From : patti keiper <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent : Saturday, May 21, 2005 4:56 PM
Subject : From the Devil's Mouth..
McCall looked up from the patient chart she was
working on when the red light above the door of the
in base station started flashing. She dropped what she was
doing and entered the tiny room.
"Unit calling Rampart, would
you repeat your transmission?" she asked as she turned on
recorder next to the alcove receiver.
##Rampart, this is Rescue 5-1.##
Dixie punched the
talk button again even as her other hand
picked up the black paging phone to the hospital operator.
"Go ahead, 51. I read you loud and clear."
Dixie began to jot down Johnny's findings with one hand
got a doctor tipped off about the incoming paramedic call
she had. She squinted when the finer
details of Gage's voice
were nearly drowned out by the high winds in his area. ::Oh, it's
already? Kel's not gonna like knowing the Santa Anas
are here so early.:: she thought to herself.
They sounded un-usually
bad for 51, who was showing up on the frequency's indicator
in their usual
service area inside the valley.
"I found I.D.s in wallets on both women.They've the same last
Johnny." Stoker said, squatting down by him.
"Ok, thanks, Mike." Gage nodded.
began shouting. ##Rampart, I have three victims of
a vertical fall from over thirty feet sustained
an airplane. Victims one and two, are unconscious females who
are a confirmed mother
and daughter pair.
Victim one is approximately sixteen years of age with probable
pelvic and femur
fractures with extensive abdominal guarding. Most
likely from additional internal injuries. Pulses
in her effected extremity
are absent. An unrelated arterial wound over her left leg is now under
active bleeding control. I estimate around 800 cc's blood loss. She's
now on sixteen liters of
Victim two is fifty,..##Gage said reading the age on the I.D. that
Mike had found on the
mother. ##Found in marked Cheynes/Stokes
respirations. She has a depressed skull fracture over her
temple area also with early Battle's sign. She is under assisted
ventilations. So far, we've
no evidence of abnormal isipilateral
Both victims are C-spine immobilized.
Victim Three is male,...##
Gage looked up when Roy slapped his notepad against his
that contained pen scribbled details....##....deceased
from his injuries.## He took it and bent it
into the truck tower's light
to read it. ##Vital signs are: Victim one, BP 76/50, respirations..
28 and shallow. Pulse is 140, rapid and weak. She is acutely diaphoretic.
Victim two, BP
is 152/120. Respirations unassisted are eight, but she's
no longer showing an abnormal CNS respiratory
pattern. Pulse is
sixty and regular. No obvious signs of other injury...Rampart, note
have mast trousers already set up and standing by for victim
flew. "10-4, 51. On victim one, go ahead and apply her
suit first, inflating only the chambers over
her uninjured leg and abdominal
areas until her blood pressure elevates out of shock. Then secure
needed traction. For victim two, maintain assisted ventilations. Keep both
temperatures warm after drying them off." the nurse suggested,
already knowing that a plane crash
meant fuel leaks and that fuel leaks
were always handled with a light water fan raining over the rescuing
firefighters. "A doctor is on his way to advise you further. Stand by."
by...## yelled Johnny over the roaring
winds. He looked up at Cap and the others crouching over the
"We got permission..Make it fast.." he motioned to them about the Hare
and the antishock pants go ahead for the daughter.
"Let me know when you guys get a pedal pulse on
that foot! Stoker, get
us some blankets, would ya?"
"Grabbing em.." he said.
spoke up, spitting some dust out of his mouth.
"Johnny, there's nothing in this leg wound at all from
what I can tell." he
said adding another dressing on top of the soaked ones under his gloves.
got a whole lotta pooling. But it's no longer spurting."
"Has it stopped yet?" Roy asked Lopez
he was listening to the mother's breath sounds with a stethoscope.
"Yeah. For the
most part. But she's wet from the hose wash, I don't
know if this cut's clotted up completely enough
or not yet." the hispanic fireman
frowned from where he was leaning over the girl using most of his
"We just have to stay ahead of it.." Roy smiled at him through his
goggles. "Once these
I.V.s go in, just tape that up best you can." he said
lofting a pair of Ringers and one normal saline
line over his shoulder while
he spiked three bags. Then he studied the care being given to the mother.
"Monroe, slow to normal vents on her. I'm not getting any bad cerebral swelling
symptoms here." he
said watching the older woman's face and the area around
her eyes. "And another point in our favor..She's
not getting nauseated."
he said, glancing at her bare abdomen's quiet breath rises and falls, which
were entirely free of queasy tensing or rocking motions.
Gage propped the biophone receiver onto his neck as he rechecked the |
young teenager's vital signs.
When he was through, Dr. Brackett had come
on the line. ##Squad 51, start two large bore Ringer's
wide open on victim one.
