Image of firehouseinside.jpg Image of emergencylogo.gif Image of firehouseinside.jpg

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     Devil Winds
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The Story Unfolds...

Season Three, Episode Twenty One..

  Devil Winds    

Debut Launch: May 1st, 2005.

**************************************************
From: "rwein5" <rwein5@charter.net>
Date: Thu May 5, 2005  8:18 pm
Subject: It's a beginning . .
 

The dry air settled over the brush and dry foliage of the mountain
range. Smog and haze were a natural part of the horizon most of the
year, but on this day it seemed thicker and stronger than ever. It
was also the time of year where the winds returned in strong, sweeping
passes between the mountains and the valleys. Despite the wind,
however, the dry, arid thickness remained determined to keep the
horizon embedded in its cloak of heaviness. There was no escape from
the inevitable happening. When the natural elements joined together
in song and dance over the parched land it seemed to always end in a
spark, and then the real terror began . . .


Hank shook his head again as he climbed down Big Red. Water continued
to drip from his hair and turnout coat leaving him in a very
determined mood to get dry. The clean up had been long and tedious
from the apartment fire, but he was thankful that the injuries were
minor. Johnny and Roy were finishing up at the hospital while the
engine crew worked on their own finish.

"Cap, I've got the logbook. Why don't you take what time you need,"
Mike said, breaking Hank's temporary reflection.

"Yea, good idea. Chet, Marco . . I get the shower first. I'm pullin'
rank sorry, fellas!"

Hank gave a small pause as he considered his statement but then again,
he rarely used his rank.

"Sure, Cap," "No problem!" responded Chet and Marco at the same
time. Despite their own discomfort, they deferred to their captain.
"I'll get some coffee going," added Chet.

Image of johnnyshower.jpg Image of capchetmarcothoughtfulsooty.jpg

Hank sloshed toward the locker room and stripped away the wet and
heavy clothing. He eased into the shower and let the hot water soak
in. The steam filled his nostrils and he took it in with his eyes
closed and his mind wandering. The dispatch he had received prior to
their latest run included the annual reminders of brushfire drills and
training. The heat of the water continued to soothe Hank's muscles.
He thought about the upcoming brushfire season and sighed. Despite
the calming effects of the shower, his anticipation and inner
sensibilities warned him of what was to come. Whispers of the beast
seemed to enter his thoughts and he realized that his sense of
foreboding was not the best way to end this shower.

He turned the water a little cooler and finished washing up. Burying
his head and face in the clean wooly towel seemed to refresh his tired
mind. He dried quickly and with years of experience in fast changes,
had completed his dressing routine.

"Shower's free!" Hank yelled as he walked by the day room.

He entered his office and found a new dispatch on his desk.
Obviously, Mike had put it there while he was cleaning up. Hank
started reading it and felt the tendrils of distress creep back. He
heard the squad roll back into the bay but he didn't hear Roy coming in.

"Cap? You okay?" he asked.

Hank appeared startled for a moment and then looked at his senior
paramedic. "Uh, yea . . it's just another dispatch. The winds have
already kicked up and they've spotted the first fire."

"Already?" Roy seemed surprised.

"Yea . . looks like it'll be a long season," Hank replied, not feeling
as refreshed as he did a few moments ago.

Image of roypeekdoorway.jpg Image of capexplainoffice.jpg

**************************************************
From :  crash200225 <crash200225@yahoo.com>
Sent :  Saturday, May 7, 2005 1:53 AM
Subject :  [EmergencyTheaterLive] Adding Up

The harsh Santa Ana wind was beginning to pick up across the Mojave
Desert area.  A Sig Alert had been issued for Highway 14, the main
road between L.A. and the desert.  Big rigs, RVs,and buses were being
warned to stay off the Freeway.  The wind was well known for blowing
the large vehicles over. Passenger cars and pick up trucks had a hard
time staying on the road, as the strong wind would make them swerve
and shake.  Small dust devils were growing into a major dust storm.  
Long time residents knew the signs as the afternoon heat fueled the
wind and prepared for the worst.  Most opted to stay indoors and
heaven help those stranded outside.  The blowing sand would leave
stinging marks on exposed areas of skin that lasted for days and eye
injuries were a common complaint at the local ER's.

