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    Tower Drill
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The Story Unfolds...

Season Five, Episode Thirty Six..

 Tower Drill    

Debut Launch: August 1st, 2006.

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From: "Derrick" <rescueman1962@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu Aug 3, 2006 3:05 am
Subject: The Morning Blues

The crew of Station 51 had reported in for their tour of duty on a sunny
but cool, spring day in the Los Angeles area. It had just thunderstormed
two days earlier, which forced a rainout of a Dodgers vs. Giants game at
Dodger Stadium to which Chet and Marco had planned to go.

They were still less than happy about it.

"I don't know how come is it, when we go to a ballgame, that
it always rains." Marco complained to Chet.

"Well, consider it this way, pal. You can't stop mother nature
from doing her thing. I guess we'll have to go some other time
when the weather gets a little nicer." Chet emphasized with a
shrug.

"Who wants to see them lose again anyway?" Chet added. "It
seems that everytime we go, they lose!"

They watched with growing bemusement as Johnny Gage came
into the kitchen, wearing a sulken face, grumbling.

Chet looked up and asked. "What's wrong with you?"

"What's wrong? I'll tell you what's wrong, Chet. My whole love life
is wrong!" Johnny told him.

"Oh, really?" asked Marco. "What happened to you?"

"Before I knew it, Sue dumped me after our date Friday night and
gave me the third degree about it.... Telling me that I'm a- a- a loser ...
and a perpetual slob. And then she had the nerve to call me a liar
when I told her that all of that wasn't usually true. All I said to her
was that I had been working a lot of overtime.."

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Marco snickered and shook his head in sympathy during Johnny's
conversation while he exchanged 'what else is new?' looks with Chet.

Chet rubbed his chin. "Johnny, you need help there. I mean, you
really need...'help.' " he suggested gently, drawing finger quotes
in the air meaningfully.

Gage blinked a few times, until the suggestion sank in.
"Are you telling me that I should go see a shrink?" Johnny snapped.

Chet immediately looked away at the glare Johnny shot him
when the dark haired paramedic fired back at him in offended
ire.

"Maybe that will be the best thing for you, partner." said Roy as he
entered the kitchen, just overhearing the conversation.

"All right. Ok...All right. I hear ya. Then, I'm.. I'm..crazy." Johnny told them all,
throwing up his hands. "You all think that I am crazy? Well, I'll show
you who's crazy by the time our shift ends. And Chet, you and Henry
are..are just plum crazy, too!" Gage said as he pointed to the dog
on the couch, who seemed to turn his head away from Johnny as if
ignoring him.

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Then Captain Stanley walked in, barely avoiding a shoulder check
with Gage as the angry paramedic barged out of the room and stormed
on past him for the quiet sanctuary of the vehicle bay.
Cap asked the obvious without even looking up from the daily
mail he was sorting through. "What's been going on here?" he asked
matter of factly. "Do I sense a little unhappiness in the air?"

"Just a little." sighed Roy, taking another sip of coffee from his mug.

"Oh. Coming from Gage? That's normal." Hank shrugged as he
sat down in a chair to finish his filing.


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From : Rampartbase <rampartbase@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed Aug 2, 2006 11:45 am
Subject: See you later, alligator.. In a while, crocodile... Heh.

It remained a nice sunny day for the rest of the morning.

The crew at 51's were doing their usual chores and were
about to have lunch soon, when the tones sounded.

##Station 51. Man treed by an alligator at Harper Park. 1100
Santa Monica Blvd. 1100 Santa Monica Blvd. Cross street,
Watercreek. Be aware. Animal control has been notified and
they've responded that they are unequipped to capture it.
Time out: 11:06.##

Captain Stanley acknowledged the call. On the way, he
picked up the mic and said. "L.A., Engine 51. How big
is the gator?" he deadpanned seriously.

The reply came back. ##Eyewitnesses have estimated
its length at six feet.##

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"10-4." Cap hung up the mic derisively. Then Hank said to
his crew. "We have to be really careful."

"Thanks for telling us. I don't think we could have figured out
that one by ourselves, Cap."   joked Chet as he jogged by Cap
to put on his turnout and helmet from the stow.

