From: "Patti" <email@example.com>
Fri Dec 1, 2006 7:13 pm
Subject: Just Like Jiffy Pop..
Chet got on his HT. "I'm there,
Cap. We've got our man bundled up in
the stokes and we're just about ready to start on our interior
How're things looking so far with the spread of nearby fire?"
##Hold on, pal.
Chief Conrad's still checking in with our other companies.
The next update will come in half a mic."
replied Hank over the radio.
"All right. Standing by. Cap, it's probably a safe bet that our
radios won't work
well once we're all inside." Chet panted, still trying to catch his breath after
long climb up the tower. "I'm seeing galvanized heavy carbon steel up here."
back. ##Yeah, I agree. Spotty at the best. That'll depend on the
tower's metal shielding and the
presence or absence of ventilating airshafts.
We'll cross that broken bridge when we get to it. Your
top priority is getting
yourselves and your victim out of current danger. If that tank near you decides
"Copy. Hustle the muscle. I'll tone a triple toggle on your channel
we close the door."
##I'll be listening for it with both ears.## said Cap from far down below.
Roy started work on the locking mechanism attached to the only maintenance door
located on their
walkway's level which led to the distillation chamber shaft above the
mechanical room and its escape
tunnel. DeSoto began using his jacket halligan
as a wedge to try and loosen the hatch's access wheel.
It began to give only slightly
with a painfully resistant, dry, fire heated creak.
moved to help Roy with his own jacket tool on the other side. "Chet, stay by
Marve's head and keep
monitoring his breathing. Some bad chemical's in all this
smoke." he hissed through his scba mask.
"I noticed. It went from mostly gray to almost all black with flecks of brown on the
way up. It
couldn't have smelled very good to Marve before we got him on this air."
Kelly said, tightening the
straps over his own face and the manager's where it lolled
in between his sooty knees.
gonna get into cyanide and carbon monoxide issues real soon if he hasn't
already." Roy added, grunting
as he and Gage strained against the wheel.
"Can't wait to get a couple of hands on some oxygen."
"We'll be down in ten minutes, Roy. Just keep your eye...... on the squad." joked
Gage to encourage
him as they both struggled to turn the door's hatch mechanism.
Blinking away sweat, Roy did so,
strictly for the mental perk.
Lopez took a wrong turn running a fresh set of air bottles over
to Cap and Stoker where they stood
beneath Roy and Johnny's tower.
He startled when a small white building he hadn't noticed before
his attention. Part of it was turning yellow on one side from some kind of watery
and it began to glint eerily under the smoke smothered daylight. He
hastily backed up behind some
protective pipework and started broadcasting
over his HT on Emergency channel. "Bund leak! Chemical
rupture at 51's
location! Out building twelve east. Pressurized liquid gas is escaping."
he ran for his fire engine and the squad his crewmates were already
preparing to speed away.
"How bad is it, Marco?" Cap asked when he spied Marco flying in out of the smoke.
"Can we get Roy,
Johnny and Chet down and out safely before the fire reaches
"No. We don't have
even two minutes. An overflow valve's failed. The gasoline
pool's already dozens of feet in diameter
and a tendril's headed right for our
burning terminal, flowing downhill. That area's inaccessible
to the helicopter.
There are too many pipes in the way." Lopez said, helping Stoker drop the
hoses off their pumper valves to free the Ward LaFrance for escape.
That was all the news Hank
needed to hear. He boosted his handheld's gain
to maximum. ##Engine 51 to HT 51. Get under cover!
Major blow on the way!##
Cap told his paramedics. ::D*mn! All we can do now is flee with the rest
fire truck companies for the bridge protected upwind part of the freeway.
At the same
time, the chief took Marco's hasty visual report deeply to heart.
##Battalion 4 to all fire crews.
Evacuate immediately. Explosion at
tanker 12 is imminent! Everybody back! Get back!##
slammed his cab door shut as he radioed Aircrane 47 on their channel.
"Pull up! Explosion coming!"
##Aircrane 47 copies. Abandoning.## and the helitanker lurched away from Arco
and the distillation
Roy and Johnny noticed the sudden lack of rotor blade noise. "Uh, oh." said Gage.|
at the bulkhead wheel, throwing his additional weight onto the
struts. Frantic, Johnny hefted up an
air bottle and hammered it down onto the
wheel gear again and again to break away its rusty corrosion.
have a field day up here..." he grunted.