The wind picked up speed as it traveled from the desert, down the
canyons and the Freeway towards the San Bernadino Mountains and,
eventually, the City of Angels itself.  It had many names, but
whatever it was called,  it meant serious trouble.  Many had begun to
call it the Devil Winds.  It lived up to that name.  Gusts of 100
miles per hour or more, where not unheard of.  A cigarette,
carelessly thrown out of a car window, was all it took for the wind
to whip an burning ember into a raging brushfire.

Image of santaanawinds.jpg Image of windfire.jpg Image of helicopterdropswater.jpg


Cap was worried.  It had been a wet winter and spring that allowed
alot of new plant growth in the canyons and hills.  The once lush
plants were now just very dry tender waiting to go up in flames.  The
brush had not been this overgrown since before he had joined the Fire
Department.  To make matters worse, homeowners ignored the
instructions to keep empty lots and areas surrounding their houses
clear of the dry brush and tumbleweeds.  ::A long season indeed.::he
thought. ::Better get started on the brush and wildfire drills::

**************************************************
From :  Cory Anda <andacory@hotmail.com>
Sent :  Monday, May 9, 2005 2:48 PM
Subject :  Divining Doom..


Cap helped himself to the pot of Jaimaican dark that
Chet had just finished brewing by taking it directly out
of the stocky firefighter's hands even in the act of pouring.
"Kelly,...hope you don't mind."

"Not at all, Cap. It'll behoove me to provide the caffeine
to the worst addict first around here. Isn't that right, Gage?"

"Yep. Eases the symptoms of withdrawal and in Cap's case, it'll
eliminate a severe case of the crankies.." he said whole heartedly,
with a frown as he ambled into the kitchen from the vehicle bay
on Roy's heels.

"I am not cranky..." Hank insisted with a sharp tone. Then he
replayed mentally how his own sentence came out of his mouth.
"Well, maybe just a little. A hot shower only soothes so far. You
know how I hate fourplex fires. They take forever to knock down.
And there's always an interior wall collapse into the basement
to worry about."

"What I can't understand, Cap, is why you're still steaming. And I
don't mean from the shower." Johnny complained, setting down his
as yet unread and unbundled newspaper. "Kelly's right. You HAVE
been on edge today."

Roy gathered at Cap's side and leaned on the countertop, asking
with a silent holding of a mug thrust out, for some coffee from the
coffee pot still tightly held in Cap's grip. "It's because of the memo
that arrived this morning. The first hot spot's official, Johnny."

"Oh now that explains everything. Sorry, Cap. I guess it's
okay to have a snarling veneer then. I would be, too, if I had to
organize brush responses at L.A. fire training academy when
every other fire station in the state wants to do the same thing.
There's no seniority between caps, Cap." and he grinned one
sided in supportive amusement.



Image of gagepapercoffeeroom.jpg Image of capfrownatcoffee.jpg

"Don't remind me. I've had a bad feeling about the weather all day."
Hank sighed, pouring and draining his second cup of coffee from the
pot he was still holding.  He filled Roy's cup almost to over brimming.

Chet finally gave up getting one for himself when he was ignored,
so he sat down on the couch to give Bonnie, the station Yorkie, a
scrub behind her ribboned ears. "It's not so bad. L.A. says the Santa
Ana wind scale's not even a condition three yet."

Hank wasn't comforted. "Yeah, well, it's not four in the afternoon yet
either, is it?" he commented, still with a sharp edge.

The other firemen didn't even flinch. They understood Cap's ire was
blowing off the steam created for being in his type of occupational office.

Bonnie barked, jumping down from the couch. She skittered over to Cap's
recliner, bounded up onto its black leather seat cushion, and immediately
sat up on her rear haunches in a wistful whining beg.

"Cap, listen to Bonnie and sit down some. She's being your second
mother again..." Chet said  without looking up from the chess game
he was playing with Marco. Neither fireman got up to go shower despite
of being stinky, multiple shades of dirt color, and sweaty.

