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From: Patti or Jeff or Cassidy <>
Date: Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:13 pm
Subject: The Build Up..

Captain Stanley set a shoe onto the couch as he pointed to the latest
memo sent out by Headquarters. "Ok, gang. The word's out. We're
on standby alert for flash flooding in the hill country and all along
the San Gabriel and Los Angeles Rivers."

Everybody looked surprised and more than a few of them automatically
shot a look out the window, looking for dark clouds. "Huh? It's raining?"

"Nope. Nope. It no longer has to, thanks to a bunch of broad thinkers
who think they know what's best for everybody living in all the cities
located on the ocean side of the mountains. " said Cap, scowling.

Johnny looked up from where he was setting out chowder bowls for lunch.
"I don't follow you, Cap. What have they done now?"

Hank sighed a long suffering breath of exasperation. "In the name of
progress for all of southern California, they've just announced a happy
completion of what they call the L.A. Rivers Revitalization Master Plan."

Mike Stoker was still stirring the soup pot. "Sounds ominous. Some kind
of new park patrol?"

"Not quite." Cap told him. "You remember how our drinking
watersheds used to be five years ago, with sandbars, natural
tree islands and rock beds, don't you?" he said, looking at Mike.

"Yeah, I remember. We used to camp on some when the river beds
were drier before the winter rains." Stoker replied.

Johnny was still unpleasantly being informed. "Well, what did
they go and do now?"

"They've channelized most of the river banks close into the city limits."
Cap told him.

"They've what?!" Gage exclaimed, setting his hands on his hips. "Now
why'd they go and do a stupid thing like that for?"

Hank offered him an unhappy smile. "They think they're doing something
for the greater good for controlling flash flooding. Today, they're opening for
the first time, what they call the greater Los Angeles Aqueduct waterway

Chet scrunched his eyebrows together. "Sounds like a carnival ride."
he said sarcastically.

Hank frowned. "Exactly what I thought, too when I got the emergency
courier notice today. There's gonna be timed water releases
every day at noon down a tall mountainside cascade barrier trough,
that will be permanently scheduled, like clockwork."

"Oh, no." Marco moaned. "That event's gonna draw every kid and
teenager within walking distance to come and see the show."

Image of laaqueductcascades.jpg Image of riverwash.jpg

"They figured most of them would be in school and tucked out of
sight." Cap shrugged.

"Fat chance." Kelly spat.

Roy looked discomforted. "The river's a half mile from my house. Have
they erected fences around these new channelways?"

"Not yet. The hydrologists are way ahead of the city services. And that's where
we come in." Cap said unhappily. "We're to memorize all the routes into and
out of the new watershed areas across the whole county."

The firemen were silent as they absorbed the news. "Everyday at noon,
huh?" said Marco. "That's a sure recipe for disaster just waiting to happen.
Why'd they have to pick water dumps for the weekends?"

"I'm not a city planner. Go ask one." Hank shrugged. "Uh, they're also
going to be feeding in deep water every six pm, right around dinner time."

"Hang on a minute. What about all the drag races that go on in the bottoms
at sundown?" Chet added. "They've been going on since I was kid."

"Or the bums camping out in the hillside rainwash tunnels?" Stoker added.

"Now you see why I'm chewing on these anti-acid tablets." Hanks said,
pulling out a half empty roll from his shirt pocket. "Until those chain
link fences are up, we're gonna be the only agency available to handle
anything fishy that happens along the river for the next sixty days."

"Geez. People are gonna start dying, Cap. You think all the city mayors
would-- would.. would realize the importance of putting in all the safety
barriers first before they go activating anything." Gage grumbled.

"More folks are getting thirstier I guess." Hank said softly.

Gage looked away, getting increasingly mad about the whole mess.

"Where's all the water coming from?" DeSoto wanted to know.

Cap said. "Remember the Lower San Fernando Dam which nearly
cracked apart in the 1971 quake?"

