*Attention*- The following casualties are all mock exercise images.
Gage and Hallie got onto their rig again and began to set up suction and their|
along with some cardiac medications. "Just standing
orders?"Johnny nodded at Hallie concerning the
resuscitation to come.
"Yeah. No need to call the doc except for an initial patient status." Green
replied. "Age, gender, time since arrest, current findings.." she clarified.
"Anything else can wait
until we get there. Our job is just to turn him around.
"Like a bird." Johnny promised.
He looked up as Chet, Stoker, and another pair of ARFFs rushed the stokes
over to them still
bearing the arrested man. Gage saw that Roy had set the
defib on automatic recharge and it neatly
reached full power by the time the
man was fully loaded into the ambulance.
"I've got this!"
Hallie shouted. "Let go of him. I'm going again." she ordered,
picking up the rewarmed up paddles
for another delivery. "Clear?" Hallie
asked everyone. Heads bobbed. Then the pixie faced firefighter
let loose the second attempt at 400 watts.
The man jerked. Seconds later, though,
he remained clinically dead. "D*mn.."
Green swore as Kelly and Stoker swiftly reassumed their places
restarted urgently active CPR at her nod. She quickly began to prepare an
for an epinephrine boost.
At the same time, Johnny stooped low to begin finding a viable vein
Gage had just enough time to catch his partner's wave that he was remaining
Ted to start to assess the other passengers, when an ARFF secured the
doors shut between them with
a firm snick. Johnny felt the ambulance start to
move as another ARFF stepped in as their driver to
begin the long trip around
the crash scene, heading for the medical center.
::Man, I'm glad
that's over. :: Johnny sighed mentally as they were driven past
the still flameless aircraft. Five
lime colored engines were aiming foam onto
the jet's outer shell in a ring of ghosty white flower
petals while more ARFF crew
split open the top and ends to enter the interior. He saw that they had
by side ladders to string along charged reel lines. They were searching for
reported hidden fire that had as yet, to be discovered ::I really didn't
enjoy all that fuel suddenly
bursting into flames right in front of me.:: Gage
grumbled in his head.
In the control tower, Gene Skidwell sighed as the minutes crawled by
without any restarting hint
of flames reappearing on runway 24. His Zetron
panel still read a passenger count of 13. He looked
up at his companion
controller Mike Porter, with a smirk. "No one's been declared dead yet.
a good sign. Isn't it?"
Mike was tense, still gripping his pencil as he watched the rescue operation|
through closely focused
binoculars. "I.. I.. wouldn't know, Boss. To me,
dying of a heart attack on a airplane can't be a
good outcome. Especially not
after having that same said airplane suddenly bursting into flames. Man,
was awful.. Never in my life have I se---" he broke off when he spotted a
white light, but in the wrong place on the horizon. "Gene?
Do you see what I see? One o'clock low
and it's over water."
Gene grabbed up his own night vision pair and moved to that place in their
He blanched.. "Oh, sh*t... What are they doing here? Tracon called off all our
Didn't they hear us?"
Mike Porter knocked over his coffee mug gone cold as he hastily grabbed
flight channel's out going microphone. "TC to unscheduled flight inbound. I repeat.
Do not approach. We've a plane down. Respond please."
Meanwhile, Gene was scrambling with the
radar settings. "It's an international.
From Paris.. See?" and he pointed to the blip on their mutual
screen. "Still heading
right for us."
Then a voice blistered through static over their ceiling speakers. "##...ermission to land.|
Skidwell read their ident swiftly on the transponder screen. "Concorde 35, what is your
emergency?" he asked numbly, even as Porter quickly jumped onto the hot phone to
call Theresa Ryder.
##...flaps...frozen. Stuck in nine degree declination. Pitching west by southwest..##
hand slapped down on the Zetron panel, red alert, to everyone wired onto
the system as the concerned
pilot continued to report in new information.
