Mild swearing|
Code: E! Canon style, third person. Guest appearances :
cross over characters, Craig Pomeroy(Parker Stevenson)
and Jill Riley(Shawn
Weatherly) from NBC's era run of
Baywatch Season One, circa 1989. (See Panic At
Malibu Pier- the "real" series pilot)
Summary: Roy DeSoto makes a mistake in
the field and has
to deal with the possibility of losing his job.
The gang goes on a sea fog bank multiple car pile up
rescue and run into trouble.
Disclaimer: Sole property of those who made the show.
All things Emergency!
belong to Mark VII Productions
and Universal Studios
Comments: I wrote
this piece for sheer joy of it after fans begged
me to write more. I apparently have
a very vivid style
that makes my stories feel like a real Emergency episode.
This series is responsible for getting me into the
field, working as an NREMT in
Minnesota. P.S. I love you Johnny Gage and Roy
DeSoto, you are my heroes. The actors aren't so
bad either. :) All
the other EMS TV shows which
followed in Emergency!'s footsteps, can't hold a
candle to the universal character appeal of this
series. Like an
episode itself, I have rescues
featured inside this story that are based on some
experienced myself. I was Roy touching the charged
and Cap, fighting to keep a child alive,
without a demand valve, just like you'll
in this story. I have taking liberties
the psyche of Roy DeSoto. Writing muses
work your magic! If you aren't sucked into
within the first three lines, I am not doing my job!
Enjoy and may you have a wild ride, gentle readers.
THE FACE IN THE MIRROR
It was nine in the morning at the Ojai
campus. Roy DeSoto was starting up yet another
vo-tech course of CPR for public citizens.
Johnny Gage was setting out the resusi-mannequin
onto the blue gym mat on the floor, and
electronic wires in place. "Huh, you must be crazy,
Roy. Working doubles, then teaching
the morning of
your day off.." he scoffed, part teasing, part
complaining. "Don't tell me you've
got a new addition
on the house you're trying to pay for."
"Not for the house...." Roy said,
shifting on his feet,
and studying his polished shoes.
Gage's smile wiped into a huge grin,
bubbled as understanding dawned.
"Yep. Joanne found out for sure last night
John dropped the dummy and rose, pumping Roy's arm
like a happy
uncle.. "Well, I'll be.. congratulations,
buddy." He leaned in, hitting Roy on the shoulder,
great! Three's a more rounded number."
When his partner frowned in confusion, John added,
say families have 2.6 kids per household." His
face fell ruefully, but amused, "But in my case, it's
definitely a negative number."
Roy handed John a cup of coffee from the counter
by a sunny
window. "Don't lose hope, Johnny,
You've only had what? Five crash and burn dates
Not a bad average.. And the summer's
"Not a bad average.. Not a bad aver--?"
lifted the coffee to his lips. It never got there.
"Yeah,...but when will I find HER..?" he sighed.
"I seem to have better luck attracting hairy furballs
than women lately.."
"Fine.. She's quiet. Doesn't mind going to the neighbor's
when I'm at work.
And she's the one who's been finding me those
dates to begin with." John said, polishing his fingernails
his grey terry shirt. He adjusted the navy bandana tied
around his forehead up a little more,
drawing his mouth up
Roy rolled his eyes, "They say, dogs attract girls like moths
to the flame."
"And this flame is hot to trot..." John said, "I've landed a date
"Oh?" Roy asked, "Who?" he said with a wide splitting yawn.
"Betty..." his partner said mysteriously.
"In fact, she's going
to be one of your students today.. Moreno thought he
saw Betty's name on
your roster there.." He said pointing to
Roy folded his arms. "And I thought you
volunteered to help me
with the class today just to be magnanimous." he said levelly,
"I am being magnanimous.." John said with conviction, stabbing
Roy's yellow t-shirted
front with a finger.
Roy didn't believe a single word, "Only as long as it takes to enforce
heroic rescuer image on her with this course work. I'll
just bet you're going to volunteer to be her
You know, to get in real tight and personal with her right off."
beamed into a pleased smile, "Hey, I never even
thought of that angle.. You know, for a very happily
man. You're pretty savvy.. Thanks.. partner.."
He watched as Roy fell into another series
of face tearing
yawns. "You'd better get more sleep from now on. Even
your wrinkles are getting
wrinkles.. Start getting some more
sleep or I'm going to haveta take over driving the squad."
