"Great , you and Al take over CPR so Johnny and I can get to work on|
this kid." Roy said as he administered
the epinephrine up the I.V.
line . " Marco , go back and check up on Chet."
" Gotcha . " replied
Marco . " I sure hope that this boy will make
it , and Chet will, too! See ya . "
Johnny were so concentrated on their patient, that they
completely ignored Marco's departure . Another
shock was delivered
to the boy's heart at 120 joules per second and still no response
. The swelling in the boy's trachea had decreased enough
so Roy could successfully intubate the patient
. They had
administered the lidocaine I.V., when just seconds after the next shock
, the monitor blipped .
Gage : " Roy , we have activity on the monitor ! "
Roy : " Okay
, hold it a second ."
The rate and wave strength increased on the monitor as the boy's
began to improve from deep cyanosis to a pale pink . He then
tried to show signs of purposeful movement
as his eyelids fluttered
and hands trembled lightly . Gage noticed the boy's movements and
. " Roy , he's trying to wake up . He just fluttered his
eyelids and his hands are moving a little
As Al was ventilating , he stopped to check for a pulse . " I have a
pulse, guys , about
76 and increasing in strength . I think he's
trying to breathe on his own ! "
10 and labored. " Flint said .
" Don't stop. Let's keep going and I'll get Rampart . " Roy
From : Derrick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent : Wednesday, June 29, 2005 4:50 AM
Subject : The Recovery Effort
" What is the
BP Al " ? Roy said as he grabbed the biophone handle
with his gloved hand .
" 70 over 40
" . Al replied back .
" 70 over 40 ? " asked Roy .
" Correct . " Al nodded .
then speaks into the biophone's transmitter . "Rampart base ,
There was no answer
for a few seconds and then Dr. Mike Morton,
attired in surgical scrubs, responds. ##Unit calling
" Rampart , this is County 51 . We have another update on our
. He is now exhibiting motor response by fluttering his
eyelids and making purposeful movements with
both hands . We now
have vitals to follow . BP is 70/40. We have a pulse of 70 and
and thready , respirations are 10 and labored . He is
now exhibiting sinus bradycardia on the monitor
at 70 , oxygen
saturation is now at 80% . Any other orders at this time ? "
Dr . Morton :
##51, give another dose of 1:10,000 epinephrine I.V .
at 30ccs followed by 60mgs Solu-Medrol I.V.
Let us know if anything
changes . ##
Roy Desoto : " Copy, Rampart. Repeat epinephrine and
keep you advised of any changes . "
Dr . Morton : ##10-4, 51.##
gets the medications out of the drug box and prepares to
administer them while Gage does a sternal
rub on the boy to try to
ellicit another motor response from him .
" Hey kid.. Kid! Can you
hear me? Wake up ! "
Mayfair ambulance attendant Flint is still ventilating the boy through
the endotracheal tube and monitors his color which is still a pale
pink . His partner Al, continues
to monitor his vital signs and motor
Johnny sees the boy trying to open his eyes
His hands are now making more purposeful movement as his fingers make a
figure then extend slowly out to their normal position .
" Roy ! " Johnny exclaimed . " The boy
moved again ! "
Roy had just administered the dose of epinephrine and was about to
the second dose of Solu-Medrol up the I.V . line when he
said , " Johnny, is the motor response the
same or different than the
" He moved his fingers as if he was clawing at something
straightened them back out." Johnny replied .
" Okay , Soul-Medrol is in. Let me try."
Said Roy as he now knelt
down beside the boy and gave another sternal rub .
" Hey kid , kid !
Can you hear me ? Can you feel this ? Wake up ! "
The boy's eyelids then
flickered and his fingers went into a
clawtype position and straightened out again . Roy tried rubbing
boy's sternum again , " Hey kid , kid ! If you can hear me, move your
fingers again ! "
" Hey guys , vitals picking up." Al said .
" Give 'em to us " . Johnny replied .
felt for another carotid pulse and he said " Pulse 86 and
regular. Stand by for BP " .
who had been ventilating the patient, had observed the boy's
facial color change to a slightly deeper
pink then earlier before,
and he said. " Come on little boy , breathe ! "
Not soon enough
, the boy's chest rose and he made a gasping
sound and he jerked to life .