Mike was still talking to Theresa in her office
when he blanched and dropped the
phone, pointing out the window. The graceful aircraft was severely
tail heavy and
headed right for a thousand foot radio antennae at the edge of the airport's infield.
Gene Skidwell snatched up the mic. "To port! Twenty five degrees turn.. Immediate!"
COURSE! *beep beep* COLLISION COURSE! ## came the
automated warning from the Concorde over their
The French pilot turned hysterical. "I can't turn! Look I've been trying to tell
you that for
A bright purple and orange spark fireworked into the wintery night
sky as Concorde's wing
clipped a radio tower wire, which sliced off its portside wing.... utterly.
Then the thickly ice-locked airliner nosed straight into the ground at high impact and Gene
closed his eyes. When he opened them again, a huge slow growing fireball was rising
higher than the
trees.. And then higher than even them. And he registered something twisted, huge and gray, tumbling
directly towards them at two hundred ninety miles
Both men ducked under their consoles and began to scream as death flashed nearer.|
It was Concorde's
front half, mangled beyond recognition, skidding on ground ice,
directly for the vulnerable Control
Tower ...and the terminal. It smashed into three
concourse ramps, shoving a fueling passenger plane
nose first into the building. Another
plane on resupply standby, was smashed through the end of the
leaving behind a massive explosion and inferno which burst clear through the roof.
Concorde ended her long journey with her tail, by twisting into the base of the
sheering off its power supply that had been connecting it to the rest
of the airport.
falling debris from the rest of aircraft tore through the tower's thin dome top
and slender sides,
touching off fire and structural collapse as fireball after fireball
around it shot into the night
sky with lurid violence.
Within, Mike and Gene were shaken physically, but unharmed.
then the weakened ceiling came down and they knew no more.
On runway 24, Joe Rorchek wasn't the only one to spot the initial coming impact. It could|
be missed as retinal after images burned through his head. He ducked behind
a firetruck and grabbed
for his radio. ##Take cover! Aircraft falling!##
The very ground shook during the crash and ARFF
personnel were jolted off their feet
as they watched a second horror at the airport unfold like a
sick fever dream from
wherever they were.
When the Control Tower winked black and began turning
orange with fire, Joe
rose to his trembling feet. "Holy mother of--" Then his mind took over his
and he began to issue orders.. ##All units. Red alert. Undeclared Disaster at..." His watering
eyes took in the damage. ".. Main Terminal, Control Tower, and Runway 15R outbuildings!
Regroup! All available non-medical units, report to Incident Command
One had simply halted in its tracks. Then the radio message came over
their HTs on private band. ##IC
to One. Abandon your victim. I repeat abandon. Tag
black and report to IC with all personnel.##
Stunned, but knowing the necessity, Chet, Stoker, Johnny and Hallie all stopped
work and only opened
their ambulance when everyone had fully resuited with
fresh air bottles.
They left the business
man at the edge of the runway under a tarp, a black tag
staked deep into the freezing ground by his
covered head. There it fluttered in the wind
as the ambulance quickly pulled away with its lights
flashing as he was left alone
in the dark under the horrific glow of blossoming firelight.
Nobody noticed that the sleet had turned into the lightest of snows, drifting down, almost
to cover the landscape. As it did, the outline of bodies began to appear in
Subject: Pick Up Sticks..
From: patti k (email@example.com)
Sent: Fri 9/11/09 2:31 AM
"Chief?" asked Gage, leaping out of Ambulance One. He
the horror behind them, but also watching
for walking wounded coming in from the darkness. "Seen
Joe quickly asked Johnny his first question. "Did you come
back of your
own volition or did you come back because I
ordered you back?" he pegged, almost severely.
replied, understanding immediately. "We heard you,
Chief." she said with confidence.
That means OUR repeater tower's not the one that the
plane hit. We still have local communications...
he shouted into his megaphone.. "Everybody listen! This is
what we're gonna do. Fall
in a line and start eyeballing our current
and any potentially developing dangerous situations. Find
way in to those people that's safe, fast, and with good access to
the outside infrastructure
so mutual aid can get in to mobilize.