Roy was about to launch a protest when there was the sound|
of a bell and the rumble of many footsteps
John put a finger to his lips, "Later... Now you're on.
act natural.. You know.. Make me look
good.." he said with a pleading look, sitting at one
desks. He took up a hotdog from a pouch in his
knap sack, on cue, and started munching loudly.
Roy sighed deeply and just shook his head.
He took a seat in the first of twenty empty ones ringing
the demo mat and flipped his baseball cap around,
looking nonchalant as he slumped there.
was the usual nervous mix of new housewives,
looking to gain the reassurance of the first aid training
for their infants. Or, like this month, the latest teen aged
summer lifeguards chosen from high
school job programs
to fill needs for L.A. County's vast ocean beach front.
He became one
of many to introduce themselves to each
other in casual social groups. About five minutes later, the
class took in the air that the teacher wasn't in yet
and filed into conversation clusters around
Even Gage made a big show of saying hello and eating
eagerly and chewing his food around
He milled about acting boisterous and very biker-ish.
Until he threw hands up over
his throat and knocked
his chair over in surprise. He started to gasp and
Two teens jumped up in alarm and started for the
door to call for help. Another football
teen grabbed Johnny by the shoulders and started
A blond woman
in jerseys with platinum eyes did
the only thing she knew, pounding gingerly on
Gage's back with
a few fingers as if he were made
of glass. Of course, that did nothing to help.
John fell to the mat and utter panic ensued.
The class of students milled over him ineffectually
poking here and prodding there until...
Roy got up from his place watching them all
the choking Gage with the proper
techniques in a calm manner, first listening,
then checking in
his mouth, then following up
with back blows and one set of abdominal thrusts.
spat out the hotdog
right into the class's shocked faces. They leaped
backward out of reflex as
the seemingly unconscious
man made a ballistic missile out of his sausage bite.
his eyes, grabbed Roy's hand,
and rolled neatly to his feet. "Thanks, man. I needed
he plopped down into his own seat as if
nothing had ever happened, buttoning up his shirt again.
The stunned onlooking students blinked. Then some
got angry or sank into chairs with shaky adrenalin
One redhead man stood over John, "You mean you weren't
really in trouble?!!" he shouted
"Nope. He wanted to see what you all would do
for me just now." Johnny said, pointing
Silence filled the room.
Roy spoke up, taking off his hat.|
"Pretty scary, wasn't it? Kinda funny
how higher reasoning goes
out the window in the face
of a true medical emergency... You,.." he said, pointing
to the burly
teen who had tried shaking Gage. "Could have
injured him or even made the obstruction worse
doing that. You.." he said, smiling slightly at
the blond woman in the jersey, "were closer to the
track.. but sometimes, it's not a good idea to just
go pounding on someone's back if they're
good attempts to dislodge a foreign body. You
meant well but in this case, it only made
and your victim went unconscious when things
completely blocked off with your "tiny"
tries at helping.
You others, who ran for the phone, made a good
decision. Sort of. Summoning help
is a sound choice,
but it is always second order of business in a medical
crisis like this one..."
"Second order..?" said the angry teen. "But I thoug--"
He broke off when Roy held up his hand
and shot him a
DeSoto flipped his chair around, foregoing
the desk, to
be face to face with his class.
"Let's start off on the other foot shall we?"
glad you came here today. I'm Roy DeSoto
and this is Johnny Gage, my department partner of six years."
John nodded, all serious in greeting, once.
"We're both L.A. County Firemen/Paramedics in
day jobs, when we're not scaring the bejeesus out
of CPR class attendees." Roy went on.
Light chuckles filled the room.
DeSoto went on.
"Now, if you'll allow us, let us impart a
little of what we
know so you can have the opportunity to make a real
difference for somebody
when it counts the most and to
be successful at it to the point of having the ability
that life free of panic. You're here today to
learn much more than just what to do for a heart attack
victim or a toddler choking on a grape. You're here today
to assess any given emergency situation
an effective caregiver to that victim until professional
help arrives. Minutes and even
seconds count, like in
the urgent scene you saw Johnny enact here."
And he went on, explaining
why calling for help was
second in importance. He met the angry red headed
man's eyes. "Your first
duty to any medical emergency
victim.. is to assure and establish a viable airway, do
you can to restore and/or maintain
breathing second, then to assess and/or
of bloodflow to the brain, last
of all.. But what if the mouth's so badly cut, you
a good seal with which to perform mouth
to mouth at all?