" Hey hey ..Take
it easy...We are here to help you ." Johnny said .
" Al , Johnny , Flint , let's roll him
over to his side . I'll get
the suction and O2 ready . Johnny , get Rampart . What's his BP ? "
Al said. "105/70. Pulse.. 86 and regular . He's sure looking good ! "
" Okay ,
are we in position ? Lets roll him 1,2,3 . " Roy said as he
got to the head of the patient as the
two attendants and Johnny gently
rolled the boy onto his side .
Johnny heads over to the
biophone as Flint disconnects the oxygen
supply tubing from the Ambu Bag and attaches a pediatric
mask that was capable of delivering 90 to 100 percent oxygen . In the
Roy turns on the portable suction machine and tells the boy .
" I want you to stay as still as possible
. I am going to remove a tube that
is inside of your windpipe that was put there to help you breathe
need you to take a deep breath for me , okay ? "
The boy tries to talk through the tube
and makes muffled cries as
Roy talks to him . ::There is a concern of how his mind and lungs will
function after such an aggressive resuscitation..But if we can save just
this one precious life
in this disastrous situation , then our
day was worth it .:: he thought.
Johnny is witnessing
the extubation procedure by his trusted partner,
with the biophone in hand at the ready, if something
go wrong with the boy . He now makes contact with the hospital .
Johnny : "Rampart
, County 51."
A very tired Dr . Brackett answers the radio , ##Go ahead, 51 .##
: " Rampart , update again on our patient that we initially
contacted you about . We have administered
another dose of epi and
Solu-Medrol . Patient 's vital signs and level of consciousness have
significantly . Vitals were BP 70/40 , pulse of 70 and
thready , respirations were 8 to 10 and labored
with an oxygen
saturation of 80% . He was making purposeful movement upon painful
fluttering his eyelids and flexing fingers on both hands into
a claw like position and extending
them back into normal position " .
" Vitals are now BP 105/70 , pulse 86 and regular. We do not
current respirations and oxygen saturation at this time . The
patient is displaying a normal
sinus rhythm on the monitor. Request
permission to extubate . "
Dr Brackett : ##51 , obtain
respirations and oxygen saturation and
contact as soon as possible.##
Johnny : " Standby,
Rampart " .
Johnny ; " Al , what are the O2 sats ? "
Al : " 92 percent . He's got respirations
of .... 18 . "
Johnny : " Okay , I'll tell Rampart . Rampart , County 51 " .
Dr . Brackett
: ##Go ahead 51 , this is Rampart and it better be
good ! ##
Johnny : " Update on our patient's
vitals . We have respirations of
16 and his oxygen saturation is at 92 % . Requesting permission
extubate . " he repeated.
Dr . Brackett takes a long sigh to calm his already frazzled
and says. ##Okay, 51. Go ahead and extubate. Keep the patient on
high flow oxygen at 15
liters by non-rebreather mask . Monitor
his vitals closely and set up a breathing treatment with
0.90 ml , 0.5%
Albuterol SVN when you can .##
Johnny : " Copy to extubate , keep on high flow
O2 at 15 liters by
non-rebreather. Give an albuterol treatment at 0.90ml SVN and monitor
Dr . Brackett : ## 10-4, 51. ##
" Hey, Roy. Brackett said to go ahead and extubate.
Then let's give
him that albuterol treatment at 0.90ml. Put him on high flow O2 ."
" Yeah , and let's hope that we can get him outta here " . Roy said .
" Hey there ! " Roy
said to the boy . " We are going to take the
tube out now . Try to take a deep breath for us and
hold it as
long as you can . "
The boy musters enough strength to take in the deepest breath
could get into his lungs and with a gentle tug on the ET tube ,
paramedic Desoto places the
end of the suction tip into the boy's
mouth and suctions it out as the tube is easily removed . The
begins to cough violently as Flint puts the child sized non-
rebreather mask on his face .