Hank made a face and threw a 'get in there' thumb gesture
at his wise cracking fireman.

They rolled out.

This screengrab by Bryan G., 2006. Image of chetinengine.jpg

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From: "Roxy Dee" <laterrapincabesa@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2006 18:33:33 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:  That Loyal Postal Stick-It-To-It-Ness~~


Station 51 rolled through the regional park's entrance, code three.
Surprisingly, a Los Angeles County animal control unit, wasn't
there yet.

A scream rippled out. It was female and very, very panicked.

The gang rushed out of their trucks, pausing at the edge of the
parking lot to get their bearings on where the scream came from,
but it didn't repeat.

Then a sharp eyed Gage spotted their subject on a tree limb.
It was a girl in her mid twenties, hysterically mute and trembling.
"There, Cap. Near the eucalyptus. Forty feet to our ten o'clock. That
ain't no man. I wonder who call THAT in?" Johnny said, snatching out
rope coils and life belts for himself and Roy.

"Maybe it treed more than one victim.." Roy shrugged.

"Eh,.. the number of victims aside, I wanna know where that
alligator got to." Cap said empathetically, eyeing the ground and
the thick grass surrounding them along the lake's margin. He could
just make out the remains of a shredded german shepard lying just
off the jogging path.

"Stoker and I'll go look." Marco volunteered.

"Be careful. Don't these things like to charge thirty miles an hour
out of the water when they want something to eat real bad?" Cap
asked him.

"I'm trying not to remember that.." Stoker frowned. "Don't think a
charged firehose is the answer for this one."

Chet did the only other thing he could do. He grabbed out a bullhorn
for Hank.

Cap snatched it up and turned it on. ##Miss, this is the Los Angeles
County Fire Department. We see you. Just hold still until we figure
out a way to get you down from there, o.k.?##

If the woman heard, she wasn't answering, petrified as she was.
Then she started panting and looking wildly around desperately
when she jerked at a sound that only she heard.

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"She's gonna fall for sure, Cap. She's panicking again!" Johnny said,
running for the tree along with Lopez and Marco.

Roy got off the engine's radio. "We can't get a snorkle, Cap.
L. A. says they're all busy at fire calls for the next forty five minutes
to an hour."

Hank thought a moment, then he pulled out his handy talkie. "Engine 51,
L.A., respond a Sierra rescue team to our location. We've a young
woman trapped thirty feet up a pine tree. Code three."

##L.A., Engine 51. Sierra Bravo has been notified. Their ETA is five
minutes by air. ##

Roy just looked at him. "Park rangers?"

"Why not?" Cap replied. "They're good with trees, wild animals,
and search and rescues. Go get the life net and back up the others
in case she topples outta the tree."

"Right.." grinned DeSoto, peeling off his turnout. He ran
with the folded encircled catch net quickly.

Cap soon became aware of four state personnel in blue running down
the hill from the direction of the neighborhood houses on the cliff row
above them. They were postal people, complete with their tan canvas
and bright flourescent orange handled mail bags. One of them had
a portable scanner radio in hand. "Hold it, hold it.. Where do you think
you're going?" he asked them.

"To go help. Marve said he was in trouble with an animal on his route." said
one man. "We always drop whatever we're doing to get a fellow postman out
of danger."

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Marve's a postman? What's he doing in the park?"

A hefty, African-American woman answered him, sternly. "Taking a short cut.
Now are we gonna hem and haw about this all day or our we gonna do something
for that poor girl?" she said, throwing a careless hand up at the woman she spotted
in the tree.

Right then, another dusty postman ran out of the bushes and joined them.

"Marve! You ok?" the mail woman asked. "We came fast as we could."

"I'm fine. I couldn't do anything for the jogger's dog. The alligator was
too big."

"Where is it now?" Hank asked, pulling off his work gloves.

"Right over there. About fifty feet. It's facing the girl's tree from
the shallows." Marve pointed.

"All right. Go back there and keep an eye on it, would ya?"
Cap thought for a moment, then remembered the safety net's
need for at least eight to hold onto it safely. "The rest of you,
circle around in the open and catch up with my men and take a hold
of the life net." They started moving. "But get there moving away
from the water!" Cap reinforced.