Or what if someone's neck may be broken?
you establish an airway then without tilting
that person's head back to get one? If you
suffocate, if you do, they might be paralyzed. What
do you do?
There's is much
more to CPR than just pushing on
someone's chest and pinching their nose and blowing air into
mouths. So let us show you what to do in
many medical cases that aren't so neat and tidy an
as the ones your text manual shows you."
It was two pm.|
The class ran smoothly, following demos of the heimlich
and other moves and
a movie, outlining oxygen debt and
the six minute chart.
Johnny learned that the shy blond
Betty, the one he had known was coming. They seemed
to hit it right off in Roy's mind.
She worked through
her timidness about breathing into a dummy only
after Gage demo'd it for her.
He caught Johnny over lunch break and held up a
compressions tape sheet from Betty's mannikin
sequence. "Hey, Johnny, she's a strong one. Just look
at this graph! She's in the green on those
Gage smacked Roy on the shoulder, "I know, she nearly busted
ribs even pretending the heimlich. I think I'm in love."
Roy sighed, "Just don't go fainting dead
away in class just
to get her to breathe for you or anything. Our intro
demo part is over. You
two are disruptive enough as it is so
far.." he said smiling. "And we've still the test
do on them all."
"Oh, puhleassee..I'm not that dumb. I want her to kiss me for
charms, not some foolhardy stunt like that.."
"Hmmm. I wouldn't put it past you." Roy laughed.
Johnny was oblivious, "She has great reactions. I mean,
when I pretended a blackout with a full
while standing, she had her hands right there underneath
my head so I wouldn't bang
it going down. Now that's
sweet thinking on your feet if you ask me."
"If you say so. If I
were her. I'd have dumped you like a sack
of potatos and let your fall knock out the obstruction.."
"Oh. Ha. ha..." Gage said dryly. "You're just bent out of shape
because I'm using
my "uniform" to win a girl. I'm not using my
uniform, how can I be? I'm in a tank top,
teaching her class that's all..."
Roy was skeptical, "Uh huh.." But he said nothing more,
behind his newspaper. "Gage, the choking Romeo..
Now there's one for the history books." he mumbled.
It was the next day at the station and Roy|
was still yawning.. Johnny rolled in whistling Dixie,
popped his locker open with a fancy butt flourish.
Roy didn't even look up, pausing with his arms
stuck in his T-shirt sleeves he had cocooned over
his head as he sat on the changing bench.
He appeared to be snoring..
Gage turned and tapped Roy's covered head. "Hey..
You alive in
"Come on..." and John pulled down Roy's T shirt the rest
way. "Man.. you need a pot of coffee if you're
going to get anywhere today.. Didn't you sleep in the
last few days like I told you to?"
"A little. Had an unexpected amniocentesis bill slip up
us yesterday. Had to take on another class to
pay for it."
"Amniocen--" John guessed, "Oh.
Is everything ok.?"
Roy looked up at him blearily. "Huh? Oh. yeah.. It's
standard to run one
of those at this stage of the game.
Especially with this being Joanne's third ba---
Another ear splitting yawn
jumbled his last words..
John threw Roy's uniform shirt at
him, who was
too tired to catch it. It bounced off his face.
"Wake up.. or I'm going to have give
you some O2
to revive ya.. Time for breakfast.." and he
headed into the kitchen, leaving his sleepy
behind. "I have a feeling it's going to be a busy
shift for us. It's a full moon tonight."
"Don't remind me.."came Roy's voice from the locker
room, floating across the
station's truck bay.
Sounds of fork scrapes and bowl slurps filled|
the kitchen along with the aroma of at least
kinds of morning repasts.
At one seat, the happy eating got a little loud
and not so harmonious.
Wood chair legs squealed
like nails on a chalk board as one particular man
pushed backward from
*Spit* A large glob of Juevos Rancheros festooned
Captain Stanley's paper napkin
as he doubled over and
relieved his burning lips of a totally unexpected attack
on his tongue and
throat. ".. whoa...*cough*!.."
Cap's long arms shot out and grabbed a metal jug of water
drained half of it in desperate swallows from
the jug itself.
All eyes at the table shot up
and magazines in surprise.
Johnny looked up from dishing hashbrowns onto his
platter.. "Cap? You ok? " he said half rising in
Hank held up hands to show everything
was cool and
waited for his voice to come back.
Then he set down the metal water pitcher with
hollow liquidy clang. "Marco, what are you trying to do?"
he shouted in his best offended tenor voice.