Draw a red top for a type and cross. Start a normal saline TKO with 0.5g/kg
of mannitol over 20 minutes, I.V.,on your second victim. I want to stave off any
from that skull fracture site on the mother. Let me know if you
regain a pulse after stabilizing
that sagging femur fracture on the daughter.
And I want EKG readings on both as soon as you can get
Johnny acknowledged a reply and repeated their medical orders back
to Brackett. He nodded
when he got a smile from Cap about regained
circulation in the broken leg stretched inside the Hare
Crawling around to the teenager's chest, Stanley began to put EKG pads
her after drying off her skin with an edge of a blanket from several brought
by Stoker. Hank then
thought of their time factor situation and saved over a
minute by throwing open the defibrillator.
He lifted out and then set ungelled
paddles onto the mother's ribs and stomach in their usual frame
heart for a faster way to send in the second strip to Dr. Brackett after he
daughter wired up.
Gage vigorously nodded approval over that plan and he made the
on the biophone radio to carry the other cardiac signal from
Roy shifted his attention
to the teenager after passing off the mother's
mannitol piggybacked I.V. to a waiting ambulance attendant.
scrambled over to Johnny and plucked the phone from him so he could
finish starting the
younger girl's I.V.s without getting a crimp in his neck.
He picked up the pad Johnny had added to
and read it aloud. "Rampart,
all medications are in. Both EKGs will be Lead Two. One hard wired, the
other through the datascope." he said.
##Understood, 51. We're all set here for those cardiac
readings.## he said,
after turning on the secondary defib/heart reader next to the
Gage looked to Monroe. "Ok, pause for a sec while we send hers
in..." he told the
firefighter working the mother's ambu bag. Monroe stopped
his vents and carefully made sure that he
wasn't touching the mother so his
own heart rhythm wouldn't read out through the defib paddles Hank
pressing down firmly.
After half a minute, Brackett came back on the line. ##Looking good
both, 51. I'm seeing no arrythmias anywhere and I note victim one's sinus
tach rate of 140,
which is more than stable enough for me in this stage of
"10-4, Rampart." said
DeSoto. "Ok, Cap. You can put em away. Thanks.
Monroe, it's ok now to start up on her again."
Stanley sighed and repackaged the defibrillator shut. He carried it
over to the daughter and set it
on the long board between her knees
next to the upended datascope still running a live feed off her
the two paramedics could watch it. Without being told, he took the tube
of blood Roy had
gotten and taped it to one of the teenager's I.V. lines
for safe keeping after marking down what time
it had been drawn with
a pen from his pocket.
Dr. Brackett suffered a sudden after thought.
##51, how's that foot doing
Roy glanced up at Chet who was still giving the thumbs
up from his place
at the ankle end of the Hare traction splint. "Pink and pulsing, Rampart."
Get both your victims in here as soon as possible, 51. Go ahead
and radio any further complications
if and when they arise and gimme new
sets of vital signs every five minutes.##
Transporting as soon as possible. Our ambulances are
on scene. Our estimated ETA to you is twelve
minutes." said Roy.
##This is Rampart base, signing out.## replied Brackett.
There was no place more welcoming than the inside of the two|
spacious Mayfairs away from the raging
bite of the hot winds. Gage wasn't
aware of the tiny abrasions over his eyelids until he tried to
rub them free
of dirt after pulling off his dusty goggles. He placed his live HT onto
a knee. "Roy,
I'll meet you there. I've got the daughter loaded."
DeSoto replied from his own rig. ##O.K., Johnny.
The mother's now breathing
ok on her own without us helping her.##
Gage grinned at his ambulance
attendant wrapping up the long boarded
daughter in a heated blanket. "That's a good sign all around,
Roy. My victim's
pressure is now in the low nineties with just Dixie's recommended
inflation. And Marco's tape job is staunching the worst bleeding
well from the leg so far. I didn't
need a hemostat for that laceration at all. But
I wish I could wash my face and irrigate both my
eyes out right about now. The
wind's skinned me alive."
##Count your blessings, junior. We
won back two out of three straight outta
the devil's mouth. Your poor hide's a small price to pay
for that kind of score
"I suppose you're right, pally. But next call, I'm donning
my whole entire
scba setup whether we need it or not. I like to keep my face's skin in one piece
thank you very much."
##Good idea. Think I'll copy ya, too. Betcha I'll be faster getting
"No bet. I don't think either of us'll win that race. Absolutely nobody hates this
wind storming up more than Cap does. He leaped back into the Ward cab to
get out of the weather so
fast, I thought he broke a few hinges on the engine's
door. I honestly think that he'll be sleeping
in his air gear tonight, Roy, and in
his bunk, too. Complete with helmet and all."
be surprised. Tell you what? How about we both get checked out
by a doc when we get there. I kinda
banged my shoulder a bit slipping on some
"You did? Well, why didn't you say so?!"