And so there's equal space for our ambulances to get out. I
answers in ten minutes. Do not.. I repeat.. do NOT leave this area
until I've approved our
tactical attack. Is that understood?"
Holbrook's three companies of hazmat suited firemen, about
in all, agreed and nodded, hurrying to form a line of spotters
along their made safe runway
facing the burning terminal, and
control tower locations.
Joe kept speaking to them as all
the ARFF fought down varying
degrees of reaction, positive and negative, to the disaster.
CN6541's a lost cause. We're gonna let her burn. There's
very little risk in leaving the aircraft
alone unsupervised while she
decomposes, for she's sitting on concrete in a secured area.
meet to discuss all our options at 21: 22 hours. Right here."
he pointed to the snow whitening ground
before his truck.
"And may the elements favor us in our work tonight." he shouted
as the wind inside
the snowstorm shrieked briefly in a gust.
Murmurs of determination and a few cries of anxiety
his words, but Joe took them all in and chalked it off as
shock effect and autopilot
instincts. He knew that he had
good men under him. And good neighbors. Now all he
needed was a
lot of good luck to get through the night
and the coming ugly, cold day.
He waved over Al Martelli.
"Get on the horn. Call in everybody
who wants to come in an assist. I don't care if you have
rouse each municipality mayor and shake him out of
bed. I want a firefighter for every three casualties
dawn, or there'll be H*ll to pay."
"Aye, chief.." and Martelli headed off to the fire station's
communications room with a rear safety with him in a
spare runway jeep.
Joe looked over to Ambulance One's four members.|
Chet looked quiet, Hallie stricken, Stoker appeared
anything, but Johnny Gage was impatient. He wanted the most
out of anyone to get into
action. So Rorchek humored them.
"You guys head over to the medical center and see what you
do. I know if that building has just minor damage that Chris'll set
up triage and a shelter there.
All the medical supplies are right
next door in a locked blue hanger along with the ALS
Joe said. "Grab what you need. Here's the key."
he said, passing one over from his belt ring. "Use
the triage kits for sharing information."
"We're gone." Gage said, gripping his
team's arms in
support and encouragement through his silver gloves as he
quickly pulled them after
him towards their ambulance.
Stoker paused before following. "Uh, all right if I
move a pumper
over there as a standby? That's gonna
be a real critical area before too long."
"Get it done."
Joe replied. "Stay and man it?"
"My pleasure." Mike answered grimly.
"Grab a partner."
Joe told him.
"Right away.." Stoker nodded. He was met with a great
show of raised hands. He
picked one at random. It was
the captain from Hollbrook who finally joined him.
them drive off carefully for the medical center.
Captain Stanley rubbed snow off of his faceplate,
"What's the range of our hand radioes?"
"Only three hundred yards.." Joe replied
in stunned numbness
at the full impact of what had just happened. It was only
now, just beginning
to hit him.
"Easy, Joe." Hank said, reaching out to him. "Split up?" Hank
things short and clear.
Joe blinked away hesitation.
"Yes. You take half the companies and
set up on the tarmack
in between the medical center and the terminal. There's a lot
any closer so don't chance it." the silver haired Rorchek
Cap nodded, grabbing another
slate board from their command
truck and an extra set of HT batteries for the search and rescue pack
somebody handed to him. "I'll be sure everyone stays in their suits."
"You do that. There were
two full sized airliners over there by
the control tower and now they're gone. Bound to be magnesium
all over the place on top of the aviation fuel dangers." Joe told him.
"And those were both
composite constructed jumbo jets." the
"I'll duct tape test the ground before
I set up to find out how large the
hazardous area is. If there are any fibers on the tape when I
pick it up,
I'll know I've got a problem and I promise I'll keep everybody moving
I don't." Stanley capitulated.
