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The Story Unfolds...

Season Two, Episode Fourteen..


Debut Launch: 1 September 2004.

Link to the Emergency Main Characters Page

From: "Roxy Dee" <>    
Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 07:24:13 +0000
Subject:  [EmergencyTheaterLive] Dr. Orange to Emergency STAT~~

Dixie McCall sighed expansively as she took an
elicit sip from her cup of ice cold coffee. ::This tastes
absolutely heavenly.:: she thought, as she dragged yet
another chart from the stack carousel out for viewing.
Not even aware of it, she began mumbling. "Let's see...
an ankle in Room Three. X-rays ...Ordered. In Two,
an arm laceration that Joe's suturing as of..." she
peered at her delicate silver banded watch. "..five
minutes ago... Kel's in Radiology viewing the latest
chest films on Station Eight's downed fireman. Who
was that again?.." She flipped a few pages, checking on

"Paramedic Craig Brice. Smoke inhalation from his playing
the hero game. And no, he won't be needing a bronchoscopy
session with Dr. Irons." answered Carol Evans as she
returned from answering a patient light down the hall from
the emergency ward's main desk.

McCall startled, then caught herself when her coffee spilled
over her hand and onto the formica desktop.

"Oh my word! Dixie! Did you just burn yourself?" Carol gasped.

Dixie smiled. "I know better than to hang onto a cup for too long
around here if it's still piping hot.  This, is nowhere near that."

Carol made a face. "Ugh.. How can you drink it then?"

McCall looked up at her senior nurse over the bridge of
her nose. "When you inherit my head nurse's position someday,
you'll find out the answer to that one." She didn't skip a beat,
"What was the light for? I saw it but I knew you were closer."

"Bedpan, Room Four. The Iverson boy needed some help
using it. He's the left tib fib fracture that's still waiting to be set."

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Dixie's smile fell into one of self admonishment and she snapped
a couple of fingers in sudden memory. "I knew I was forgetting
something." And she reached for the phone.

Carol stopped her. "I've already called Orthopedics. Dr. Allan
will be down to cast him up in ten minutes."

Dixie sighed, patting Carol's hand in gratitude. "Thanks. You're
a dear. I'm just horrible with organizing anything on slow days like
this." she said, mopping up her hand and the desk counter with a
wad of tissue.

"Now that's something I understand completely, Dix. How about
we mosy into Five and see how Dr. Morton's doing with that
fever case? We still need to do a full chart on her."

"Sounds like a plan. Then, afterwards, it's two cups of HOT coffee
for the both of us in the nurse's lounge." Dixie promised. " I gotta
jump start the inside of my head sooner rather than later. My right
big toe's itching and that means we're gonna get busy.."

Nurse Evans laughed. "Really?"

"Oh yeah. I've learned to read the tiny little signs I get physically
when all my intuitions and instincts slam shut upstairs on the
slow business days." Dixie said, closing her chart and returning
it to the carousel.

"Gee. I don't think I ever know what my feet are doing, unless
they're barking at me for covering a double shift." Carol conmiserated.

"Doubles? Heh. Try working a 36 hour shift. Then, you'll learn the
true meaning of foot agony." she quipped. "I usually have to crawl

The two nurses had almost passed by the bulky corner of
the all glass paramedic base station when the seldom used
red phone on the wall by the paramedic line's reel to reel
transmission recorder began to buzz urgently. Dixie
waved off the student nurse supplying the drug cabinet to pick
up the call herself. "Rampart Emergency. This is Nurse McCall."

Carol watched when Dixie's face lost all expression and took
her cue from that. She got on the white phone to the operator.
"Yes, this is Carol Evans from Emergency. Could you page Kel
Brackett to report down here stat? We've a major in the works.
Thanks." and she hung up the phone about the same time Dixie

"It's a train wreck. One of those new fangled Amtraks or whatever
they're called. The DOT says that each hospital in the district could
expect to see up to a dozen patients incoming." McCall reported.    

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Carol nodded. "I've put out the page about it."

"Really? How'd you do that so fast? I just told you what we're gonna get."

