From: Patti or Jeff or Cassidy <email@example.com>
Date: Wed Jun 28, 2006 4:33 am
Subject: One Tracked Mind..
At Rampart, the red light
went on over the glass enclosed base
station next to Dixie McCall's desk. The head nurse set aside
her chart filing and made her way into the room, turning on
the recording reels. "Unit calling in,
please repeat.." she
said on reflex.
Nothing came over the air, just the sound of wind blowing.
"This is Rampart Base on the air. Go ahead with your
transmission please.." she tried again.
Dixie frowned when she thought she heard a faint scuffling
and some very quiet strangled gagging.
Startled, she automatically snatched up the red phone over
the radio that gave her an instant
open tie with the county's
fire department dispatch. "L.A. County, this is Miss McCall at
General Hospital. I've an incoming call from a
paramedic unit that's just been initiated. I've a
open comm but no one's talking. Sounds like they've got some
real trouble. Could you
run a trace?... Yes, I'll keep their radio
frequency open. All right, I'll be standing by.." she
replied to L.A.
"I'm turning our FD scanner on right now."
Chet opened his eyes to the sound of cool hissing. He reached
up muzzily and found a heavily flowing
oxygen mask parked
cock-eyed over his chin. He remembered that moments ago, he
had spat out something
hooked over his tongue.
Rolling over dizzily, he spotted an oropharyngeal tube lying in the
dirt next to him. ::That oral was mine? What the h*ll happened to me?::
he thought with a heavy confusion.
Groaning, he looked up from
where he propped belly down on his elbows and spotted Roy and
lying in a heap on either side of him. Stoker was out, too,
twisted haphazardly around his legs. "Guys?!
Can you hear me?!"
Kelly's knee plished against a used ambu bag assembly as he
from his unconscious crewmates and got
up onto his hands. Instinct made Chet pull his plastic oxygen
back over his nose and mouth, hastily pressing it down to gain more
all skin flushed. And the white vapor hanging over
us is new..:: his mind screamed at him. Sucking
in frightened gasps,
Kelly looked quickly at his surroundings for a better solution to
himself from a suddenly gone-hostile breathing environment.
He found it.
groped for the air bottle's mask lying near Mike's
reddened hand and he put it on himself as fast
as he could. Dragging
the tank near, he hurriedly felt the carotids and breathing attempts
three firemen lying near him.
Unlike the others, Gage wasn't even trying to cough through his
fast, very shallow respirations.
In pain from a tremendous headache, Kelly set the oxygen mask
he had found being used on himself over Johnny's face and cranked
up the flow to try and
boost the paramedic's far weaker vital signs.
Satisfied that Mike, Roy and Johnny were stable for the moment, Chet|
got onto his feet in a hunt
for Marco and Cap and for more air bottles
to fit into place for his downed coworkers.
kept Chet from standing and he was forced to drag his air
supply's tank weight behind his crawling
feet by its straps.
A little clarity allowed a gasping Kelly to hit the distress button on
bottle's PASS device as he made his way towards the parked,
light flashing Ward engine. Its piercing
audible wail comforted him
as it told the others that he was coming.
As Kelly drew closer
to the road, he could hear L.A.'s hail, for his station's
reply, repeat itself continuously. ::They
know. Oh, Thank G*d.:: he thought
as he slowly dragged closer to the truck. ::But it won't hurt to
to hurry their *sses a little faster.:: Chet thought. He reached a trembling
his pocket and hit the emergency squelch tone on his handy
talkie until it began sounding out triple
whistles over a live channel.
All radio chatter coming from the engine ceased as the main frequency
was instantly priority cleared by all units working around the county to
await a further explanation
or reply. Kelly kept crawling with the HT
tethered around a wrist as he spoke, his thumb pressing
the talk button. "Mayday... *gasp* L.A.,..Engine 51.. Mayday..." he gasped
"Environmental ex--exposure.. Unknown vap-- vapor..
From the mine..." he yelled through his face plate.
##Engine 51, how many?## returned L.A.
"Six..... Code..I." sighed Chet, dropping his head.
"All above ground..
*cough* by the eng--..." A spasm silenced him instantly.
Kelly found he was no longer able to talk, gagging in agony at the fire |
in his lungs. :: Is this
methane on top of the CO? Somewhere, that perpetual
coal fire's broken through to the surface in a
new place close by.::
##Engine 51. Do you read? Engine 51. Respond by HT distress toggle if you
can't speak. ## L.A. ordered. ##Hazmat and two alarms have been notified.
