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     Devil Winds
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Page Two

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From :  patti keiper <>
Sent :  Saturday, May 21, 2005 4:56 PM
Subject :  From the Devil's Mouth..  

Dixie McCall looked up from the patient chart she was
working on when the red light above the door of the glassed
in base station started flashing. She dropped what she was
doing and entered the tiny room. "Unit calling Rampart, would
you repeat your transmission?" she asked as she turned on
the audio recorder next to the alcove receiver.

##Rampart, this is Rescue 5-1.##

Dixie punched the talk button again even as her other hand
picked up the black paging phone to the hospital operator.
"Go ahead, 51. I read you loud and clear."
Dixie began to jot down Johnny's findings with one hand and
got a doctor tipped off about the incoming paramedic call
she had. She squinted when the finer details of Gage's voice
were nearly drowned out by the high winds in his area. ::Oh, it's
started already? Kel's not gonna like knowing the Santa Anas
are here so early.:: she thought to herself. They sounded un-usually
bad for 51, who was showing up on the frequency's indicator
in their usual service area inside the valley.

"I found I.D.s in wallets on both women.They've the same last name,
Johnny." Stoker said, squatting down by him.

"Ok, thanks, Mike." Gage nodded.

Johnny began shouting. ##Rampart, I have three victims of
a vertical fall from over thirty feet sustained while inside
an airplane. Victims one and two, are unconscious females who
are a confirmed mother and daughter pair.
Victim one is approximately sixteen years of age with probable
pelvic and femur fractures with extensive abdominal guarding. Most
likely from additional internal injuries. Pulses in her effected extremity
are absent. An unrelated arterial wound over her left leg is now under
active bleeding control. I estimate around 800 cc's blood loss. She's
now on sixteen liters of O2.
Victim two is fifty,..##Gage said reading the age on the I.D. that
Mike had found on the mother. ##Found in marked Cheynes/Stokes
respirations. She has a depressed skull fracture over her left
temple area also with early Battle's sign. She is under assisted
ventilations. So far, we've no evidence of abnormal isipilateral
pupillary responses.
Both victims are C-spine immobilized. Victim Three is male,...##
Gage looked up when Roy slapped his notepad against his
jacket's arm that contained pen scribbled details....##....deceased
from his injuries.## He took it and bent it into the truck tower's light
to read it. ##Vital signs are: Victim one, BP 76/50, respirations.. ah,..
28 and shallow. Pulse is 140, rapid and weak. She is acutely diaphoretic.
Victim two, BP is 152/120. Respirations unassisted are eight, but she's
no longer showing an abnormal CNS respiratory pattern. Pulse is
sixty and regular. No obvious signs of other injury...Rampart, note
that we have mast trousers already set up and standing by for victim
number one.##

Dixie's fingers flew. "10-4, 51. On victim one, go ahead and apply her
suit first, inflating only the chambers over her uninjured leg and abdominal
areas until her blood pressure elevates out of shock. Then secure your
needed traction. For victim two, maintain assisted ventilations. Keep both
victims' body temperatures warm after drying them off." the nurse suggested,
already knowing that a plane crash meant fuel leaks and that fuel leaks
were always handled with a light water fan raining over the rescuing
firefighters. "A doctor is on his way to advise you further. Stand by."

##Squad 51,....standing by...## yelled Johnny over the roaring
winds. He looked up at Cap and the others crouching over the daughter.
"We got permission..Make it fast.." he motioned to them about the Hare
traction splint and the antishock pants go ahead for the daughter.
"Let me know when you guys get a pedal pulse on that foot!  Stoker, get
us some blankets, would ya?"

"Grabbing em.." he said.

Marco spoke up, spitting some dust out of his mouth.
"Johnny, there's nothing in this leg wound at all from what I can tell." he
said adding another dressing on top of the soaked ones under his gloves.
"I've got a whole lotta pooling. But it's no longer spurting."

"Has it stopped yet?" Roy asked Lopez from where
he was listening to the mother's breath sounds with a stethoscope.

"Yeah. For the most part. But she's wet from the hose wash, I don't
know if this cut's clotted up completely enough or not yet." the hispanic fireman
frowned from where he was leaning over the girl using most of his weight.

"We just have to stay ahead of it.." Roy smiled at him through his
goggles. "Once these I.V.s go in, just tape that up best you can." he said
lofting a pair of Ringers and one normal saline line over his shoulder while
he spiked three bags. Then he studied the care being given to the mother.
"Monroe, slow to normal vents on her. I'm not getting any bad cerebral swelling
symptoms here." he said watching the older woman's face and the area around
her eyes. "And another point in our favor..She's not getting nauseated."
he said, glancing at her bare abdomen's quiet breath rises and falls, which
were entirely free of queasy tensing or rocking motions.