"I think they already are." said Chet
about the fire surrounding them. "Third fire
in eighteen months? Heads are gonna roll.." he strained.
"But hopefully, not ours!" said Roy.
All three firemen fell to the metal decking when the
wheel gave way at last,
suddenly functioning. They scrambled to their feet to crank it around into
The hatch clanked open with an echoing bang as Chet gleefully signalled
over his HT by pressing the talkie's attention button in a triple hail.
Just as fast, a smothering
deep belching gurgle, heralding an inferno, swept
up the tower as tank number twelve annihilated itself
into monsterous h*llfire.
"Get down!" Johnny screamed as the heat and light from the explosion
them. The punishing lick of a giant fireball scintillated past their ducked heads
limbs, reducing the railing above their shoulders into red hot slag.
"Get him in!" Roy hollered,
grabbing Marve's stokes and manhandling it into
the dark hatch. Johnny barely had the lowering ropes
tied to the inner turn
wheel of the door when they dropped him to hang head up and dove inside.
Roy gasped as his gloved fingers almost lost hold of the rungs of the interior
ladder. Gage grabbed
him by the collar and hooked both legs around
a support. He latched on Roy's lifebelt clasp to a rung.
"I got you.. AhhhHH!
Quit kicking. You're locked in!"
DeSoto froze after his feet and gloves found anchor. "Where's...*cough *cough*|
Chet? I thought he
was right behind us!" he shouted through his air mask.
Johnny ducked his head back outside under
the flames and peered about.
Chet was lying eight feet away from the hatch on his stomach. He had
been sandwiched face down against the wall from the force of the explosion.
Gage blinked at the
searing horrible mushroom cloud roiling into being over
them and quickly looked away to save his eyes
from flash burning. He grabbed
Kelly's arm and began hauling him towards the hatched doorway and safety.
"Chet?...*cough* Can you hear me?"
Kelly remained limp as his jacket started smoldering. Johnny
a shock that Chet's air mask was punched in, and his air hose, shredded
usefulness. He shoved Chet's head inside the hole."Roy! Grab
him. He's out! He's got no air!" Johnny
Gage felt Roy snick Chet's lifebelt connector to the stokes rim as
inside and fell into the tower like a rag doll. The two paramedics slammed
shut just as a huge new wall of fire boiled into the place they
had just left. Outside,blazing suddenly
orange and white, the metal walkway
ring melted, slagging away from the tower stack.
you ok?" Roy gasped at Johnny through his sweaty mask.
"I think so...*ughnn* All in one piece
I think." Johnny said.
Building plasma began fusing the hatch door to the bulkhead with
pops and deafening snaps, causing the door to bow in
at the edges, admitting flames.
move down! We've got to get to that protected room now." he
choked. "Before we run out of free air.
Hastily, the two paramedics strained on the ladder, lowering the weight
two men and the air bottle laden stokes down onto the roof of the
maintenance room with a couple
of hand held ropes.
As soon as Chet and Marve touched bottom, Roy and Johnny slid down|
the ladder sides like a firepole.
Kneeling, Johnny ripped off Chet's shattered face plate as he bent
down over Kelly's nose and
mouth. "He's breathing. Barely."
"S.I. for sure." DeSoto said. "Marve's still the same." he said,
a hand on the manager's dirty chest.
The firefighters were horrified to find that
they could see in the darkness.
The many rivetted seams of the tower's inner skin were becoming
by the tremendous heat outside, admitting an eerie arc weld
like phosphorescent yellow glow as their
sulfur soldering burned away.
"In.. Get them in!" said Johnny. "There's toxic fumes out here."
Using ropes tied around the stokes and looped underneath Kelly's
arms, Roy and Johnny got both
men inside the maintenance chamber
through the room's roof access hatch.
For a second time,
a heavy steel door closed down and locked,...
and this time, the darkness was absolute. Roy pulled
off a glove
to feel the air's temperature on the skin of one trembling hand.
"It's cool. Safe
enough to breathe."
Coughing and choking, Roy and Johnny peeled out of their
helmets and air
masks and they toggled their regulators to 'off'
to conserve their bottles' air for a later need.
The two paramedics flopped down and lay on their backs,
spread eagle, gasping in utter exhaustion.
Gage acted first once he found he could move past the cramps.