Their ETA is at a maximum
of three minutes out....
Engine 51, do you read?##
Chet ignored the voice, his vision tunneling
tightly when he spotted Marco
and Cap lying face down in the dirt beneath open cab and equipment doors.
Lopez already had an air bottle working for him to the point of half-conscious
coughing, so Chet crawled
past him and got to Hank's limp body.
Flipping Cap over, Chet tilted Hank's head back adequately
while he sagged
over him. A resting forehead on Stanley's chest confirmed a slow rise and fall
continued air movement by feel to Chet without his ever having to open his
eyes as fatigue began
rolling in waves over him from trying even a half upright
crouch against the pull of gravity.
With a jerk, Kelly got away from the impending blackout by hastily flopping
back onto his stomach.
Chet got Cap into a flowing air bottle mask as fast
as he could manage after the hypoxia stars had
left his eyes. Then, with an effort,
he finished what Hank had started by completing the long trip
back to the rescue
squad with three new air bottles in tow for Stoker, DeSoto and Gage.
last of these were fitted to them successfully when Chet's gas
sickened condition swept him once
more into unconsciousness.
The Hazmat Incident Commander studied the mine company's
landscape from a distance. He had made
sure that all of his
crews were carefully upwind of Station 51's location.
"Have you spotted
them all lieutenant?" he asked his safety officer.
"Yes sir. It seems they had time to get into
their air bottles before blacking out."
replied the fully hazmat suited firefighter. "But we can't
tell their statuses, those
vapors are too dense."
"Easy son, we'll get to them just as soon
as we can. You know I'm not
risking any more men down there until we know what the situation is fully.
Tell the Operations Officer to set up for Level Two Haz Mat. Showers
and full respiratory suit
precautions. I'm not convinced the mechanical
sniffers were accurate on those methane and carbon
There may be another gas working down there that we haven't detected
said the IC scoping his binoculars once more over all the vomit stains.
"I'll get everyone started.." said the Safety Officer. "Whatever those fumes are, |
they weren't fast
acting enough to prevent those paramedics from reviving
someone during the early minute intervals.
We spotted a bag valve mask
lying next to them and a resuscitator supply fitted with a nonrebreather,
on, by a used oral airway."
"Maybe that was the fireman who eventually called out the
Have you found him yet?"
"Yeah, he's the fourth casualty you're seeing lying by the paramedics |
with the HT around his arm.
His jacket says his name is Kelly."
"Keep having our people trying to contact him through his
may still be responsive somewhat despite being unable to move." said
the fireman in
charge. "Once I'm convinced things are safe enough through
which to enter, we'll stokes them all out
Soon, the IC was joined by Battalion One and all factors were worked out
and decided upon in a course of action.
Six minutes after the Hazmat response arrived, suited
the Hot Zone to rescue and decontaminate Station 51's fallen firefighters.
It was several hours later in ICU at Rampart Hospital.
Station 51's crew had all been admitted
to the same open nursing station
in six different cubicals of vacuum controlled isolation rooms arranged
such a way where they could all see and hear each other.
Chet smiled a few seconds after
his eyes reopened around his oxygen mask.
::We're safe now, partially because of me. Gage is never
gonna live this down
once he finds out what went on after I woke up out there.:: he thought in wonder.
He caught one young isolation suited nurse newly studying him from her
place in front of the vital
signs monitors wired to all of them at the nurses desk.
"Yes, folks. Chet Kelly probably has single
handedly saved the lives of his entire
station crew today. And all in one shot, too." he mumbled
happily to himself.
"Johnny Gage, you are gonna eat your heart out big time once you find
that fact's the absolute truth."
His iso room door opened just then, and Chet soon found himself
to face with a hazmat suited Dixie McCall and Doctor Brackett.
Chet opened up his mouth
and started speaking hoarsely...
Click waving flag for a new music track.
From: Patti or Jeff or Cassidy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:31 pm
Subject: Full Circle------
"Doc,...h-how are they?" Kelly
"They're all fine. Johnny was touch and go with
a bit of acute respiratory distress
syndrome but that proved
just temporary." replied Kel. "He only entered into
crisis because his
blood carboxyhemoglobin levels were
near forty percent. Anyone would pant a little with that
of PO2 shortage. The hazmat triage paramedic said your
treating him probably made all the difference
in the world, Chet.