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Gage propped the biophone receiver onto his neck as he rechecked the
young teenager's vital signs. When he was through, Dr. Brackett had come
on the line. ##Squad 51, start two large bore Ringer's wide open on victim one.
Draw a red top for a type and cross. Start a normal saline TKO with 0.5g/kg
of mannitol over 20 minutes, I.V.,on your second victim. I want to stave off any
uncal herniation from that skull fracture site on the mother. Let me know if you
regain a pulse after stabilizing that sagging femur fracture on the daughter.
And I want EKG readings on both as soon as you can get them."

Johnny acknowledged a reply and repeated their medical orders back
to Brackett. He nodded when he got a smile from Cap about regained
circulation in the broken leg stretched inside the Hare traction splint.

Crawling around to the teenager's chest,  Stanley began to put EKG pads
on her after drying off her skin with an edge of a blanket from several brought
by Stoker.  Hank then thought of their time factor situation and saved over a
minute by throwing open the defibrillator. He lifted out and then set ungelled
paddles onto the mother's ribs and stomach in their usual frame around the
heart for a faster way to send in the second strip to Dr. Brackett after he
had the daughter wired up.

Gage vigorously nodded approval over that plan and he made the
adjustment on the biophone radio to carry the other cardiac signal from

Roy shifted his attention to the teenager after passing off the mother's
mannitol piggybacked I.V. to a waiting ambulance attendant. Then he
scrambled over to Johnny and plucked the phone from him so he could
finish starting the younger girl's I.V.s without getting a crimp in his neck.
He picked up the pad Johnny had added to and read it aloud. "Rampart,
all medications are in. Both EKGs will be Lead Two. One hard wired, the
other through the datascope." he said.

##Understood, 51. We're all set here for those cardiac readings.## he said,
after turning on the secondary defib/heart reader next to the
always-running-hot, usual one.

Gage looked to Monroe. "Ok, pause for a sec while we send hers
in..." he told the firefighter working the mother's ambu bag. Monroe stopped
his vents and carefully made sure that he wasn't touching the mother so his
own heart rhythm wouldn't read out through the defib paddles Hank was
pressing down firmly.

After half a minute, Brackett came back on the line. ##Looking good on
both, 51. I'm seeing no arrythmias anywhere and I note victim one's sinus
tach rate of 140, which is more than stable enough for me in this stage of
the game.##

"10-4, Rampart." said DeSoto. "Ok, Cap. You can put em away. Thanks.
Monroe, it's ok now to start up on her again."

Stanley sighed and repackaged the defibrillator shut. He carried it
over to the daughter and set it on the long board between her knees
next to the upended datascope still running a live feed off her where
the two paramedics could watch it. Without being told, he took the tube
of blood Roy had gotten and taped it to one of the teenager's I.V. lines
for safe keeping after marking down what time it had been drawn with
a pen from his pocket.

Dr. Brackett suffered a sudden after thought. ##51, how's that foot doing

Roy glanced up at Chet who was still giving the thumbs up from his place
at the ankle end of the Hare traction splint. "Pink and pulsing, Rampart."

##Good. Get both your victims in here as soon as possible, 51. Go ahead
and radio any further complications if and when they arise and gimme new
sets of vital signs every five minutes.##

"10-4, Rampart. Transporting as soon as possible. Our ambulances are
on scene. Our estimated ETA to you is twelve minutes." said Roy.

##This is Rampart base, signing out.## replied Brackett.

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There was no place more welcoming than the inside of the two
spacious Mayfairs away from the raging bite of the hot winds. Gage wasn't
aware of the tiny abrasions over his eyelids until he tried to rub them free
of dirt after pulling off his dusty goggles. He placed his live HT onto
a knee. "Roy, I'll meet you there. I've got the daughter loaded."

DeSoto replied from his own rig. ##O.K., Johnny. The mother's now breathing
ok on her own without us helping her.##

Gage grinned at his ambulance attendant wrapping up the long boarded
daughter in a heated blanket. "That's a good sign all around, Roy. My victim's
pressure is now in the low nineties with just Dixie's recommended
light mast inflation. And Marco's tape job is staunching the worst bleeding
well from the leg so far. I didn't need a hemostat for that laceration at all. But
I wish I could wash my face and irrigate both my eyes out right about now. The
wind's skinned me alive."

##Count your blessings, junior. We won back two out of three straight outta
the devil's mouth. Your poor hide's a small price to pay for that kind of score

"I suppose you're right, pally. But next call, I'm donning my whole entire
scba setup whether we need it or not.  I like to keep my face's skin in one piece
thank you very much."

##Good idea. Think I'll copy ya, too. Betcha I'll be faster getting into mine.##

"No bet. I don't think either of us'll win that race. Absolutely nobody hates this
wind storming up more than Cap does. He leaped back into the Ward cab to
get out of the weather so fast, I thought he broke a few hinges on the engine's
door. I honestly think that he'll be sleeping in his air gear tonight, Roy, and in
his bunk, too. Complete with helmet and all."