"Yeah.." said Roy. "That one shook loose a massive slide that
carried away much of the crest and all the upstream concrete lined
facing of it. Only a narrow band of dirt stood between 80,000 people in
the San Fernando Valley and 15 million tons of water poised behind a heavily
damaged dam if I remember correctly."

"You remember right." Cap snorted. "Back then, we got disaster
lucky beyond our wildest dreams when the worst, never happened."

"Oh, I remember that." said Kelly. "Weren't we part of the operation that
helped evacuate all the residents in an 11-square-mile area in the valley
while the water behind the earthen dam was lowered?"

Johnny frowned. "We were?"

"Gage that was a year before you transferred over here from eight's."
Stoker reminded him.

"Oh." Johnny grinned cockeyed. "Thanks. For a second there, I thought
my memory was getting faulty."

Chet pounced. "Gage, your memory's always faulty so I wouldn't bank
too much on that reassurance you think you're feeling right now."

Johnny shot him a dirty look and bent to study the new city map
issued to them from Headquarters that Cap was holding in his hands.
Mike Stoker especially knelt down close to peer at them. He asked a
question. "Have the tunnels down there been widened enough for our
new Ward?"

"Yes. At least, they got that part of all the artifical channelization changes
right." Hank grumbled. "They've got a new dam built downstream of the old
one we saw that day on the news. It's called the Los Angeles Dam, which is now
holding back a large reservoir 1.6 miles long and as much as 130 feet deep.
The reservoir is now the terminus of the new main aqueduct system for Los
Angeles, which'll soon be released in stages to supply 80% of the entire
county area's water needs, right down into our backyard over these new
barrier cascades."

"Is this dam safer than the last one was?" Chet said, making a face.

"Yep. Guaranteed. I guess the folks of Cudahy and South Gate finally got sick
of being washed out every winter. It's built to withstand three times the max richter
scale earthquakes the designers say that will regularly happen around it for
the next century." Hank shared.

"Famous last words." Chet mumbled.  

No one chided him.

Hank sighed again.  "Now,..." he said, taking in a deep breath. "These
new protocols I've got stacked up on my chair are how this whole ball of
wax is going to start rolling for us, starting today." he said handing out thick
packets of new ink scented fire department guidelines. He went right on talking.
"The new river's southern stretch in our service area forms the heart of an
industrial corridor stretching nearly unbroken from Lincoln Heights to
Long Beach. In this new area, the busy Long Beach Freeway (I-710) and several
high-voltage power lines run within a few hundred feet of the riverbed. Several rail
yards are located along the L.A. river's banks in this stretch as well, creating
hazmat considerations we'll have to plan out for the future in case of a chemical
spill from a train or boxcar. And, just outside of the corridor lie some of the most
densely populated cities in the state. That stretch has already become a source of
embarrassment for many city planners. Graffiti is already lining its walls, and
garbage is piling up along the bed faster than workers can pick it up while
they're  building it."

"That's going to raise our biological contamination risks significantly." Roy said with worry.

Image of riverstitch1.jpg Image of rivertunnel.jpg

"Sure is. Until those fences go up to curb the brunt of it. They're not so worried
about the paint problems as much as they are about the trash. Paint dries safely
enough." Cap told him. "And before you ask, according to Vince, all the homeless
persons and heroin addicts are still camping out underneath all the usual bridges.
I'm afraid they don't have TV sets or any radios to warn them about the water
releases that will be beginning down there. L.A.F.D. choppers say even more
drag races are being spotted taking place in the new channel because of all the
fresh flat concrete that's been laid down. The river's condition in that way is
especially bad just south of Boyle Heights, behind the high school." Cap said.
"We're to begin neighborhood watch patrols at all the tunnel access points during
our daily hydrant inspection rounds, a.s.a.p. while the fences are going up."

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Why are we suddenly the enforcers here?" Johnny
said unhappily.

"Yeah." Chet said, agreeing with him. "Why can't the cops keep everybody kicked

"They're overwhelmed guys. There's more of us, than them, as you know.
Guess we're...seen as being pretty convenient and the absolute fastest way to
solve a problem."