Marco echoed the sentiment. "Yeah, go pet her to calm your nerves a bit."

"Marco, Chet,.. De-scum-ify and make your captain feel better that way,
huh?" Hank snapped in an order as he sat down in the chair to humor
Bonnie.  He began a brisk belly rub to shut up her vocal piercing fusses
over his own stress levels. "I'll be a LOT better if I'm not smelling what I'll
be up to my eyebrows in tommorrow morning.."

"No way, Cap." protested Lopez. "We're only gonna get all filthy again,
so why waste the water? We're gonna need every drop we can get.." Marco
said in challenge without looking up from the chessboard between Kelly and
himself. He frowned when Chet took his white knight with a black rook.

Cap fell silent for the first time, unable to enforce his demand in the face of
that overwhelming truth of a thing so obvious.

Roy grinned, taking a sip from his coffee mug. "What makes you so sure that
we'll be on a brushfire assignment by then?"


Image of cappourtiredrjcoffee.jpg Image of marcoserioussit.jpg

"Because Mike Stoker isn't here.." Cap insisted loudly, rubbing his lips in worry.
"Just take a look around you, Roy. Do you see him in here with us anywhere?"
He gestured with his question.

The gang looked up and glanced around the kitchen and rec room and saw that
it was true.

"Uh, oh.." trickled Chet. "He's poring over the releve' density charts again, isn't
he?"

Gage's forehead furrowed. "What's a releve' chart? I've never heard of that.."

"I thought you went to first grade, Gage. Gee, knock me over with a feather, man.
Everybody knows what releve' studies are.." quipped Chet, seriously not
serious at all, just to get Johnny's goat. Then he looked up and winked at Marco,
to let Lopez know that he was setting a prime baiting trap again.

Johnny fell right into the middle of it. "I know what releve' studies are.." said the dark
haired paramedic defensively. "Releve' studies are.. studies of apparent
density, Chet."

"Of what kind?" Kelly oozed, needling. "Your last statement is one hundred percent
desperate digging on what I just said, and you know it. It didn't make any sense
at all. Just admit you don't know something for once, Johnny and I promise I'll
drop it instantly." he said silky smooth, priming his teasing jab to the max.

Gage's face fell into a struggling expression mixed with the eternal half angry look
of a victim who's realized that they've just been outfoxed into admitting a weakness.
"It's a study of...stuff that needs measuring, Chet. So quit being irritating about it."

Kelly folded his fingers together in a scholarly look of consideration completely
devoid of any sting. "It's analyzing numbers of plant species and their distribution
population over a given area. A fire ranger throws out a one meter by one meter
PVC plastic pipe frame randomly onto a brushy slope without looking where
he's throwing it. Then he goes out and extends that square to ten meters by ten using
string and pikes and everything growing inside of it is sampled in great detail.
What species is growing there and how many. Their densities in relation to each other
can relate a whole lot as to what that slope'll do if it ever catches on fire. And when it
might go up under Santa Ana conditions."

Image of johnnyohno.jpg Image of chettshirtsure.jpg

"It does?" said Johnny, cheek full of cookie from the platter on the table in front
of him.

"Yep." said Cap, looking up, thoroughly forlorn. "Stoker's made a serious hobby of it.
Every year since he started on at the station."

"No kidding..." said Gage, finally becoming infected with Cap's flavor of intense
worry. "Well, what else kinds of things does he learn from all that math ratio stuff?"

"See for yourself. I'm too depressed to even think about it..." sighed Cap, sinking a
damp chin into one of his palms.

Roy immediately got up and poured Cap his third cup of java in as many minutes.
"Here, Cap. Drink up. It'll lessen the sting of what Stoker's fathoming out for ya.."

"Appreciate that..." Cap said, looking up and accepting the pour eagerly.

"I think I'll go with ya...." Johnny said, all uncertain curiosity.