##I wouldn't be surprised. Tell you what? How about we both get checked out
by a doc when we get there. I kinda banged my shoulder a bit slipping on some

"You did? Well, why didn't you say so?!" Gage complained into his walkie
talkie's speaker.

##Uh,, I didn't feel it, not until I got in here where it's quiet. Kinda the same story
you just related to me about your face and eyes.##

"Ok, you got me on that. I'll stop yelling cause I'm guilty of the same crime about
hiding an injury. I got more than just my face. I got my hand pinched in the pilot's
seat getting over to him."

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##Ice and elevate, partner.##

"Not until you do."

##Can't do that, my shoulder doesn't lift any higher.##

"You know what I mean..." sighed Gage wearily.

##Yeah, I know what you mean. See you at the hospital. I think Lopez's
bringing us the squad.##

"Hope he manages to snag us all a few burgers on the way in. I'm starving."

##Just don't go starting any I.V. on yourself. I'd hate to fill out all the paperwork
after a doctor finds out about you pulling a stunt like that.##

"All right, all right. I'll just choke down a "gluke" tube or two."

##Those'll work. At least eating sugar leaves no traces. I'll vouch for ya with
the supply requisitions for getting new ones. We really had a ton of
hypoglycemic kid calls the last few days, didn't we?##

Gage could practically hear Roy's teasing wink over the HT. He
bit the ends off both sugar tubes and starting sucking. "Wish I can hide my
face, Roy. Dixie's gonna fuss over me something awful."

##I'll just moan a little louder over my shoulder, Johnny. That way, the problem's
solved. She'll spend less time dabbing all that alcohol over those scratches of
yours for worrying over me. I know how much you hate that kind of first aid.##

"I can't help being such a sensitive guy.."

##I know you can't. Now shut up and eat before you faint. Just make sure
you keep an eye on the daughter's monitor while you're doing it.##

"Mother's helper."

##Yep. I am one in this ambulance. Only makes sense to spread
the wealth around a little. HT 51, out.## said Roy smugly.

Gage leaned forward to tap on the driver to cab window of the ambulance
and rapped on it once. It opened. "Say, Malcolm. Kill the sirens, kay?
No one can hear us for all this wind anyway. The reds'll be enough. I could use
a little less noise and I'm sure she can, too." he said, pointing to his patient.
"Getting some rest is a good thing."

"Uh huh.." said the driver with mild fatigue. The flip door snapped shut.

"Typical." Johnny grumbled to the other attendant. "Be glad you two aren't
firefighters. Cause I've a feeling that my whole station'll be spending the
the rest of the week out in that howling mess out there. You haven't lived
until your ears are ringing from Santa Ana wind shrieks. Try sleeping with
that going on. Cause that's what I've got going on right now, real bad."

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Malcolm's partner smiled supportively and reached up to scratch on
the peek window with a few nails, softly.

Johnny looked up with surprise when the sirens actually turned off.

"Mine are ringing, too, man. And so are his up front. We've been waiting
for one of you paramedics to actually ask for silent mode. It took a
smart guy like you to finally do it. And I mean that in a nice way."
said the attendant.

From: "Cassidy Meyers" <>
Date: Mon May 23, 2005  5:27 pm
Subject: The Hornet's Nest..

Johnny and Roy arrived to the hospital and passed off their two patients
to Dr. Morton and Dr. Brackett, who immediately set in to get the two
fall victims into surgery.

Dixie McCall, on the other hand, was parked in her usual place at
the front desk of the emergency room, hemmed in by constantly
ringing phones. The two on the wall and the white one in front of her
were nearly jumping off their hooks.

"Rampart, emergency. This is Dixie McCall. How can I help you?"
she said into the receiver even while she picked up a second and
plunked it onto her shoulder. She flashed the two dusty, foam flecked
firefighters a look of instant desperation. "Rampart emergency, can you

Gage immediately pointed, seeing the need for another rescue.
"Want us to answer some of those? Uh,...are we allowed to?"

"Feel free. The entire hospital switchboard's overwhelmed with calls
and every treatment room's occupied. You just gave us our last
two patients. The rest of the ambulances inbounding have been diverted
to other hospitals." she said quickly.

"It's been that busy?!" Johnny said incredulously.

"You have to ask?" McCall whimpered. "The d*mned wind's made everybody
go crazy tonight. What hasn't happened? Your downed plane was a piece
of cake compared to runs the other boys've been on." she said, throwing a
careless hand at the status board full of red and yellow magnets. Every one
of them was slid over into the on-scene column. Dixie took a deep breath
and then she set both phones over her ears and started talking. "Ok, the worst
first. Maam, go ahead. Sir, you're second. Go."

Gage awkwardly reached for a ringing phone with haste to ease the worst
of Dixie's phone burden.