"Just terrific. So we've got a whole entire day to start coming up with new
routes for swift water rescue plans." Gage scoffed.

Cap met his eyes in misery.
"Actually, we've got only about three hours left. Tops. It's already nine o'clock."

The gang fell silent and stunned.

Hank attempted to cheer the air. "Let's read all of these, over last night's left over
chowder." Hank said, holding up his own copy. "We'll be able to think of solutions
a bit faster on full stomachs."

Mike Stoker remained sitting on the couch, studying the new road map traces
along the riverbed. "Cap. I think I'll pass on food. My gut's getting a little upset."

Johnny was sober and growing quiet. "Yeah, yours and ours both."

Cap took sympathy and tossed Mike his roll of Tums so he could eat one

Image of rjangrybyfrig.jpg Image of capchowderpot.jpg Image of stokerchetworriedtablecloseread.jpg

From: Jeff Seltun <>
Date: Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:56 am
Subject: Night and Day Difference..

All the gang jolted when the tones went off and created
very unpleasant shakes inside each and every one of them.
Chet was clear headed enough to pull the chowder pot off
the hot burner and he turned off the stove.

They ran for the vehicle bay while L.A.'s voice offered more.
##Station 51. Unknown type rescue. Access road C,
Sepulveda Basin and Van Nuys Boulevard. Access Road
C, Sepulveda Basin and Van Nuys Boulevard. Incident is
being reported from an emergency phone at Mile Marker
9. Time out :  9:08. ##

Cap was in no mood to waste time. He acknowledged the
station on the move using the Ward's radio mic. "Station
51. 10-4. KMG 365."  In one hand, he clutched the new city
map outlining the altered waterway course protectively.

In the squad, Gage was anxious. "Is our call's location on the
riverway? This....." he broke off. "It's not fair, Roy, we're not even
ready to handle things like that yet." he said, leafing through the
water course facts and details that Cap had given them in the
packet he had never set down.

"It might be. I don't rightly know. I think where we're going's a
wildlife refuge along on a three mile stretch east of Griffith Park.
It won't be paved. I just know I know how to get there. Chris wrote his high
school junior final paper on endangered species last year and we went
nearby here once to birdwatch and take some photos for his presentation."
DeSoto replied. "There's a ranch flanking a parking lot and a couple
of athletic fields."

"That's right. I think I've been to that ranch buying hay bales. Aren't those
bottoms known as the Glendale Narrows?" Johnny said.

Image of stokerdrivecrownopensquadahead.jpg Image of gagemadinsquadroydrive.jpg

"Yep. There's the sign." said Roy, pointing as they went by a brown
painted reflective one. "And there's the L.A. river. Looks kinda high."

"Oh, that's just great." Gage gushed under his breath miserably.
Nervously, Johnny looked at his watch. "We've got two hours until
the first reservoir cascade. What kind of call do you think we're gonna
get?" Gage asked, rubbing his face in the wind as it poured through the
open window of the hurrying lights and siren bristling rescue squad.

They were passing by cones, and brightly painted barricades that the
city was going to put into effect just before noon to keep people away
from the water while the first controlled flood did its unpredictable
first work of scouring away a new deeper channel through the area.
Gage nodded in appreciation when one of the road workers hastily
shoved a construction horse out of the way so they could pass by.

DeSoto answered immediately. "Something recreational." he quipped
trying to put his partner at ease. "I don't think too many folks are actually
working when they're visiting a city park."

Johnny shot him a dirty look but it was only half hearted. He began to
relax when they finally spotted a woman running towards them across
the field, waving and shouting. "There." he said, showing Roy what
he had spotted.

"She's it." Roy agreed, trusting his own orienting instincts, too.

The waiting was over.


Dr. Mike Morton was flipping through a very short stack of charts that
he had already memorized, drumming his fingers on the desktop in
utter boredom.

That kind of sound usually grated on Nurse Dixie McCall's nerves as soon
as she heard someone doing it, but today, it never even bothered her. She
yawned again where she was sitting dully on her ER desk stool and she
continued to watch her coworker mill aimlessly about the base station.
"Finding everything okay?" she asked him.