"You know your aircraft." Joe nodded grimly.
"Only the ones
I fly in. Scenarios always go through my head whenever
I find my self strapped to a flimsy seat in
one. What about the Concorde?"
Hank asked, glancing into the void that was somehow blacker than black
where the ground was deeply carbonized. He noticed that fire had gone out
except for the bits on
top of any fuel based organic material. ::People::
Cap grimaced. ::Everything else has vaporized
or has already been
smothered by the weather.::
"She's done. There's no hope of survivors.
Anything moving that fast
in a crash wouldn't favor survival in the least." Joe told him. "So we're
going to concentrate on our buildings in this order: The control tower;
we need to prevent our airspace
from being used again, somehow,
by those still unaware of our crises. The density of air traffic in
usually is phenomenal this time of night. Number Two- The terminal; we're
low in crowd numbers but not that low. I expect that structure still
has anywhere from two to three
hundred people inside right now."
The others groaned in dismay and fidgetted inside of their hazmat suits.|
Joe held up a glove.
"Now luck is in our favor a little bit. The two end
concourses involved were under construction today
so I don't expect many
casualties in those areas. Top priority is securing our safety first, shutting
our utilities second, and doing the most good for the greatest number third. The
were grounded over there weren't occupied by the public. They
weren't scheduled to fly out until
morning. At most, there were minimal support
staff resupplying both aircraft and providing maintenance."
"How many potentially were inside them?" Hank asked, planning.
four each. A cleaner, someone to restock the commissary,
someone to upholster and organize the seat
bins, and the last
would be flushing the sanitary waste tanks." Joe replied.
"How many down
"One. The refueler. He'd be grounding the aircraft with a wire before
any fuel pump..." Joe bit his lip.. "That's if... any fuel pump
survived all of that.." he fingered
over his shoulder. "And if you add
roving security and general stockers and luggage handlers, there
be up to ten people out on the tarmack per plane, if they were even
out there in this storm,
in those hot spots."
"We'll find everybody we can save, Joe. You have my word on that."
told him. "As one firefighter, to another."
In the medical center, Dr. Joanne Almstedt made sure all their outer
doors were shut and barricaded
against the outside smoke. "We'll
use the underground entrance ramp doors for any and all patients."
she said to the main lobby at large. She was still shivering inside of
her dark navy parka emblazoned
with a red cross. "Steve?" she
called out turning towards the chopper paramedic treating one of
CN's businessmen. He had a cut over his eye and was complaining
of head pain.
"Could you break away for a second and mark that tunnel with light
flashing flatbeds inside so fire
rescue can find their new way in okay?"
"Sure.." he said. "This one's stable. No
dizziness." he told her, passing
off the man's green triage tag.
She smiled and indicated
a chair to the man in the corner away from the
outer windows. "The bus will be right back to take
all of you to the hospital."
she said to him, and his still dazed colleagues. "You'll all be fine."
"We want to stay and help out." said one determined executive. He looked
strange in his torn
and smoke gritty silk suit, with his hair full of caked fire
Joanne touched his sleeve.
"I'm afraid it's not safe enough for you to stay. But if you leave your
information with my nurse
here about who you are and what's bothering
you medically, that'd be wonderful." she beamed, being
The men immediately moved to the reception desk.
Chris was taping up all the cracks in the glass of the windows|
in the lobby and the margins along
the top, sides and bottoms of doors.
"We've just got to keep all that crap from coming in. We're getting
atmosphere out there whenever the wind blows this way."
Joanne eyed him up thoughtfully
as she moved to a sink to wash
her hands up for her next pair of medical gloves. "Well, I don't
Chris.. You're the expert. What do you suggest? We can't just
"I know that. This is
absolutely the best place for what's going on.
I'll think of something." said the eldest Rorchek son.
A voice answered from behind him. "How about mylar? It's impermeable
to most gases. And we've
rolls of it in the medical supply hanger."