" Okay , take deep breaths " . Roy instructs the boy as he coughs
and gasps and holds the
mask to his face . " What's your name ? Can
you tell me your name ? "
The boy takes a breath
in and says " Timmy.. "
" Timmy , my name is Roy. I am a paramedic with the Los Angeles
Fire Department . This is my partner, Johnny . We are going to
help you and give you some medicine
to breathe in and then we'll
get you to the hospital, okay ? "
Timmy then nods his head in
Johnny Gage came up to Timmy and said. " Hey, Timmy. My name is
Johnny . I am
going to listen to your lungs . I understand that you
have asthma . Do you take any medicine for
it ? "
Timmy nods his head in affirmation to Johnny's question.
Gage says to the boy.
" Timmy , can you tell me if you have allergies?
It's really important that I know . "
nods his head in agreement to Johnny. Al then sees an
object near the boy that appears to be a nylon
wallet . Al
picks up the wallet , opens it and sees a medical emergency card
inside it belonging
to the boy . Al comes over to Johnny and says .
"Johnny , this might help you guys out . It looks
like a medical
emergency card. We found it here in this wallet . "
" Timmy , is this yours
? " Johnny said .
Timmy nodded yes . Johnny and Roy look at the medical information
card and Roy said. " This boy has asthma , he's allergic to
penicillin , peanuts , seafood and pet
dander . He has O+ blood type
and takes Proventil and receives antigen shots every three weeks .
Gage turns to the boy and says " Timmy , did you take your medicine
today ? "
shook his head no .
" When was the last time you had your allergy shot ? Do you remember ? "
Johnny said .
All of the sudden, the paramedics' HTs crackled with Captain Stanley's
on the air .
##Squad 51 , HT 51 .##
" Squad 51 , go ahead, Cap." Desoto replied .
Good news. We have word on three of our helicopters. Two of L.A.
City's and one CHP are headed to
this area for a med-evac .
Mayfair has two ground units headed for this vicinity as well .
51 out .##
" HT 51 , Squad 51." Desoto said .
" That is good news.. How are Chet and Mike
doing ? " , Roy
##They are trying to come to terms with the Code F . They still
Code I emotionally and have been taken off this assignment .##
Captain Stanley replied .
" Mommy , mommy ! " Timmy cried . " Where 's my mommy ? "
" She's not far away . She
is being taken care of by some
paramedics just like us right down in the hill there . In fact , she
will be going to the same hospital as you are as soon as soon as
the ambulance gets here . But
maybe you will both get to ride in a
helicopter instead... " Roy said .
" Mommy ! " Timmy
cried out again .
" Hey Timmy,..don't worry . Now you will have to lie down and be
for us, or you might get sicker . " Johnny explained to him .
" We are going to give some medicine
for you to breathe in, to help
you breathe better , okay ? "
Timmy 's emotional state settled
down some as he replied ,
"Okay. " , in a weeping voice .
::For a boy his age, the trauma
of being involved in such a
catastrophe as the landslide in La Conchita Canyon, and being
from his mother and friends, could be more than he
could bear .:: thought Johnny.
crackled again as Sam Lanier put out a countywide
broadcast to all L.A. County Fire Department units
from Pomona to
Malibu , and from Pear Blossom to Palos Verde, as the dust settled
from the landslide
. Four alert beeps went off and Sam announced
from his console at L.A. County Fire Department Headquarters
## L.A. to all units involved with the La Conchita Canyon incident :
Situation report from Division
2. -- All access roads have been closed
off due to light and heavy debris making motor vehicle traffic
possible . There is widespread damage to existing structures and
utilities . Broken underground
natural gas mains may rupture, causing
high risk for explosions due to sparking power lines . The
power station has been severely damaged, resulting in widespread
power outages within the
region . Local water supply may be subject to
contamination. Break ...##
Sam continues as those in command on the incident listen attentively . |
##L.A . continuing . ..As
of this time, here are the latest reports on casualties:
43 confirmed civilian Code F , ..no firefighter
Code F .., 655 civilian Code I ,
18 firefighter Code I ...Regionwide mutual aid has been requested
en-route , L.A. clear . ##
From : crash200225 <email@example.com>
: Thursday, June 30, 2005 5:50 AM
Subject : [EmergencyTheaterLive] I Lift Up Mine Eyes
Stalney had settled Mike and Chet behind some boulders where
the two emotionally shocked men could
rest. Cap didn't want to leave
them alone, but he had his hands full with the landslide. He left
Mike an HT and reassured them he would be back to check on them when
he could. Neither man responded,
which further worried Cap. After a
few more reassuring words, he left to join Johnny and Roy where
were working on the young boy.