Gage complained into his walkie
##Uh,, I didn't feel it, not until I got
in here where it's quiet. Kinda the same story
you just related to me about your face and eyes.##
"Ok, you got me on that. I'll stop yelling cause I'm guilty of the same crime about
injury. I got more than just my face. I got my hand pinched in the pilot's
seat getting over to him."
##Ice and elevate, partner.##|
"Not until you do."
##Can't do that, my shoulder doesn't
lift any higher.##
"You know what I mean..." sighed Gage wearily.
##Yeah, I know what you
mean. See you at the hospital. I think Lopez's
bringing us the squad.##
"Hope he manages to
snag us all a few burgers on the way in. I'm starving."
##Just don't go starting any I.V. on yourself.
I'd hate to fill out all the paperwork
after a doctor finds out about you pulling a stunt like that.##
"All right, all right. I'll just choke down a "gluke" tube or two."
##Those'll work. At least
eating sugar leaves no traces. I'll vouch for ya with
the supply requisitions for getting new ones.
We really had a ton of
hypoglycemic kid calls the last few days, didn't we?##
Gage could practically
hear Roy's teasing wink over the HT. He
bit the ends off both sugar tubes and starting sucking. "Wish
I can hide my
face, Roy. Dixie's gonna fuss over me something awful."
##I'll just moan a little
louder over my shoulder, Johnny. That way, the problem's
solved. She'll spend less time dabbing all
that alcohol over those scratches of
yours for worrying over me. I know how much you hate that kind
of first aid.##
"I can't help being such a sensitive guy.."
##I know you can't. Now shut
up and eat before you faint. Just make sure
you keep an eye on the daughter's monitor while you're
##Yep. I am one in this ambulance. Only makes sense to spread
the wealth around a little. HT 51, out.## said Roy smugly.
Gage leaned forward to tap on the driver
to cab window of the ambulance
and rapped on it once. It opened. "Say, Malcolm. Kill the sirens, kay?
No one can hear us for all this wind anyway. The reds'll be enough. I could use
a little less noise
and I'm sure she can, too." he said, pointing to his patient.
"Getting some rest is a good thing."
"Uh huh.." said the driver with mild fatigue. The flip door snapped shut.
grumbled to the other attendant. "Be glad you two aren't
firefighters. Cause I've a feeling that my
whole station'll be spending the
the rest of the week out in that howling mess out there. You haven't
until your ears are ringing from Santa Ana wind shrieks. Try sleeping with
that going on.
Cause that's what I've got going on right now, real bad."
Malcolm's partner smiled supportively and reached up to scratch on|
the peek window with a few nails,
Johnny looked up with surprise when the sirens actually turned off.
"Mine are ringing,
too, man. And so are his up front. We've been waiting
for one of you paramedics to actually ask for
silent mode. It took a
smart guy like you to finally do it. And I mean that in a nice way."
Date: Mon May 23, 2005 5:27 pm
Subject: The Hornet's Nest..
Johnny and Roy arrived to the hospital and passed off their two patients
to Dr. Morton
and Dr. Brackett, who immediately set in to get the two
fall victims into surgery.
on the other hand, was parked in her usual place at
the front desk of the emergency room, hemmed in
ringing phones. The two on the wall and the white one in front of her
jumping off their hooks.
"Rampart, emergency. This is Dixie McCall. How can I help you?"
said into the receiver even while she picked up a second and
plunked it onto her shoulder. She flashed
the two dusty, foam flecked
firefighters a look of instant desperation. "Rampart emergency, can you
Gage immediately pointed, seeing the need for another rescue.
"Want us to answer some
of those? Uh,...are we allowed to?"
"Feel free. The entire hospital switchboard's overwhelmed
and every treatment room's occupied. You just gave us our last
two patients. The rest
of the ambulances inbounding have been diverted
to other hospitals." she said quickly.
been that busy?!" Johnny said incredulously.
"You have to ask?" McCall whimpered. "The d*mned
wind's made everybody
go crazy tonight. What hasn't happened? Your downed plane was a piece
cake compared to runs the other boys've been on." she said, throwing a
careless hand at the status
board full of red and yellow magnets. Every one
of them was slid over into the on-scene column. Dixie
took a deep breath
and then she set both phones over her ears and started talking. "Ok, the worst
first. Maam, go ahead. Sir, you're second. Go."
Gage awkwardly reached for a ringing phone
with haste to ease the worst
of Dixie's phone burden.