Just as Cap was about to join them, Les Taylor and Dave Gordon
from animal control arrived,.. empty handed.

"Where's your tranquilizer gun?" he asked them.

"Sorry, captain. An alligator's not a tiger. It can't be tranquilized
the way you think." replied Dave.

"Why is that?" Hank demanded, irritated and worried for his people
and the victim.

Les shrugged. "It's just their metabolism and the way that their blood flows.
We've eyeballed it. It's a male, and it's lean. It's probably starving."

Dave added more. "Being sick like he is, his metabolism is so low
that if we tranquilize him, he'll probably drown after being darted."

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"Then let's kill it." Cap snapped. He frowned when the two officers
in front of him looked at each other."Why hesitate?" he asked them.

"American alligators are a protected species. We've been ordered to
capture it with traps and take it alive." Dave shrugged.

"That's raising the risk for all of my men and those helping them."

"Sorry, sir. Only the police can overrule our supervisor for a use
of lethal force." Les told him.

"All right. Ok.." Cap said. "Let's see what we can do with what we've
got then, shall we?" he said impatiently when he realized that the PD
was nowhere in sight.

All three men soon joined the firemen and the four postal workers
around the net. Half of them had their backs to the net while they hung onto
it, being lookouts, while Gage climbed the tree with a nimbly tossed rope.
He was moving slowly so that he wouldn't alarm the girl.

Roy spoke softly. "Miss,.. my partner's on the way up to you. It's ok. We..we
know where the alligator is exactly and it's not gonna hurt you." he said with
convincing confidence.

The girl didn't seem to hear him. She kept mumbling a dog's name over and
over again, her eyes dry and shocked. Her hands kept slipping on the bark
where her cheek rested as cold sweat drenched her. Once, both of her palms
slipped and she let out a yelp as she scrambled to keep her balance along
the branch.

"Don't worry about falling. We'll catch you.." said Hank. "We've got a net just
below you. Do you see it?"

The girl didn't react. She only gripped the branch tighter.

"I'm almost there..." Gage grunted to the others down below. "Keep her distracted.
If she moves too much here, she might miss the net before we can correct for it."

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Suddenly, there was a massive sound of hissing and an explosion of water erupted
from the lake.

"Look out!" Dave shouted as the still hungry, large alligator charged them.

Before the firemen reacted, the five postal workers let out a holler of their own
and in a blink, they all leaped on the alligator's body, pinning its head, and very
dangerous thrashing tail.

Hank's mouth dropped open as Les ran to help them with a stout roll of duck tape
and a thick length of rope.

"Oh, my..." Cap gushed, not wanting to let go of the net he still held with Dave, Marco,
Roy and Chet.  The net wavered in the wind blowing off the lake and it was very
difficult for the few of them who were left to stay under the tree and in a good position.

Stanley eyed the ball of postal workers and the animal control officer, tangling
with the thrashing alligator. "They're all nuts. Absolutely nuts!" he exclaimed.

Gage let out a shout of dismay that suddenly grabbed Cap's attention.
Hank whipped his head back to what he was doing.

The woman was falling towards the ground, off center to the net.

Hastily, the five firemen and Dave shifted the net desperately to encompass her,
but they succeeded in only catching the girl's upper body as she landed partially
in the net. Her waist and lower back pinwheeled over the edge of the lifenet's
frame and she somersaulted vertically, feet up, before she hit the grassy ground
hard.

Panicking, and in pain, the young woman sat up and was immediately
halted by Roy, who grabbed her from behind. "Easy. Don't move! You'll only
hurt yourself further." he warned into her ear firmly.

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"B-but..the alligator..He--he...*gasp*.. ohhhHH!" she grunted, feeling something
broken inside. Her face paled and began to turn blue. She gurgled into silence,
still horribly conscious.

"Johnny, go get the backboard!  Marco?!" DeSoto shouted.

"I'll get the gear.." Lopez answered.

"I'll help." Chet added.

"On the fly.." Gage punctuated as he slipped down his rope hanging from
the tree to go aid his partner. He knew the girl had been seriously, grieviously
hurt as clearly as Roy did. He knelt to help DeSoto stabilize her head and
airway where she sat upright on the ground. "What can you tell?"