Chet was deprived of the cream of his crafted tease and that broke his concentration
on his chess game. Lopez took his queen with a nondiscreet pawn from the back of
the board and Marco said, "Checkmate in six moves. Sorry, Charlie." he said, rising from
his chair.  He walked over to kneel by Cap and Bonnie in the recliner to help Hank calm her
rising nerves over the new turn of imminent dry weather and the gang's even sharper
mood changes. "Had to take the throat when it was wide open like that. Chet, don't try
to do two things at once, especially if one of those things is playing chess. You'll lose
every time."

"Thanks for the sage advice, Marco. You're all heart." he said, mildly miffed as he
realized the series of moves to the endgame Lopez had just foreseen. "I'll remember
that next time we're working a hose together. I'll just look the other way when
the ceiling comes down right on top of ya."

"Oh, yeah? Then I think I'll just overlook the next live wire that pops up under
your boots when I'm your rear man for concentrating on my waterwork,
and we'll see what happens."

Roy looked up wide eyed mock shock. "Don't do that, Marco.That'll just suck us
all into a full blown cardiac arrest case on him and we'll have to work hard for half
an hour with CPR until we reach the hospital. Think of something else with which
to avenge yourself. That plan doesn't work too well. There's too much coworker
fallout." he teased.

"Oh. ...ok. I'll be devious in another direction then." said Lopez, pegging Kelly with a
penetrating stare. The soot on his face only amplified the piercing white of his eyes
and he didn't even blink....Not once.

"W-what other direction?" Chet said, squinting his eyes as he reset the chessboard up
for a new game in vulnerable uncertainty.

"Wait and see...." said Marco mysteriously curling the end of his moustache with a
fingertip.

Chet shuddered. "I hate it when he does that. Sends chills runnin up and down my spine.
I think I created Frankenstein by being The Phantom around here, guys. Marco's
learned from me."

"Then quit playin one up with ME when you're playing chess and you won't open
yourself up to it." insisted Gage. "Thanks for the counter rib, Marco. You stopped
him from messing around with my head again quite nicely."

"No problem. I know to stick by the one who usually has both the defib paddles
in his hands..."

Cap snorted in mirth, still tickling Bonnie's belly until she was deep into squirming
doggy heaven. Her rear foot began to dig the air in utter ectasy.

Image of bonniepensive.jpg Image of capsmileclose.jpg

Roy chuckled, turning from his banter admiring lean in the doorway to finish
his side trip to the office for Cap. "I'll go see what predictions Stoker's got
for us.." he announced to everyone. Gage followed in his wake seconds later.

"You do that. And I DON'T wanna know. Keep it to yourself. A bad surprise is
sometimes much better than a clearly known future in my book." Hank said
empathetically.

"Ok.. My lips'll be sealed. One hundred percent." shrugged DeSoto diffidently.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mike Stoker was out in the vehicle bay, with a rainbow array of spray cans, spread out
on the hood of the squad. He had closed the enormous glass cover on the route wall
map in front of him and he was liberally applying layers of frothy bright color on
specific areas of the mountains; all around their entire fire response district and
service area.

Johnny's eyebrows went up when he saw Mike doing that without looking up from hastily
scribbled notes from what could only be a homemade releve' study packet.
Stoker already knew their map's garage scale blind and that made what he was
doing even more remarkable to Gage. "What's all that red mean?" he said, waving
away the water soluable paint fog cloud fumes from his already sooty nose and mouth.

Mike didn't stop what he was doing. "That's ninety five percent probability on
complete uncontainment of any fire when the northeast santas hit anything
over twenty miles an hour."

Kelly was a paramedics' shadow without their knowing it and when he spoke
up, it made them both jump unexpectedly. "Hey, Johnny, look!" he said pointing.  
"That red paint's all over Bear Claw Canyon, pal. I guess the rest of us oughta
start feeling real sorry for ya right about now."

"Very funny, Chet. Let me see that." And he stepped over to where Chet was squinting
through the wet glazing of the largest semi translucent crimson stain.

Image of royjohnsquadleanmap.jpg Image of gangsearchmap.jpg

Johnny's ranch was right in the centermost heart of red spray paint. "Uh, Mike.. C-can
this uh, predic-- prediction stuff of yours ever be wrong? " he said, swallowing around
a suddenly dry mouth.. "Cause I got a whole head of my ranch horses running wild in the
foothills around my place and they're not always the easiest ones to locate for weather
sheltering."