Roy, in the meantime, started digging
in the supply cupboard for the things
they needed on his own. He reached around Dixie's shoulders
for the supply
forms even as he kissed the top of her head in friendly encouragement.
there. If you drop in your tracks, don't worry. Gage and I have
an oxygen tank and EKG monitor right
here.." he said jerking a head over
to the squad equipment they had brought out of the treatment room
Dixie rolled her eyes and kept talking. "You say he's got dust in his eyes from
wind and can't open them? All right. Are you near a sink?" she asked the
Then she shifted
her head and spoke with the man on the white phone.
"Sir, we can't do anything about your insomnia.
Have you tried a warm
And on and on it went. Minor call after minor call. For
around ten minutes.
Marco Lopez soon arrived and waved at Roy. He caught wind of the
of calls and took prompt advantage of it. He sat down next
to Roy in a vacant waiting room chair to
leaf through the paper, ignoring
Gage who was swamped and now wrapped in phone cords. He ignored
looks to come help out. "Sorry, can't. I'm not a nurse or paramedic.
Not allowed." he shrugged.
By the time the phone slam was over, even Johnny was sweating for taking down
so many notes and offering
out fast and pointless first aid advice to all the petty
concern callers he had spoken to. He hung
up his last caller in exasperation.
"Man, Dixie.. Have all of these phone calls been as pointless
and stupid as
the nine I took?"
"Yep." said McCall, wearily collapsing a head on the desk.
got her a cup of coffee, complete with a dimpled napkin.
"I've already been
stimulated enough, thanks. You drink it. You're still hungry."
Johnny did a double take. "How
did you know, Dix?"
"You still got gluke paste on your lips. Here.." she said without looking
The paper napkin full of jaunty flowers was thrust up into his face. "Give me
a bit to reboot
my brain and I'll see about getting the treatment room
you guys need for your bumps and bruises..."
"Wait a minute, how did y--" Gage was about to say. "Never mind.." he said.|
"I just gotta learn that
your powers of telepathy are just as good as Stoker's
Dixie lifted her hair
strewn exhausted head up at that. "Huh?"
"Nothing. Roy and I just got an inside track from our
engineer about how
the winds are gonna nail us..." Gage sighed expansively. Then he regarded
coffee cup and walked fingers over to it. "Are you sure you don't mind?"
he said, hungry eyes fastening
on the cup of coffee.
"Be my guest..." Dixie said, parking a frazzled head onto her hands folded
over the dozens of notes she and Johnny had taken. "Drink up! It may be
the last meal you'll ever--"
Then she jerked, reaching for a phone on the
wall behind her.
Gage stopped her with a grab.
"It's not ringing yet..."
"Oh... It isn't? Sorry. Thanks. I can't
tell anymore. My ears are still ringing
and so's my whole head."
"Really?" piped up Roy, folding
over to the horse racing section.
"Funny that. So our ours." he laughed without humor. "Say, Dixie.
got any ear pl--"
Dixie's hand tipped up a box of styrofoam ear plugs that she had next
to the tissue box. It was already half empty. "Help yourself. The
other paramedics already have. Amply.
Better safeguard your hearing
now, boys. Ayers is booked solid dealing with ear trauma cases. Did
you know that five cases of perforated eardrums filed on in here in
just the last hour alone?"
"No kidding.." said Marco, looking surprised. "Caused by all this wind?"
"Yep." nodded Dixie tiredly.
"A straight line's perfect for kicking up
stones and litter from off the ground. City missiles.. Joe's
"Wonderful. A new malady for the santa ana's already growing list."
His stomach growled, making it over the screeching of
the winds outside the entrance doors. "He should
write a paper and
capitalize on it."
"He already has." Dixie said. Then she reached for Johnny's
scratched and puffing face. "Ooo, those look like they smart.."
made good his promise and jerked in a twinge.
"Oww, d*mned shoulder! Ooo. Next time, Johnny. You
crawl under the
plane to reach someone. I'm too big to play." he fussed exaggeratedly.
Dixie immediately magneted over to Roy's side and plunked
down on the empty seat next to him. "The
"Yeah, it's nothing."
"Pretty painful nothing, Roy. Can you move it full range?"
"Enough to feed myself, which is all I'm interested in." DeSoto said,
sniffing at Marco's jacket.
"Lopez.. tell me you stopped at the burger
stand.." he said indignantly. "You're not smelling like
"Didn't have time. I got an ambulance on my butt and had to scoot in
fast so I
wouldn't slow them down while getting here." Marco told him.
"What ambulance?" Roy glared, some
of his humor sliding away.
"I don't see one..."
"Roy, blame me. That one was probably the one I sent to Regents|
when I saw you two filing in with
our last two criticals." Dixie said.