"I don't know." Roy answered him. "Might be her spine, or ribs. I'm feeling
blood soaking into my shirt." he said hoarsely.

Johnny knelt down.

Cap knelt near. "Anything I can do? The alligator's no longer an issue.
He's tied up."

"Get that chopper in here faster. She's going critical. And get us
Rampart in a relay." Roy told him.

"You got it, pal." Stoker said, running for the road.

Sighing in sympathy, Cap handed DeSoto an active resuscitator on
demand feed to give to the woman so she would get as much oxygen
into her system as she could take.

He could see that she was still drawing breaths on her own; short,
painful efforts that frighteningly didn't seem like they were going to last
much longer. ::This is bad. And we still have to immobilize her.:: Cap thought.
::Oh, no.. She's got that thousand yards stare already.:: he worried
mentally.

Knowing that there wasn't much he could do yet, Cap rose to his
feet after nodding at Johnny that everything was coming as fast as
it could get there.

Numb, he said the first thing that came to the top of his head.
"Nice work, guys.." he said to the sweaty, grinning postmen
who were rejoining him, one by one from the lakeshore.

Marve smiled. "Believe me, we always reap our revenge every
chance we get. Have no fear of that."

"Do you guys always tackle hunger crazed alligators when they
charge you like that?" Stanley wondered.

The chocolate skinned mail woman smiled. "You'd be surprised at what
chases us at one time or another, fireman. This ain't nothing at all.
Them pound boys are.. usually off chasing stray cats in trees or
something, leaving us postal workers to fend for ourselves." she
said, watching the two animal control officers who were
checking and rechecking the gator's tied up legs and taped jaws
carefully to see that they were truly secured.

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"Now why would they do that?" Cap asked her.

"It's because we call em to get past all the dogs and other guard
animals in people's yards all the time. Their vet says we drain their
operating budget faster than a coke on a hot day. Doesn't seem to
concern the LACoAC much that we think the mail must go through no
matter what, know what I mean?" she laughed, still high on adrenalin.

Cap tried to smile, and couldn't.

The dark skinned woman noticed. "How's she doing?" she asked
quietly, the glow of heroism slowly fading from her features.

"My paramedics are still checking her out. We'll know more here real soon."
said Cap, looking down at the five firemen now crouched over the girl.
"She's got some developing breathing problems starting up." he told the
postal worker.

Silently, the postmen watched Station 51, while they worked to save a life.

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Click the drip for a music soundtrack change.

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From: "killashandrarey01" <killashandraRey@hotmail.com>
Date: Mon Aug 7, 2006 1:46 am
Subject: Tacit Care..

Roy immediately started talking as he was holding
the badly injured woman against his shoulder. "Ma'am,..
can you still hear me? Ma'am?"

The girl did not reply through her involuntary gasping.

"Hey!" Gage shouted to get her attention. He saw that her
eyes were no longer focused. Johnny pinched her earlobe firmly.
She didn't move. "She's going unresponsive, Roy." he murmured.
"Marco, take control of her head with that jaw thrust. Stoker, an ambu would
be real nice right about now. Help her on it when she needs it." he said,
slipping in a lubricated nasopharyngeal airway into one of her nostrils.
"Chet.. get a C-collar. Looks like she's a small regular." he said, feeling
around her head and neck in a fast check.

Periodically, he looked at his palms, one at a time, searching
for wet blood stains as he worked them down to her shoulders.
"She's not bleeding from anywhere up here, Roy." he told his
partner, who was setting up an EKG monitor.

DeSoto nodded, looking down at his own shirt to see where the large
blood stain that he had felt soaking him earlier, was located. "Try her
right lower back."

Cap gestured to his paramedics. "I'll get Rampart." Then he turned
to the postal workers. "Could you folks help us out one more time?"

"Sure.. sure.. " said the dark skinned lady. "Anything you say, mister."