"Are you trying to kill me?"
He pushed away his Mexican eggs and eyed them distrustfully.
know. This is some kind of revenge because I made you drag
and hang all the engine's hose in the tower
left last night." Captain Stanley said regaining his chair.
Marco shook his head
vehemently.. "Oh, no.no . no. Cap.."
with eyes widening..
Cap went on.. "I SAID, Try one of
sweet little old mother's breakfast recipes for a
change of pace but I didn't mean creating
alarm fire! Man,,, whooo wee..." he coughed.
Gage sat down again, chuckling in relief
he hadn't requested eggs like Captain Stanley had
done. Marco's turn at breakfast detail was
always a sort of culinary roulette when he got
into one of his creative cooking moods.
"Don't look at me like that, Cap. Your exact
quote, to clarify things, was...'How about breaking our
scrambled eggs and bacon tradition and whipping up
one of your mother's recipes for a new change
You didn't say what KIND of recipe, nor any limitations
on any spices.."
mulled over that, looking a lot like the
"Honest Abe" he was, "Hmm.. Guess I did say that,
And he reached over and stole Gage's lone bagel.
"Hey!" John protested, out ranked. But Gage quickly
and craftily snatched another solo bagel from Chet Kelly's
plate while the curly haired fireman
uproariously over something in his funnies
Kelly reached down, without looking, for his bagel|
...and didn't find it. He whipped his paper away
and complained to the chipmunk cheeked
paramedic next to him. "Gage!!"
"Snooze? You lose.." he said,
chewing loudly. Soon, Chet found and walked
fingers to Stoker's
plate and procured the last
onion bagel there.
"OWw!" Chet howled, dropping
his booty and
yanking his guilty fingers into his mouth.
He sucked on them.
refolded his scolding magazine into his lap
and took a bite of bacon. "Never raid unless
get away with it. Chet, you're getting
sloppy. Must be because Gage finally one upped
Chet rolled his eyebrows, frowning. "No way man.
Has hell frozen over? The Phantom's sharp
His next raid on Marco's pancake was thwarted with a
viscious fork parry from Lopez,
"Ah ah ah.."
the Mexican warned.
Mike laughed, thoroughly enjoying his rescued
How do you figure?"
Cap snickered over his milk.
Then Johnny eyed the tardy DeSoto
the kitchen. He pantomimed to the guys to
keep quiet about his next action, putting
to his lips. Then he made a big show pulling out a
chair for his partner, "Hey Roy..
Here's some nice
...hhhottt.. coffee.. " he grinned hugely..
DeSoto missed all the warning
Roy rubbed dry eyes and lifted the mug handed to him
he plopped down into his seat next to Chet. "Thanks
but I don't think it's going to help any. Not
got an IV that's pure caffeine somewhere around here."
Gage clicked his tongue.
"Fresh out." John said, picking up Cap's abandoned plate
of steaming Mexican eggs. "Ooo, Roy.. Doesn't
smell good? Dig in, pal."
And he deposited his offering in front of DeSoto,
several napkins towards him, too.
He shoved the water pitcher to a far corner
of the table, well
out of comfortable reach.
All eyes watched with amused horror as a sleepy
Roy cut a large biteful
of the eggs and inserted
them into his mouth.
Gage thought. ##3...2....1..##
kept chewing..slowly.. his eyes more
shut then open.
Chet couldn't resist. "Hey Roy?"
"Oh..." Roy said, looking down at his salsa
covered hen's eggs.. "Fine..
Gage looked at Roy incredulously.. "Roy..
Aren't they kinda hot to you?..."
aiming a butter knife at Roy's platter, with
one cheek still big with bagel.
DeSoto considered.. Then he mumbled
"...no?" he ventured..
"Holy cow.. That's crazy.. You're
tasters wwwaaayyy off... Cap here couldn't
even BREATHE around em.."
Gage whipped out his penlight
out making a big show looking at Roy's pupils.
"You're not even a Glasgow six on the
you slipping into a coma or something?"
Roy slapped Johnny's hand away laughing.
"I'm not feeling
any pain eh? Well, at least these eggs won't go
to waste.. Marco...my compliments
on your mother's
recipe.." he repiled, forking himself another hot sauce
smothered egg yolk.
"Gracias mi amigo.. At least I know who to cook for
now.." he glared at Cap.
Cap looked up
from his very mild toast and butter.
"Sorry Lopez. I'm from a French neighborhood. Tame
I guess.." he said apologetically.