"Only if we see some rain in the next two weeks." said Mike.

"Why don't I feel better hearing that?" Gage sighed, his voice quavering.

Chet wasn't beyond rubbing in salt. "Because you know how h*llish the fall devil
winds can get..."

"I think I'll go back into the kitchen and join in on Cap's monster
sulking fit. Sounds like a real good idea right about now.." whispered Johnny.

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Image of johnnyonjohnnysranch.jpg Image of horsewallpaper.jpg Image of fireridgevalley.jpg

************************************************************************
From: "Roxy Dee" <laterrapincabesa@hotmail.com>
Date: Thu May 12, 2005  7:51 pm
Subject: Down the Devil's Throat~~

As if to taunt his words, the wind blowing outside began howling around
the station's garage and the air began to heat palpably, making everybody
rub their arms thoughtfully and look up at the ceiling and the bay around them.

"Just like last year." Lopez whispered.."The devil winds started at sunset
then, too."

"I hate being right about them coming early like this." said Stoker.

"Doesn't mean that we'll get busy, fellas. Maybe a day or two
before we go at least, right Stoker? The brush's gotta dry out first."
said Chet.

Mike Stoker picked his shoulders up. "I don't know. I know
I don't like these figures I'm seeing here." he said, smacking
the notes he had gathered into a black spiral notepad."Not at all."

The tones went off.

"That was mighty wishful thinking, Chet. Too bad it didn't work..." smiled
Roy as he and Johnny jogged to the squad for their overjackets and
helmets.

##Station 51. Small aircraft out of control along the freeway. PD has positively
identified the plane as a cessna.  Aviation Tower North reports three on board
as of the last pilot contact at 1843 hours.  100 East Riviera Boulevard. Cross
street Grant. 100 East Riviera Boulevard. Cross street Grant. Timeout : 1848.##

Cap literally ran out of the kitchen. "Thanks for trying with the coffee, Roy.
It was nice while it lasted."

"Anytime, Cap." waved Roy from the driver's seat of the squad.
 
"Let's get the show on the road." sighed Hank and he ran over to the radio
mic by the wall map to acknowledge their response.  "10-4. Station 51,
KMG 365."

Johnny hastily rolled up his side window as Roy took a left turn onto
the roadway after taking in a faceful of dust. "Man! Not hard to see why
that plane's going down. Pwaghh!" and he spat grime out of his mouth
into a rag he pulled from the wash kit on the floor. "We're gonna need
googles for this one if the winds keep up this high. Notice how warm it's
getting? It's hotter now than it was when the sun was up." he said with
exasperation.

"Yeah.. Temp's sure rising. If the pilot didn't have a rich enough mix
and high enough rpm, it would explain why he's in trouble. I'm not gonna
even mention the crosswinds.." he shouted, hauling the wheel sharply to
the right when the rescue squad was soundly buffetted by a wind gust.
"Seems the beginning of the devils' season always brings down one or
two who weren't ready for it on its opening night."

"Does Cap count as one of them?" Gage wondered.

"Don't hold your breath. You saw how he rocketted out of the kitchen.
I made sure he had enough coffee to get him outta the blues long enough
so he'd be ready for the first santa anas call. Glad it's not a fire."

"Yeah, but people are sure gonna get hurt from this." Johnny frowned
ruefully.

"They always get hurt, Johnny. And they don't usually need the wind to do it."

"I know. It's just, ...this year feels different somehow. I can't quite put my finger
on it." said Johnny over the wail of the sirens.

"That's just Stoker's voodoo working on ya. Don't let it get your goat. In all my
thirty five years of living, I've never seen any number figure stand the test of time.
And that includes brush burn factors like his."

"You really mean that?"

"Yeah, I do." Roy insisted, slightly worried about the eagering fishing
for reassurance that he had heard in his partner's last question. He
almost stopped looking at the road.

A few minutes later, they were there.

"Oh, my word..." blurted out Cap as the squad and engine rolled ahead.
The plane was down. Sort of. It was upside down and seemingly
completely stationary in the darkness, about forty feet above the road.