He rolled over and pulled one of
the spare air bottles and
masks out of the stokes to use on Kelly. Quickly, he pulled off Chet's
shirt to end any chemical burning. He stopped peeling off
layers when Kelly's T-shirt underneath
revealed itself by touch
to be still whole and undamaged. "We need better light to
see how they're
really doing. Maybe we should try and open that
vent up there."
"Not yet. The explosions are
still going on. Feel that?"
Roy asked him.
Dimly, Gage felt shudders and shifting as the tower
it burned, its exterior paint fully on fire. He felt off balance at every
::Is that in my head or outside my body?:: Johnny thought.
"Unfortunately, I still can." he grunted
as an answer.
"At least we know the tower won't collapse on us." Roy said.
"How do know
you that?" Johnny said, monitoring Chet's coratid pulse.
"I know that because it hasn't yet." Roy told him with a grin. DeSoto|
bent over Marve to determine
his breathing condition once more.
"Marve's inhalations are weaker. Gimme the drug box."
groaned as he groped around blindly until he found it.
He thrust it out into the general direction
of Roy's voice. "Here."
he said. "How long do you think our air'll last before we find ourselves
stuck breathing out of our scba gear?"
"Hard to say. This isn't like a brush forest firestorm
at all. The fire's
stationary. It's burning in one place."
"Maybe the action of the fire burning
inside that blown tanker'll...act like
a chimney for us, pulling in fresh atmosphere into the tower
the gaps." Gage hoped.
"Johnny, you absolutely astound me. Are you trying to be optimistic
a change?" Roy chuckled.
"Oh, why don't you just hush. Of course I am. That's better than..
thinking we're all gonna die horrible deaths in here." Gage said in
"Perish the thought."
Battalion Four immediately conferred with Hank Stanley.
"Are you sure you've heard from them?"
"Yes, Chief. Absolutely. Chet fired off a triple pulse just before the tanker
blew. That means they
made it inside and--"
"...that your men are still well enough to take that escape route through
"...and get out to us on the freeway intact. Yes." Cap completed for him.
Conrad sighed, long and wearily around the sweat on his face. "Tell me
frankly, Hank. Do they have
enough self contained air for all of them to
make it out still breathing?"
"That depends on
the fire, Chief. And whether or not those explosions are
compromising their underground tunnel or
not." Stanley said, rubbing his
Battalion nodded. "I'll concentrate both Aircranes'
foam drops over your
men's mapped route. Anything we can do now will cool the ground above
and help cut down rock and regolith buckling."
"Don't thank me yet. Thank
me when we have three live firemen and a live
victim firmly in our hands." he frowned seriously.
From: "patti keiper" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sat Dec 2, 2006 7:09 pm
Subject: The Defining Hour..
Roy snapped open the drug box and unsandwiched
trays. "Blind as a bat." he complained, grumbling. "I can't find the
Gage coughed. "It should be right there." he said pointing somewhat
"On the top shelf. Left hand side with the adult doses
to the right of the peds ones with the 1/1,000's
sideways and the
1/10,000's stacked vertically."
"They're not. Trust me."
not?" Gage needled, bending over to listen to Chet's
lungs with an ear laid against the skin of his
"Because I completely reorganized the drug box on Dr. Brackett's orders
remember?!" Roy snapped. "And neither one of us has had
time to memorize where all the new things
are yet." In frustration, he
dragged out a pocket mask from his turnout and pushed it into usable
shape with his thumbs. He tossed it onto Marve's stomach as a standby.
"Hang on a sec." said
Johnny. Gage reached over and pulled out
a gauze 4 X 4. He rolled it up into a tube and tore the paper
end. He dipped it into a puddle of oil that had dripped in after them
and waited a few
seconds until the gauze acted like a wick and sucked
up the crude into its cotton fibers. Then he
touched the soaked tip against
an ember still smoldering on Chet's stripped off turnout coat.
A small flame ignited with a poof on the improvised brand he had made.
"Wahla.. one tiki torch, free,..
at no charge." he joked flatly, handing it over.
Roy regarded him with squinty eyes.
started watching Adam-12 episodes again, haven't you?
This is what Officer Jim Reed does when he finds
pinned down by snipers at night." Roy smiled, poking the bottom end
of the bizarre candle
into an un-plungered un-needled syringe barrel
so they could hold onto it without burning their fingers.