Roy, in the meantime, started digging in the supply cupboard for the things
they needed on his own. He reached around Dixie's shoulders for the supply
forms even as he kissed the top of her head in friendly encouragement.
"Hang in there. If you drop in your tracks, don't worry. Gage and I have
an oxygen tank and EKG monitor right here.." he said jerking a head over
to the squad equipment they had brought out of the treatment room with them.

Dixie rolled her eyes and kept talking. "You say he's got dust in his eyes from
the wind and can't open them? All right. Are you near a sink?" she asked the

Then she shifted her head and spoke with the man on the white phone.
"Sir, we can't do anything about your insomnia. Have you tried a warm
milk toddy?"

And on and on it went. Minor call after minor call. For around ten minutes.

Marco Lopez soon arrived and waved at Roy. He caught wind of the
flood of calls and took prompt advantage of it. He sat down next
to Roy in a vacant waiting room chair to leaf through the paper, ignoring
Gage who was swamped and now wrapped in phone cords. He ignored
Johnny's looks to come help out. "Sorry, can't. I'm not a nurse or paramedic.
Not allowed." he shrugged.

By the time the phone slam was over, even Johnny was sweating for taking down
so many notes and offering out fast and pointless first aid advice to all the petty
concern callers he had spoken to. He hung up his last caller in exasperation.
"Man, Dixie.. Have all of these phone calls been as pointless and stupid as
the nine I took?"

"Yep." said McCall, wearily collapsing a head on the desk. Gage chivalrously
got her a cup of coffee, complete with a dimpled napkin.

"I've already been stimulated enough, thanks. You drink it. You're still hungry."

Johnny did a double take. "How did you know, Dix?"

"You still got gluke paste on your lips. Here.." she said without looking up.
The paper napkin full of jaunty flowers was thrust up into his face. "Give me
a bit to reboot my brain and I'll see about getting the treatment room
you guys need for your bumps and bruises..."

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"Wait a minute, how did y--" Gage was about to say. "Never mind.." he said.
"I just gotta learn that your powers of telepathy are just as good as Stoker's
weather voodoo."

Dixie lifted her hair strewn exhausted head up at that. "Huh?"

"Nothing. Roy and I just got an inside track from our engineer about how
the winds are gonna nail us..." Gage sighed expansively. Then he regarded
the coffee cup and walked fingers over to it. "Are you sure you don't mind?"
he said, hungry eyes fastening on the cup of coffee.

"Be my guest..." Dixie said, parking a frazzled head onto her hands folded
over the dozens of notes she and Johnny had taken. "Drink up! It may be
the last meal you'll ever--" Then she jerked, reaching for a phone on the
wall behind her.

Gage stopped her with a grab. "Dixie.."


"It's not ringing yet..."

"Oh... It isn't? Sorry. Thanks. I can't tell anymore. My ears are still ringing
and so's my whole head."

"Really?" piped up Roy, folding over to the horse racing section.
"Funny that. So our ours." he laughed without humor. "Say, Dixie. Ya
got any ear pl--"

Dixie's hand tipped up a box of styrofoam ear plugs that she had next
to the tissue box. It was already half empty. "Help yourself. The
other paramedics already have. Amply. Better safeguard your hearing
now, boys. Ayers is booked solid dealing with ear trauma cases. Did
you know that five cases of perforated eardrums filed on in here in
just the last hour alone?"

"No kidding.." said Marco, looking surprised. "Caused by all this wind?"

"Yep." nodded Dixie tiredly. "A straight line's perfect for kicking up
stones and litter from off the ground. City missiles.. Joe's coined them."

"Wonderful. A new malady for the santa ana's already growing list."
Roy sighed. His stomach growled, making it over the screeching of
the winds outside the entrance doors. "He should write a paper and
capitalize on it."

"He already has." Dixie said. Then she reached for Johnny's eyelid
scratched and puffing face. "Ooo, those look like they smart.."

DeSoto immediately made good his promise and jerked in a twinge.
"Oww, d*mned shoulder!  Ooo. Next time, Johnny. You crawl under the
plane to reach someone. I'm too big to play." he fussed exaggeratedly.

It worked. Dixie immediately magneted over to Roy's side and plunked
down on the empty seat next to him. "The left one?"

"Yeah, it's nothing."

"Pretty painful nothing, Roy. Can you move it full range?"

"Enough to feed myself, which is all I'm interested in." DeSoto said,
sniffing at Marco's jacket. "Lopez.. tell me you stopped at the burger
stand.." he said indignantly. "You're not smelling like smoke here."

"Didn't have time. I got an ambulance on my butt and had to scoot in
fast so I wouldn't slow them down while getting here." Marco told him.

"What ambulance?" Roy glared, some of his humor sliding away.
"I don't see one..."

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"Roy, blame me. That one was probably the one I sent to Regents
when I saw you two filing in with our last two criticals." Dixie said.
"Here, let me get you some ice.." she said, rising to get some
from a wheeled specimen cooler next to the drinking fountain.