"Can one of you go grab a blanket packet out of the engine?
They're yellow. Right rear compartment above the driver's
back tire. Then turn around with your backs to us in a ring.
We're gonna need some privacy for her. Seems we're already
gathering ourselves a crowd of the curious here." said Hank,
seeing more park goers arriving due to the unusual sight of the
bound and taped alligator and the three flashing county trucks.

The post woman took one look at the shears Gage was using to
get the girl's clothes off and nodded in immediate understanding. She
put two fingers to her mouth and let loose a piercing whistle to
catch the other chattering mailmen's startled attention. "Don't just
stand there, Marve." she pegged her cohort. "Go get that cover up tarp
for the little lady. As for the rest of you,.. about face, pronto, and don't
let me catch you lookin' back over here even once." she ordered her
coworkers like a bossy mother hen.

They obeyed her. Instantly.

"Don't you worry, captain. Nobody else is gonna get anywhere near her.
And that's a promise from us." said the saucy, pleasant faced mail woman.

"Uh,, thank you.." said Stanley distractedly without looking up from where
he crouched over the biophone case. "Rampart,.. this is Engine 51. How
do you read?"

Roy and Johnny were deep into their initial assessment. Gage felt for
carotid pulse quality on both sides of the woman's neck and then he compared
them to those in both wrists. "Weaker radials bilaterally... but I'm feeling
no cervical crepitus. She has no signs of jugular venous distension or
tracheal deviation.. Resp rate's thirty, very shallow, and intermittent."

"Got it." said Roy, taking notes. He had patched the woman in on limb leads
so that they would have constant audible cardiac cues to listen to. And then
he placed one of her fingers inside the wired pulse oximeter's soft rubber clamp.

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"Ok, Chet, she's set for her collar...Let's get it on." Gage grunted as he ducked
around Stoker's hands as the engineer started working the bag valve mask.
"Then go get the KED ready, would ya? Marco's still got his hands full holding her.
I'll probably be finished with her entire sweep by the time you get back."

"All right, Johnny." replied Kelly.

Soon, they were through and Chet took off for the engine's auto extrication
equipment bay.

Gage continued to search for serious problems. "I've got a spreading bruise medial
right chest..." he said, feeling and looking at the woman's skin. He stopped when
one hand came away bloody. "There it is.. Lower right side, Roy. A penetrating
wound with a single rib fracture into the abdomen.. The injury's fully below the
diaphragm." he reported as he snatched out some bulky dressings to control the
bleeding. He used many layers and taped them to her side firmly in a square
to slow the heavy hemorrhaging. He moved on down each of the woman's
arms and legs in turn in a careful check for other critically bleeding wounds,
but he found none.

Quickly wiping his hands off on the woman's discarded shirt, Johnny got
out a stethoscope for a fast chest/lung check. "Roy,..mid clavicular right
is hyperpercussive with diminished breath sounds..." he said, catching
his breath as he listened closely, "..But mid right axillary and all other
lung fields are clear. Her heart sounds normal but it's not at the same rate
as her pulse."

"What are you getting for a discrepancy?" DeSoto asked as he rechecked
the pressure dressing Johnny had applied to see that it was still working.

"Apical: 136 and steady. But the 90 palp's irregular." Gage replied.

"Any other life threats?" Roy asked.

"No." Johnny told him as he placed the flat of two hands and pressed
down lightly over all the areas of the woman's abdomen that he could
reach with her as she was, sitting up on her scissors split open jeans
and underwear. "Just where we know already. Right upper and right lower's
firm and distended. Pelvis is stable." he said after gripping her hips with an
inward pressure. The bones didn't shift even an inch. He looked at the woman's
entire back with a pen light around Stoker knees and jacket flaps and he double
checked himself when he felt her skin, too. "Yeah, nothing else.." he concluded.
Then he added. "A change..Current LOC is causing incontinence." he said as
an odor of urine and stool rose over the blood scent. "But there's no peritoneal
or rectal bleeding."

"I'll tell Cap to relay what we have so far." Roy told Johnny.

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Gage and Chet got busy with the Kendrick device.

Kelly opened the KED and placed it between Marco and the girl's back. He
centered it and placed the wings of the immobilizer snugly under the woman's
armpits while Gage tucked some padding at the small of her dusty neck where the
head guard didn't rest. Then Johnny fastened the chest straps, taking care that
it didn't interfere with Stoker's ability to get good chest rise with his
ventilations. "Is she breathing on her own?" he asked the engineer.