It was Flight Paramedic Steven Beck, returned from his
Chris beamed. "Perfect.. Then anybody conscious we bring in here
can't see out and get any worse."
"Chris, are you trying to be funny?" Joanne asked
"No, doctor. I- I'm being practical. I know what large scale incidents
do to people. I worked Three Mile Island, remember?" he replied.
Steven Beck nodded yes.
Joanne's tight expression softened then, in sympathy. "I had no idea."
"Yes, well, uh,...that's
over. What's next?" Chris asked. "I've already called
my d-- uh, the chief ..and he wants me to
be the Supply Officer. Can you take
over as Triage Head?" he asked her.
"I will. Steve, wanna
help out and direct the other paramedics when they start
coming in with patients?"
have to ask, I was just about to suggest that." Beck said, pursing his
lips in stress. "Nobody knows
this building and its contents better than I."
Joanne paused for a beat. Then she nodded her head.
"Yeah, that's true. You
DO know better than me." she agreed. Dr. Almstedt clapped her hands together.
"Okay, let's get to work, people. We've got a lot to do to get this lobby and adjoining
room prepared. I'll make out a list of what I want and where. First priority is
hanging that d*mn*d
Chris suddenly looked pale. "Oh, crap.." he muttered. |
Steve and Joanne, noticed.
they both asked at the same time.
"I.....just remembered what building's at our backs." he minced
Joanne recalled suddenly, her eyes getting big. "Ohhhh,.. don't tell me.."
the fuel depot." Rorchek replied. "I think I'd better go check
that hanger out for trouble spots."
"Bring a radio with you. I'll be monitoring.." Steve sighed, tossing him
a spare that he had scrounged
Joanne thought of something else. "What about our power? Will the fire
department be turning
off our utilities for safe keeping?"
"No, the med center's a critical area. If it's found safe
be the last place allowed to go black." Rorchek shared.
"That's good." replied
the doc. "It's really hard to do surgery by flashlight."
Outside, Captain Stanley got his assignment and his plan
of action approved by the chief.
It had changed from the
original. He was now heading a search and rescue party.
He had gathered
together ten other firemen under his wing,
all crammed into one of Code Red's Oshkosh crash trucks.
Now they were rolling into the red zone for a little reconnaissance.
As he eyed the damage, he
began to feel vulnerable. ::Just what
have we gotten ourselves into here? How do we even begin?::
he thought, seeing almost complete destruction surrounding him.
Only the shell of the powerless control
tower remained intact outside
the main building.
Then Hank saw many, many people. Far more
had been estimated by the chief, through the cracked or missing
glass of the main terminal.
Only a few were still moving, feebly.
Everyone was covered in blood. And no one, ..was standing.
::Oh my G*d.:: Hank thought to himself. ::We have to get in there.::
Subject: Ad Hoc..
From: patti k (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sent: Sat 9/12/09 10:45 AM
The door from the underground garage ramp connecting
to the medical
center's lobby, opened.
Inside rushed Roy DeSoto and Ted Rorchek, in full scba gear.
they had been checking the exterior of the medical
center building for signs of any damage.
had been none past the cracked glass due to concussions
from the initial explosions that they could
"Integrity's intact. No fires." DeSoto reported. Then he noticed the
bright orange vest
labelled Triage Head that Joanne was slipping on
from a triage kit. "How many of us paramedics do
you want to stay back
here to help you?"
"None." Almstedt said, still organizing medical center
staffers to tape
and seal off windows. "You fellas'll be a lot more effective being part
search and rescue crews. I'll have help from Stony Brook
Hospital's ER Department flooding in before
you know it. They've already
left to come here in full regalia along with a fleet of ambulances from
the surrounding communities."
"Fair enough." said Ted Rorchek. "I've fitted the bus driver with
bottle and he found himself a fire proof maintenance jacket. I've sent him to
the personnel he can find out there outside of the danger zone
to bring to the evacuation center here.