Gage drained half the coffee pot before he remembered his
coworkers and sheepishly offered them some into two mugs.
"Do I dare ask the question?"

Roy glared again. "Don't, junior. You'll jinx us.."

"Ok.. ok.. I won't. Seems the fire radio's quiet enough though.
It's not even scanning." Gage said, throwing a head at the
all band sitting above the ekg monitor outside the base station.

Dixie kept her tongue still to honor superstition
and pointed back at the status board with a pencil, even as she
nestled an ice bag under Roy's shirt over his sore spot.

Not one magnet labelled fire had been moved into action.

"That's a minor mercy if I ever saw one.." DeSoto said.
"Dix, that wind is bad. Real bad. I wouldn't be surprised
if the whole mountain range ringing us went up in smoke."

"Roy!! Cut it out. You'll make me think about my ranch again."
said Johnny, almost spilling his coffee.

"What about your ranch, Johnny?" Dixie said, distracted.

"It's in the line of  f...i...r..e." he said spelling it out. "Literally.
I just hope I remembered to renew my homeowner's insurance,
or I'll get to be the proud owner of a twenty acre pile of ashes."

"Don't fret until it's a reality Johnny, or you'll just burn yourself
out on it."

"Too late. I already have." Gage sighed, finishing his mug.

Dixie grabbed Marco's grimy chin, examining it gently.
"Are you banged up, too?" Her eyes drifted to the stains of
blood around his sleeves that he had gotten from helping
the daughter out.

"Nah, Dixie. None of this is mine. I'm just the squad driver."
he answered. "I just haven't hosed off yet."

"Use the doc's locker room. You can't walk into a hamburger
stand looking like a war casualty." she sniffed.

Lopez rose eagerly. "Thanks, Dix, for the invitation. Best offer
I've had all night. I'll go shower off my jacket. I promise to
disinfect afterwards."

"Never doubted you for a moment, Marco." McCall smiled,
watching him retreat for the locker room.

"That's not fair.." Roy whined. "We can't do the same thing.
We got all this equipment and all these supplies to watch."

"Nice perk for being a regular fireman.." Dixie said. "Maybe
you should quit the paramedic program and regain it back."

"Not a chance. I like my extra pay.." DeSoto grumbled.
"I've got kids, remember?"

"Hush.. you're just crabby cause you're hungry. Here." Dixie
mothered, grabbing a gluke tube out of her uniform pocket.
"Eat before Joe sees that shoulder of yours if you want to
stay on duty. Your pressure's probably sky high compensating
for your low blood sugar and foul mood."

Roy moused down sheepishly and began slurping down the

"Good boy... Now for some cof--" she broke off. " didn't
leave any left for me.." she said snatching the empty clear glass
pot from Johnny's dusty hand.

Gage hastily ran for the coffee brewer to make some more just
for her.

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Joe Early completed his examination of Roy's shoulder. "I don't
think you tore your rotator cuff, Roy. It's probably just a strain. It
should clear up in a couple of days if you take it easy."

"Don't think I can take it easy, doc. Not when the Santa anas
are blowing.." Roy smiled.

"Don't remind me. This is the slowest I've been all day." Dr. Early
snorted. "You can go ahead and put your shirt back on."

"So is he gonna live?" Johnny grinned.

"A long and healthy life. That is if he eats how I keep telling you
firefighters how to eat. Boys, you're getting sloppy again. I can smell
the glucose paste on your breaths from here."

Roy and Johnny both blushed a proper shade of red. "We promise
to hit the hamburger stand."

"Make sure you mean that hypothetically. I've already taken care
of a pair of paramedics who wrecked their squad when a wind gust
blew a roof down in front of it."

"No kidding. Roy, did you hear a call for that over your HT?!  I sure
didn't." Johnny's face dropped into horror. "They ok, doc? Who's was it?"

"It was out of your district. They're fine. But I can't tell you what station.
I've been sworn to secrecy about it at their request."

"That's ok. Knowing Charlie the mechanic, we'll all find out about it
before midnight.." Roy said, smiling. "He knows nothing about
sparing anyone a little embarrassment. And that's not even his worst

"Sounds like one h*ll of a mechanic." Joe preambled.

"He is. I swear, doc. He treats the squad and engine better than we
do our patients.." Gage laughed. "Are we done?"

"Yep. That is if you still don't want anyone messing with your facial
abrasions." Dr. Early said, pointing to Johnny's eyes.

Johnny sagged. "They're only gonna get dirty again anyway during
a fire or something. Why bother?"

"Because germs aren't our friends, Johnny." DeSoto piped up.
"Doc, he wouldn't even let me clean him up."

"Maybe your Captain Stanley can convince him when you guys reach
the fire command center.." Dr. Early said.

Both paramedics stopped short. "Wh-- what do you mean fire
command center?" Roy stammered.