You bought him more voluntary breathing time than he
normally would have had
following that kind of carbon
"Then that's all it was that got us? Carbon
Chet blinked in confusion. He didn't even wince when
Dixie drew out a followup arterial
blood gas from his arm.
"And methane. No special decontamination was needed
in the end. Just
a lot of O2 and a little Amyl nitrite to get
rid of the cyanide traces built up in your systems from
the fresh coal smoke blowing in from the road. That's what
saved all of you from serious cases
of atelectasis. The
medication was injected at the scene until your I.V.s could be
to prevent bronchial cast formation caused by
protein rich fluids potentially washing into your airways.
"Now with Gage, we had to blow off all of his CO a little more rapidly.
He's just finished
a twenty three minute session in a hyperbaric chamber
to speed up its half life decay inside of his
His PO2 levels are finally out of the eighties." Kel shared.
"You yourself only have
fifteen minutes or so before you're
cured of your carbon monoxide poisoning. It exists in the body
for only seventy five minutes or so on one hundred percent oxygen."
Chet looked at him skeptically,
still feeling the effects of
smoke inhalation deep in his chest.
"It's true.." soothed Dixie.
"The worst is over for you and the
rest of the gang. They're all resting. See?" she said, throwing
a hand about the ward.
"Then what are you two still doing inside of those funky space suits."
Chet asked. "What aren't you telling me?"
Brackett and Dixie exchanged looks of amusement. "We
that Marco's infected with a particularly virulent pathogen."
got?" Chet asked with worry.
Dixie tried to hide her grin. "He's got the chicken pox. Only he
hasn't erupted out into the weepy lesion stage yet."
"He's got the chicken pox?!" Kelly frowned,
still not believing.
Brackett nodded. "Yep. Its antigen came out clear as a bell
in his blood
work. We had to isolate each of you into separate
self contained cubicles until we learned your exact
the disease. You're the last one to awaken to tell us yours. Have
you had em?"
"No. Can't say I've had the pleasure." he grumbled miserably.
Chet sighed softly when he felt
Dixie place a comforting hand on
the side of his cheek to ease the not so happy news and he closed
his eyes wearily.
"As I thought." Brackett said. "Well then, it looks like all six of you have
earned a protracted stay at Rampart until the pox runs past the
highly infectious stage."
kidding. You mean nobody on my shift's had them before?"
Chet said with surprise.
Dixie. "Not even Roy with his two school aged kids."
"What about our folks at home? How are they
Kel met his eyes evenly. "Do you really want to subject your
friends and family
to the chicken pox like this? It's the best part
of summer right now. Not too cool. Not too hot.."
he tried reasonably.
Chet quieted down. Just a little.
"Cap's gonna hate this. He's probably
already his own worst enemy
for missing the escalated coal fire conditions under us."
his fault.." said Dixie. "I spoke with your Battalion Chief to
get what kind of gases he thought you
fellas were dealing with
in the triage area. Apparently, secondary fire crews found a
surface soil failure above a very large, new,
burning vein of coal. A hundred foot section of the
road upwind of
your rescue site gave way just when you went down into the shaft
and caused a silent
steam explosion, releasing years worth of trapped
gases. No one could have foreseen that happening.
Not even your
captain." said McCall with conviction.
"So, in spite of wanting suddenly to be put in a zoo for my future|
spots, how am I doing right now?"
Kelly asked, sitting up a little
higher in the bed.
"You're going to be perfectly fine. Your
chest roentgenograms were
negative. Your kidney functions are showing normal. Your EKG
absolutely no signs of secondary smoke inhalation related
cardiac ischemia. All we have left to
do is assist in displacing the
elevated level of carbon monoxide from your blood's hemogoblin."
Kel said, raising both eyebrows thoughtfully.
"And how are you going to handle that?" Chet asked,
of hospitals and doctors showing almost as strongly as Hank Stanley's
I don't personally have to do anything more.You're doing all
the work fixing yourself just by breathing
in the humidified oxygen
flowing through that face mask of yours." Brackett smiled. "Try
some sleep. It'll speed up your detoxification. I'll have
Dixie go on rounds to tell the others that
you're finally back in
the land of the living."
"Appreciate it, doc." Chet folded his hands
behind his head. "Oh,
"Yeah?" asked McCall, turning at the door in her iso suit.
"Could you deliver a message to Marco Lopez for me?"
"Sure. What do you want me to tell him,
"Tell him to watch his back when this pox thing's finally over.