He's got a ham radio on board and
can talk to all of his coworkers who have short waves."
a smart plan." Roy said, watching Rags Harris and Marco Lopez begin an
interior safety sweep of the
medical center. "I'm sure the airport
manager will want to know pretty quick who's safe and who's
not with her
employees working out there in the air field."
Marco waved a hand at DeSoto.
"We'll be back in ten minutes, I wanna check
their fire panel, and the boiler room."
Rags added another idea. "We're going to look at those office spaces |
along the outer walls for injuries."
Joanne raised her hand. "Uh, there aren't any, boys." she said. "We used the
intercom system and
got everybody to report in here for a head count. I also had
everybody who had window damage shut
"Oh, fine then." Harris said. "We'll be right back, Roy." he said as Marco flanked
him with a dangling air mask on standby. "Our radios are tuned to your med
channel, ma'am. Hail us
if you need us."
Johnny Gage and Hallie Green arrived with Chet, but empty handed.
looked up. "Where's our heart attack victim?"
Kelly just shook his head minimally. "We were ordered
into strict triage mode."
Dr. Almstedt's eyes flashed. "Yeah, well not in here. We're going to
ALL non breathers who come in, seeing as we're not on the front lines of
We've plenty of help."
A sharp blast of a fire apparatus air horn from outside grabbed their attention.
It was Mike Stoker along with his fire captain placing themselves into position
as a safety between
the red zone and the medical center. The Holbrook captain
thumbed a radio mike. ##What's the status
in there structurally?##
"We're pretty sure it's safe, cap." Roy replied using his talkie. "Just
##Fair enough. We'll start cooling down this concrete at the fire's edge to give
you guys a larger buffer. Staying on live speaker. Okay, let's go, Mike.## he said
to Stoker, who
was driving the Oshkosh expertly. ##Use water on the turret. We'll
save our foam for rescuing situations
only. We've got a big tank but not as large
as what we're probably going to need before the other
trucks get here to take over.##
##Yes, sir. Priming roof turret on auto, half aperature on straight
spray.## Mike confirmed.
##I think that wind's picking up.##
Johnny Gage had noticed that chatter.
"Yeah." said Hallie. "And it's shaping up to be a real bad one." she said. Then
looked up as an airport maintenance crew using a forklift suddenly appeared with a
spare fire department air bottles, stokes, and other sophisticated
force entry tools into the garage
ramp that they could see through the windows.
"Ah, chief.. I think I love you." she grinned. "Come
on, let's go."
she said to the others, heading for that pallet of gear.
Rags and Lopez joined
her after giving a thumbs up about the boiler room and fire
alarm system to Beck. Roy, Johnny, Hallie,
Ted, Chris and Chet linked up to head
towards the above ground pedestrian tunnel which led to the
blacked out main terminal.
Gage lifted his radio, hailing Stanley. "Cap? We're set. The med center's
We're heading into the effected main building to start our search, left to right pattern,
each room." he said, flicking on a high intensity torch light.
##Ten-Four, Team Two. Head
to the east end wing to start. We're seeing a lot of
victims through the windows. ## Hank replied.
## I'm taking Team One to the vicinity
immediately outside to begin searching those parked planes
that were hit.##
"What about the control tower?" Johnny asked. "We know there were at least two
people up there."
Stanley was way ahead of him.
##The chief's got three trucks headed that
way for a ground attack to secure
the area around that base. Once they're done, I want two of you
to go in and conduct
a thorough search. The airport manager said that only those two men were up there
everything was shut down air traffic business wise for the tower for the duration of Runway
24's incident. I'm sending in four men with me to join up with the rest of you, working from
other end of the terminal. More search crews from Holbrook are on their way.##
"10-4, Cap. We'll
keep you updated." Johnny replied, intensely focused and already
sweating. Quickly, the eight firefighters
organized into pairs, laden with all the equipment
they could carry with them.