Nurse Evans scoffed. "You may be the guru when it comes to
stomaching evil concoctions from the brewing pot and feeling
the ER weather with your digits. But no one is better than me
at reading coworkers. Your poker face firing up gave it all away."

"Hmm, I'll have to work on that." Dixie said without grinning.
"Who did you get?"

"Brackett. He was only going over films, remember?"

"Good choice. His grumbling over the disaster alert will
be the best medicine I can take to get over my brain fog."

"That's why I picked him. Two birds with one stone." Carol

"Perfectionist." Dixie teased with feigned indignant sarcasm.

"I learned from the best." Carol smiled sweetly.

The two nurses flew in two different directions to bustle
the staff into shape for a full blown Condition Orange.

Dr. Mike Morton was helping a restless, sweaty young African
American woman back down onto the gurney from where she had
sat up in a moan from malaise caused by her very high temperature.

"Easy maam. Why don't you just ....lie back down again. Just
like that. That's it. I don't want you to hurt yourself." Mike
soothed. "Now, does your head hurt at all? How's your neck?
Does it feel like it's tight or cramping up on you?"

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The stricken woman on the bed made eye contact but
didn't make an indication that she had understood him.

Morton frowned, looking up at the orderly attendant with him.
"Hmm. She's borderline on delirium now. It's ok. I got her, Malcolm.
Why don't you call us a nurse to set up an immediate ice bath?
First thing, that fever spiking's gonna be stopped. We'll do
it after the spinal tap."

The burly blond orderly nodded and moved to the treatment
room phone.

Morton pulled the thermometer out of the woman's mouth
where he had been holding it alongside a jaw spreader. He
held it up to the light, peering at the tic marks over the mercury.
"It's 104. Tell them to hurry it up some."

Dr. Morton moved the still wrapped spinal  tray closer to
get it set for the staff that was coming to help him with it.
To kill some time, he began to speak to his patient.
"Now don't you worry. I've got people on the phone lines
trying to find out who you are right this minute. The sooner
we know that, the sooner we'll get our answers."
he sighed, still clutching her restless hand across her
chest to partly monitor her breathing and partly to keep
her flat.

The woman's eyes never failed to leave his over
the oxygen mask she wore and she moaned again in
unconscious misery.

"Shh.. It's ok, honey. I'm a doctor and I promise you that I'm
gonna find out what's wrong with you just as fast it's
humanly possible."

Dixie's head poked in the door.

Morton didn't look up. "Coming to help us out?"

"Don't I wish. Trouble's brewing, doctor. Big trouble.
The fire department dispatch's just notified us of a
train wreck east of here."

"Do they have any casualty numbers?"

Dixie minutely shook her head. "It's too soon to tell."
Then her practiced eye noticed a trembling in Morton's
patient's legs. "Want some diazepam for that seizure?"

"It's mild yet. Her BP's yo yo-ing and I don't want it to take
a dive."

"How about some quarantine control?"

"Yeah, get that going. This might be meningitis in full swing."

"Oh, boy. You know you two have been seriously exposed."

Morton huffed. "Yeah, we know. And so was half the waiting
room when she stumbled in here from the outer doors. We'll
decontaminate in the next room and slip into a couple of masks
to help out there just as soon as we're through managing her
in here."

"I'll tell the bath and spinal tap people to gown up before entering."
McCall said, letting the door shut between them as she turned
on the negative air flow button in the treatment room next to the cabinet.

Morton shouted after her. "How about a sign for.."

"The infection warning's already hanging on your door."
came Dixie's rushing voice. "I had a gut feeling."

Rampart General Hospital began shoring up for a large
disaster response. Administrators immediately started  
calling all their available off duty hospital staff to report in for
emergency triage work. Multiple med evac helicopters
were summoned to the parking lot's landing pad.

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Joe Early burst out of Treatment Two, peeling off his bloody
suturing gloves and he tossed them into the hallway
biohazard receptacle. "Dixie?" he inquired.

"The base station's quiet yet. Apparently, all this has just
happened. I have FEMA's radio frequency called up on
the scanner and all the senior staff's been properly notified.
We'll have everyone but Dr. Morton."

"What's tying him up?"

"Spinal Meningitis in Treatment Room Five. He didn't spot it
fast enough to get covered up. Malcolm's been exposed, too."

