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The One That Matters
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      Page Two

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From :  Roxy Dee <>
Sent :  Monday, July 25, 2005 9:52 PM
Subject :  The Wrong Crowd~~  

Station 51 rolled to a halt at the high school across town. The sirens
had already attracted most of the school's inner students, who were in
between classes, like flies to a roadkill. They clustered around
the firemen as they got out of their vehicles, quickly.

Cap was hard pressed to locate the call originator in the front cul de
saac parking circle. He approached the nearest person old enough
to look like a school employee. "Captain Stanley of the Los Angeles
County Fire Department. Did you call us?"

The gray haired man nodded and replied. "I'm the superintendant here.
I thought he'd never listen to reason. Oh, ...thanks for coming so

Roy DeSoto spoke up. "Sir. what exactly is the problem here? Is there
a fire? We can't tell whether all these students are out here because of
an alarm or because of the fact that they saw our trucks pull up."

Nearby, Chet Kelly was almost pushing the crunch of kids away from the engine.
"Hey, guys. Step back onto the curb. You're crowding the h*ll out of us.
We can't work without space. Please, just step back. You can see fine
from the lawn and sidewalk across the street. Now move for your safety
until we figure out what the problem is.."

At least some of the hundred or so chattering curious, rowdy excited teenagers
did what they were told.  Stoker finally scattered the rest of the large milling
group off the driveway with a blast of the airhorn on the Ward set at full freeway

They didn't stay there for long and soon returned to smother the firefighters.

The superintendant tried to answer Roy's question but got bumped strongly
by a pair of horseplaying young men who were shoulder wrestling. Marco
steadied the man. "Hey! Knock it off you guys!"

"Says who?" replied one of the mock fighters, who promptly ignored Lopez
and turned away, waiting for his sporting game to start up again.

Hank immediately got on his HT. "Engine 51,...L.A., Respond a police unit to our
location for crowd control A.S.A.P. They're interfering with our ability to ascertain
just what our current situation is." he said in hurried frustration. He ran interference
to protect their contact caller by jamming himself between the play shoving teens
and him without touching anyone with his hands.

##10-4, Engine 51. L.A.P.D.'s reports their ETA as three minutes.##

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One of the boys bounced off Hank's broad back and glared at him in mild
irritation for spoiling their fun. Cap stared back as his men began to probe
for information from their contact again.

Gage hung onto the superintendant to be heard over the noise of all
the teenagers boiling around them. "You ok?"

"Yeah, stupid kids. Don't worry, mister. The bell's gonna go off right about....."


As if by magic, the students suddenly looked up in horror and started rabbiting
back into the school in droves, parting like a river around Station 51's crew.

Soon, they were alone. The superintendant sighed hugely and wiped the
sudden sweat off his forehead. "Whew! That's a relief. It's not a fire..
or anything like that, guys. The call was from our coach. Out there.
He says he's got a player down on the field.." said the man, pointing across
the very car congested parking lot to a full to capacity outdoor bleacher stadium
filled with game attendees at an active football match. "Glad you called
the cops, captain, because I don't think the father's gonna let anyone near his
son long enough to treat him. He's dead set on him continuing to play.
You know the type. Macho ex military.."

"What happened?" Roy asked.

"Bad tackle. I think the kid busted his leg real bad. Coach said when he got
his shoe off, his toes were already turning blue."

Cap jerked into motion. "What's the best way out there? If that leg's circulation's been
cut off, that kid's gonna have major problems."

The superintendant shifted his urgent gesturing. "Through the utility gate. There's
an access road that leads right to the fifty yard line to the north. All you'll have to
deal with is a few picnic blankets and lawn chairs from those who couldn't get
bleacher tickets. Come on! I'll open the gate for you. I have the key.."

"Uh, huh. And what does this coach look like?"

"Green jacket. The downy kind. And gray hair like mine!" shouted the witness.

"Ok, thanks a million. Now let's move.." Cap urged the man.

Roy and Johnny were already beelining for the squad, peeling off their helmets
and overcoats. They threw them inside before restarting their ignition.

Hank shouted to Roy. "You want us to follow you?"

"Yeah, we'll need the extra hands if active traction's gonna be involved. A stokes
wouldn't be a bad idea either. That player may be pretty far out onto the field."
"Ok, You lead the way after him."

Cap gestured to Stoker, still sitting in the cab, to follow the squad that was quickly
dogging the hurrying superintendant's back. The sweating man soon got hold of the
the privacy blinded chain link fence sealing off the access road and had it pulled
out of the way.