Roy went on... "Maybe this numb brain thing will get
through today with the miminum shift's torture."
Gage scoffed, "I highly doubt that.." pocketing
Cap eyed Roy critically. "One of the kids keeping you
John spoke up as he watched Roy drain yet another
mug of java. "Yeah,, the unborn one.. Joanne had
a ped bill Roy had to work off. He took on another
CPR class after the one I helped him on." he said.
Cap winced.."Ooo, tiring way to earn a few bucks.
Nothing like four hours of CPR demos to wear
Roy shook his stiff arms.. "I would've been spared
if my buddy over here bailed
me out again and helped
me to teach it."
"One time's enough."
"Yeah?" Roy quipped,
"That's only because you
got yourself that date from that one student, eh?
Betty I think her name
was." he chewed a few times
before asking, "How did it go?"
Gage didn't make eye contact as
he swiped his plate clean
with a slice of bread. "I was at Eight's pulling extra
duty, or I'd been
there pal.." he said, avoiding the
Roy just grunted, angling his jaw with an amused
"She dumped ya, didn't she..?"
The gang erupted in giggles again. Chet voiced
count. "That makes it... what? Six
strung and hungs this year, Johnny? What a tragic
A real bummer."
Gage said, with unconvincing icyness,
"Cut it out.. Kelly. Leave your prying
OUT of my
"What love l-?" Kelly started to say before
Cap pointed his all mighty
index finger at
him to cease at once.
Chet amended what he was going to say.
except for later, right? For the next
time around? " he smiled wanely, covering his arse
an escape back into his paper.
Cap ended his challenging glare and continued
chewing. He shoved
two pots of coffee in front
of DeSoto. "Hey John,.. throw these in your
pocket, eh..? Feel free
to use them on him any time
you need to, pal." He said topping off Roy's mug
pack of smelling salts plunked into Gage's
hands as he reflexively caught what Cap sailed
He laughed, brandishing them,
before pocketing them into his shirt.
Roy said sarcastically,
"Oh. ha. ha."
An alarm sounded, a long one, through
every category of callout mode tones.
"Station 51, Station 8, Truck 137, Battalion
14. Multiple pileup on Hwy 101. Two miles east of
Rogers State Park. Two miles east
of Roy Rogers State Park. Meteorological
weather station reports
heavy fog in the
vicinity. Time out.. 07:59."
Gage turned to Roy,... "Full moon's
to form yet again.." and he pushed
out of his chair.
The gang made their vehicles and
into helmets, overcoats and
"Station 51, Responding.. KMG 365."
Cap said, writing
down the 10-20 on a pad
and handing off carbons to both Stoker
They rolled out.
Ten minutes later Cap thumb motioned|
for Stoker to slow down the engine
travelling in front of
He squinted through the thick musty
smelling mist, boiling before him and ordered.
"Lopez, get out on the footrail and see if you
can see anything, okay pal?"
Marco stepped out of the
rear cab and hung onto a spot mirror.
Cap waved Mike to drive forward
Then he thumbed his radio. "Engine 51 to
Truck 137. We're two miles south of
marker 2 next to the south end
of the park. We can't see anything. Give
a directional blast on
your airhorn, will ya?"
"Will do. We are at the first MVA to
the north. No victims as yet.
evacuated the area and are beginning
"10-4. Appreciate that." Cap replied.
All in the cab, strained to listen. So did
Gage and DeSoto in their truck.
A horn bellowed
from fairly close away.
"That sounds like only a fifth of a mile."
He thumbed the mike, "Gage,
"10-4, Cap." Roy said.
The paramedics and firemen bailed their
Cap shouted to his men, "Fan out.
Start searching. There's no cliffs
of here. We're level with
the ocean on this stretch of the
That much was true.
All the gang
could smell the tang of sea salt
and could hear distant waves
echoing to them
under the blanket of
Cap chose to relegate scene triage
to Battalion 14, who
pulled up right
behind Squad 51. Hookraider took
over the task, understanding Stanley's
was a sound one. Men were
needed to search cars. Even those with
14 to Station Eight. Station
51's got the south end. Position your men
in the northbound lane,
to mile marker
three. Number of effected MVA's,
unknown at this time."
Gage and Roy moved
out, walking fast with
meager torches and their gear. Chet followed
them with stokes and O2, shouting.
"Can anybody hear me? Fire Department!"
Gage and Roy nearly fell over the first
gray, like the smothering
fogbank around it.