"Yeah. Thanks, Dix. I am." said Mike, as he tried to occupy himself with
something that was actually useful, once again.

"Umm..hmmm." Dix grumphed with mild amusement, using him as an
object of humor.

Morton heard her teasing scoff, but pretended to ignore her as
he flipped his charting pages without even reading them.

McCall shifted her head to the right, over her shoulder.

Dr. Brackett was putzing with the EKG monitor, unnecessarily putting it
through simulator strips on its various lead configurations. Joe Early,
was hip deep into the steel and glass pharmaceuticals cupboard, trying
to find something to organize alphabetically, but annoyingly, he was
realizing fast that McCall had already done the same thing, hours ago.

Image of mortonsmirkcloseamused.jpg Image of brackdixjoeekgreadmed.jpg

::Well, at least I've got something to look at now.:: Dixie sighed, thinking
again.::Even if it's just a bunch of doctors bored to distraction, messing
up my workspace.::

"Ah, ha!" said Joe, pulling out a box of narcotic. "Xylocaine. This box was
behind the Zantac ones. It's out of order."

McCall let her head fall onto her folded hands. "Oh, I'm so busted. You got me."
she said sarcastically. "Look fellas, I know it's slow. But you're beginning to
drive me absolutely nuts. Why do you have to stick your noses into everything
right by me? There's a whole hospital for you to poke about in all around us."
she said, fluttering irritated but elegant fingers pointedly in the air.

Morton angled a well chewed pencil over his shoulder. "We're still waiting
for the coffee pot to finish brewing." Mike smiled blandly, without looking up.

Dixie shot a glance over to the Mr. Coffee maker just as it was beginning
to burp and sizzle and belch as it percolated. McCall squinted at the dial
on it. "Twelve cups, huh. That's not gonna be enough."

"Three cups each? That's plenty." said Joe, neatly straightening the errant
drug carton into its new place before he reclosed the glass door on it. Absently,
he polished a white sleeve on the handle until it shined. "What? Are you
looking to get a few palpitations today? At least, that'd finally give us a patient
to treat." he said, throwing a hand up at the empty waiting room.

Kel and Mike chuckled at Joe's comment.

McCall made a face at Early.
"Very funny. Go stick yourself with a dirty needle, huh. Then at least,
I can get busy giving Labs some contamination orders to run."

"Ooo, that'd be very bad. I'm a surgeon." Joe said, holding up his hands
as if he had scrubbed like one. "Gotta protect my hands."

Behind them, Kel toggled the base station receiver and hailed a
random firehouse. "Rampart Base to any available rescue squad in
quarters, please respond."

##Squad 99. Go.## came a reply back almost immediately. The
voice was hurried and covered for some reason.

Kel's eyebrows went up when he thought he heard sounds of active
cleanup and hosework and a whole lot of laughing::Washing the trucks up
inside after a fire?  At least somebody's found a way to play:: he mused with
a smile. "I'm checking out the hospital's auxillary EKG station. Can you
run a defibrillator check for me on your end. I'm on the twelve lead. Sim Mode."

Image of ekgstriphands.jpg Image of ekgscreenfreeze.jpg

##Stand by, Dr. Brackett. Hang on, let me drag it somewhere dry.
We're.. ## said the paramedic.

"Cleaning up.. I know. I can hear the horseplay in the background." Kel told
him gruffly.

##Sorry, doc. We're bored. We just got back from a car fire in a parking
lot. A smelly one. And that's all we've had for four hours.##

Brackett chuckled, letting his medic man off the hook.
"Yeah, we're bored, too, Milton. Drum us up some business on your
next call, would ya? We're falling asleep in droves over here."

##I can always loosen a hose coupling and bean the captain.##

"Nah, not worth getting fired over." Kel said. "Ready?"

##Telemetry's on line.## said the paramedic.##I'm getting...
course V-Fib on simulator in all leads.##

"That's it. That's what I've set."