Dr. Early rubbed his hand and the rings there thoughtfully.
"That shouldn't be a problem. They're both young and strong.
The chances of them catching it at their ages and conditions
are low."

"Still. They're gonna work in masks and gloves when they get
out here. For OUR protection." she teased. "We're the oldsters
in this outfit."

"I can order some interferon boosters for everyone you think's
been exposed."

"Don't bother, there's too little time left. The bell's just about
ready to go off on the train pileup." she said, throwing a hand
over her shoulder towards the buzz light over the glass paned
paramedic radio  room. "Let's just hope Jane Doe's germ is a
weak one. Cross your fingers and coffee up, you're gonna need
it." she said gulping down hers.

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"I concur. There's absolutely no sign of solid aspiration. No ash.
No glass dust. Amazing."

Kelly Brackett smiled. "That's Craig Brice for you. He's a h*ll of
a fireman. Almost as good as he is a paramedic. I suspect he
got some SCBA gear from that roof line as soon as his victim's
stokes was pulled free from it. It's just like him to haul his bacon
out of a fire at the last possible moment, unscathed except for
a few minor things. Another paramedic of mine's green with envy
over his almost one hundred percent non injury track record."

"A charmed life." Dr. Michaelson of Radiology interjected,
peering at the films of Brice's lungs closely.

"So far. And I'd like to think it's gonna stay that way."
Kel admitted, crossing his elbows.  

"It will. I see nothing here that indicates a future risk for
secondary pneumonia."

"Great news. I'll tell him after he's transferred upstairs."

Michaelson nodded.

Dr. Brackett suddenly heard his name called by the house operator.
##Doctor Brackett. Report to Emergency Stat. Doctor Brackett,
Report to Emergency Stat.  You've a conference with Dr. Orange.##

Kel and Dr. Michaelson both stood from their stools and ignored
the row of Xray films hanging under the purple white light in
front of them in alarm.

"Now just what kind of disaster is it this time?" Brackett asked sharply
as his worry suddenly exploded. He headed for the exit across
the darkened viewing room.

"I'm coming with you." said Michaelson, grabbing his white lab coat.

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Dixie heard a commotion coming from the outer doors and she
and Carol and Dr. Early hurried to meet whoever it was as
fast as they could get there.

The emergency ambulance entrance doors parted to reveal....

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From:  "Cory Anda" <>
Date:  Thu Sep 9, 2004  10:08 am
Subject:  The Best Laid Plans of Mice and ....

.......a fire department squad backing up in the space
reserved only for resupplies pickup.  

Dixie snapped a cord mentally. "Oh, for crying out loud,
don't they know what's happening?!" she groused, turning
on a heel and disappearing back into the hallway.

Carol didn't exactly throw up her hands but she frowned, too,
at the bit of normalcy arriving in the shape of Johnny and Roy.
"No victim?" she asked Dr. Early half heartedly.

"No victim.." Joe replied, smiling.

"I guess I'd better go cool Dixie down. Already, she's wound
up tighter than a top." Nurse Evans admitted.

"You do that. I'll take care of the boys here to bring them
up to date." Joe leaned into the squad. "Hiya boys."

"Hiya doc." Roy said.

"Wow, that was some welcoming committee. First Dix, then
Carol, now you, heh. Won't be long, we just came for a couple
of Ringers that we both forgot to grab that wasn't on our last
run's paperw-" Johnny started to explain.

"You mean you haven't heard anything yet?" Joe interrupted.

"Haven't heard what?" Roy asked, his face going slack.

"There's a condition orange in effect as of right now.
An amtrak derailed a few minutes ago." Dr. Early told them.

"No kidding. You're serious.." Gage shook his head.

"Very serious. Dixie has all the staff scrambling. I'm surprised
your station hasn't been called out yet to respond to the accident."
Joe said scratching his nose.

Gage immediately got out onto the running board and checked
the antennae on top of the squad's roof. The aerial, was missing.