Gage didn't say anything. "Chet's not the only one who can be
resourceful at times." he said matter
of factly, then he picked up
his head. "Roy, he's got rhonci, both sides, with some serious
Give me an albuterol inhaler canister."
"Can he feel pain?" DeSoto asked, moving to kneel by Marve's
head to take off the manager's scba mask as he tossed over the bronchodilator.
Johnny pinched Chet's earlobe with a couple of sooty fingernails|
after he, too, peeled off Kelly's
Kelly began rasping liquidly without moving and he started
working his mouth soundlessly
as Johnny sat him up quickly
against his chest in order to get him ready for the shot of misted
to come, into his lungs.
"Yep." they both said at the same time.
Gage tipped Chet's head
back over a shoulder to place the mouthpiece
and triggered the albuterol. Then he waited for the medication
work itself in a little deeper.
DeSoto glanced down at Marve's gray skin. "How's Chet's
Marve's isn't so good." he said, leaning over to apply the
pocket mask around the manager's
head. Roy started giving
him breaths through the one way valve intermittently, whenever
didn't breathe in on his own.
Gage moved the candle a little closer to his partner, bundling its
pointed base into a nested glove. "We can't wait any more, Roy.
I'm going to go try to get Rampart
on HT for that guy's epinephrine
"Don't fry yourself in the process." DeSoto quipped.
"Have I ever?" Johnny frowned ruefully, lowering Chet back down|
onto his back again. He refitted
the scba gear over Kelly's face.
"Help me watch him. Pulse's rising."
"He didn't need that
double dose, partner."
"I like to err to the side of caution." Gage replied. "So I get a little
over protective working on somebody I know. Is that such a big deal?"
Roy didn't say anything,
past a slow smile."Let's just hope Chet didn't
hear you say that last remark. He'll never let you
live it down if he did."
Gage glared at him and scrambled over to the ceiling vent. He kicked
out its sealing grill with a foot and gasped in relief when weak, smoke
filtered daylight started
streaming in. "I promise I'll block this off with a
rug if the smoke starts coming in." Then he pulled
out his handy talkie.
"Gage on HT 51 to Battalion I.C. Do you read me?"
The loud crackle of
committing frequency filled the room and lifted
both the paramedics' spirits. ##Loud and clear, 51.
What's your status?##
"One non-breather and one Code I in respiratory difficulty
inhalation. We need a patch to Rampart, a.s.a.p. DeSoto and I are safe
for the moment
but our two victims can't be moved yet without treatment first."
Four to HT 51. Stand by while I set up your hospital's relay through
L.A.## came the Chief's solution.
Johnny watched as Roy set up a concentrated I.M. of epinephrine for Marve
in between his mouth
to mask ventilations. ::Come on. Come on..Hurry it up
and answer, or both of these guys are gonna
slip into metabolic acidosis
problems.:: he fretted mentally.
Seconds later, Johnny heard
Brackett's rich baritone taking over.
##Squad 51, I've been apprised of your situation. Go ahead and
1 milligram of 1/10,000 epinephrine I.M. on respiratory arresting victim
one and give me
a set of vitals on your downed fireman afterwards.##
Roy stabbed the medication home into Marve's
hip after swabbing it down.
Very soon, the manager started gasping noisily. "He's effective now."
DeSoto told Johnny as he retipped the man's head into a better position.
A minute later, he traded
the pocket mask back out for his air flowing scba's
face plate once more. "He's at twenty again,
but they're somewhat shallow."
he said placing a hand on the manager's stomach for a respirations
Johnny relaxed, just a tad. "Rampart, victim one's breathing on his own.
shallow. But still unconscious. Uh,..doc. Please note that we're
currently holed up away from a fire
without our medical oxygen. We've
just air bottles."