The engine and squad roared with lights and siren down the red rock until they cut
a sharp right onto the grassy expanse around the stadium. They soon were leaving
deep muddy gouges on the pristine grounds that had just been sprinklered.

Behind them, the superintendant put his hands to his face. "Oh, no. Not the lawn.
Just look at those furrows. The nightshift groundskeeper's gonna kill me."

Cap got on the horn as he and the rest of the gang bounced wildly as the engine
alternately had its opposite tires sink into the water soft ground as it moved.
"Engine 51, L.A. we have a football player down with a serious leg injury. Respond an
ambulance to our location at the outdoor stadium at the end of the high school's
side maintenance road to the north. Update P.D. to our new twenty. Also
tell them that we're not out of our little crowd problem yet either." he added
as he spotted an illegal bottle rocket arching into the air from one of
the bleachers. "I'm seeing pyrotechnics.."

##10-4, Engine 51.##

Hank looked at Mike when he had rehung the radio mic onto its spigot in
front of them. "How do the treads feel? Are we gonna get stuck?"

"Not a chance, Cap. Torque is still good even in first."

"Ok, just take her slow."


Gage and Roy found the gap between the bleachers and pulled up as far as
they could go to the painted field boundary. "Man, they're really into this
game now, aren't they?" he shouted to Roy over the loud booing roar from
one side of the high school's wooden risers. And it wasn't from the home team.

"Sounds like this football team's just as aggressive as the book learners
around here."

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"Yeah.. if those two wrestling clowns were any indication.." Johnny remarked as
they gathered up all of their medical gear.

Hank snapped out orders. "Chet, Marco. Lay some line and cover spray all
the garbage you see under the bleachers in a complete 360 around the stadium.
Connect off to the hydrant by the concessions stand. If any sparks from those rockets
firing off reaches the paper debris down here...."

"No one's gonna burn past emotionally in this game, Cap.." Kelly promised.

Cap nodded in satisfaction. "Stoker give me a megaphone and then go grab
a stokes out for them as soon as you can. Getting a hare traction splint's not a
bad idea either. We've a fifty fifty chance on this being a femur fracture."

Hank got his portable loud speaker. ###You there in the bleachers. This is the Los Angeles
County Fire Department! Stop lighting those fireworks off now! It's too dangerous
in such close proximity to all the spectators!###

He was met by jeers from the few people who even bothered to peer down through the
bleachers slates at the boring pair of fire vehicles beneath them. He was shocked to
see full grown adults, obviously parents, in the home team crowd misbehaving right along
with younger teenaged ones.

The bottle rockets continued.

Soon, Cap, Stoker, Johnny and Roy got their first look at their surroundings.

To their absolute amazement, the game was still ongoing in an active charge.
They winced as green and white jerseys colliding in bone jarring, no stops
bull in a china shop momentum.

"So where are they?!" Gage shouted back at his crewmates over the angry buzz
of the crowd. "I can't see anything yet.."  He had to dodge a full paper pop cup
that suddenly hurdled down onto him, full of chocolate shake.  "Look out, Roy!"

DeSoto wasn't fast enough and got a face full of ice cream.

"Knock it off you idiots!!" Gage shouted up to whoever threw the drink.
"We're on a rescue call!"

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Cap took Roy's gear boxes and tossed them into the stokes he and Mike
were carrying and hurried after Johnny while Roy cleared his eyes enough
to see and follow. "You ok, pal? D*mn that crowd. I should have called for
six squad cars!"

"Cap, now that wouldn't be good PR to cast a nuisance fine on the high school
like that. I'll live and we haven't been delayed enough to matter here." Roy
sputtered. "I'm not hurt.."

"You may not be. But a few more of them might get that way if this animosity
between teams keeps up like this." Cap growled.

Another bottle rocket went off into the sky.

DOING THAT!!" Hank bellowed through his megaphone.

"Cap, I think you oughta tone it down. We're on the wrong side if you know
what I mean." Stoker yelled. "They realize we're gonna be helping one
of the rival team's players.."

"What a bunch of... And this is their own home game?! Just what kind of
high school is this?" Cap complained.

"A very very cliquey one, Cap." Stoker said, pressing foward, as he lowered
his helmet to shield himself from a raining box of popcorn that suddenly
started pelting down like confetti to compliment the ample bottle rockets
continue to hiss into life around them.

"They're gonna fry if they keep this up. And they don't care. What
monsters!" Hank said in exasperation. "It's only a matter of time before one
of those spent works reaches the trash under the bleachers. And then we'll
really have a hot time."

"That's only if Marco and Chet are slow wetting the stuff down, Cap.
And they're never slow when it comes to a potential fire risk."