Mike sat Chet with his back leaning against a large tree,
back himself. Both wore a dazed expression. Though Chet had not had
an allergic reaction
to the fire ants, Mike knew they had to still be
burning and stinging. Chet never moved, and spoke
not a word. In
Chet's mind, he was reliving the events of the past hour, over and
The chatter on the HT was comforting to Mike, though he didn't listen
to what was being said.
Instead, he concentrated on a flower at his
feet. He was too numb to think and really didn't want
to. At this
moment, it was just a flower and Chet. That's all he would allow to
enter his mind.
He heard a noise to the left and uphill from where
they were sitting. He turned his head and looked,
but went back to
contemplating the flower and a shining pebble next to it.
"You boys okay?",
a soft voice asked. Receiving no reply, the
question was asked again.
Mike looked up at the
voice and was stunned to see a young woman
squatting beside him.
"You guys are firemen, are
you hurt?", she questioned.
Mike managed to shake his head 'No'.
"What about your friend?
Looks like he got into a mess of fire ants."
Chet was still wet from the wash down and shivering.
He was still
in his own personal waking nightmare. He didn't speak or move. Just
"I got some water bottles and a couple of blankets in my backpack, if
you need them.
My name is Jolene, by the way."
Her soft, southern accent was slowly beginning to clear away
that seemed to envelop Mike's mind.
"What's your name?", she asked quietly. It was
obvious to her that
these men had seen something that had really rattled them. She
to startle them.
"Mike, he's Chet", Mike mumbled.|
Digging through her backpack, she brought out a bottle of water
Mike and a blanket which she wrapped around Chet. It was then that
Mike noticed she was
completely covered in dust.
"You were in the landslide?", he asked. "How did you get out?"
"Oh, us southern girls are tough as nails. Dern mountain came down
on me. Had just enough time
to grab my bag." Jolene smiled
slightly. "Hey, got some stuff in here that'll take the sting out
Chet's bites. Think he'd mind?"
Mike just shrugged. His brain was still on overload, and
never one of his strong points.
"Where I'm from, that's a yeah." As she rummaged
backpack, Sam's announcement came over the HT. "Oh my....."
"You understood that?",
Mike asked as his face paled.
"I'm an EMT, so yeah, I understood it." Jolene's face was as pale
Neither man recognized the title she gave herself.
"They may need you down
there. I'll contact Cap on the HT and let
him know.", Mike stated, thinking she was hurt.
look more like a victim than EMT right now. Not certified in
California yet." She knew she couldn't
be of much help down
there. "Why don't you call your Captain and let me speak to him a
I am more than what I appear to be."
After a brief conversation with Cap, it was agreed that Jolene
stay with Chet and Mike. Cap was secretly relieved that someone with
some kind of medical
training was with his two men.
"Well, it looks like you boys are stuck with me for awhile.
Chet taken care of and then we'll see about getting a bit more
comfortable. That root
you've been sitting on must hurt your tail
somethin' terrible. At least sit on this blanket or scoot
foot or so." Jolene had taken over care for these strangers as
a good samaritan.
barest hint of a smile crossed Mike's face as he remembered a
saying he had once read. ::I lift mine
eyes unto these hills, from whence
cometh my help.::
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 06:18:35 -0700 (PDT)
"Jeff Seltun" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Loose Ends
Marco Lopez looked up
the moment the child had been taken by
a secondary engine crew to the triage evacuation site. "Cap,
marked these oxygen cylinders as empty with a fire search crayon.
Where should I leave them
for support pickup?"
Captain Stanley only briefly looked up at him. "By the road, there's
county oxygen supply truck running back and forth through town
and they're exchanging them for new
every fifteen minutes."
Lopez nodded, setting the two that had been used on Timmy and
with a clang down onto the cracked ground. "Who's that with
Chet and Mike?" he asked, rubbing sweat
and grime from his nose.