Johnny saw a second red pickup on
a short distance ahead through
"Chet! Marco! Check out that truck!"
the passenger door of the car
they had found but it was jammed.
"I got it.. Go check over there.."
told Roy. John poked his head inside and saw
clothes. Two sets. "Cap! Get a K-12
here! I've got victims!"
Gage finished a brief check for gas,|
then wormed into the narrow window up
to his waist. Glass
crinkled under his gloves
as he found the driver. Gasping loudly, he
slid himself closer in the
next to the first victim.
The smell of blood was strong and something
that was very bad.
He felt for a carotid he knew wasn't there.
A definite sign of fully dilated
John's heart sink.
What he saw in the back seat was
even more tragic.
leaned in the window looking in on Gage,
"That truck's clear. Everybody got out without
he said, thick with concentration.
"How are they?" He couldn't quite, see inside.
shook his head, vacating the crushed car.
He waved Marco and Cap with the K-12 away
to the next
vehicle. "She's been disemboweled.
Gone for too long. The toddler's DOA, too."
back at the impossibly flat
roof collapsed over the babyseat and
saw two sneakers poking out.
thing he recognized. "Johnny.." he
gasped, clutching Gage's jacket
as the shock of
another child's death
John understood it was ten times
harder for Roy to see that
fatality, having kids of his own.
He covered the mother and child up
with a blanket
quickly, hiding the sight.
"Roy. Just move out. There's gotta be more
victims around here. Only
a semi could do
damage like this.." he said of the gray
Roy got on his walkie talkie,
John marked the car with flourescent orange
search paint. Putting an X on roof
Swallowing, he put the symbols for two bodies
next to it.
"Cap, we've got two
DOA's in the first car.
Second truck's clear but I'm smelling gas."
ran up waving on several stations' men
with 51's K-12 to take over the head of the
"I'm on it. Marco! Run two inch
and a halves to cover any gas spills, Stoker,
you're with him.
Then a chief from Station Eight pummeled toward
them. In the gray gloom, his white helmet
appeared to be glowing.. "We've found all of them.
Seven cars, one semi. Besides these
two, here. One of
my men's found a Winnebago upside down
along the guardrail. There're two little
Their parents are fine."
"We're on it.." Roy said. "Cap have the guys bring
our gear..!" He put back on his helmet and grabbed
biphone and oxygen and followed the Station Eight
chief to the site.
"I'll get it myself.." Cap answered. He ran back to the Honda
the stokes and IV box. John followed to get
the defib and drug box.
Soon, John, the station
eight man, Cap and Roy followed
an eerie trail of hissing cherry flares that acted as a
line along the way.
"Good thinking.." Gage said to the chief. "
This is a faster way of getting around
in this stuff..." meaning
the heavy fog that was around them.
Roy was the first one to arrive at the rolled |
camper. He was met by a dazed father who only had
superficial contusions on temple and cheek. The man
grabbed onto DeSoto's arm and begged him to let
inside the RV.. Roy physically peeled his fingers off,
deciding the man to be a low priority
case. "It's all right,
You're all right. They're still alive. I'm going in to check
them out right
now. Just sit on the curb here and take
it easy! My partner will take a look at ya in a second."
handed him off to Cap and crawled into the
window the chief indicated.
Station Eight had already
cracked it open and laid
overcoats over the glass.
John knelt by the
wife, who was sitting supported by
Vince on the roadside. He glanced at the man
Cap brought over,
knowing him to be the one a bit
better off of the two.
John asked the burly motorcop, "Any
of em injured?"
Vince said, "He seems ok. But the wife almost went out
on me twice, though."
Gage took her face into one glove
and checked her over visually. There wasn't a mark
on her. He
took her wrist into his hand, feeling her radial
pulse. It was rapid, but strong. She seemed just
of a faint, leaning heavily on the officer.
"My name's Johnny Gage, I'm a paramedic
with the Los Angeles
County fire department. Are you feeling any pain anywhere?"
The wife stayed
dazed, staring at the Winnebago.
John pulled an aromatic ampuole from his shirt.
it and waved it under her nose.
"Hey.. can you hear me..?"
The slender woman gave a shudder
her face away from the fumes of the capsule,
coughing. She peered around blearily,
again on what she was looking at. Emotion flooded
back in a wave,
I have to get to my girls. They're still
in there! I- I've got to help them.. The dresser pinned
them inside.." And she struggled in Vince's
protective grip without thinking.
her by the shoulders firmly.