Joe simply pointed to the scanner radio on top of the defibrillator in
the room. "We've been put on High Alert, boys. Seems half of Malibu's
already on fire. Go to the nurse's lounge after we're done here and
go check it out on TV. Johnny, your fire district's the only one not yet
locked into a full firefight.  So I suggest you grab some chow while you
still have the time cause I've a feeling that things are going to get a
whole lot worse before they get better. And you'll be doing it alone.
Rampart's been put out of the picture cause we're already at full bed
capacity. Good luck, boys. Needless to say, I'll be thinking about you
fellas a whole lot while you're stuck up there." And with that, the
sympathetic soft spoken doctor, left the room.

"Roy.." Johnny gasped.

"What?!" overreacted Roy even as he struggled back into his grimy
T shirt. He was still shaky from his hunger and still grumpy.

"I"m gonna kill Stoker."

"Why?" DeSoto asked, uncovering his head finally.

"Because he's proving himself right. Malibu's straight upwind from my ranch."

Image of joeroytshirttreated.jpg Image of roytreatedjoekelgagelookon.jpg

Date: Sat, 28 May 2005 13:27:01 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Jeff Seltun" <>  
Subject:  Base of Operations..

"You don't know that for certain. We haven't even seen
the news bulletins yet." Roy reasoned, jumping off the exam

"Oh, yes I do. I got a good look at the station wall map today,
remember? Adrenaline's great for imprinting instant and total recall
of whatever your eyes are stuck on when you've been jolted by
sheer horror like I was, seeing all that red painted over my ranch." Gage
grumbled irritatedly.

"Johnny, those were hypothetical numbers. They weren't even real.
How can you be horrified by something you can't even taste,
touch or feel?" Roy asked as the two medics gathered up their medical
gear. Marco Lopez whizzed on by them whistling, and divested DeSoto
of the heavy defibrillator on their way out to the squad. "Give one example
of something where that's true and I'll eat my shorts."

"Carbon monoxide gas, Roy. Start salting em, cause you just lost the argument."
Gage said without a smile.

"Hmph. Can't. Or I'll get indigestion and have to have an emergency gastrectomy to
pull em back out again." DeSoto quipped, level faced.

"Quit being so literal, Roy. I only said that because it actually made me feel
better for a few seconds." Johnny said honestly. Then he started chewing his
fingernails again.

DeSoto slapped his hand away from his mouth. "Yuck. Nothing like foam residue
for lunch, eh?"

"Fire foam can't hurt us." Gage said, opening his passenger door and motioning
for Marco to get into the squad in between him and his partner.

"That's what they said about those asbestos tarps we used to have for years
and years. You don't see them in our trucks anymore, do you?" DeSoto sighed.

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He started up the engine. Just as he was doing so, Dixie McCall came dashing out
of the emergency doors. "Boys, you forgot these!" she said, handing over the
half used box of earplugs that had been on her desk.

Gage took them from her in stride and noticed the dozen or so gluke tubes that had
been shoved inside with them with a wink. "Are you gonna get in trouble for issuing
excess supplies, Dix?"

"Nope. We're in disaster mode. You know Rampart's administrators never count
bandaids until after it's all over. They'll just lick their wounds and write everything
that isn't a government regulated medical supply off as gone to a good cause."
McCall grinned. "And saving you three from wasting into food starved twigs enough
to blow away, definitely fits that parameter."

"Dixie, you're a miracle worker!" said Marco and he dug in eagerly for a tube to eat.

"How about telling that to the administrators upstairs, Marco?" Dixie smiled. "Maybe
I can get a real good pay raise out of it."

"Sure will. Uh, I mean, as soon as I'm no longer tied up." and he pointed to the east.
"Looks like our calm rescue day's over fellas." A mile wide, thick column of orange lit
brush smoke was just beginning to rise over the city margins from the foothills. Its
heavy mantel of post destruction smothered the fringes of glowing
streetlamps gridded around the rich suburban homes of those neighborhoods.
Already, sounds of sirens pierced the night noise over the santa ana's.

"Oh, boy. Step on it, Roy. Who's closer? Mac's burgers? Or Amos's chili dogs?
We gotta scoot before we're toned out to report to the chief." Gage snivelled.

"Amos's." said Marco.
"Mac's." said Roy.

Dixie broke the tie and said. "Amos's, boys. By half a mile. Go. And stay safe
out there."

"We will.." said Roy, putting on his helmet for night travel.

"I just may see you up there, guys. And soon. It's my turn to delegate out nurses to
any evac recovery operation that might spring up because of a grade four wildlife
fire. And that certainly smells like one." she said, her limpid eyes reflecting the
mountain fire's glow.

"We'll save a pot of coffee for ya.." said Gage as Roy stepped on the gas with a
squeal for their nearest planned source of food enough for the whole station. Dixie
shook her head ruefully when the squad's tires screamed piercingly as it made its right
exiting, ninety degree turn under the hospital skyway.