##They'll do, 51. What are victim two's
"Pulse is 140 due to albuterol times 2. Respirations are wet but open, at
four. Reactive to pain. Rampart, we've no BP cuff. His pulse is
regular and palpable. We can feel
it strongly at the carotid but it's absent
in the limbs and he's somewhat diaphoretic. He has no
burns or other signs
##Sounds like shock's already kicking in. Is his core perfusion
"Yes so far, Rampart. Update: Victim one's vitals are now stabilizing. His pulse
is being felt now at the brachial at a rate of 110." Gage told him from what he
read off Roy's
Johnny could almost see Kel's approving, thoughtful nod in front of him.|
##Keep both their heads
elevated despite that obvious hypotension so
we can gain more breathing ability. 51, we're going to
treat for smoke poisoning
strictly on the basis of their altered levels of consciousness. I assume
have had time to implement the new modifications I wanted instigated into your
"That's affirmative, doc." Johnny started. ::Whew. Thank heavens for Roy's sense
of do-right-away when it comes to doing paramedic chores.::
##All right. Let's begin their antidote
treatment. I want an estimate of how long
both your victims may have been trapped in the fire. I'm
trying to extrapolate the
maximal carboxyhemoglobin and CN levels they may have sustained thus far.##
Johnny didn't hesitate. He had already done the calculations. "Victim one,
twenty two minutes
in moderate to light smoke. Victim Two, about five in
heavy smoke. Uh, our combustive constituents
were petroleum and natural
gas producing chemical additives. Victim one's weight is approximately
140- 145 lbs, and victim two weighs 185 pounds."
##10-4, 51. I want a tighter Glasgow estimate
"Victim one, coma scale 9. Victim two, 11, nonverbal."
##Is victim two starting
to show signs of restlessness?##
"10-4, movements are more like those associated with confusion
syncope rather than any seizure activity, Rampart."
##All right, that puts him in the
potential of 40% HbCO by volume. Do you
have volumetric I.V. fluids capability?##
Just our drug box. If needed, we've saline boluses of ten and
one hundred cc's."
Break two ampuls of Amyl nitrite inhalant and hold under Victim
Two's nose for thirty seconds on
every minute for four minutes. Use his air
flow source as an impromptu nebulizer. I want to convert
some of his
hemogoblin to methemoglobin to start binding up some of the worst of his
CN and carbon
monoxide poisoning. Continue using I.N. vials until you get
to the rest of your gear and become able
to establish an I.V. of normal saline
with 10 mL of a 3% solution sodium nitirite pushed over 2-4
worry about using methylene blue as a reduction agent to reclaim his
once his kidneys have started excreting bound up toxins.
When that happens, use a 1-2 mg/kg IV dosage
over 5 min. Its peak beneficial
effect will occur in half an hour. We'll be the ones repeating his
of that once he's been transported, as necessary.##
"10-4. Continuous inhaled
Isoamyl nitrite on victim two until two drugs into an
I.V. N.S.. 10cc's of 3% sodium nitrate over
2-4, followed by 1-2mgs/kg methylene
blue over 5." Gage recited in confirmation.
##Wait a minute, Johnny.##
##In true fact, I like this
course of treatment so much, do the same for Victim One
while you're at it. The only drawback will
be that he recovers from his smoke
inhalation a little faster that your other patient.## chuckled
Gage and Roy both grinned.
##Continue assessing both their airways and monitor for
any further detrimental
respiratory changes. Treat any compromises aggressively like you did
the albuterol for those bronchospasms. Once they both awaken,
watch for hoarseness, any changes in
voice, complaints of
throat pain, or odynophagia. These indicate an upper airway injury that
be severe. Carbonaceous sputum should be regarded as a marker
of dangerous alveoliar exposure. Help
either one along on ambu if necessary
to splint and keep protecting their airsacs. Start 100% 02 on
as soon as possible. Give full vitals sets once in transit along with a
pair of twelve lead
EKG readings. Continuous.## ordered Kel.
"10-4, Rampart. Monitor and support upper airways on
O2, and get EKG
telemetry and vitals."
##Stay safe in there, you two. ## Brackett said uncharacteristically.
The heartfelt worry evident in the doctor's voice almost brought tears of
emotion to the paramedics'
eyes because of the weight of their horrible
"We will." promised Gage.
the base station, Brackett hung up the red phone that had connected
him through the dispatcher to
Roy and Johnny's HT.
"Dix, once they arrive, order these blood tests: a complete blood count,
chemistries, serum electrolytes, arterial blood gases with carboxyhemoglobin
and methemoglobin levels
both along with BUN and creatine studies.
I want a full series of chest roentgenograms and a bronchoscopy
opened." Kel ordered.
"Are you afraid their lactate levels will be elevated?" Dix asked.
"That and their Clara cells. Last thing we need is for either of one of them
to start accumulating
protein-rich fluid in any bronchial cast formations.
In that case, they'd stand a very poor chance
of survival once ARDS sets
in. Have respiratory therapy prepare a couple of ventilators in case they
need P.E.E.P. support. Putting a hyperbaric chamber on standby wouldn't
be such a bad idea either."