"D*mn it. I knew we were in kinda tight on that last fire hazard call.
There was enough mesquite on Old Man Foster's property to choke
a horse." Johnny exclaimed. "We must've knocked it off when we

Roy immediately turned on his walkie talkie to hear a hail of
out going tones for  L.A. and Los Angeles County's outlying stations.  
All three of them listened carefully but the tones for 51 didn't sound off.
"Maybe we can learn more by listening to your emergency scanner, doc."
DeSoto said.

"Be my guest. Not much going on yet. It's too soon."
Joe nodded and opened the squad door so Roy could get out.

Quickly, the three of them went inside and soon were gathered around
Dixie's main desk. Dr. Brackett was there watching Dixie pull out
the disaster management book from its storage envelope for him
to read. "Evening, boys." he greeted.

Johnny and Roy both waved half heartedly. Gage got down to
business. "Doc, what have you heard? Our squad radio was
knocked out. But apparently, we haven't been missed yet. Our
station's still at the station." he laughed at his pun.

"Not much." Kel frowned. "You know as much as I do."

"Anything we can do around here to help out?" Roy said as
nurses, doctors, orderlies and patients all in motion,
milled about because of the soon to come emergency traffic.

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"Yeah, help me load up the helicopter with supplies?
You can grab yours while you're doing it." He said noting the
empty box that Roy held under his arm. "I'm dragging Dixie
along with me to the scene. There's absolutely no doubt that
we're gonna be needed, and in a hurry." Brackett
said. "I'm just doing a little anticipating gentlemen." he said
hefting up the disaster protocol manual. "I suggest you do
the same thing."

"Where's the wreck located at?" Gage said as they moved
to the entrance and the outer pharmacy.

"West side of town, but east of here, still in the suburbs." Kel
pointed as they bundled up boxes of medical gear onto a
gurney. Once it was full, the two paramedics and single doctor,
hurried outside, pushing the fully laden stretcher before them.

Johnny craned his neck into that direction, shading his
eyes from the brilliant late evening sun. "I don't see any

Roy shook his head. "You don't have to see any to
have a really bad situation, Johnny. An Amtrak has no
cargo to burn."

"Oh yes it has. You're forgetting all the people." Johnny said
grimly, fiddling with the strap on his walkie talkie where it
dangled on his wrist.  He was the very picture of frustration
as station after station, all but 51's, was called to respond.

They got near to the landing pad so they ducked
as low as the gurney's mattress to protect their heads from
the whirling blades and so did a rushing Dixie, now wearing
a heavy field sweater emblazed with her medical staff emblem.

Kel Brackett helped Dixie inside the roaring chopper.
"You boys better get back. We're good to go. Thanks for
the loading help. No doubt we'll be meeting up again." he
shouted over the wind and rotors of the rescue helicopter.

"You can count on that for sure, doc." Gage promised
with fervor.

Roy and Johnny back stepped until they were well away
from the launching pad, each holding a walkie talkie to
their ear as fire units continued to be deployed to the site
of the crashed train.

A full minute after Brackett's helicopter disappeared,
there was still no word for their engine or squad.

"I don't get it.." Johnny complained. "Did L.A. forget
about us? Maybe we should just head on out there
and be done with it."

"I think we should stick tight. Who knows? We may
be just assigned to cover someone else's service
grid. Not all of us can go." Roy said reasonably.

"Maybe that's true, but I don't have to like it." Johnny
said as they went back into the busy emergency
room that was in full preparation for a massive influx
of patients.

Joe Early was reading his own copy of the mass casualty
incident manual by the paramedic station when Gage and
Roy got to the main reception desk. The silver haired doctor
looked up. "Still no word?"

"No." said Gage crankily. "Roy seems to think we're being
held back in reserve."

"Good thing you were. Your antennae was out. It could have
been very bad if you were called out and hadn't answered."
Joe reasoned.

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Johnny refused to be placated and just harrumphed in
his throat, pushing aside the full coffee mug that Roy offered
to him from the pot. "I'm not thirsty. I'm mad. Thanks, anyway.
But, no thanks."

Joe chuckled. "So, paramedics feel just as much like the
preverbial football with superiors as we doctors do."

Gage wasn't angry enough not to smile at Joe's glib comment.
"Doc, you mean to tell me that you have a boss to worry about?"