Stanley shrugged. "A girl who says she's an out of state EMT named
Lopez frowned, "What's an EMT? Didn't know they have any of whatever
those are, in our day and
"As far as I know, they don't. It probably means emergency mobile transport
or some such.
Or....maybe it's offshoots of Brackett's paramedic
program branching out throughout the rest of the
country or something that
we haven't yet been made aware of, but that's a moot point. She's not certified
to treat in California, so she says, with whatever her credentials are.
But I'm sure glad someone
who knows something medical's with Kelly and
Stoker. They're still a bit emotionally winged. Go check
on them and get a
feel for their statuses. Roy says he'll be set to check them out in a few minutes.
It'll be at least ten minutes or so before we're pulled out of here to go into the
Captain Stanely ordered.
Marco jogged over to his stationmates. "Jolene?
My name's Marco."
The dusty, plaid shirted blue jeaned girl looked up from where she was digging
in her camper's knapsack. "Oh, you must be one of these two's crewmates." She
read Marco's stencilled
name on his turnout. "Mr. Lopez, I got some salve here for
Chet's stings. Could you put some on?
He's agreed to it. I know better than to practice
out of jurisdiction so you can just wipe those
suspicions right out of yer mind and be at ease. I only want to help. Even if only through the tiny
legal ways I still can use. Is a
paramedic coming soon to check em out?"
"Yeah, Roy is. He's
getting set to come over here after he speaks with a policeman
about the treatment he and Johnny Gage
gave a little boy without parental consent."
Jolene set out six water bottles and the rest of
her blankets. She handed the tube
of anesthetic salve to Marco so he would use it in her place. "Who's
and before Marco could answer, she figured it out. "Ah,..his partner. Makes sense now."
Marco noticed the out of state EMS i.d. she had set out next to her feet on the dirt
the PD scene patrollers from ousting her and to keep others from
considering her a walking wounded
who was unattended. "Where were you when
that hill came down?"
"From my house, I saw the mountain
pop loose." she said.
"At least four homes in that area are destroyed or seriously damaged. Including
She lowered her head as she watched Marco apply the salve to the worst of Chet's
She cracked both Kelly and Stoker some water bottles and made them drink.
"A lot of kids were on
my street, too, because the schools were closed for PTA meetings."
"Can you tell me what you've
seen with all the debris? The reports from L.A. aren't
covering that part of it."
Stoker sighed, shook himself, and started paying better attention to what
was happening around him
as he drained the whole bottle of water in his hand.
Then he concentrated on getting Chet to drink
something, including bathing his
face with some of its icy chill and a towel from Jolene's survival
The dusty young woman went on with her account. "The slide is about forty feet high.
was very scary. It looked like that it wasn't going to stop. It looked like liquid dirt.
But it didn't
surprise me too much. This south facing beach has gotten over twelve
inches of rain over the course
of last night."
"That explains the fog hanging over the area even during these late afternoon
"I saw broken bones with the crews that are working and a lot of injuries,
but only one
fatality. I've been the one directing folks to come over to your squad and engine."
"We'll, we're bringing in all sorts of heavy equipment now. So we are making
Cap, nearby, started giving orders out to the arriving fire stations that had been
to them. ##Assess the area, Engine 236. Make sure the site is secure
so none of our rescuers are
in danger. Truck 127, stand by foam in case of fuel
leaks from the roadside oil pumping stations north
of town. Engine 18,
grab chainsaws, and axes. Try to locate any potential trap victims.## he
into his HT.
Jolene nodded with satisfaction at the alacrity with which Cap was delegating tasks.
He reminded her of a Battalion Chief she knew very well in Texas. "Marco, it's bad.
I found two people.
I got one young girl out. Firecrews just extricated the other one."
Marco startled and looked
around for folks headed into their direction.
Jolene touched his arm. "It's all right. They were
on the other side of the slide.
They'll be getting to the triage station from the opposite side away
she went on. "I could hear the voices. I climbed up on top of the rubble and the mud.
two other guys came in and were helping me. She was buried. Very buried."
"Did she make it?" Marco
asked as he finished putting the pain killing ointment on
the worst of Chet Kelly's ant bites. Then
he pulled Chet's shirt and turnout back on,
leaving one of his arms bare for a future BP cuff.