"Already done." McCall said, inclining her head. "Did 51 say anything about
"They didn't." smiled Brackett. "And that, is exactly the kind of miracle I've
been hoping for
all day." Kel picked up his coffee mug and saluted his nurse
gleefully. "Here's to one toasted oil
refinery and no deaths, down the hatch."
"Amen to that." said Dixie, sipping gratefully from hers.
Johnny looked down and peered into Chet's face when he started to moan.
"Lie still and keep this mask
on. I know this stuff smells nasty but it's saving
Kelly coughed and made a face
at the vapors of Amyl nitrite drifting around
the snapped ampul taped into place under his nose. He
made a half
hearted attempt to pull off the scba gear.
"Ah.ah.ah. No." Gage said, gripping
his wrists and guiding Chet's hands down.
"Are you awake yet? Can you talk?"
when he saw the fireglow flickering behind Johnny's head in
an eerie reflection from the round ventilation
shaft Gage had opened to gain
radio line of sight. "When everything is coming your way, ..you're
in the wrong
lane..." he whispered about the oil fire exploding around them.
"What was that,
Chet?" Gage said. "I didn't quite hear you."
Chet started to smile, still not opening his gritty
"Gage, listen to me. This is important."
Johnny lowered himself down right next to Chet's
set an ear onto his mask's glass plate.
Kelly smiled, arching his dirty eyebrows.
"What you do today, might
burn your butt tomorrow."
Gage straightened up in a mix of relief
and annoyance. "Oh, gahh..
No sh*t. We're firefighters, Chet. Now shut up and conserve your oxygen."
Roy piped up from where he was folded around the manager.
"Glad to see you're feeling better,
Kelly. How's the head?"
"Painful. *gasp* And I'm......still......kinda short of breath."
will be for a while." Roy told him. "And so will our friend here until
all that poison gas decides
to leave both your systems using the antidote
medications we're running into ya."
skippy.." Chet said without enthusiasm. "How....how's he doing over
there?" Kelly wondered, wincing
as Gage exchanged another vile smelling
cracked vapor ampul for the spent old one without lifting
up his air mask any
further than what was necessary to slip in a few fingers.
He quit breathing for a minute, ten minutes ago. But it was
nothing that a little epinephrine couldn't
fix." Johnny told him, grinning.
Chet stayed silent, gaping vacantly at his surroundings.
a look of panic entered his eyes. His hands flew to his throat.
"Chet? What's wrong?...." Johnny
demanded, setting his hands on either
side of Kelly's head.
Roy moved over to his side. "Are
you choking?" he asked Kelly, taking
a hold of his shoulders.
Kelly just gurgled and clawed
at the mask.
Johnny pulled it off. "Hey, take a breath. You're still ok.."
to fight them, trying to move.
Roy's hand slipped during the struggle and one of them fell onto
stomach by accident. DeSoto glanced down and finally saw the rocking
there. "He's just
nauseated. He's not obstructing."
"Oh. Ok. uh, ok.." Johnny helped Chet roll onto his side and
firefighter emptied and purged himself of old coffee and half digested
shuddered when the spasm ended and he stopped tensing once he
was propped up against the box they
got for him to lie on. He held up his
hand to show them that he was fine even though he was collapsed
his eyes closed.
"Are you all right now?" Roy asked him, taking his racing pulse
at the neck.
Chet opened his eyes. "My job.... would be just perfect.....if I never had to
with any smoke!" he complained, as he pulled the scba air mask back
down over his face from where
it had been shoved up on top of his head.
He suddenly looked comical with the white taped X still
holding the ampul
of cyanide antidote under his nose with his rescue messed hair.
Johnny burst out laughing and they were only interrupted when the
manager awoke and began asking
questions of his own.
"Come on, let's get them out of here. They're ready to leave." Gage said
his partner, tapping him on the shoulder. "I think I see the door that leads to
tunnel Chet promised us, right over there."
Click the firetruck for a soundtrack change. :)
It was a couple of days later, in the nurse's lounge of Rampart.
And at least three of Station
51's crew had finally broken the curse of
Chet was sitting in a wheel chair in his
street clothes, filling out his discharge
papers under Dixie's happy scrutiny. Roy and Johnny were
there, too, trying
to down a whole pot of coffee between the two of them to fortify themselves
the hours they were going to spend taking Chet out to a baseball game
to celebrate his release.