Subject: Breaker 1-9, Got Your Ears On??
patti k (email@example.com)
Sent: Thu 10/01/09 10:34 PM
Rags and Marco reported in to the
"Everything's okay in the utility room." Harris said as Marco
repeated the information
on the main incident channel. "And
we found these." he said, brandishing plastic coated location
"Groovy!" said Chet, grabbing a few rolls. "I'll just bet one of
these will show us the
way into the control tower. It's bound
to be a subterranean tunnel.."
"Yep. There is one. But
it's right underneath all that fire. It may
not be passable." Ted Rorchek shared, checking his air
"It's worth a shot to try that first." said Roy through his face
"Above ground's too hot to support life right now."
Lopez spoke clearly. "Med Center
to IC. We're clear with full
power. All systems: water, gas and electrical are showing nominal."
caught Chris Rorchek's thumbs up about the results of his scouting
run. "And the small aircraft fuel
repository hanger is not a risk."
##10-4, Med Center. That's one big load off my mind. How's the
shaping up?## replied Joe.
"She's well supported. Relief staff's already been notified
to report in
from area hospitals." Lopez shared.
##Good to hear. Shift all future communications
to Stanley. He's at
a new site between the terminal and your triage and he'll be running your
Secondary ARFF teams have been called and will be
deployed to your location to assist ASAP.##
"We copy new IC2." said Marco, spotting a familiar ring of support and attack
trucks forming outside
of the debris field around Cap's lime colored engine.
"10-4." he said, as he and the others hurried
in their scba and airbottles,
carrying their silver hazmat suits with them, draped over their arms.
Chris Rorchek added more information. "Chief, everyone's activated their |
P.A.S.S. and GPS beacons.
You should have no trouble tracking our
movements in here, or the lack of them, if we find ourselves
in a rough spot."
In the Airport Fire Station, Engineer Al Martelli was manning a short wave radio
panel that patched
in both the FD's handy talkies and all airport personnel's ham
radios into one console. He had three
speakers on live feed as he held the
hot phone receiver to one of his ears. "Yeah, we're practically
dead in the water
even with four companies' men. I'm seeing four planes, and most of a main
fully involved on my camera, including our control tower. So gimme
all you got and spread the word!"
he said to a local police station. "Patchogue?
Yeah. Bring em in. What part of an alert 3.. times
four, don't ya understand?!
I don't care how ya do it, just get everybody here!" and then he slammed
the crisis phone with a bang.
Al's backup ARFF firefighter was from Holbrook. And he
was a short distance
away, prowling, inside of his scba, making sure the integrity of the communications
room was still solid. "We've no jarred window frames and all fuses are still on."
blinked cold sweat out of his eyes. "I kind of figured that. I don't
hear no alarms going off from
the furnace room." Finally, he yanked off his fire
helmet and set it onto the paper strewn counter
in front of him. "Sophie would
be barking if that were happening."
"Is she a search dog?"
The Holbrook fireman wanted to know.
"Sayyyy. That's a good idea..." said Al, suddenly getting
up and opening an
outer side door. "Go on, girl. Go to the chief.." he ordered. "Go work off
The lanky Dalmatian eagerly ran out onto the snowy runway outside
the station, making
a beeline straight and unwavering for the first fire truck
cluster by runway 24A.
sighed as he resealed the door and made sure the smoke couldn't
get in. "Well, that takes care of
"But not us, I'm afraid." the dark haired Italian firefighter said.
"What do ya mean?"
Martelli asked, taking his center seat again to
monitor the phones.
His helper shrugged minutely.
"Your chief was wrong. One's not enough for doing everything at this end.
Do you need a hammie to
help out? I'm pretty good."
"Are you a --?" Martelli asked.
"Yeah I'm an Elmer. I even got a tower network set up at home." he said.|
Martelli whistled appreciatively.
"Wish we had that kind of budget."
But the other fireman wasn't listening.