"She made it. They got her out." the young first aider woman said, biting her lip.
"I have another
theory about why this happened. It's not the first time you know.
Cutting a road seriously undermined
the stability of the slope's mass and contributed
to the slide. You can just see it there at the
head of the scarp. There's been a long
history of problems in this area. Some even blame the one
rancher up there for
planting all those avocado and lemon trees and how he irrigates them."
Stoker suddenly shook himself and pulled his HT out of his pocket.
"Engine 51 to HT 51 Command." he
Jolene and Marco looked at him with close attention while he twirled the stem of
in his hand as he waited for a reply from Captain Stanley.
##Go ahead, Stoker.##
put me to work. It'll do a lot to ground me even faster. I can't just sit here."
Mike said non regulation.
There was a pause on the other end of the frequency. ##10-4, HT 51. Report to me
at the west intersection
in one. Grab a shovel.##
Stoker smiled then, giving Chet's shoulder a caring squeeze and he let
out a quavering
sigh as he still struggled with the stress of victim loss as he stood. "Tell Chet
find a live one for him." he said to Jolene and Marco.
"We will." grinned Jolene, wiping
some filthy hair away from her eyes.
Stoker jogged off into the direction of the sunny, fogged
shrouded, Ward LaFrance for
tools. He waved as he left at Roy, who was coming from the opposite direction
attend Chet with a drug box and vitals kit, to show the paramedic that he was fine.
did a double take back at Stoker as he knelt by Kelly to begin a vitals set.
"I thought he was still
pole axed mentally." he grinned.
"He was, but he got over it." mumbled a sleepy Chet. "Never underestimate
power. He's still got one in his hand."
Roy glanced down in a frown at Kelly. "What's
he talking about?" and he started to
examine Chet's eyes with a pen light for signs of abnormal reactions
from the ant venom.
"Nothing that's a fantasy. Your man used the weeds growing in front of him
to focus on for
a while until he worked things through enough to shake himself out of it." answered
"Fair enough. Thanks,...Miss..." Roy dug for a name.
"Jolene. Jolene Morphew.." she replied. "His breathing rate's twenty and even. I've|
tabs on it."
Roy's eyes glanced down at the strange cert card lying on top of the knapsack,
he didn't inquire further. "I take it Stoker cleared himself."
"Yep. And Cap went along with it."
Marco supplied the rest of some vital signs.
"His pulse's still 120 and rapid, but he's cooling off.
He's had some of this water
to drink and the red rash on his chest isn't getting any larger."
Roy nodded. "Thank heavens for small miracles." he said, taking a quick blood pressure
Chet's blanket bared arm. "....Well,..." he sighed. "You're not doing too bad after
being ant bait,
Chester B. Kelly. It's 100/68. How do you feel now with this salve on?"
"I still feel like a pin
cushion. Those things were biting and stinging at the same time,
Roy. From both ends!"
well. They're gone and it'll cheer ya to know that they don't leave behind any
stingers like bumblebees
or yellow jackets do."
"Oh, wonderful..." moaned Chet. "They save em for later to get the next
Don't think I like that idea very much."
"I don't think the state does either, Mr.
Kelly. That's probably why they're still spreading
into California from Texas.." said Jolene. "No
one can get near enough to some
of the larger fire ant colonies to exterminate them with chemicals."
"How's the kid? I saw you two working on him." coughed Chet.
Roy smiled openly for the first
time in hours. "He's gonna make it. He was almost
one hundred percent stable when we loaded him up."
"Good.." said Chet, too quickly. "That's--that's very good news.*cough*"
Roy got out his stethoscope
and checked out Chet's lungs, listening for any
signs of fluid buildup. "Shhh, and let me listen..
Take three deep breaths, Chet.
I want to know why you're coughing." The four of them fell silent as
the quick chest
exam was conducted.Then Roy looked up. "You tight in here at all?" DeSoto asked,
gesturing to his own chest.
"A little. But it's not bad. Just slightly itchy. I think it's
from all this dust." Kelly replied.
"Yeah, well. Let's be safe better than sorry. Get set, Chet.