"Yep. The big man upstairs. And I'm talking about the one
smoking the expensive cigars wearing suits by Georgio,
not the one surrounded by harps and angels." he joked.

"Huh, I didn't know that. I thought that once you become a
doctor, you become your own boss with nobody to pay
attention to but yourself and your patients." Gage gaped.

"Maybe someday. But as long as my salary is paid by
what the hospital charges for my services and skills, I'm
always going to be at somebody's beck and call."

"You know, that- that's not right. It's not right at all.
There's something fundamentally wrong with that idea."
Johnny scoffed. "I mean, you save lives and all.. I mean,
yeah, Roy and I do, too, but not in the same way. I think you
should form a physician's union doc, and force a few
changes or two to gain a little independence."

Joe quickly picked up the white phone. "Want to suggest
that to the big man upstairs? I can put ya through..." he
said dialing up.

Gage sputtered and grabbed the phone from Joe's hand.
"Funny man. A real comedian."

"I try to be. It keeps me from going absolutely nuts around
here sometimes. Oh, by the way. Did your captain remember
to cook some extra clam chowder for me and the missus?"

"Huh?" Gage said, still digesting the doc's logic. "Whaa? Oh.
yeah. Stuck it in the freezer for ya. You can pick it up in the

"That's if we're allowed to be 10-8 in the morning." Roy reminded

Gage looked at his partner without comprehension.

Roy elaborated. "Someone has to let Dr. Early IN to get to
the refrigerator."

"Oh, yeah, right." Johnny sniffed, pulling un-necessarily on his
utility belt. "We'll try to have someone there for ya, doc. But
seeing that everyone's at the train wreck..." his face retwisted
into a seethe at the thought of being excluded from such a major
run. "...we may not be able to accommodate you."

"I can wait. Chowder keeps a week, Hank tells me, if it's
flash frozen."

"His was." Roy nodded.

Carol Evans, who had been busy answering phones and directing
staff to their assigned areas, piped up. "You know, Craig Brice
is still here in Room 512. Maybe you boys can kill some time waiting
for word from your dispatcher by visiting for a few minutes with him.
You know how annoying getting over a chest full of smoke can be.
It's compounded ten times over when one is confined to absolute
bed rest."

Joe's eyebrows rose. "Now that," he said stabbing a finger at
Carol. " a fine example of the manipulating I regularly suffer.
And she's not even my boss. I know a thinly veiled dismissal
when I hear one, boys. Feel offended."

Evans face quirked. "That's right. Now you paramedics know
who's the real head of the emergency department." she said
without batting an eye. "How can I get any work done around
here with that idle chatter of yours distracting me. Oh lord,
I'm starting to sound like Dixie already and I just took over
for her."

Roy and Johnny laughed.

"512 did you say?" Gage asked.

"512." Evans answered, dipping her neatly coiffed brunette head

Joe Early slipped into melodramatics. "Oh adieu, my fair maiden,
parting is such sweet sorrow, I should cut my body to pieces to
call you once by your name.."

"Just Nurse will do, Doctor." and she made shooing motions.
"I'm sure your missus wouldn't want you to call me anything other
than that." she said dryly.

"How sharper than a serpent's tooth!" Early postured.

Carol hissed at him making cat's claws.

Joe fled, feigning fright, into a treatment room whose
patient needed his attentions.

Carol's claws turned into a friendly double wave as she
watched Gage and DeSoto disappear into the elevator.


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Johnny Gage inched up onto his toes, peering out the fifth floor
window blinds, at the end of the hall next to Brice's assigned
patient room.

Roy smacked him. "Would you cut that out? We'll get
there when we get there."

Gage rubbed his sore arm vigorously. "Ow. I was only
trying to get feelers out on what we're heading into."

"Who says we're heading into anywhere?" Roy argued.
"The HT's still quiet on that issue!"

"Yeah? Well YOU'RE not so quiet about it, that's for sure.
And not so quiet vocally either." said Johnny, popping a chocolate
he found abandoned in a half eaten box on the hallway crash cart.
"This is a hospital. Show some respect would ya? There's a lot
of sick people around here."and his angry scowl turned into
one of amusement when he realized he got Roy's goat yet again.