"Only trying one out of every three now." Stoker replied.

"Keep at it, but don't hyperventilate her at all."

Mike nodded. "I'm watching her sat's.." he said, throwing a head
at where he could see the numerical readings renewing themselves
on the screen of the EKG monitor. "Heart rate's still steady. 136..
PO2's 98%"

"If her tachycardia's no longer felt at the carotid, let me know." Gage said.

"I sure will. I see that Cap's got the defibrillator on active stand by."

Chet slid two straps under the girl's thighs and wrapped them
over each leg before he snugged them tightly at both ischial grooves.

Then they secured the woman's head against the KED's head rest
and placed the secondary straps over her forehead and chin
once she was confirmed as being placed well centered to vertical.

Marco still held onto the woman's head. "Airway's good. Are we
ready to place her on the board?"

"Yeah.." said Johnny, as he stood up to grip a side handle on the
cradle of the KED with one hand. The other, he placed under one
of the woman's knees.

Chet got set positioning himself on the opposite side to help with the
transfer after he was through tying the woman's hands together with
a gauze bandage. He paused when his shifting accidently
jarred the woman's left arm. It bent into a sudden second elbow just
below the shoulder. "Ahh! Broken left humerus." he announced,
holding it quickly above and below the break to stop its falling,
flopping movement.

"Must be a real clean break if I didn't feel that. We'll splint it in route."
Gage told him. "Just place that arm neutral enough so that a pulse's
always felt in that hand with her arm supported."

"Ok, I'm set." Kelly said a few seconds later when he checked circulation.

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Locking their arms together underneath her, the gang lifted and then
carried the woman over to the long board lying on the ground. Carefully, the
three firemen lowered her flat onto it and strapped her in after covering
her up snugly with the shock sheet Cap had obtained from the engine.
They left the woman's wounded side exposed to the air so they could
monitor the pressure dressing's continuing effectiveness.

Chet did one more aid by propping up the woman's boarded head on
a gear box to ease her manually helped respirations. "There you
go, Stoker. She should vent nice and easy for you now."

"That works." said Mike, watching her color closely as he bagged her.

Cap lifted his head. "I've got Brackett on the line!" he shouted.

Roy tossed Cap his notepad. "Cap,.. she's a 'load and go'.
Tell them the NPA and that jaw thrust are doing the job ok even though
her Glasgow's seven. And I found a wallet." DeSoto said as he
bent down to do a blood pressure on the woman's unbroken arm.
"Catch.." he said, throwing that over, too.

"Will do." said Hank, receiving it. "Sierra Bravo's ETA is three minutes.."
Then he turned back to the biophone. "Rampart. I have more patient
info." he said, leafing through the girl's wallet cards. "Our victim's twenty
five with no prior medical problems or allergies." he concluded after reading
a few of them. "As I said before her mechanism of injury was a thirty foot
fall out of a tree to soft grassy ground after bouncing out of a fire
department life net. Status: Unconscious, nonreactive to pain. She is being
partially breathing assisted on oxygen and is doing well with just an NPA and
jaw thrust. She's got a large, open wound lower right quadrant lateral to the
hip with a penetrating rib break into the abdomen. External bleeding has been
controlled. She's a second bruise on her upper right chest with slightly diminished
superior right lung sounds. Broken left humerus. All extremity pulses are
palpable. She is spinally immobilized with a KED on a longboard and is
being treated for shock. Stand by for the vitals signs.." Captain Stanley told
Rampart.

##Standing by..## answered Kel Brackett from the base station.

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From: "patti keiper" <pattik1@hotmail.com>
Date: Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:30 pm
Subject: Turnabout Intruder..

DeSoto looked up and supplied Stanley with the information
Brackett wanted. "BP is 72 over 50. Pulse is 144 and regular.
Respirations unassisted are now holding at 10, irregular and shallow.
Skin is pale, diaphoretic and cool at the extremities. Pupils are
slightly dilated but reactive to light. Glasgow is nine. Bilateral
Babinski's: normal. Distal pulses are equal in all four despite that closed
fracture in the left arm, now realigned in a position of function. EKG 's
showing still viable V-tach and the digital PO2 is 96% on 15L of O2
on ambu. Breath sounds are the same still, with that extremely localized
mild rhonci. Estimated 900 cc's blood loss externally from the
abdominal wound."