"You got that right.." Cap muttered angrily.

Stoker and Stanley heard a series of indignant squawks from above them when
Chet shot all the bottle rocket launchers and the drink and food throwers
in the butt with a sharp icy stream from his hose under the seats. The home
team boos choked off, and ones from the rival team across the stadium
shifted to the opposite point on the compass into light mirthy jeers.

They got the rest of the way out to the tight coach and staff huddle over the
downed football player unmolested, amid a jumble of cheers and shouts of
encouragment from his team's onlooking spectators.

"Yey, they're here!"
"Don't worry, we'll protect ya on this side!"
"Is he all right!? My g*d that leg looks awful. He's got a second knee!
I think I'm gonna be sick!..."
"We'll cream 'em in the second half time for injuring our star
quarterback like that. Just you wait. "  said several.

Just shy of the rival team's fifteen yard line, the firemen finally got
to a team of three coaches kneeling over a navy jerseyed african
american teenager. One of the coaches was making gestures in an obvious
can-you-breathe-ok? motion.

Gage shoved past him with the O2 and quickly got some on him by the
faster demand valve around the teenager's screams of utter agony.
"Ok, Move aside. We got it from here. You down there, keep
holding that leg still until my partner can take a better look at it."
he ordered, crouching over the boy's white helmeted face.

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Roy ignored the pointed curious stares he got from the coaches as
they eyeballed the pinkish brown goo dripping out of his hair and
down his shoulders. One of them threw a towel over his shoulders
to use quickly so he could work.

"Sorry about that." said the man who could only be
the coach who requested their response on scene. "I've been trying
for six years to get my boys' family and friends to behave nicely at
these games. Believe me, it's been a war this whole season keeping
them civil. I'm surprised murder isn't being done yet judging by how
your partner looks." he told Johnny.

Another coach spoke up around him, a woman of thirty with short brown
hair. "He's real shocky. His pulse's 126 and bounding. I've tried to get
Lance's breathing slowed down but..."

Roy turned to her. "Thanks for the information ma'am, we appreciate it.
Now could the three of you step back a little? We can't work with you
folks sitting shoulder to shoulder with us like this. He's gonna be just fine.
He won't suffer with this for long here. We have pain meds that can take
away all of his pain in seconds. Lance? I know it hurts, but my partner is
gonna have to check you out to make sure you don't have a head injury
working on ya before we can handle any of your discomfort. Ok? Now
how old are you?"

"OwWWW!  *gasp* S-seventeen.. Mister.... I can't feel my foot anymore.
Ohmyg*d my leg hurts!! It's real bad. Something's wrong inside."

"I'm trying to help that down here." said Roy, gingerly manipulating the
leg even before he cut open the teenager's leg wraps and tights to
see the extent of the thigh bone's misalignment. "This is gonna hurt but
I'm gonna try to get the blood flowing back into your foot by moving it
back down the way it rests normally."

"Just do it!" gritted the heavily muscled dark skinned young man. "I
wanna play ball again without facing a lifetime on crutches-S-S as
a total crip, man, understand me?! AghH! Just fix it!"

Roy carefully drew the leg down to neutral position and smiled tightly
when the foot began to pink up very weakily in a surge of rapid pulses.

Lance started gagging and nearly blacked out.

"Lance!.. Lance!! Now breathe in this oxygen to get your mind off it. The
pins and needles'll go away in a min---" Gage started to say.

Lance rolled over onto his side and was violently sick. Johnny barely slid
his knees out of the way in time. Stoker quickly handed Gage a suction
wand in trade for the demand valve so Johnny could rapidly clear food
out of Lance's lolling mouth.

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He bent close to make sure Lance started breathing again when it was
all over. "Easy.. easy. We're done, Lance. We're done.. Spit the rest of
that out. I'll get it out of the way."

Lance groaned and full consciousness returned cruelly once the oxygen
was settled back onto his face.

Roy looked up as the boy lifted violently off the ground with a return of more
sensation in the shattered bone. "Where's his father? We can't treat with any
medications here without a parent's--"

"I'm Lance's step father." declared a big beast of a man who suddenly barged
through the trio of smaller coaches. "He don't need no dope for his leg. He'll take his
lumps like a man. He won't be showing no weakness to those heckling jackals in the
stands by taking junk. Ain't that right, Lance?"
"Y-yes, dad. I'm just....*egff* fine the way I am..." he grunted as another gush of
cold sweat poured off his straining face.

That set Johnny off the deep end. He glared fiercely up at Lance's father and said....