##Shocking testers..##

The EKG monitor's rhythm leaped in a fake countershock in response
and converted to a viable one in the normal end result response machine

"And that's NSR in a clear transmission. Thanks, 99. Don't work
too hard." said Kel.

##Wish I could say the same to you, doc.## the medic quipped back
gleefully. ##Squad 99, out. Hey! Quit squirting me! I'm on the radi--*spap*##

Kel sighed as he retoggled the talk button to off in irritation. "Everybody's a
comic." He turned around and leaned on the EKG monitor, scratching an itch
in between his shoulder blades with the corner of it. "Anybody got some lotion
handy? I used the wrong soap again in the shower this morning."

Dixie, vexed, tossed a bottle of Phisoderm, aiming straight for his head.


The sun was deceptively dark under the shade of the river trees at
the far end of the parking lot.

Cap leaped out of the engine cab and together, he and the rest of the gang
took the woman's arms to steady her as they got the whole story. "Ma'am.
Calm down. We're here. It's all right. Don't panic. Just tell us what the problem
is and we'll take it from here." Hank reassured her.

The woman opened her mouth and said..

Image of roygagegetoutgearbrush.jpg Image of capgoodscbabyengine.jpg

From: Patti or Jeff or Cassidy <>
Date: Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:34 am
Subject: That Universal Touch..

"It's Trixie.." the woman gasped as she let Cap set her down at
a picnic table. "She fell into a hole and she's sinking in mud. I..I
can't get her out."

"A child?" Gage asked, putting on his gloves.

"No, umm.. my horse."

Cap and the others stiffened unconsciously when they heard that.
But just as fast, before the young woman noticed, they snapped
back into pure professionalism.

Stanley was genuine when he smiled. "All right. We'll see what we can
do, Miss. Lead the way. Marco, Stoker, grab a couple of hundred footers
and a lifter bag. A stokes cradle web probably isn't such a bad idea either.
Maybe we can get something around her before she goes in any deeper."

"Ok, Cap." they said.

Gage eyed up the woman differently when he saw her take a shaky
misstep. "Are YOU hurt at all? Did you get tossed off while riding her?"

"No. I'm fine. It's nothing like that. Not at all. I noticed my mare wasn't at
the feeding trough this morning when I went to add in their worming
supplements. So I looked around and that's when I found the broken barbed
wire on the outer fence near the park. I think a tree limb came down and
tore it apart."

"Is it electrified?" Kelly asked, grabbing a pair of wire snippers.

"No. Geez, do I look like I'd do that kind of thing to an animal to
you? I'd never force compliance on any horse that way. I ask them to
work only when they want to." the horse owner said vehemently while
she showed the firemen the fastest way to the river bank.

"Best way to have a horse/owner relationship. That's what I do." Gage
countered before things got ugly. "Ma'am, is the horse conscious?"
Johnny asked.

"Half way. She's so tired from struggling. But I think her legs are okay.
Nothing's broken. But she's getting cold. Real cold." sobbed the woman.
"My guess is she got trapped sometime after one last night."

Hank pursed his lips in a big sigh. "I'll go call Doc Coolidge to make a house
call. Do what you can." he told his men, thinking their call was more and more
likely to end up as euthanasia than rescue. "I'll give us an hour, but no more."

Everybody got to work and headed to where the woman was pointing.

Gage found the mare in a shallow ditch, lying on her left side in a muddy
quagmire. Her white and red spotted hide was trembling and already, the
horse's eyes were white ringed and sunken, deep in shock. He tied off a rope
to a nearby tree for his own safety belted line while Roy prepared another to fit
around the sinking horse's whithers. Chet and Stoker took Gage's rope
to offer him some leverage. "Okay, keep talking to her. I'm going down to see
how she's doing." Gage told the woman.

Image of capstokerenginelookdownropes.jpg Image of gagesquintthingoutside.jpg Courtesy of the Salem Fire Department. US

The woman blurted out nervously. "Do you know what you're doing? I mean,
you're just a paramedic.."