"Here, let me get you some ice.." she said, rising to get some
from a wheeled specimen cooler next to the drinking fountain.
Gage drained half the coffee pot
before he remembered his
coworkers and sheepishly offered them some into two mugs.
"Do I dare ask
Roy glared again. "Don't, junior. You'll jinx us.."
"Ok.. ok.. I won't.
Seems the fire radio's quiet enough though.
It's not even scanning." Gage said, throwing a head at
all band sitting above the ekg monitor outside the base station.
Dixie kept her tongue
still to honor superstition
and pointed back at the status board with a pencil, even as she
an ice bag under Roy's shirt over his sore spot.
Not one magnet labelled fire had been moved
"That's a minor mercy if I ever saw one.." DeSoto said.
"Dix, that wind is bad.
Real bad. I wouldn't be surprised
if the whole mountain range ringing us went up in smoke."
Cut it out. You'll make me think about my ranch again."
said Johnny, almost spilling his coffee.
"What about your ranch, Johnny?" Dixie said, distracted.
"It's in the line of f...i...r..e."
he said spelling it out. "Literally.
I just hope I remembered to renew my homeowner's insurance,
I'll get to be the proud owner of a twenty acre pile of ashes."
"Don't fret until it's a reality
Johnny, or you'll just burn yourself
out on it."
"Too late. I already have." Gage sighed,
finishing his mug.
Dixie grabbed Marco's grimy chin, examining it gently.
"Are you banged
up, too?" Her eyes drifted to the stains of
blood around his sleeves that he had gotten from helping
the daughter out.
"Nah, Dixie. None of this is mine. I'm just the squad driver."
"I just haven't hosed off yet."
"Use the doc's locker room. You can't walk into a hamburger
looking like a war casualty." she sniffed.
Lopez rose eagerly. "Thanks, Dix, for the invitation.
I've had all night. I'll go shower off my jacket. I promise to
"Never doubted you for a moment, Marco." McCall smiled,
watching him retreat for the locker room.
"That's not fair.." Roy whined. "We can't do the same thing.
We got all this equipment and all
these supplies to watch."
"Nice perk for being a regular fireman.." Dixie said. "Maybe
should quit the paramedic program and regain it back."
"Not a chance. I like my extra pay.." DeSoto
"I've got kids, remember?"
"Hush.. you're just crabby cause you're hungry. Here."
mothered, grabbing a gluke tube out of her uniform pocket.
"Eat before Joe sees that shoulder
of yours if you want to
stay on duty. Your pressure's probably sky high compensating
low blood sugar and foul mood."
Roy moused down sheepishly and began slurping down the
"Good boy... Now for some cof--" she broke off. "Guys..you didn't
leave any left for me.." she
said snatching the empty clear glass
pot from Johnny's dusty hand.
Gage hastily ran for the
coffee brewer to make some more just
completed his examination of Roy's shoulder. "I don't
think you tore your rotator cuff, Roy. It's
probably just a strain. It
should clear up in a couple of days if you take it easy."
think I can take it easy, doc. Not when the Santa anas
are blowing.." Roy smiled.
me. This is the slowest I've been all day." Dr. Early
snorted. "You can go ahead and put your shirt
"So is he gonna live?" Johnny grinned.
"A long and healthy life. That is if he
eats how I keep telling you
firefighters how to eat. Boys, you're getting sloppy again. I can smell
the glucose paste on your breaths from here."
Roy and Johnny both blushed a proper shade of red.
to hit the hamburger stand."
"Make sure you mean that hypothetically. I've already
of a pair of paramedics who wrecked their squad when a wind gust
blew a roof down in
front of it."
"No kidding. Roy, did you hear a call for that over your HT?! I sure
Johnny's face dropped into horror. "They ok, doc? Who's was it?"
"It was out of your district.
They're fine. But I can't tell you what station.
I've been sworn to secrecy about it at their request."
"That's ok. Knowing Charlie the mechanic, we'll all find out about it
before midnight.." Roy said,
smiling. "He knows nothing about
sparing anyone a little embarrassment. And that's not even his worst
"Sounds like one h*ll of a mechanic." Joe preambled.
"He is. I swear, doc. He treats
the squad and engine better than we
do our patients.." Gage laughed. "Are we done?"
is if you still don't want anyone messing with your facial
abrasions." Dr. Early said, pointing to
Johnny sagged. "They're only gonna get dirty again anyway during
a fire or something.
"Because germs aren't our friends, Johnny." DeSoto piped up.
"Doc, he wouldn't
even let me clean him up."
"Maybe your Captain Stanley can convince him when you guys reach
fire command center.." Dr. Early said.
Both paramedics stopped short. "Wh-- what do you mean fire
command center?" Roy stammered.