Kel Brackett nodded, tapping the glass with a knuckle in a hint to get
Dixie to enter the glass enclosed base station just as Cap was
parroting back Roy's information over the biocom.

She had been pulling out a blank stat chart for him for his patient to begin
a surgical workup, knowing the young woman to be a trauma case from
the nature of the radio traffic going on between L.A. Headquarters, over the fire
department scanner near her head, and with the regional park's county
rescue services branch.

McCall opened the door just as the emergency room physician was finishing
his initial orders. "51, start two large bore intravenous lines of Lactated
Ringers in the uneffected arm and run wide open until she's reached
effective homeostasis with an upper systolic of 90, auscultated. Don't waste
time performing an RSI. Use the addition of an OP if you have to, to maintain
her airway in transit. Time is of the essence. Splint all unstable joints later.
Send me a twelve lead EKG once you're on your way, and I want additional
vitals sets every five minutes. What's your current ETA?"

Dixie quickly joined him. "What do you have, Kel?"

"Traumatic fall, with a major disruption of a body cavity involving
a rib fracture, with possible internal bleeding. So far, she's
minus a head injury without any glaring pulmonary or cardiac
symptoms and with one, apparently simple, broken humerus."

##Rampart, ETA is eight minutes by air. Coming in with Sierra Rescue
to your flight pad.## reported Cap.

"10-4, 51. Get her in here as soon as possible and notify me en route of
any profound neurological or respiratory changes." Dr. Brackett said,
thumbing the talk button.

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"What now, Kel?" Dixie asked him, anticipating.

"I want to organize the care team prior to her arrival. Get two general surgeons
on stand by to form the core of the trauma team. They'll be in close cooperation
with us while a surgical room gets ready. I'll direct her further evaluation and
resuscitation. Get a mid-level provider to manage her airway along with a respiratory
therapist. I'll be conducting the primary and secondary surveys, and tell Dr. Early
he'll be performing other procedures as needed. I'll leave monitoring her vital signs
to you along with drawing bloods for her lab work. I also want an orthopedic surgeon
as an immediate consultant as well as the neurosurgeon on-call. I want to make
sure her C-spine's truly intact or at least determine any new disability with
a complete motor examination performed before surgery." Kel told Dixie.

"I'll get right on it."

"As soon as she gets in here, I'll want a foley in along with a gastric
tube to simplify things in prep for her anesthesia as soon as she's been
airway secured by our therapist. Oh, and let's stave off any iatrogenic
hypothermia with additional warmed IV fluid, blankets, heat lamps, and
a heated, air-circulating blanket.  Order up an anteroposterior chest
radiograph, a focused abdominal sonogram, a full C-spine series and
get films of that left arm. If the room's open, order a CT scan of the
abdomen with intravenous contrast. But those spinal pictures first,
so we can get her off the long board before surgery."

"I'm assuming you want arterial blood gases, a type and cross match, and
baseline work on her hemoglobin and hematocrit levels?" Dixie blinked.

"Yep." Kel smiled.

"And how about a dipstick urinalysis to exclude occult hematuria?"

"That, too." he grinned. "You know me too well, Dix, you know that?"

Then his stomach growled. Loudly.

"Umm hmm.." Dixie nodded without batting an eyelash. "Do me a favor, Kel.
Let Dr. Morton handle the next paramedic call when it comes in. You haven't
had your lunch yet and you definitely look it." she pegged, with a finger
stabbing the ornate tie peeking out of his white lab coat. "And neither
have I, for that matter." she reconsidered.

"Boosting our mutual blood sugars will be on me just as soon as we've
seen 51's patient safely into a surgical ward." Brackett promised.

"My kind of guy." she winked. "I'll put her in One." Dixie said, disappearing
out the door again.