Dixie retreated inside out of the wind to pack her field bags. Already, she could see
the head nurse relieving her from swings, on early graves, getting tangled up in
another phone call blitz. She just hoped all of them were as uncritical and benign
as the ones she and Gage had fielded twenty minutes earlier.


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"Ya got em?" pegged Hank Stanley even before the chili dog perfumed squad
had shut off its flashing backing lights.

"Plenty.." said Marco, pushing a slow Gage out of the cab. "Enough for
four dogs each." he said wiping away chili sauce from his moustache.

"Hey, Cap that's no fair.." moaned Chet. "How come Marco got to eat before
the rest of us?"

"He was faster at volunteering to take the squad in for Roy and Johnny, that's
why. Next time, leap a little higher if you're hungry and I just may pick you."
Cap said, snatching a hot dog bag from Lopez's presenting hands. He had
a dog halfway inhaled before Roy shut down the squad's power. "He's clean, too.
Remember that, Kelly. There are open showers at Rampart when it's busy.
So I don't wanna hear another gripe about taking a squad in. That chore's
packed so full of incentives I'm surprised murder isn't done whenever we
have two victims to transport at the same time."

The gang didn't even bother moving to the kitchen table for dinner.
They ate right there on top of the squad's hood, using their jacket
gloves for snack trays.

Stoker matter of factly shrugged as he stuffed his face with food while his
other hand marked another spot with a red headed pin over the wall map
next to them showing where fire stations all around the county were being
deployed. "I'm too nice to kill anything but flames, Cap. Let the weak ones
eat first."

"Very funny.." said Chet, spilling cheese onto his shoes. "Oh, man.."

"Start slurpin', Chet." grinned Roy. "That's the only four you're gonna get."

Johnny teased, too. "Yeah, you just go ahead and lick those shoes. If you're still
hungry afterwards, Dixie gave us all some gluke tubes for dessert."

"Really?" Chet said, whistling to Bonnie to come lap his shoetops clean.
"I claim dibs on the cherry flavored ones."

"You get what comes.." Marco said, blinding reaching into the earplug
box for his share of tubes and Chet's. He thrust his hands behind his back
without looking at what flavors he had grabbed out. "Ok, pick an arm."

"The right one." said Kelly holding still, while Bonnie the Yorkie groomed
off his shoe polish along with the chili cheese.

"Aw, nuts." finger snapped Marco. "That handful's got two cherry tubes."

"Luck of the draw, sore loser. Heghhh." he laughed in a teasing sneer.

Johnny chortled around his mouthful of meat. "Don't grouse Marco.
I can always start an IV on ya and spike it red with some koolaid or
something to make up for it."

"Nah, that wouldn't work at all." said Lopez watching Bonnie
eat. "I don't think my veins have any tastebuds to work with."

"Yeah, but you'd be looking at it. Pysch power goes a long way if you use
your imagination." Roy teased.

"I don't like needles enough to be Gage's guinea pig for that little experiment.
I'll settle for the lemon tubes I got fair and square." sighed Lopez.

"Thanks, Marco. Thanks, Dixie!" Chet toasted to the air with one of them.
"Instant room temperature jelly pops. My favorite.."

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Hank chided Kelly into silence for acting out his overactive sense of silliness.

Bonnie was just burping contentedly when the tones finally rolled out a brush
call standby series.

Cap jogged to his office phone to get their assignment, wiping off his mouth
with a jacket sleeve as he went.

The gang followed after him. Chet was somewhat slower because Bonnie was
still growling warnings and feeding off his chili splashed toes.

"Station 51, Los Angeles County Fire Department. This is Captain Stanley."
he greeted. "Oh, hiya Chief.." He nestled the phone onto his shoulder briefly.
"It's Houts. He's already at the command center." He lifted the phone
receiver to his ear once again. "Where to?"

The voice on the other end of the line jarbled a few questions about deployment
for Stoker, who got the passed off phone long enough to reply to the chief.
"Yes, Chief? Uh, I got em all pegged, yessir. There's only a six mile long gap
left that hasn't been manned by FD above Bear Claw Canyon." he advised.

##Do you know the territory?## asked Chief Houts.

"Uh, not really. It's been seven or so years since that area burned, sir." replied
the engineer loud enough so that the others could hear him.

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Gage piped up. "Sir, uh, Chief?" he said, punching on the speaker phone so
that he could talk to Houts as well. "I offer my property as a base of operations.
I've insurance enough to cover and a pond that might make a good helicopter
filling point. It's in the middle of a hay field."

Hank slapped Gage's jacket in admonishment at his sneaky way of getting
the fire department onto his ranch but he had to hold his tongue or be overheard.

##Hmm. A big pond?##

"Over three acres. I've several barns, too. They'd make great bunkspace
for recuping fire jumpers. And....I'm.. right near a repeater tower direct to
L.A." Johnny buttered even further.