Her struggles jostled his helmet and it fell off.
"Take it easy now!
My partner's working on that. Now let's
just make sure you're all right before you move
so much, ok?" Gage said.
The clatter of John's helmet on the concrete
made Cap, by the chief,
shout for his man he
couldn't see. "You ok over there?"
woman nodded, finally fully awake.
She calmed down as John softly spoke to her.
He told Vince,
"Keep her upright. That's how you
found her, right?"
Vince nodded, "Yeah.. and the sergeant
was walking around earlier before I got here."
Gage strung cannulas of O2 set at six
liters for both
husband and wife and began to get a set of
vitals for Rampart. As he worked, he
over to the Winnebago, wondering what Roy
Roy found a jumble of furniture in his way.|
Gasping, he shoved his way through and
found the children.
He waved the station eight man
monitoring them away. The man retreated back
out of the camper.
A tangle of wall and sheet metal
had wrapped the two girls up like pretzels.
One child's head
wasn't visible and three
arms in pink stuck out from where they were.
It was hard to tell which
limb belonged to
which child inside a hole in the debris for
both were wearing the same kind of
Reaching into the gap, Roy felt up the body of the
child whose head
was hidden, to her face, feeling
for breathing. His bare hand encountered wetness
neck that was sticky, but cool.
##This one's not bleeding that bad.## he thought.
And he was
satisfied with her rate of taking in air.
He made sure she stayed breathing well by slipping
a child sized airway. Roy began to search for
the reason why the little girl was unconscious.
Shifting around, he grabbed one of the arms he thought
belonged to the hidden child.
was a strong pulse in the brachial artery
that attested to a fair blood pressure , giving Roy
reassurance that she was stable and not
critically injured. He shifted each girl slowly
the other, without jarring neck or spine,
trying to find how they lay.
::They're so tangled up
here.:: His effort failed.
The twisting metal made him give up the attempt.
He got on his walkie
talkie, "Cap! These two girls
are pinned in real good. We're gonna have to cut
them out! I can't
get good access to either one."
##We're on it, Roy. Hang tight. We're coming now.##
finished his quick assessment on his patient.
He found no more blood stains on the girl. But it was
bothering him that he couldn't reach all of her to know
for sure, her true physical condition.
Roy moved to the conscious child, who was
watching him with frightened silent eyes.
fingers quickly at her eyes to see
which startled fingers moved in the debris so he could
the position of at least one set of hands.
"Hi.. How are you doing? My name's Roy. Pretty scary
in here, huh? "
She nodded, which told him her neck wasn't hurt.
DeSoto leaned back, setting
his handytalkie behind
him while he pulled some closet partition out of
his way. He cursed again
in his mind how flimsy
Winnebago materials were in the trailer.
"Don't go!" the girl cried.
She reached out and grabbed Roy's jacket.
"I'm not going to leave you alone. I'm here to care
for you and your sister right now."
And he smiled at his small charge.
It was Cap, making his way towards where
the girls were trapped. "I got the gear.."
over the IV box first. We're gonna
have to get lines into both of them
before we extricate either
Cap got to Roy's side just as he spoke
again to the frightened sister who began to
when the splintered dresser boards
above her began to creak.
"It's ok, honey. Just relax.. Someone's
coming, that's all.
Mom and dad's just outside. This is my friend, Captain
Stanley. He's a fireman
like me. We're going to help
get you and your sister out of here.. "
She said boldly. "He's
not Captain Stanley.
He's really Abraham Lincoln. I learned about
him in school." she claimed,
voice hitching with
Roy and Cap exchanged ironic looks.
Hank mumbled, "Guess
I do sort of
look like the man.." he said, scratching his head.
They spent a minute or two,
leaning over their
young patients while they freed what they could
off the two children. But it
was soon apparent
Roy was right. The jaws were needed to do
The air in the tiny
space slowly grew hot and stuffy
and made DeSoto feel every second in a torrid
soon, he bent over the unconscious
sister to get a BP on an arm he had freed. He guessed
hers because of blood spatters on the sleeve.
Cap touched another tiny arm at random. "Is this one yours?"|
he asked the tiny girl. He sing songed,
on that limb testing for neural response. "This little piggy
went to market.. This
little piggy stayed home.."
The little girl giggled. "No, that's my sister's."
kneeled near her face to get closer and to get more
comfortable in the small space.