"Hmmm, we have to
fix this rig of your station's or we're going to stay
elephant and people are going to start to die."
"Elephant?" mumbled Al.
"Yeah, looks like we can hear a lot farther than we can transmit."
tore off a damp fire glove and offered his hand to the resident curly haired
Greg Hicks.. nice to meet you,..uh...."
"Al.. or Martelli. I don't care which." said the fire
Holbrook fire nodded once.
"Okay. Al's faster. Now who do you got on so far?" Hicks
rushed. "I only
heard part of what you were doing earlier."
Al took Greg's hand in return
and smiled limply with incredulous
amazement. "Just a tarmack bus driver."
"Good start. He's
one who'll be able to get to a lot of places for us." said Hicks
happily. Greg swung a chair around
backwards and made a few adjustments to
Al's board. Then he grabbed the ham mike and thumbed the
talk button."Bus ham.
This is FD. I got ya on full quieting. Talk to me." And then he cleared the
with a tone to reset the repeating timer.
The bus driver outside immediately accepted
the permission to talk.
## FD, I'm afraid I'm homebrew with a boat anchor. But I'll do what I can.
I treat my rice box like a lover. FD, where should I take the injured? I found
five so far. None
are bad, just shaken a little.##
"Drop them off at the med center!" said Hicks. "Then go scouting
again. But do
not. I repeat do NOT cross over any charged fire hoses. They're lifelines to our
inside all those flames."
There was a long pause over the airwaves.
##Fires are ugly bastards.
Don't they ever go out on their own? Gotcha
about the no thuds. Say listen, I'm gonna try a scatter
to the control tower. Their
whole roof up there is one great big antennae farm. I think the ionosphere
enough tonight to bounce. I might be able to reach them even though they ain't
power past that WOLF generator. I'll run California kilowatt if I have to.##
"No." said Hicks
over the air. "You can't risk burning out."
The bus driver was contrite, and surprised. ##But
FD,...I- I have to know if
those fellas are okay or not. They're my friends.##
found soon. We've a team heading there right now." Al promised.
"Save your signal for us! You're our
only relay link with our non-firefighters,
The tough accented New Yorker grunted.
##Yeah, yeah. I guess I know that now. Okay, that's cool. Oh! FD. I'm making a
hard turn. I'm gonna
haveta put down my mic for a few to unload all of these hurt
people once I circle around.##
Greg was mad about having a maverick lid on their hands. It showed in his voice.
"You do that! Priority!
And get everybody's name and a headcount after each
trip and report them back to me." said Hicks.
"Respect that firefighter with you,
and absolutely respect ALL of our hang time. We're running a pileup
he spoke about the busy communications traffic Martelli was fielding.
wilco. I'll be making a trip. And by the way? I can beef up this breadboard.
I got a digipeater from
the candy store just last week.## said the scared bus driver.
##And yes, I'll avoid further ragchewing
like this.## Then the ham channel was filled
with nothing but a choppy amplifier sound as the driver
got ready to set down his
"Where's my Rettysnitch?" Hicks growled at their tarmack
##Not there, old man.## laughed the bus driver. ##DSW for now.##
Greg hit the
tone button just for spite.
"What th--?" Al asked, thoroughly confused by Greg's anger and
all the inside jargon that he couldn't understand.
"Nothing." Greg said, twisting knobs and dials
on his part of the radio panel.
"Just talking to myself. It helps me to think." Greg bit a sweaty
lip and tasted
fire foam. "Hear that?"
"You mean that staticky warble?" Martelli asked.
Hicks nodded, frowning. "He's picket fencing. I sure hope that patchwork
transceiver of his can be
boosted like he claims and last all night." said Greg.
"You have some doubts about that?" Al said,
eyeing up the security camera
screens again that were showing the disaster scene.
up his companion firefighter. "No. If anything,..our contact is tenacious.
I think we can count on
"We're gonna have to." Al said no nonsense.
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