##Good man. Hank, didya hear Gage's offer? Use his ranch to set up
your fire district's base of operations pronto. You'll have stations eight,
ten, ninety ninety and one twenty four all under your jurisdiction. I'll trust
you to get that source of water potable for the choppers just as soon
as humanly possible.##

"Yes, sir."

##Now finish eating and get cracking, 51. And for g*d's sake start feeding
your station mascot a little better on the busy shifts. I can hear her
complaining about the grub way over here.##

Chet Kelly piped up, "Uh, Chief, sir. That's not Bonnie's stomach rumbling,

Hank stepped on Kelly's foot sharply and shut him up. "We're on it, chief.
Give us twenty minutes to gear up the extra hose and rescue equipment
and we'll report in. Gage, give the man your ranch address and box number.
That way he'll know where to send the others."

Johnny grinned at his success and gave the information.

When the phone hung up, no one was smiling bigger than he was.
"Let's just see my ranch burn now with five whole fire departments
and their vehicles camping out on it."

Mike Stoker just tapped the red colored region of the map
ominously on their way out to keep Gage on a level.

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From: All the Voyagerliveaction Staff Writers <>
Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2005 15:49:36 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [EmergencyTheaterLive] Wind and Fire.. The Final Price..

Engine 51 and Squad 51 kept up tight formation as they wound into
the mountains deep in the heart of rural Los Angeles County.
Task Force Batallion came over the radio.

##Station 51. Your unit's the last one to roll in to the others on
your station's assigned call. Report to the main fire camp located
at the airfield 2 miles north of highway 14 on rural route 384.
Your unit's designation for the duration is Task Force 2376 Charlie.
This fire's line has been plane reported as an escalating level four
firestorm eighteen miles wide with recent accelerated fire behavior.
Use caution.##

"10-4, Battalion. Reporting to Main Incident Command. ETA approximately
fifteen minutes to that location." Stanley reported over the engine's mic.

Chet in his turnout gear gave a low whistle. "Drought conditions for
ten years and whatdidya get? H*llfire in the making and I'm not talking
about penny annie stuff. Look.." and he pointed out the window of the Ward.

The squad, roaring ahead of them, actually slowed down as the two
paramedics rounded a corner of wild country to see what they would
eventually be facing. A black maw of pitch colored smoke
was yawning over a tiny team of fireline fighters and their vehicles, which
were slowly retreating back down the highway to an open space at
the mountains' foothills.

Cap paused along with Roy and rolled down the window. "Can we
still get by?" he asked a worker sitting on a hill with some evacuated
civilians who were clutching pets and babies, while watching the monster
blaze approach their neighborhood town.

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"Yeah, man. We saw ya coming. PD and roving FD will escort you in past
the hotspots. The road's still open but I'd recommend you get into gear
right now. The smoke's down to less than a mile visibility..." said the lieutenant.
"The reason we pulled out is for an air drop of scba's and more drip

"You heard him boys." said Cap loudly, so his paramedics could hear
him through their open windows as well. "Ok. Stay safe fellas..." Hank
said cheerily, hunkering down in his coat as he waved Stoker and
DeSoto to go on.

"We will. You too, 51." said the man.

Station 51 left the crews behind them and headed into midnight blackness.
Their first fire escort kept radio silence as transmissions were impossible
in between the steep canyon walls surrounding the valley highway.

Inky black and choking gray turned the landscape into that of the moon
with ash and darkness. The engine and squad drove forward as fast
as safely possible behind their guide's vehicle.

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Image of firecampbearclaw.jpg Custom image by Patti Keiper for Emergency Theater Live 2005.

At the next major highway intersection a police car suddenly flashed down
to their position from a side road. And a loud speaker boomed out
a warning. "51, detour! The fire's leaped your road quarter of a mile up.
I know a second route the way I came." said the officer.

The gang screeched to a halt and blinked as a Santa Ana lifted the smoke
veil long enough to reveal a solid fire line eating the road and the hundred
foot high slash pines on either side. The fire there was so hot, the asphalt was
already slag and ignited. "Uh, you're right. Lead the way, PD. We're on your
tail." said Cap as his eyebrows rose up into his head.

As the engine and squad backed up back to the intersection, Marco spoke
up from his seat behind Hank. "That's a huge hot spot. I wonder where air
suppor--- Oh, there they are." he said as a fire plane and an Erickson sky
crane roared from over the clear air treeline to the highway to douse the
leaping edge in mutual attacks of red fire retardant and lake water.

The angry blaze wasn't even slowed one second.

"D*mn.. Santa anas must be feeding that firehead something awful."
said Chet.

"That's why we're not going up that way.." said Cap.

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Soon, Station 51 was following the squad car through the smoke
dimmed thick pine forest. The slopes around them grew only
steeper and thicker with fire sign. Already tree top fires were
starting just through radiation effects alone.

But soon, PD broke away with a waggle and a siren squelch,
letting the station know that they had reached Fire Camp One.

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Click the doomed bridge
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  Devil Winds
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