Joe simply pointed to the scanner radio on top of the defibrillator
the room. "We've been put on High Alert, boys. Seems half of Malibu's
already on fire. Go to
the nurse's lounge after we're done here and
go check it out on TV. Johnny, your fire district's the
only one not yet
locked into a full firefight. So I suggest you grab some chow while you
have the time cause I've a feeling that things are going to get a
whole lot worse before they get
better. And you'll be doing it alone.
Rampart's been put out of the picture cause we're already at
capacity. Good luck, boys. Needless to say, I'll be thinking about you
fellas a whole
lot while you're stuck up there." And with that, the
sympathetic soft spoken doctor, left the room.
"Roy.." Johnny gasped.
"What?!" overreacted Roy even as he struggled back into his grimy
shirt. He was still shaky from his hunger and still grumpy.
"I"m gonna kill Stoker."
DeSoto asked, uncovering his head finally.
"Because he's proving himself right. Malibu's straight
upwind from my ranch."
Date: Sat, 28 May 2005 13:27:01
From: "Jeff Seltun" <email@example.com>
Subject: Base of Operations..
"You don't know that for certain. We haven't even seen
the news bulletins yet." Roy reasoned,
jumping off the exam
"Oh, yes I do. I got a good look at the station wall map today,
remember? Adrenaline's great for imprinting instant and total recall
of whatever your eyes are stuck
on when you've been jolted by
sheer horror like I was, seeing all that red painted over my ranch."
"Johnny, those were hypothetical numbers. They weren't even real.
How can you be horrified by something you can't even taste,
touch or feel?" Roy asked as the two medics
gathered up their medical
gear. Marco Lopez whizzed on by them whistling, and divested DeSoto
the heavy defibrillator on their way out to the squad. "Give one example
of something where that's
true and I'll eat my shorts."
"Carbon monoxide gas, Roy. Start salting em, cause you just lost
Gage said without a smile.
"Hmph. Can't. Or I'll get indigestion and have to
have an emergency gastrectomy to
pull em back out again." DeSoto quipped, level faced.
being so literal, Roy. I only said that because it actually made me feel
better for a few seconds."
Johnny said honestly. Then he started chewing his
DeSoto slapped his hand
away from his mouth. "Yuck. Nothing like foam residue
for lunch, eh?"
"Fire foam can't hurt
us." Gage said, opening his passenger door and motioning
for Marco to get into the squad in between
him and his partner.
"That's what they said about those asbestos tarps we used to have for years
and years. You don't see them in our trucks anymore, do you?" DeSoto sighed.
He started up the engine. Just as he was doing so, Dixie McCall came dashing out|
of the emergency
doors. "Boys, you forgot these!" she said, handing over the
half used box of earplugs that had been
on her desk.
Gage took them from her in stride and noticed the dozen or so gluke tubes that had
been shoved inside with them with a wink. "Are you gonna get in trouble for issuing
"Nope. We're in disaster mode. You know Rampart's administrators never count
until after it's all over. They'll just lick their wounds and write everything
that isn't a government
regulated medical supply off as gone to a good cause."
McCall grinned. "And saving you three from
wasting into food starved twigs enough
to blow away, definitely fits that parameter."
you're a miracle worker!" said Marco and he dug in eagerly for a tube to eat.
"How about telling
that to the administrators upstairs, Marco?" Dixie smiled. "Maybe
I can get a real good pay raise
out of it."
"Sure will. Uh, I mean, as soon as I'm no longer tied up." and he pointed to the east.
"Looks like our calm rescue day's over fellas." A mile wide, thick column of orange lit
was just beginning to rise over the city margins from the foothills. Its
heavy mantel of post destruction
smothered the fringes of glowing
streetlamps gridded around the rich suburban homes of those neighborhoods.
Already, sounds of sirens pierced the night noise over the santa ana's.
"Oh, boy. Step on it,
Roy. Who's closer? Mac's burgers? Or Amos's chili dogs?
We gotta scoot before we're toned out to report
to the chief." Gage snivelled.
"Amos's." said Marco.
"Mac's." said Roy.
the tie and said. "Amos's, boys. By half a mile. Go. And stay safe
said Roy, putting on his helmet for night travel.
"I just may see you up there, guys. And soon.
It's my turn to delegate out nurses to
any evac recovery operation that might spring up because of
a grade four wildlife
fire. And that certainly smells like one." she said, her limpid eyes reflecting
mountain fire's glow.
"We'll save a pot of coffee for ya.." said Gage as Roy stepped on
the gas with a
squeal for their nearest planned source of food enough for the whole station. Dixie
shook her head ruefully when the squad's tires screamed piercingly as it made its right
ninety degree turn under the hospital skyway.
