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The bunk room was surprisingly intact.
Not even dusty. A quick check showed
that they had a viable phone line in there too,
at the night writing desk. Only the power
and gas service was knocked out.  And
Engine 51, itself, proved capable of
supplying water needed for cleanup
and first aid.

Bonnie, stuck like glue to Johnny's
stokes, sinking down underneath his
covering blanket, so she wouldn't
be discovered lurking there. Chet
almost squished her with Johnny's
O2 tank before he remembered.
"Oh, sorry Bonnie. Keep watching him."
he said to the breathing lump,
as he transferred the D tank to
the floor.

The bunk house outer door was
opened to daylight and portable
lamps were brought in from the triage
station for them to use. IV's were
taped suspended to the wood working
and blankets abounded. Gear from the
two squads sat in a row on the floor
the length of the room in the aisle.
And more O2 apparatuses from multiple
companies were brought in with another set
of universal HT's and a makeshift
command center board.

Roy heard a helicopter land nearby,
its wash sending eerie prop echoes through
the shattered roof in the bay next room over,
and he fervently hoped it was Brackett's.

Cap and Johnny's stokes were set off
the floor between chairs instead of using
valuable bedspace, but Marco had been
placed on a long board on a bed in prep for
a priority move. He was first on the
list to go.

DeSoto set a defibrillator next
to Marco with nervousness. He
was the only one in the room so
far who was at risk for one's use.

Roy got another vitals set on him and
frowned. He waved Brice over..
"He's worse. Rales now, in the lungs.
And his fever's up. Help me get a temp
on him.."

"That fast? I don't understand what
the problem might be. Gage said all he
did was take in a little gas.." Brice said
checking the placement of the mask
over Marco's oral airway.

"We were in a big fire two days ago,
and before that, he had a bad cold. We've
been busting our butts fussing over him
to see a doctor ever since."

"Did he go?"

"Do pigs fly?"

"Oh. I see. White coat anxiety syndrome."

"Actually. No. " Roy grinned. "Marco's just
a busy man. He has an aging mother
he's been caring for and lately it's been
taking up a lot of his time. "

"To the point of letting himself be sick
for days?"

"Guess so. Marco's like that. Always doing
for others over himself. He tells me that's
why he's a fireman. " he smiled. But
that smile faded. "He told us over dinner
on Sunday that the two of them just got back
from Mexico City, after burying a cousin.
A boy I think, who had died suddenly.
Help me here.."

Soon, Brice and Roy got a temp off
Marco internally. Roy held it up to
the lamplight. "A hundred three?
Brice, this has got to be an infection.
I don't like it. And that gas inhalation's
just getting Marco into hot water.."

"It definitely brought out this illness
to the foreground.." Brice agreed.

Gil had been nearby, checking on
Gage and Cap and the teacher.
"Well, we'd better get him into some
cold water before his central nervous
system crashes out. His breathing response
is too level and slow as it is.." Gil said.
"Want me to patch him?"

"Yes, his systolic is seventy eight and weak."

Roy opened Marco's shirt and sheared
his T shirt in two out of the way. Brice
got out the defib paddles, holding them
in the air above the bed. "Wait. Here. This
is faster.." and he placed them
onto Marco's ribcage and manually
scoped him.

All three medics looked at the tiny defibrillator
screen. It was showing tachycardia, deep.

"Look at that.." Brice exclaimed.

"It's the fever..and partly the gas.."
Roy said. "No PVC's though. He's sure holding
well. That rate's just about 140. "

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"That's the epi Brackett ordered."
Brice said. "It quickens but it strengthens

"I'll get a strip off the portable monitor after
I get him patched in.." Gil said. "The doc
is going to want to see this.."

"No doubt." Brice tossed away the paddles,
leaving the unit between Marco's knees.
"I'm going to go grab some ice from
your frig. You do have some in there?"

"Yeah.." Roy said. "Two bags."

Brice left to get it.

Roy and Gil got cloth sheets wet and stuffed
them inside the plastic one they had used to
bundle him onto the longboard. Cold
water from the station's engine was
used and liberally pooled, soaking the bedsheets
inside the localized cold pack. Brice's ice was
added to the bath around Marco's torso.

"He's really out.. I'm not even seeing skin bumps
from us chilling him like this.." Roy said,
taking another BP. "It's up slightly. Getting
a diastolic now with the systolic. 84/36."

"His color's better too." Gil said, looking
at Marco's gums and nail beds.

Next to them, Gage stirred. Roy shifted on his
knees and got a grip on his stokes.
"Hey there." he smiled openly relieved. " Caught up
on your beauty sleep, Johnny? Don't start
stretching now. You're suspended on top
of a couple of chairs. And you've an IV

"W-Where are we?"

"The bunks room. It's now a triage station."

"Huh.. Had a weird dream. I dreamed
that Lopez went into.." then he noticed the
defib case open and saw the paddle cables
abandoned on the blankets at Marco's feet.
"Wait a minute.. Did you guys just work him?"

"No, Gage. Just a scope.." Brice said.
"Now a water bath.."

"Bath?" Johnny asked groggily. "His fever's up?"

"It's one hundred three. And he's showing rales
in both lungs."

"Whoa.. we got to get him outta here." Gage
said. He almost tried to sit but then remembered
Roy's warning about where his stokes was.

Bonnie under his blanket, barked in warning.

He only half paid attention to her being there.
"What the h*ll is wrong with him? I don't get it."

"Relax Johnny.. Brackett's been called out on scene.
That helicopter you're hearing might be his.
Or maybe even Marco's already. He's gotta get a doc's
move order before he goes anywhere." Roy said.

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"I know that.. I know that..  Geesh.."
Johnny waved his good hand, shooing Roy
out of the way. "Gil,, hey, could you just ah..
Hey Gil ! Turn that monitor this way.. I wanna
take a look at it.."

Gil raised both eyebrows from where he was
running a strip off Marco and purposely turned
the view away from Johnny's line of sight.

"Oh, for crying out loud.. I only wanted to-"

"Gage.. You're a patient here. So act like
one and just lie back and relax.." Gil said.,
crossing his arms together from where
he sat on a stool.

Roy and Brice grinned when Johnny's face
pinked up with anger away from his original
shocky pale shade. "This is my own stationhouse,
my own district, H*ll, Marco's my own crewmate
for Pete's sake! And I'm the resident paramedic."

DeSoto made a wrong answer game show
noise sound effect.  "I'm the only official
resident one ON duty.." Roy said.

"Yep. You're on the injured list, Gage, by every
rule in the book.." Brice interjected.

John kept up his quiet litany of complaining.
"..I'm supposed to fuss.. It's my job.."

"Ours now.." Gil piped up.

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Click Rescue Squad to
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