Image of cessnawirehung.jpg Image of rjhelmetscoplookingup.jpg

Chet squinted and pushed his helmet up a little higher onto his head.
"Hey, Cap. I think that plane's hung itself up on a high power wire."

"Looks like it." said Hank. He picked up the radio mic. "Engine 51, L.A.
We're visual contact with the distressed plane. It has crashed and is
hanging on the high tension power wires over the roadway. Respond Light
Truck Seventeen and a full ladder assignment along with Foam Truck 127.
Have the utilities cut power along the wire span between,..." he aimed
a powerful side spot onto a plaque at the base of each of the tower poles
flanking around the swaying plane..."..substations 117A and 118B.."

##10-4, Engine 51. Will notify when the power has been cut.##

Johnny and Roy got out of the truck. For a moment, Gage thought that Roy
had forgotten to turn off the sirens on the squad but then he realized it
was the screaming winds causing all the noise roaring by his ears.
He flipped up the collar on his turnout to block it out. "Cap?!"

Hank turned from his scrutiny of the situation from where he stood on
the seat cushion of the engine while hanging onto its roof. He immediately
issued their orders. "Full rappelling gear! But wait on climbing any
ladder up a pole until the electric company shuts off all that juice!"

"You got it.." said Roy, turning on his spotlight, too until it aimed up
at the plane's white and yellow roof. He could see no limbs or clothes
or any sign of the plane's passengers or pilot through the windows.

Hank turned the spot to focus on where the plane was entangled.
"It's caught by the landing gear! We gotta move fast. If it twists in
the wind too much it'll..."

Just then there came a sharp rending sound of tearing steel
cabling and stressed bolts giving way.

The firemen standing by the Ward ducked in alarm as the plane
fell from where it was and flipped over in the wind, landing on its
belly onto the roadway the police had cleared.

Image of marcocapchetlookuptoengineroof.jpg Image of cessnawireclose.jpg

Johnny began to run forward but Cap stopped him. "Hold it! Hold it!
Don't go barging in there without a fanning water cover! There's bound
to be aviation fuel all over the place. And that fused nose prop's still hot
enough to catch it with a spark in this wind! Stoker, Lopez, get out two inch
and a halves on the double!"

It was only a minute later when all was set. Cap got on the loud speaker.
"To the pilot and passengers. This is the fire department. Stay inside the
plane and keep the doors shut. We're coming in to get you.
If you heard me and can respond, wave out a window!"

There came no movement at all. And it was impossible to hear any
shouting over the wind.

Roy and Johnny worked even faster to lay out their medical gear
and plane skin cracking equipment. And Cap helped, even as he
continued to update L.A. on what just happened.

"Cap!! We got trouble!" shouted Marco suddenly. "It's the wind!
It's flipping the plane!"

"The wind is doing what?!" hollered Cap, running around the front
of the engine.

The plane once again began to move, pushed by a powerful, almost
angry, night santa ana wind gust.

"Watch it close!! Marco, Kelly!" hollered Cap. "Follow! Follow it !! Keep the engine
and fuselage under your hose wash!! If there's even so much as a spark under
there, this whole roadway'll go up!  Aw, gahhhhH! Roy, Johnny. Help me tie this
thing off before it lifts up on us!"
Chet and Marco smothered the places where the plane was dragging along
the pavement with hastily coordinated gushes of water. They barely pushed
away the spreading fuel puddle that the wind was blowing a few feet ahead of it.

Hurrying, Cap, Johnny and Roy flung two sets of lassoed ropes over the tail
section in a V. Each paramedic tied a rope to a telephone pole until the
plane finally was jerked to a shuddering halt. Cap followed up by knotting
a double strength rope over an intact wing.  Quickly, under a protective
water spray, he secured it to the engine's bumper. "Mike, back her on up! I
want all of these anchor lines tight enough to keep the plane perfectly still
until Foam 127 gets here!"

Grunting, working hard, Gage, DeSoto, Stanley and Stoker, finally managed it.