Dixie retreated inside out of the wind to pack her
field bags. Already, she could see
the head nurse relieving her from swings, on early graves, getting
tangled up in
another phone call blitz. She just hoped all of them were as uncritical and benign
as the ones she and Gage had fielded twenty minutes earlier.
got em?" pegged Hank Stanley even before the chili dog perfumed squad
had shut off its flashing backing
"Plenty.." said Marco, pushing a slow Gage out of the cab. "Enough for
four dogs each."
he said wiping away chili sauce from his moustache.
"Hey, Cap that's no fair.." moaned Chet. "How
come Marco got to eat before
the rest of us?"
"He was faster at volunteering to take the squad
in for Roy and Johnny, that's
why. Next time, leap a little higher if you're hungry and I just may
Cap said, snatching a hot dog bag from Lopez's presenting hands. He had
a dog halfway
inhaled before Roy shut down the squad's power. "He's clean, too.
Remember that, Kelly. There are
open showers at Rampart when it's busy.
So I don't wanna hear another gripe about taking a squad in.
packed so full of incentives I'm surprised murder isn't done whenever we
victims to transport at the same time."
The gang didn't even bother moving to the kitchen table
They ate right there on top of the squad's hood, using their jacket
gloves for snack
Stoker matter of factly shrugged as he stuffed his face with food while his
marked another spot with a red headed pin over the wall map
next to them showing where fire stations
all around the county were being
deployed. "I'm too nice to kill anything but flames, Cap. Let the
"Very funny.." said Chet, spilling cheese onto his shoes. "Oh, man.."
"Start slurpin', Chet." grinned Roy. "That's the only four you're gonna get."
too. "Yeah, you just go ahead and lick those shoes. If you're still
hungry afterwards, Dixie gave
us all some gluke tubes for dessert."
"Really?" Chet said, whistling to Bonnie to come lap his
"I claim dibs on the cherry flavored ones."
"You get what comes.." Marco said,
blinding reaching into the earplug
box for his share of tubes and Chet's. He thrust his hands behind
without looking at what flavors he had grabbed out. "Ok, pick an arm."
one." said Kelly holding still, while Bonnie the Yorkie groomed
off his shoe polish along with the
"Aw, nuts." finger snapped Marco. "That handful's got two cherry tubes."
of the draw, sore loser. Heghhh." he laughed in a teasing sneer.
Johnny chortled around his mouthful
of meat. "Don't grouse Marco.
I can always start an IV on ya and spike it red with some koolaid or
something to make up for it."
"Nah, that wouldn't work at all." said Lopez watching Bonnie
eat. "I don't think my veins have any tastebuds to work with."
"Yeah, but you'd be looking at
it. Pysch power goes a long way if you use
your imagination." Roy teased.
"I don't like needles
enough to be Gage's guinea pig for that little experiment.
I'll settle for the lemon tubes I got fair
and square." sighed Lopez.
"Thanks, Marco. Thanks, Dixie!" Chet toasted to the air with one of
"Instant room temperature jelly pops. My favorite.."
Hank chided Kelly into silence for acting out his overactive sense of silliness.|
Bonnie was just
burping contentedly when the tones finally rolled out a brush
call standby series.
to his office phone to get their assignment, wiping off his mouth
with a jacket sleeve as he went.
The gang followed after him. Chet was somewhat slower because Bonnie was
still growling warnings
and feeding off his chili splashed toes.
"Station 51, Los Angeles County Fire Department. This
is Captain Stanley."
he greeted. "Oh, hiya Chief.." He nestled the phone onto his shoulder briefly.
"It's Houts. He's already at the command center." He lifted the phone
receiver to his ear once again.
The voice on the other end of the line jarbled a few questions about deployment
Stoker, who got the passed off phone long enough to reply to the chief.
"Yes, Chief? Uh, I got em
all pegged, yessir. There's only a six mile long gap
left that hasn't been manned by FD above Bear
Claw Canyon." he advised.
##Do you know the territory?## asked Chief Houts.
"Uh, not really.
It's been seven or so years since that area burned, sir." replied
the engineer loud enough so that
the others could hear him.
Gage piped up. "Sir, uh, Chief?" he said, punching on the speaker phone so|
that he could talk to
Houts as well. "I offer my property as a base of operations.
I've insurance enough to cover and a
pond that might make a good helicopter
filling point. It's in the middle of a hay field."
slapped Gage's jacket in admonishment at his sneaky way of getting
the fire department onto his ranch
but he had to hold his tongue or be overheard.
##Hmm. A big pond?##
"Over three acres.
I've several barns, too. They'd make great bunkspace
for recuping fire jumpers. And....I'm.. right
near a repeater tower direct to
L.A." Johnny buttered even further.