Looks like the Phantom's
gonna be real busy paying him back
for a week's time spent in the hospital.." Kelly gestured
with his non I.V.'ed arm.
Dixie just rolled her eyes before she left the room on Brackett's heels.
Day Two at Rampart in the Isolation Ward.
By then, Chet Kelly felt that he knew every irritating
his coworkers possessed, and then some, by the time lunch
finally rolled around.
Captain Stanley, in the cubicle to his left, took his tray from
the dietary aide and smiled sweetly
at her. "Thanks for the food,
miss." And he cracked the lid open, trying not to make a face.
"Cap,." grumbled Marco, trying to take a nap in his sheets, with
his back to the
others, said. "Don't you know it's wrong to tell
a fib? You're lying now. I can tell."
huffed and slammed the aluminum lid back down over
his plate of turkey and reconstituted mash potatoes.
really? What if I meant it in spite of things?"
"Impossible, Cap. You're not the contradicting
can get real mean, but you definitely never get deceitful.
Ever." said Gage around his
"This coming from a man with two prongs shoved up his nose.."|
"Shut up already,
Chet." roared Johnny. "We've heard enough
of your Freudian observations to last a lifetime."
whose lives did I save last week?"
The rest of the gang fell silent.
"That's right. I saved
all your hides. Least you can do is allow
me an ear or two whenever I got something to say for at
a little while." Chet said with some sting.
Gage met Chet's gaze eye to eye. "Since when
have you got
anything worthwhile to say to us anyway?" Johnny told him
"So that's how it happened.." said Roy, as he and his partner
waited for the rescue call to finish
airing through the overhead
speaker. "You offended Chet in his highest charitable
when we all were quarantined at Rampart last
week. Johnny, I think remembering what you did then's
Chet from speaking to you any today.."
"You think so?" Johnny asked, parking his helmet
back onto his
head as Roy reactivated the squad's lights.
"Yeah, I probably know so." Roy returned,
"Well, good. I think I'm actually enjoying the peace and quiet for
said empathetically with anger.
"You sure could have fooled me. Just a minute ago you were
fretting about what hidden shinanigans he might be up to."
I change. Especially when Chet does."
Johnny said with heat. "Now are we gonna roll on this call
am I gonna have to get out and push the squad all the way
there?" he said holding out the piece of
paper containing the
address he had written down to his glaring partner.
"I'm going. I'm going.
We gotta wait a tad for the slower engine,
remember? Now hush and let me drive this thing without
it from the perverbial back seat." Roy fired right back.
L.A. unexpectedly cancelled their response. ##L.A., Station 51. Return.##|
In the Ward, Marco
grumbled. "Aw.. there's goes another chance to burn
off the rest of my scabs with some real fire heat.
That's not fair at all."
"I got some calamine lotion with your name on it.." said Roy, holding
the bottle out his driver window.
"You know I hate the smell of that stuff, Roy. Thanks
but no thanks.
Epsom salts and another serious bath'll do me just fine."
"No baths while on
duty, Lopez. You'll lag behind changing back into your
uniform because you'll be too wet to be speedy
enough." Cap told him
with a firm jerk of his thumb.
The others chuckled as they peeled off
their jackets and helmets to
return to the kitchen and the rec room to resume downtime activities.
Gage grinned. "You can always elicit Boot's help with your itching.
He loves to lick people when
they don't want him to."
"You keep him away from me, Johnny. He must have pulled a dozen
attacks on me last night as it was. I didn't get any sleeping
done at all for keeping up my guard."
"Maybe a little sleep deprivation'll de-sensitize your skin a little more,
Cap grinned, offering up a bright side.
Gage and Roy laughed as Marco glared at them all while
to scratch at his withering pox marks. Lopez grumpily snatched
the topical's bottle
out of Roy's idle hand and he immediately
peeled off his uniform shirt down to his white tank top
to dab some
on liberally with the flat of several fingers using the squad's side
"Any words of wisdom from the wise on this subject matter?"
Gage asked Kelly directly, with a smile.
"Why should I have anything better to offer him, Gage? I'm not
the paramedic here." and he stormed
off, dragging Boot after
him by the collar so he wouldn't leap up and lick off the medication
was slathering onto his skin.
"Wow, what a grouch.." Johnny hissed to the rest of them in a
"Yeah, well at least Chet's talking to ya again." Stoker remarked.|
"You call that talking? I
liked him better when he was staying mute."
Johnny told him no nonsense.