Like a calf pinned between a pair of header and footer rodeo horsemen, the fallen
cessna locked into immobility between the two power poles and the idling
engine.

Then Cap gasped, leaning on his knees. "Gage, DeSoto. Get our reel line
on it, too!  I want this asphalt washed down as good as you can get it! Under
no circumstances are you to go near the plane until she's buried to the roof
in foam. Is that understood?!"

The two paramedics nodded.

The wind suddenly rose so strong, that Chet and Marco had to aim the hose
while lying on the ground in the darkness.

Cap returned to the loud speaker and began hailing the injured people
a second time, warning them to stay inside the plane's cabin.

It seemed an eternity until Truck 127 got there.

Image of captightropeclose.jpg Image of squadplanedown.jpg Image of chetgagestokerduckbyengineday.jpg

**************************************************************************
From :  Cory Anda <andacory@hotmail.com>
Sent :  Sunday, May 15, 2005 10:26 PM
Subject :  The Broken End

Hank got on the loud speaker the moment 127's sirens were flipped
off. "Truck 127. We've got people still in the plane and leaking fuel
is moving downwind towards traffic! Lay your foam from the southwest
ASAP. The plane's already been heavily secured with ropes." he
shouted over the howl of the dusty wind.

Angrily, he reached into the Ward and put on his brush goggles
so that he could see everything without his eyes stinging from the
blowing grit flying through the air. He whistled, until the rest of his
men did the same thing.

Soon, the cloth tunnel from two foam units were liberally coating the
dark roadway and pillowing a blanket of soupy white foam
in a thick layer around the airplane.

Captain Stanley waved Johnny and Roy ahead with their gear.
"Gage! DeSoto! Watch yourselves in there! We'll have three stokes
ready before you radio out to Rampart. Stay on your HTs continuously!"

"Right, Cap.." said Gage.

The plane's fall accomplished what the tools would've done. The pilot's
door had been forced ajar from the force of impact with the ground. Johnny
waded into the chest high fire suppressant foam and pulled it open. He
scooped the flowing foam away from the plane's cabin to see the face
of a man lying slumped over the pilot's controls. He quickly
peeled off a glove to feel for a carotid without moving him. Roy began to work
on crowbar popping the passengers' wing door inside the river of foam.

He began to be grateful for the googles when the wind began to pile up
the stuff up higher than his head. Roy jammed his back into the door space
between the body of the plane and the door itself
to keep it out as he shouted to his partner. "How is he? I got two female
victims. One in her forties, the other a teenager. Both appear to be
unconscious.."

Image of capfoam.jpg Image of royclosecartanker.jpg Image of outwomangroundclose.jpg

Johnny shoved his goggles up onto his forehead as he pulled out his
penlight to examine the pilot's eyes. "He's a code F. Pupils are blown
both sides with no pulses discernable at all." he said pulling off his stethoscope.
A further check with his hands found a grossly fractured spine through his
shirt just above the man's chest level even though he couldn't see the white
splintering of bone. "An open fracture of his back is above T3. He's gone."

"Both of the passengers are still alive. Come in through my way, Johnny.
The door on the other side's been crushed like a tin can. I'm afraid we
don't have the time to take to cut through it. The mother's in Cheynes Stokes
pattern with heavy cyanosis and the girl's in deep shock. The daughter's
got a bad pelvis injury. Her left leg's grossly turned." Roy reported as
he crouched over the older woman to aid her respirations.

Johnny slid on his goggles again and waded by touch through the flowing foam
until his gloves hit the back of Roy's canvas turnout jacket. His terse report
out sounded muffled in the deep stuff and the wind's screaming was
mercifully, bubble filtered. "Cap! We've two female survivors. We'll need the
resuscitator and an ambu run in now! Get the mast suit laid out second."

##10-4, Squad 51. Chet and Marco are on their way in now.## came
Cap's speakered voice next to his ear.

Roy looked up after giving a first mouth to nose breath to the mother through
his jaw thrust hold. "Johnny, she's good and clear. Is the bag coming?"

"Yeah. It's thirty seconds away along with the O2.."