It was Roy's turn to seethe, feeling royally had. Then he started
laughing. He barely got things under control when Johnny snatched
up the box of sweets on his way in to Brice's room and shoved
them behind his back as they entered.

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"Hi Craig. How're ya feeling?" Gage asked. "It's not every day ya get
to receive a little mouth to mouth from your own station captain now
is it?"

Roy stepped on Johnny's foot, who promptly ignored him.

Craig Brice, decked out in a white gown replete with blue florets,
set down his magazine. "Gage. DeSoto. What a pleasant surprise.
Why aren't you at the railway accident scene yet?"

Johnny's grin fell away into one of disgust. "Now, see?" He pegged
a glare at Roy. "Why do I get the feeling that everybody who's
anybody knows about that wreck and how incongruent WE are for
not being there?"

Roy pretended that Johnny wasn't even there to help curb his
high flowing embarrassment. "Hiya Craig. Carol Evans thought
bringing him up here to see you would cheer him up. Have some
chocolates." and he yanked the open box away from Johnny's
concealing hand and offered Brice the lot by sliding it across
his bedside eating table.

Brice blinked around his nasal cannula. "I should think that by now,
you'd know that John Gage never cheers himself up unless he's
ready to do so on his own, DeSoto. Thanks for the confections."
and he helped himself to the smallest piece, chewing carefully.

Johnny didn't know whether to be insulted or to agree with his
old nemesis. He opted on stuffing another candy into his other
cheek. "Well, how are ya anyway? Any pulmonary edema?"


"Any laryngospasms cropping up?"


"Any arrythmias fluttering in your chest?"

"No. Do you see me wired to an EKG monitor?"

Gage flared. "You mean you don't even have so much as a
sore throat for your troubles?"

"I don't. Thanks for inquiring."

Gage sputtered indignantly, remembering his own miserable
symptoms whenever he was laid low by smoke exposure.

Roy covered for him. "I guess he means that he's really glad
you're feeling better." DeSoto said mildly.

"I fathomed that angle a minute ago, DeSoto. Thanks. I
am almost back to optimal conditioning. I'll go home this
evening Kelly Brackett says. And I've been cleared to
return back to work tomorrow morning."

Gage turned apoplexic and he couldn't speak.

Brice rose from his bed and only stopped because he
still had an I.V. line in. "Are you choking?"

Roy shook his head and then did a double take at
his color changing partner. "Are you?!"

Gage nodded, finally grabbing his throat with the
universal crossed hands sign subconsciously.

Both Roy and Brice smacked a fist into Johnny's back,
bending him over the snack table and two mostly chewed
squares of caramel and chocolate flew out of Johnny's

Johnny straightened, sucking in huge breaths as he
regained a hard won equilibrium.

Brice calmly got back into bed, pulled the covers back over
his knees and peeled off his cannula. "Want this?"

Johnny batted it away with a glare and finally coughed.
"Funny man. Never let it be said that Craig Brice doesn't
have a sense of humor. You and Dr. Early should get together
sometime on that." he rasped, leaning a head into his
hands against the tabletop.

"You ok?" Roy smirked, still hanging onto Johnny's belt.

"I'm fine. I was just a little hungry I guess." he said lifting
his head.

"No, you were more like a little jealous I'd say." Roy said.

"Of what?" Johnny said, cleaning up his spit out candy from
the sheets and magazine cover on Brice's lap with a kleenix
from the table top tissue box.

"Of my faster than normal recovery period, Mr. Gage. It's
not often I'm in the hospital like this. The only other time
was when I had the roof fall on top of me after I pushed
your partner out of the way from under a fire weakened
section at the Gilmore Factory Fire on June 8th, 1975.
It's nothing to be ashamed of.  I, in turn, admire you, too."

John blinked in surprise. "Uh, you do?"
Roy said the same thing in stereo. "Uh, you do?"

"Of course. John Gage's a prime example of what an ex-juvenile
delinquent can become when given the proper chance.
The paramedic program's been an absolute boon for you.
You're almost a model citizen when it comes to true character."

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"I oughta go back there and KILL him once and for all."
Gage spat.

"Why?" said Roy in amusement. "And undo all that nice work
the docs did for him? That'd be a waste of energy."