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From: Patti or Jeff or Cassidy <>
Date: Wed Aug 10, 2005  8:44 am
Subject: The Winning Combination..

"Stoker, take over for me on his mask." Then he rose
to his feet, pointing angrily at Lance's step dad.
"Listen mister! If this pain goes on much longer, shock's gonna set
in worse than it has already and the circulation to this leg's gonna stop
completely and there'll be no chance in h*ll then to save it!  Let us do
our jobs! Is your pride over looking weak worth your son's future?!"
Johnny growled up at him.

"He ain't gonna die, fireman. Even I know that. Not while you're still here.
I know how paramedics work. And besides that, a broken leg never kills
unless fever sets in." demanded the massively tall man.

Johnny tried to go over the truth of the danger of Lance possibly
having a torn femoral artery again but Cap held up his hand to hush him.

The frightened boy on the ground sighed under the demand valve
as Mike eased his head back for easier breathing. "Dad,..*gasp*
I tried to be what you wanted to be.. but now this has happened.."
Lance swallowed around the bile in his throat. "No one can be perfect
in the game, dad. Don't you see? We've had two chances to live
a dream. But now it's over.. Pleas--please.. Let them help me..
I don't wanna be crippled. I don't wanna end up like y--..."

"Shut up, boy! It's not over until I say it is!" shouted the step father.

Right then, Vince Howard, his partner, and four other officers arrived
in three squad cars. He sized up the situation in moments when Gage
gave him a significant glance at Lance's grossly swollen leg and the
drug box.

Vince barked with all the authority he had. "Fireman Gage, is this boy's
life endangered?"

"His leg is. This gentleman here is keeping us from treating his son
with anti-shock medication. If Lance's pressure falls into black out
levels, the leg will start dying." he said truthfully.

"Treat him. He's now under police department protective custody.."

"What?!" spat the step father. "You can't do that.."

"I just did. Or would you rather face reckless child endangerment
and parental neglect charges in front of a board of inquiry?" Vince
shouted back. "My other officers can see what's going on here clearly
enough. They'll be my witnesses to the judge about your lack of
judgement on providing humane care to a minor under your
responsibility." the officer shouted back, just as street sharp.

The gang didn't know whether or not Lance's dad backed down because
Vince was his own nationality or because he had finally thought things
through as he felt up the permanent brace he wore on his left leg. But
step back he did, and he broke away all eye contact with the officers
and the kneeling firefighters.

They got to work.

Roy quickly got another blood pressure reading on Lance. "80/50, Johnny.
I'm leaving this pumped up for an I.V. stick. I got the MS right here."

"Right.." and Johnny ignored Lance's father as he directed his crewmates
on applying the Hare traction splint swiftly. "Lance.. once this goes on,
the pain will lessen significantly once the bone's put back into better
alignment. Just hang on. "

"...O..ok.." said the boy.

"Ok, Cap. Start cranking on that knob until I tell you to stop." Johnny ordered.

Roy made a hasty call to Rampart. "...Doc, we've got a badly fractured
femur complicated by muscle cramping due to severe pain. Circulation's
twenty percent at best. Request permission for some MS a.s.a.p. to calm
our patient down before applying pull on the traction splint. He's shocky
with a systolic pressure around 80."

Dr. Early asked a question. ##What's the nature of the break?##

Roy replied, "It's closed, Rampart, but convoluted from an excessive tackle
in a high school level football game." the paramedic told him to let him
know the forces involved.

Joe mulled over that. ##Do we have parental consent?##

Hurriedly, the now cowed father nodded briskly, aware that his honor
and reputation were now risked in a more binding, legal way.

Roy sighed. "We do."

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##Go ahead with ten milligrams morphine sulfate, 51, into an I.V., half
Ringer's Lactate, half Normal Saline,.. set to wide open. Monitor his
breathing rate closely and support him on one hundred percent 02 if
necessary. Let me know when the traction splint becomes effective in
returning the leg's normal blood flow. Then transport as soon as possible.
I'll have a vascular and an orthopedic surgeon standing by when you
get here. If his vitals don't improve promptly, place him in antishock
trousers and inflate only the chambers over his abdomen and the good
leg until he regains 90 systolic at the minimum or higher. And I want a
set of new vitals every five minutes.##

"Already drawn up, doc. 10 milligrams MS I.V. into a Ringer's Normal Saline
bag. Anti-shock trousers on stand by for possible use to regain low normal.
10-4.  I estimate our ETA at fifteen minutes. I'll have a full set of
vitals once we're moving." DeSoto said.