"Johnny!?" came Kelly's voice. Abruptly, the wind's shriek returned
when the stocky fireman burst through the wall of fire foam with the
tank and breathing apparatus.

"Over here. Hand it over. Got a short airway with ya, too?" Gage asked.

"Yeah, two are taped to the mask! I hope they're the right size.. I heard
about two females."

"Yep. These are fine. Roy!" said Gage, passing off the bag valve
mask even as he strung it to the upright oxygen tank.

DeSoto tore off one of the taped oral airways and finger scissored it into place
deftly into the mother's mouth. He began hyperventilating the woman
with the bag while Kelly secured cervical collars on both the passengers.

Chet glanced down at the teenager's slack face. "How she doing breathing
wise? Does she need help, too?"

Gage shook his head. "She's fair. Get an oxygen mask on her. I'm gonna
look for more bleeding past this femur and hip fracture." he told Chet after
he got the girl airway secured using the second one Chet had brought. Johnny
split the clothes off the slight teenager and found a rigid distended abdomen
when the jeans fell away. "Guarding, Roy. All quadrants."

"She gets out first..." DeSoto said.

"I'm on it. I'll get the guys in here with her spine board..." said Kelly
and he disappeared.

Right then, the foam cocooned around the plane lit up with a soft
white light as the Light Truck got her lamp tower turned on.

Roy sighed when the mother's new skin color glowed under it with a
healthier sheen of pink. "That's better. Always good to see what
who you're working on. Johnny, the mother's pupils are equal and
reactive."

"Good deal..She wasn't dyspneic too long. Maybe the breath
was just knocked out of her when the plane fell off the wires."
Johnny guessed.

"There's more going on here than just that. She's got a depressed
skull fracture, over her left temple. I've got Battle's sign, too."
Roy said, bagging the mother carefully. "Hey!" he shouted out of
the plane. "I need a ventilator in here ASAP!"

A goggled man from truck 127 wormed his way into the plane. "Got her.."
he said, taking over breathing for the woman using the ambu bag.
"Fellas, the foam's well down. All your fire danger's over."

"Thanks.." Johnny said, getting a blood pressure reading on the
young teen. "You guys work fast."

"I don't like being slow at airplane calls. They like to blow up far too
often for my taste." said the fireman. "Is this rate good?" he asked
Roy.

"Yeah, a little fast like that's a good thing. It should slow her cerebral
swelling a bit." said the foam dotted paramedic as he ran hands over the
mother to find out her other injuries. "Watch for vomiting. She may do
some with that head injury."

"I'm all eyes."

Soon, Gage, DeSoto, Kelly and Lopez had the two women out of the
plane on longboards and stokes with the daughter's blanketed additionally
with mast trousers. "Cap, we're gonna need the traction splint for the girl!
This femur's causing complications. Her left foot pulse's absent!" Roy shouted
as the bunch of firefighters assigned to the plane moved the passengers
out of the roadway and away from the plane.


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Gage looked up sharply at that even as he radioed out to Rampart.

Hank jogged over with the Hare a minute later, still wearing his googles.
"How about for the mother?"

"Just a suction set up..." DeSoto said.

"In seconds, pal." said Cap as he watched Kelly and Marco scramble to lay
the victims gently down by the sheltering side of the rescue squad out
of the hot santa ana winds. The glare from the generator lamps on the Light
Truck cast surreal shadows on the badly hurt mother and daughter. It
made all their blood reddened  wounds wash into pallid shades of purple
gray.

Roy glanced up at Marco. "Help me stop this leg bleeding. This is from
an arterial cut so don't worry about hurting her any. The fracture's not
open. I'm going to go get a set of vitals on the mother.."

"Pressure point?"

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"No. Use direct pressure. That foot's circulation's been compromised enough.
Also that sagging femur's hidden the femoral artery you'd need. If she's still
bleeding real bad after we get the Hare traction on, ignore what I said and
switch over to that groin point until it works. You'll have the bone shaft back
to push on then."  

Lopez nodded his goggled face, tight with concentration.

Johnny shouted his hail once again to get his voice louder than the wind.
"Rampart this is Squad 51. How do you read?"

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