Gage smiled as his legs sank down into the chilled ooze. "I own four horses
myself and I've been around most others all my life. I'm fair when it comes to
providing first aid for them. You could say I have a natural affinity." he said,
thinking of his roots.

The woman finally noticed the color of his skin. "I'm sorry. I'm just..." the
woman flushed.

"..frightened. We know." said Roy. "It's okay. You want her rescued fast
before anything bad happens and believe it or not, so do we. Why don't you
stand over here by me and keep a hold of Trixie's new rope. Keep her
nose up out of the water so she won't start panicking while trying to breathe
so close to the water's surface."

Marco threw a tarp over the horse's flanks to build up some body heat.

"Whoa girl.. Easy now.." said Gage as he lowered himself closer to
the mare's head where it flopped in the slime. He reached around and
felt the pulse point under her jawbone. "It's fast, weak. Her gums are
off color. She needs oxygen. All this mud's caving in against her ribcage
whenever she kicks."

Cap's eyebrows went up. "Do we even have anything that might work
that way?"

Johnny looked up with a shrug.
"Sure, a regular mask on high flow'll work just fine. Just... stick it right
against one of her nostrils and hold it there. Horses breathe through
their noses only until they absolutely have no other choice in the matter.
Don't let her body size throw you off. Her lungs aren't that big."

"Okay... Stoker, you heard Doctor Doolittle here, start ventilating her
on some pure O2, pal." he chuckled. "And I know what else we're gonna
be needing past a good veterinarian..."

Courtesy of the Salem Fire Department. US Image of caphelmetgangclustered.jpg

Gage looked up from where he was scooping out some mud from
the mare's dull eye. "Oh, and what's that?" he grunted from where he
sat, waist deep in mud.

"More muscle. I'm calling in L.A.F.D. City. They're the strongest firemen
we've got for pulling. No machinery's gonna be able to move in through
all this soft ground. It's gonna be us.. versus her, earth's gravity, and the
mud." Stanley said no nonsense.

Gage nodded in agreement. "Yeah. Guess you're right, Cap. There are
no convenient trees overhead to rig a pulley onto for an engine back up."
he said, looking up.

Roy was dabbing at the mare's neck right over a large vein, with an alcohol
swab. "Ma'am, can we treat her further? She's most likely very dehydrated."
Roy asked the owner. "The least we can do is start her on some fluid flow."

"Yes. Go ahead. Do anything you have to do, please, just get her out of there.
My poor baby. Just relax, we're all here.." she soothed.

The mare gave out a pitiful whinny and she gave up trying to free herself.
Her head flopped back into the muck and her one upturned eye closed
tightly in fear.

Johnny quickly hauled up on her halter to keep her from drowning. He
set the horse's caked head into his lap where Mike with the oxygen, could
reach it.  "She's a fighter. Or she would've been dead hours ago." he told
the owner. "She's still hanging in there." he grinned.

"She was a preemie. Born two weeks too soon. But she got up on her feet
right away despite of not being able to nurse for hours until her muscles
loosen up." said the woman proudly. But then the tears flowed. "She can't
go now. Not like this.." she cried. "Oh, Trixie.."

The mare began to gasp, and shiver in all of her limbs in the cold mud. Her
owner's distress was effecting her own.

Cap came over to lead the woman away. "Come on, let's go meet the vet
so you can give him your horse's age and history so he'll know better how
to treat her once he gets here."

Once they were gone, Roy eyed his partner. "Johnny, what do we use for her
I.V.?  Do you know?"

"Plain, normal saline. One of our burn irrigation bags are big enough.
Eighteen gauge into a jugular. Don't worry about pushing too much. Giving
4 to 5 liters first is common for starting horse surgeries so I've learned."

"About here?" Roy asked, poking at the sluggish ropey vein.

"Yeah. Afterwards, do a piggyback saline lock under her jaw. The doc's
probably gonna want to give her a stimulant after we get her out of here."
Gage said. "Tape it off normally. There's no way she can dislodge the site with
her forefeet. She can't reach up that high without bending her neck." Johnny
offered. "And that, she's not gonna wanna do anyway, because down means
burying her muzzle deeper into the mud. It goes against her instincts."