##10-4, 51. Standing by.##

Roy soon established an I.V. and he began to administer Lance's MS into
the piggy back hub.

Johnny had his hand on Lance's popliteal pulse as Cap and Marco adjusted
the clicking tension on the Hare splint. He halted them when a beat
appeared under his fingers. "Ok, right there.. right there.." he said. "Lock
it off."

Lance groaned at the relief of pain from both his narcotic injection and manual
realignment and his wet face sagged under Stoker's hands, into a numb stupor.

Lance's father started forward in alarm, grabbing his son's sweaty arm in
both his hands. "Lance?!" he choked, his voice now full of worry and
a genuine panic any father would have for his hurt child.

Mike smiled. "He's ok. He's breathing just fine. And look at his leg. It's
straightened up well. Johnny's getting a good pulse down to his foot now."
he told the man as he watched the American Indian paramedic checking
the splint's settings and straps.

"No kidding? His leg's fixed now?"

"Not by a long shot. This splint's just a temporary measure until an
operation to repair the bone with rods and pins can begin." Johnny told

"That's not like any splint I've ever seen. That one's got a crank or
something on it. Mine didn't have anything like that when I broke my leg
in this stadium eighteen years ago when it was applied by the coaches.
In fact, it didn't help at all and now I'm half the man I was." And the distraught,
tearing man lifted his pants leg to reveal a steel metal brace strapped
around his upper leg.

"It's called a Hare traction splint. Remember that when Lance starts walking
again in a few months after some physical therapy. And the name of the
medication that released the muscle spasms cutting off your son's leg's
blood flow. That one's called Morphine. Because together, those two things
will make sure Lance gets to the surgeon's table in one living piece. He'll
most likely play football again,....someday. But you're gonna have to be
more patient with him from now on, and a little more forgiving. Don't push
him so hard next time, ok?" Gage grinned respectfully.

The step dad said nothing but Gage could see that he was chewing over
what he was seeing and hearing around him as food for thought.

And when the ambulance attendants started wheeling the boy's stretcher
out across the infield to the waiting Mayfair, both sides of the stadium
suddenly started cheering.

"See?" Roy said to the father as he held up the boy's high flow I.V.
over his pillow out of Stoker's way. "No pride lost at all. I don't think
they've forgotten all about you yet like you think they have. They know
a pair of heroes when they see them.  Both the home team and the away's."


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Subject: And Then There Were Four... :)

Les, Dave, Dixie and Mike Morton were still all alone in the bunkroom
at Station 51, working feverishly. The only difference was that someone
had kicked on the sleeping room's light switch with a foot while they
attended the hard birthing Bonnie.

They had been successful untangling the puppies internally
but no one was smiling. Bonnie lay barely trying so Morton
helped her with an injection of saline into her uterus to stimulate
effective contractions.

Dr. Morton's hands flew. "Here comes the first one. Les, Dave.. take
puppies two and three since you already know how to do this.
Miss McCall, take the first. Your hands will be faster. Dixie, now when
it's fully born, take the bulb syringe and clean out its nose and mouth
free of fluid by doing the nose first. Then take a towel and rub the puppy
briskly all over. It'll act like CPR and resuscitation all at the same time.
A puppy this young's still all cartilage.." said the sweating doctor. "
don't worry about hurting it. The harder the better. Its got to start breathing
within a half hour or the mother's surfactant inside of its lungs will dry out
and kill any hope of further alveolar oxygen/CO2 blood exchange. The pup
needs to be breathing by then to make more of its own."

Dixie rubbed a drip of sweat off her chin with an elbow and got a nest
hammock of towelling draped over her palms by the sandy haired
LesTaylor. "Gimme.." was all she said at last, pure determination making
hard angles of her face.

The youngest animal control officer put the worried nurse at ease.
"It's easy to revive a newborn, ma'am. Just watch me when I get mine to
get an even better technique once you get started." said Les Taylor.

Dave Gordon smiled when Mike Morton snipped the first limp puppy's
cord and scraped some gloved fingers over the small form to get off the
placental sac and a lot of the mucous from around the puckered looking
head. "It's a boy!"

"Here, Dix.. Take him." ordered a brisk Morton. "I've cut and clipped
him off. Whatever you do, don't pull off the umbilical clamp until all the fluid's
done crossing over into him."

Dixie made a deeply unconscious maternal sound. "He's so limp. My g*d,
the poor thing's all distorted." she murmured, teary eyed, working fast
with the blue syringe bulb to get air in a clear string down inside the male
puppy. Two suction pulls later and only air gushed out of the bulb.

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The One That Matters
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