Hank instantly froze. And lifted a loose board from where
he had been kneeling.
A left leg was curled un-naturally
under her chin.
There was no doubt whose limb this was.
DeSoto took his stethoscope out of his ears
and saw where Cap was pointing.
there a pulse in it?"
Hank removed a sandal and checked.
"Can't tell.. Hell, all of her's cold
Roy said, "Hand me a hair traction splint.
"First thing, we're going to straighten
"With this metal in here like that?" He said
of a wound in the thigh. A
three inch long stake of
side chrome stripping was embedded there.
"We have to. There can't
be any bloodflow
in the leg with it being that dislocated.
I'll..think of something and work around
He thought for a few seconds. "I know.
Immobilize it. Keep that piece from moving
Use bulky dressings...or, some of that wall insulation.
Anything you can use."
After he was through, Cap slid drug box, IV
box and defib next to DeSoto.
"What can I do
Roy finished cutting away the pink
shirt on the buried sister.
"Get our awake
little princess here on
the monitor.. We can always use the paddles
to check her sister's EKG.
It's the best way we
have to keep tabs on her vitals with her being
buried like this."
nodded, and got out leads for his
patient. Then he handed Roy the defib paddles,
coiled cords across to him.
Roy threaded the paddles through his tiny access hole
them on bare skin, an arm and a waist; the
only places he could reach well. It was enough
Cap and he got a wavering strip off
the stilled girl.
"Bradycardia.. deep. Probably from that
bleeding. If a jugular's so much as bruised
you get a reading like this." he told Cap.
He got a second set of vitals on her and a
set on the frightened sister while Cap initialized
tie ins on the EKG monitor using
the pads and leads he set in place on the
second child he was
"What's that?" she said as two sets of beeping
audios filled the air.
the girl's cheek. "That is a heart
TV. It shows us you got one around in
there somewhere." He
peered, tapping on
her chest gently.
She smiled, "And the other squiggly line is
"Yep. That's right.."
"Cassie is your sister's name?" Roy asked as he
a hair splint by the leg Cap and he
were about to move. It had completely slipped
his mind to find
out the girl's names and to use them.
"Uh huh.." she nodded. "And I'm Robin."
meet two such pretty young ladies. Do
you and your sister always wear the same outfits?"
asked, while he blindly checked Cassie's neck
more closely for any lacerations he might have missed.
"Not always. But today is Cassie's birthday. And
we wanted to fool Grandma into getting our names
Cap said. "It's your sister's birthday?
Well, we're going to have to do something
that now aren't we, Roy?"
Roy looked up from his concentration, and flipped on
instant, but tight, smile. "Yeah.."
"Really?" Robin asked.
Another shaking of the debris
announced another fireman picking his way
into the camper. Stoker came near and passed
an O2 apparatus to Roy, "This is eight's. Johnny's using
got out the unit's demand
valve mask and started hyperventilating Cassie
to get her heart rate
to speed up.
Cap gave Robin a nasal cannula on a second O2 line
after showing her how it worked
He adjusted it around her face.
Captain Stanley heard the sound of a K-12 begin
cut through the Winnebago's outer wall. A blade
protruded noisily, making Robin startle, but
retreated the second it got through the wall.
Roy's talkie buzzed, ##Cap? It's Kelly.
gotten most of the way through. Get those girls
touched Robin's arm lightly. "Let's see.. something
special for a very special birthday.. Hmmmm.
Do you think Cassie would like to wear a fireman's helmet?
We've got one for both you
"wow.." Robin nodded.
Cap and Roy flipped up their own overcoat
shield themselves from the rain of saw
embers to come. Cap gave his helmet to Robin
and Roy used
his to make a roof over Cassie's
face between two beams.
Roy nodded to Cap that he was ready
the splinting and the saw.
Hank warned the little girl what they were going to do.
"You let me know the moment you feel anything
like an owie when we move your leg..ok? And we'll
Cap told her.
Robin squeezed Cap's hand as her fright
mounted. She began to cry. "No.. I don't
want t- to.. I want mommy.."
Her EKG sped up rapidly.
He leaned over Robin and smiled,
know that. Roy knows that, too. But we
have to bundle you up first all safe and
before we get you out of here.
Ok? Now those men out there are going to
cut us a door. It's going
to get a little loud.
Think you can handle that?"
But Robin was beginning to drift and
answer. Hank turned up the flow
on her O2.
Cap gave the go ahead on the handy talkie
ahead Kelly.. On the double!"
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