Dr. Brackett hunkered down with just a plain coffee to await his cardiac strip
sending from Roy and Johnny. ::Hunger's relative they say. In more ways
than one.:: he thought ruefully, admiring Dixie's departing back and efficient,
thick bun just beginning to show graceful falling strands from underneath her
paper white nurse's hat.

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The gang met up with the Sierra team when the park's BK-117 set down on
a nearby hillside that proved free of obstructing pine trees and surprise
daytime heating downdrafts. The red helmeted rangers met the firemen
with an extra large stokes to accommodate the fallen woman's long board
so Station 51 could follow with their medical gear piled up in one of their own.

Both Roy and Johnny chose to fly into Rampart with the rapidly stabilizing
woman, and soon, they were on their way, quickly buzzing over the cityscape
of suburban Carson.

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The engine and squad reported that they were available in quarters an
hour after that. Captain Stanley found that they had returned home, to chaos.

Chief James O. Page, was waiting for them all, in full department regalia,
standing by the large county wall map.

Hastily, the gang abandoned helmets and jackets as they pulled in and
everyone tried their best to rid themselves of the thick park dust that was
still coating them.

Gage hid the bloodstains under his nails that the alcohol hadn't cleaned up
properly as everyone scrambled to the mop cupboard to get their black
inspection hats on in fast order. Then they lined up in stiff formation in the
bay in front of the fire trucks and waited until Cap quickly got into his
white one.

Captain Stanley strode forward in surprise. "Chief? You want to inspect the
station? I thought Chief McConnikee had that detail this month."

"Your rumors were correct, Hank. But I'm not here for that so please, everybody,
just relax. I'm here for another reason. I'm here to ask you all to do me a personal
favor." said Page.

"Oh? And what's that?" Cap asked his boss.

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"Do you remember a fireman named Ed Marlowe from last year? He
rode with your boys in the squad for a bit while being evaluated for
the paramedic program."

"How can we forget? He was a real cocky sort of a hot head, wasn't he?"
mumbled Chet under his breath to the others in line.."Glad he failed to
make the grade."

Roy elbowed Kelly swiftly into silence before their all-seeing, easy going
chief overheard him.

"I'm here to ask you, Hank, if Stoker could walk Fireman Marlowe through
the engineer's program in a stint through your station."

The others' mouths gaped open. All except Hank's, who couldn't, because
Page was still regarding him with a questioning expression. "Uh, chief..
uh, I'm sure he'd.. Stoker? You doing any off time in the next week?"

"No, sir. I'm available to train. Just give the word." Mike said surprisingly
easily.

Stanley pegged his tillerman with a shoulder grasp and sputtered.
"That's....entirely up to you. I-I- I.. know how busy you are studying for
your potential upcoming promotion to lieutenant and all..."

"Cap, I'll do it." he said, nodding.

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Page took in a big breath and sighed contentedly. "Great, Mr. Stoker. I
knew you would. You're a good fireman." said the chief.

"That he is..." murmured Cap, trying to stomach a very old feeling of dread.

Page was oblivious. "You know this means that you'll all follow through
and each take a turn teaching at the Fire Tower. This year's cadet
class is about to start. Their beginning course work begins tomorrow
in fact. I've already made arrangements for HQ to cover your work
shifts to accommodate.." smiled Chief Page.

The gang didn't know what to say. But then Mike filled the gap neatly.

"When do I shadow Ed, chief? When he ships back into town?" Stoker
asked, after swallowing bravely.

"I'm already here, boys." said a country sounding drawl, coming from
the kitchen.

Ed Marlowe, the ex-Viet Nam medic and current firefighter, saundered
into the garage.


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He was wearing a brown denim jacket, complete with a rope tie,
blue jeans and a cowboy hat.  To the 51 gang's dismay, he had already
helped himself to a sandwich from the refrigerator. "Hi, Mr. DeSoto. You
know, I was real surprised the other month when you failed to recognize
me when I helped you real estate shop for that new ranch house of Gage's."  
he chuckled. "I'm glad I finally got a chance to connect up those missing
memory dots for you...Know what I mean?"

Then he began to laugh uproariously.

Still standing in line, Roy DeSoto slowly took off his inspection hat,
and he began to nurse a frown... big time.

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