##Good man. Hank, didya
hear Gage's offer? Use his ranch to set up
your fire district's base of operations pronto. You'll
have stations eight,
ten, ninety ninety and one twenty four all under your jurisdiction. I'll trust
you to get that source of water potable for the choppers just as soon
as humanly possible.##
##Now finish eating and get cracking, 51. And for g*d's sake start feeding
mascot a little better on the busy shifts. I can hear her
complaining about the grub way over here.##
Chet Kelly piped up, "Uh, Chief, sir. That's not Bonnie's stomach rumbling,
stepped on Kelly's foot sharply and shut him up. "We're on it, chief.
Give us twenty minutes to gear
up the extra hose and rescue equipment
and we'll report in. Gage, give the man your ranch address
and box number.
That way he'll know where to send the others."
Johnny grinned at his success
and gave the information.
When the phone hung up, no one was smiling bigger than he was.
just see my ranch burn now with five whole fire departments
and their vehicles camping out on it."
Mike Stoker just tapped the red colored region of the map
ominously on their way out to keep
Gage on a level.
From: All the Voyagerliveaction
Staff Writers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2005 15:49:36 -0700 (PDT)
[EmergencyTheaterLive] Wind and Fire.. The Final Price..
Engine 51 and Squad 51 kept up
tight formation as they wound into
the mountains deep in the heart of rural Los Angeles County.
Force Batallion came over the radio.
##Station 51. Your unit's the last one to roll in to the
your station's assigned call. Report to the main fire camp located
at the airfield 2
miles north of highway 14 on rural route 384.
Your unit's designation for the duration is Task Force
This fire's line has been plane reported as an escalating level four
miles wide with recent accelerated fire behavior.
"10-4, Battalion. Reporting
to Main Incident Command. ETA approximately
fifteen minutes to that location." Stanley reported over
the engine's mic.
Chet in his turnout gear gave a low whistle. "Drought conditions for
years and whatdidya get? H*llfire in the making and I'm not talking
about penny annie stuff. Look.."
and he pointed out the window of the Ward.
The squad, roaring ahead of them, actually slowed down
as the two
paramedics rounded a corner of wild country to see what they would
eventually be facing.
A black maw of pitch colored smoke
was yawning over a tiny team of fireline fighters and their vehicles,
were slowly retreating back down the highway to an open space at
the mountains' foothills.
Cap paused along with Roy and rolled down the window. "Can we
still get by?" he asked a worker
sitting on a hill with some evacuated
civilians who were clutching pets and babies, while watching
blaze approach their neighborhood town.
"Yeah, man. We saw ya coming. PD and roving FD will escort you in past|
the hotspots. The road's still
open but I'd recommend you get into gear
right now. The smoke's down to less than a mile visibility..."
said the lieutenant.
"The reason we pulled out is for an air drop of scba's and more drip
"You heard him boys." said Cap loudly, so his paramedics could hear
him through their open windows
as well. "Ok. Stay safe fellas..." Hank
said cheerily, hunkering down in his coat as he waved Stoker
DeSoto to go on.
"We will. You too, 51." said the man.
Station 51 left the crews
behind them and headed into midnight blackness.
Their first fire escort kept radio silence as transmissions
in between the steep canyon walls surrounding the valley highway.
and choking gray turned the landscape into that of the moon
with ash and darkness. The engine and
squad drove forward as fast
as safely possible behind their guide's vehicle.
At the next major highway intersection a police car suddenly flashed down|
to their position from
a side road. And a loud speaker boomed out
a warning. "51, detour! The fire's leaped your road quarter
of a mile up.
I know a second route the way I came." said the officer.
The gang screeched to
a halt and blinked as a Santa Ana lifted the smoke
veil long enough to reveal a solid fire line eating
the road and the hundred
foot high slash pines on either side. The fire there was so hot, the asphalt
already slag and ignited. "Uh, you're right. Lead the way, PD. We're on your
tail." said Cap
as his eyebrows rose up into his head.
As the engine and squad backed up back to the intersection,
up from his seat behind Hank. "That's a huge hot spot. I wonder where air
Oh, there they are." he said as a fire plane and an Erickson sky
crane roared from over the clear
air treeline to the highway to douse the
leaping edge in mutual attacks of red fire retardant and
The angry blaze wasn't even slowed one second.
"D*mn.. Santa anas must be feeding
that firehead something awful."
"That's why we're not going up that way.." said
Soon, Station 51 was following the squad car through the smoke|
dimmed thick pine forest. The slopes
around them grew only
steeper and thicker with fire sign. Already tree top fires were
just through radiation effects alone.
But soon, PD broke away with a waggle and a siren squelch,
letting the station know that they had reached Fire Camp One.
Click the doomed bridge|
to go to Page Three