"Not in my book." Gage grumbled.

"You should be happy. We've been called to respond to
the train wreck."


"Well, why aren't you happy now?" Roy asked.

" Because NO paramedic should get to an accident scene a whole
half hour AFTER the nurse and doctor does. It's bad for business."
he said, staring out the window of the speeding squad.

Roy just rolled his eyes.


Image of johnnymadinsquad.jpg Image of roydrivenodoor.jpg

From :  patti keiper <>
Sent :  Thursday, September 9, 2004 6:49 PM
Subject :  [EmergencyTheaterLive] Red, Green, Yellow or Black...

Roy pulled up the squad two blocks away from
the intersection to which they had been assigned.
It was four blocks away from the first aid station
set up near a high school foot ball field that was
large enough to accomodate the medical helicopters.

Engine 51 was already parked at an angle near a
hydrant but her hoses were still in her hose bed.

Roy and Johnny got out, grabbed their gear and
reported in. Johnny spoke into his hand radio.
"Squad 51 on scene at Vajalla and McGinty."

Immediately, Hank Stanley intercepted them on
the frequency. ##Engine 51, Squad 51, we've been
ordered to search all the train cars between Vajalla
and Hwy 9. Use triage protocols and set up your
gear in a safe area. We're working at car forty five.
Cars one through forty four have been cleared and
evacuated. Do you copy?##

Gage frowned. "10-4. Loud and clear." he replied, pressing
the talk button. They started walking fast with absolutely
everything that they could possibly carry from the squad
towards the train tracks.

Roy looked at Johnny, ignoring the dangling air bottle mask
swinging around his knees. "Car forty five? Just how big
is this passenger line? I'm not seeing many fire crews
past ours here." he said throwing a head towards
the Ward La France where she was sitting idle.

They rounded the next corner of the block and stopped
dead in their tracks. "Oh my word,  would you just look
at that?" Gage exclaimed. Ahead of them, they could see
accordianed silver and blue trains cars indicative of Amtrak
knotted eerily like some bizarre kinked snake above the
railroad tracks. Hundreds of people who had been on the train
were milling about, trying to leave towards the first aid station
or for the line of police cars that they could see trying to
coordinate rescue activities, paralleling the railroad tracks.

"Could have been worse." Roy commented. "Looks like
most of the cars are still basically near the tracks and
fully intact. Tipped over, but not on fire."

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Johnny began to hit the fringes of walking wounded
that police officers were escorting towards the high school
to their right. He shouted to a motorcop in the middle of
a huddle. "Hey!" he said, getting the officer's attention,
by pointing to the green number on his helmet to identify
himself as a paramedic. "You got any victims that need
immediate attention?!" he gasped shifting the heavy weight
of gear in his hands.

The cop shook his head. "Nah, these folks are minors and
can walk. Here." he said, clipping a bundle of white tags
that had green, yellow and red strips on them onto Gage's
air bottle straps. "A nurse working up ahead asked me to
give these to you." and then he was gone into the crowd.

"That must have been Dixie." Roy exclaimed, searching
with his eyes over all the heads of dazed people and shouting
cops for any sign of her and Brackett. He couldn't locate them.

Johnny looked down at the wires and tags swinging
from his belt. "Triage tags. The train must've cracked
open somewhere along its length."

"It would have only done that if it hit an obstacle before
it derailed."

Johnny spun about, searching for more signs of trouble
past the row of pitch angled passenger cars jutting
out in every direction from the railroad tracks along
the row of neatly tiled houses in the neighborhood.
"How about that highway to our right? Could the locomotive
engine have hit a car?" Johnny theorized as he stuck his
head above the crowd of frightened, but mostly uninjured
people moving away from the twisted train to try and spot
a reason.

"Possibly. I think that intersection's a ground level crossing.
Come on, I think I see Cap's helmet." Roy puffed as he moved
the O2 cylinder from his side to his shoulder for easier

Then they were there.

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Gage heard a shout from Lopez to his left. "Over here! We've
got a woman down, bleeding very badly out of her legs, looks
like something heavy crushed them." the Latin American
fireman said. "Follow me. She's over by the Mayfair, on the

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