"Whatever you say, junior. You're leading this one.  I'm way out of my element
here. It's been eleven years since I've drilled skills in an animal lab."

"Yeah, well, a horse is no different than a large dog anatomy wise. I wish we
we could shift her onto her belly. Her internal organs weight is suffocating her."

"I'll start digging around her." said Chet, flinching a little when the mare twitched.

Image of roymarcotreat.jpg Image of horsemudiv.jpg Image of johnnyhelmetlookdown.jpg

"She's too tired to move now, Chet. It's okay. You're safe around her." Gage told

"But not the mud, get into a safety belt.." Hank said, returning. "The doc's here."
he announced.

Doc Barney Coolidge arrived, still wearing street clothes and a civilian hat.
"I came as fast as I could. Johnny, how are her vital signs?"

"Slowing from normal." Gage told him. "Also, she's no longer tearing up." he
said, tapping on her cornea with a clean finger. "Skin's still pale pink, though.
So's her tongue. Stoker pulled it out a minute ago when she started snoring."

"Okay. How are her legs?" asked the Doc.

"All four are intact and were kicking quite nicely ten minutes ago." Chet grunted as
he and Marco dug futilely at the river ooze that was trying to rebury the white
mare again.

"All right. Let's assume no spinal or limb trauma. Her owner says she's a four year
old so her neck is strong enough to withstand the whole weight of her body. That's
where we're going to fasten the main ropes to get her out of there." Coolidge planned
out. "Roy, how's that coming?" he asked of the intranvenous line DeSoto was taping

"It's running. Wide open. And there's a mandibular saline lock waiting for her
medicinal kick in the tail."

"In good time, boys. I want a multiple set of arms at her head first to help
this mare as she climbs out once her shoulders are free. Nice job with the tarp.
Her shivering's steaming up her muscles enough to move soon." he said, feeling
under it. "Ma'am, do you have a horse trailer nearby and some dry blankets?"

The owner nodded eagerly. "Yes,.. I'll...I'll go get them.." and she dashed off
down the river trail for the ranch.

Doc Coolidge knelt near the edge of the mire and nestled close to one of the mare's
ears. "Easy, dear. She'll be back. I just want you to keep resting until the other
firemen get here. I promise we'll all help you get out of all this nasty stuff you've fallen
into just as soon as it's humanly possible. Can you wink at me yet?" he asked the

The mare snorted, blowing out a muddy mist. But she didn't move.

"Here, chew on that for a while." Coolidge said softly, shoving a sugar
cube into her mouth from his tan coat's pocket.

Shuddering, the horse opened the screwed shut eye and regarded the vet
with a growing calmness as she was cleverly distracted from her plight. The
long tongue retracted back inside her mouth as she used it to crunch away on
the sweet square. "Here you go, Johnny. Better than smelling salts. Keep
feeding them to her. As much as she wants." he said, pouring out a bunch
into Johnny's muddy hand. "Keep that O2 on her, too. She's probably got
a ton of lactic acid built up in her system from working so hard trying to get her
feet under herself inside that hole. I'll numb her up some so she'll try to stand
on her own in spite of it after I jumpstart her energy reserves with some
nor-epinephrine when the boys are ready."  
Sirens grew in the distance as the rig from Los Angeles finally arrived.
"Ah, there they are. That was fast. Are you ready for this?" asked the kindly
Doc Coolidge of the firemen and the horse.

Station 51's crew nodded. "Any time you are, doc."
And in response, the mare sloshed her heavily mired tail as if swatting at a fly.

"Good. This won't take long." he said, rubbing his cherub-like hands
together. "No siree. Won't be long at all before Trixie here's warming up
on hot mash and sweet oats comfortably at home." he said, drawing up
a hefty horse dose of stimulant into a syringe from his black bag.