For Kel Brackett and McCall, it was deja vu all over again for the television
set was on, covering
the refinery fire and its aftermath.
##Last night, Three Valleys Water announced that it has detected
retardant perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), used in fire fighting foam, in a
water bore hole close to the Arco site. Representatives have
stated that no water from this well
will enter the public water supply and
that a nearby well and pumping station have been closed as
The chemical is a known health risk and the state of California is about to
Kelly piped up. "Ha! Out it goes like the way of the abestos tarp! I always knew
that stuff was foul."
"But it worked so well." Johnny said matter of factly, still sucked into
news report. His coffee mug was finally being ignored. "I wonder what they're
gonna get to
"More Aircrane helitankers." DeSoto joked.
The hospital breakroom erupted
"Heh, yeah.. But seriously, they do have a new fangled dry red powder they're still
testing up at 110's to handle brush and fuel fires." Roy chuckled. "So I know we're
to be suffering any no matter what they decide to do in the end."
Johnny hissed out loud. "Shhh.
I wanna hear this." he said, pointing to the TV set.
##However, just prior to the announcement
the Drinking Water Commission
announced that it was increasing the safe level of the chemical in
drinking water. This prompted the Arco refinery's CEO, Mike Penning, to accuse
of changing the rules to suit the situation in which PFOS levels
in drinking water in the area may
rise in the future....
##A further announcement was made this afternoon about the sequence
events which enabled the Arco disaster to occur. Starting at 19:00 on the
evening of 10 December
Tank 12, towards the north west of the main
depot, was filled with unleaded gasoline. At midnight
the terminal closed,
and a check was made of the contents of tanks, which found everything
At approximately 03:00, the level gauge for Tank 12 began
indicating an unchanging level reading,
despite fuel filling continuing at
1600 gallons per hour into its reservoir. Calculations show that
would have begun to overflow at about 14:20."
"And that's what Marco saw!" said Gage. "Holy cow."|
## Forty minutes later, an estimated 300
tons of natural gas would have
spilled down the side of the tank onto the ground inside bund A, a
semi-enclosed compound surrounding the block's several tanks. There is
evidence suggesting that
a high level switch, which should have detected
that the tank was full and shut off the supply, failed
to operate. CCTV
footage shows a cloud of vapor, eight feet deep flowing away
from the tank.
By 15:01, when the first explosion occurred, the cloud had
spread beyond the boundaries of the Arco
##The extent of the damage meant it was not possible to determine the
exact source of
ignition, but possibilities include an emergency generator
and the depot's fire pump system. Investigators
do not believe that
it was caused either by a driver of a fuel tanker, as had been speculated,
by anyone using a mobile radio....
##Other safety experts spoke of a known "Weekend effect" in industry, in which |
the lack of weekend
maintenance creates an unsafe condition. Arco's
production of oil and fuel products have dropped
60 % and will remain so
until repairs can be affected. Previously, Arco Corp. filled 400 tanker trucks
every day and handled around 2.37 million tons of fuel a year...##
Chet's mirth was contagious
and soon, the others' attentions moved away
from the murmuring TV and back into amicable conversations.
Kel Brackett was thoughtful. "You were far luckier than you could ever
possibly know, Chet."
"How so, doc? No one cooked... I don't get your meaning." he shrugged,
rubbing a bruised cheekbone.
"He means about that distillation tower of yours, fellas." Dixie elaborated.
Roy, Johnny and
Chet stopped talking, their foreheads wrinking in confusion.
"What about it?" asked Chet.
Dixie's face fell into a soft line. "We saw footage taken from one of the Aircrane
cameras, covering the firecrews overseeing your own
incident's rescue and recovery..." she fell quiet.
"And..?" asked Gage seriously.
"They went back right after your ambulance left to see exactly
where you three
took refuge..." McCall demurred, deeply effected. The nurse found that
complete her sentence when a sudden lump tightened her throat.
Dr. Brackett finished it for her.
He met the firefighters' eyes.. All of them.
"..and there was nothing there." Kel said.
Burnout Episode Thirty Nine
Emergency Theater Live
as much as we've enjoyed producing it for you. Please click the banner below to view this thirty
ninth episode's End Credits. :)
Click Gage prepping lidocaine|
to go to Page Four