It was the middle of the night when the next response toned
all of them out of a sound sleep.
From: "Mark Panitz" <email@example.com>
Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:41 pm
Subject: Service Dog Rescue
The tones sang out. ##Squad 51, we've
got a 911 call with a dog barking.
3560 Riverside Drive. Cross street Hollywood Blvd. Enhanced 911
person with a service dog at that address.## said L.A.
Roy and John got into the squad
John said. "I wonder who called us?"
"Who? The person or the dog?" Roy replied.
"I'll bet the dog made that call.." John said.
"We'll soon find out." replied Roy as they
From: Patti or Jeff or Cassidy
Date: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:35 am
Subject: Man's Best Friend..
"You know, Roy? I don't think I like this new experimental
phone system they're working
on. It may be great keeping
an open line whenever someone's incapacitated and not
able to talk..
But at the onset, there's not enough information
given to any crew who's supposed to be getting there.
mean, dog barking.. assistance dog. It could be anything
going on at that house." Gage grumbled
while he and
Roy tightened their helmets under their chins a little more.
"Me? I'd rather know
what I got coming.. Be it a man down,
child trapped, or a house fire..... ya know?"
"Everything the fire department does is for
a good reason, Johnny. I've been with working for them
long enough to know that usually when Headquarters springs
a new idea like this 911 thing, it's usually
nature and awkward only temporarily. That network's probably
gonna save a lot
"Just three little numbers.. What's to keep your kid from dialing
those up whenever
he feels like it?" Johnny mused.
"The chief says there's an operator on the other end who'll call
right back to see if there's truly an emergency at the incoming
call address that covers that."
"Still wastes valuable time if you ask me. A neighborhood watch
gives better info on what's happening
with someone better than
an electronic phone system. I mean, what difference does it make
or not we know a person's got a help dog with em or not?
That only means they're physically handicapped
in some way.
Either being blind, or deaf, or with challenged mobility.. That's
something a paramedic
can learn getting face to face with a patient...
...in about two seconds.." Gage insisted.
not to fuss about it too much, Johnny. People like you are a
little slow warming to anything new,
but once you've been convinced
that an idea or new technology works, you settle down and decide that
you feel comfortable with it." DeSoto told him.
"With this idea though?...Not in a million years.
There's been too many
bugs with the 911 Sifter. And what does enhanced mean anyway? That
sound louder?" Gage's face was dubious.
"No, it means that L.A. can track a phone's location on a map and|
discover where it's at when a caller
can't talk themselves. All a victim
has to do is kick a phone off the hook and leave it there after
out." Roy told him.
"You sure know a lot about this funky new system, don't ya?"
"Sure I do. I'm a paramedic trainer, remember? Gotta keep up with
the latest for all those trainees
we get coming through.." Roy grinned
cheekily. "I'd be happy to show you all the paperwork on it..."
"No thanks. I'm a staunch supporter of the eyes and ears first theory.
Cap. I don't wanna know about the 911 system, not until it's
been ratified into our county's fire
department policies, and only
when I've been officially ordered to learn about it." Gage told him
"Suit yourself. It's always a good thing to keep current...Remember how
were when Cap dragged out that life net to catch us
when that apartment building was threatening to
flash?" Roy asked
"Yeah. What about it?"
"You didn't even know it existed until
Cap had that other company
drag it out to use for us. And that was OLD technology.." DeSoto
"So? Do I look like I suffered for not knowing about it?" Gage snapped.
"Well, no. Not exactly.
But it's always a good thing to be prepared.."
Roy told him.
"I'm not a boy scout.." Gage grumbled.
"Turn a right turn. Here."
Roy never lost his smile as he rounded a bend onto Riverside
Johnny's face completely washed into a hard line. "And there's
yet another 911 bug biting us in
the *ss again right now, Roy. Get a
load of that situation.." he said angrily.
A house was
engulfed in flames down the block and its address
matched the one on their notes. And an assistance
waiting for them, seated nervously in its harness on the lawn,
torn between training to
stay until help arrived and running
back into the house after his companion. All Johnny had to
was its fidgety behavior to know that the house wasn't
the slightest bit empty of human life.
Roy pulled up a hundred feet and upwind of the dwelling while
Johnny got on the squad radio. "L.A.,
Squad 51. Respond two pumper
companies to our address! We've a fully involved single story wooden
house structure on fire with a possible victim or victims inside. Their
exact number is unknown."
Click Gage and Roy treating |
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