Image of doccoolidge.jpg Image of horsejawmudpulse.jpg Courtesy of the Salem Fire Department. US

L.A. City poured into the thicket, looking down at the mare who was
finally looking up at them. "Okay, honey. Are you ready for your heroes to
come save the day? You sure look like one h*ll of a damsel in distress.."
said one lieutenant to the mud slicked horse.

Trixie swivelled both of her ears forward and neighed as loudly as she could.
Her impatient sound was unmistakable and it made everybody chuckle.

"Yep. She's gonna make it." mumbled Coolidge to himself. "And all it
took was a little hoof holding."

Image of johnnymuddysquadhelmet.jpg Courtesy of the Salem Fire Department.US Image of roymuddysquadhelmet.jpg

Johnny could still taste acrid muck in the back of his throat.
"D*mmit. And I brushed my teeth twice. Never let it be said
that California has great tasting natural ground water."

"Oh, yeah?" said Roy, pouring him a cup of fresh coffee as he
watched Johnny comb his freshly shower cleaned hair. "I got just
the thing to fix that." And he slapped down two sugar cubes onto the
table top with a grin.

Gage grimaced, taking delicious satisfaction as he aimed his sights
maliciously as he finger flicked them both right back at his partner
one at a time when Cap wasn't looking. "Funny man. I oughta.."

Zingg.. ZooOOOMm!  Roy ducked and deflected them with
a pot holder as he laughed openly

Image of johnnylaughunderbreath.jpg Image of sugarcubes.jpg Image of roygoodlaughjacketnametagshot.jpg

Marco snickered from where he was studying the new guidelines
they had been ordered to cover before noon. "Say, guys. Did
you see what's on page fifteen?  These conditions they're listing
aren't gonna be quite so easy to handle as the others have been." he

"Oh, yeah? I'm not that far ahead yet." said Stanley. "What does it say?"

Lopez told him. "Current speeds can reach up to thirty five miles
an hour across rapids breaking barriers and through all side diverting
shunting conduits."

"For how long?" Cap asked, worrying a little.

"For about twenty minutes. As long as the time scheduled release flows."

"That's gonna suck." said Chet. "Cap, how are we supposed to grab onto
anybody flashing by us in the river at that speed? Even our zip line can't
fire out thread that fast."

Hank looked crestfallen. "That's what we're gonna haveta figure out guys.
The ball's in our court. It's every station for itself until solutions are found."

"What a way to force inventions out into the open." Chet moped in his chair.
"Oh, how I wish this was just another friendly competition. My head really

"So does my stomach." said Marco. "Can we eat now?"

"Yeah, go ahead." Cap said, lost in the paperwork Marco had pointed out.
"Uh, could somebody get something for me, too? I wanna.. study this..

"Yeah, I got it." said Roy, rising.

Mike Stoker shot out of his seat at the first scent of oysters and he fled
the room without saying a word. The gang looked up in concern until
they heard the sound of the engine's driver door opening and closing quickly.

They relaxed. "He's gone to get the map." said Cap. "He always problem
solves much better off by himself. I'll bring him his lunch later."

Image of stokerrunsidekitchen.jpg Image of capsmirkgagefrigleandisgusted.jpg Image of marcochetlookupcoffeewaitaminute1.jpg

"Okay.." said Johnny seriously, still watching the way Stoker had gone.

The tones went off twenty five minutes later and it was everything
they feared would happen.

##Station 51. Truck 85. Child over a bridge in the L.A. River bed.
12994  McKennet Point. 12994 McKennet Point. Cross street,
Wilmington. Time out :  11:40.##

"Let's go. Let's go!" shouted Cap. "It's twenty minutes until the
the first controlled flashflood. Move it. That's only two blocks away.."

Image of bridge.jpg Image of capyellingrecroom.jpg Image of roydefensivekitchen.jpg

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This page's music is lovingly dedicated to Felicia, our
Make A Wish child angel who continues to play and laugh aloud at us from heaven. She lives still in all our hearts. :)
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Music- Love is All by Roxette. Midi engineered by Shawn Streifel. And gifted to the ETL for use as a moving tribute to a daughter from her mother.
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