The new standing protocols
of Early's requires that I give an IM of epi to anyone with the slightest
Chet started to anse. "Oh, man.. Roy, you know I hate shots."
"You'd hate getting intubated even more if I don't nip this light edema of yours
in the butt right
now. You're not reacting, but you might a few hours later on when
more of this venom leaves the fat
under your skin for your blood stream. Let's
stop your mild reaction process before it decides to
roller coaster on us, ok?"
DeSoto said, holding the unsheathed needle and syringe behind his back
Chet couldn't see it. "I promise it'll hurt less than one of those ant bites
did on ya earlier."
"Ok, get it over with. All I want is a hard cot out of the sun in a personnel recovery
somewhere to sleep it off. I'm groggy." said Kelly.
Roy said. "Now that's just the emotional part
of things working on ya. Your BP's doing
fine for getting partially eaten alive by hundreds of insects."
he quipped. "It'll come
up faster if you drink that whole water bottle. Then I won't have to start
an I.V. on ya."
"Not a second needle?! No way, man. I'm not getting another one." And with that,
Chet lifted up his previously barely sipped water bottle and started chugging away.
went on with her tale of how it happened. " The news choppers were all set on
hover over my house
and they weren't going away. I thought, how annoying. So I
called the police department to complain...'Why
in the devil are there all these
helicopters over my house?' I asked."
'La Conchita Canyon's
had a major landslide. 20 homes wiped out. We're evacuating
the canyon. Turn on your TV.' they said.
'Which channel?' I asked.
'All of them.' said the sargeant. Yikes....I no sooner flicked on the TV
set when the
rest of the hill came down on me." she said, brushing more dirt off of her shirt
Roy glanced at her. "You sure you're not hurt?"
"Positive. Save your skills
for someone else." Jolene answered. "I know
how triage works in California and how scarce the medics
are around here today.
I've only seen three squads responded to our location."
my squad from 51's, squad 45 and squad 18. The others must all
be busy elsewhere in the city." DeSoto
said rubbing his chin as he gave
Chet his .3 mgs of epinephrine.
"Owww.." said Chet.|
"You'll live. Now let Jolene get you to the road and to the rest and recovery
Stay near a nurse for the next two hours in case you go into rebound, ok?"
Roy packed up his drug box and BP cuff set once more. He got up and started
jogging after Johnny,
who was headed towards Cap to get their next victim to treat.
"Take it easy, Chet. Thanks, Jolene,
for watching my friends." He uptook Cap's
jacket, which had been cast aside for one of Jolene's camping
blankets, to give
back to him.
"Anytime. Be careful out there." she said, helping Chet get
up off the ground.
She slung an arm of his over her shorter shoulders and slowly, they got up
head for the road. A police car quickly stopped to give them a lift to the
first aid tents and budding
incident command center.
Dixie McCall turned to Kel the moment the child had been stabilized.
"What's got you, Kel? You're
acting like you've got ants in the pants."
she chided. "You nearly bit Roy's head off when he said
he didn't have
an oximeter or resp count for you yet."
"Gee, Dix.." he replied sharply. "I'm
surprised you even have to ask me
that. Let's see... I've got three paramedic teams out there with
slide victims and none of them has a working biophone between them.
They're in a canyon
shadow, remember? This kid call came to me through
an emergency HT patch through the county fire department
Now what happens if they have to treat simultaneous victims when we can
to one case at a time through the intercom patching system?"
Dixie didn't even blink. "Then aren't
you glad Joe started updating all of
them on the new off radio protocols last week? The only station
gotten to on that, for final testing, is 51's. But you've no cause to fret about
or Johnny's ability because they are just too d*mned good at what they
do to screw up."
hope." said Brackett, rubbing a headachy head. "Who knows what
happened with that drug overdose. I
haven't heard any ambulance
dispatcher call her in, as arriving here."
Dixie fell silent. "Maybe
she didn't make it for some cack odd reason. They
are in a danger zone."
"Maybe. But I hate
not knowing." he replied.
"Join the club. I'm sure they feel the same way searching for all those
victims. Be glad you aren't one of them, digging out." McCall sniffed.
"Sorry, Dix. You
know I hate disaster calls."
"I think everyone does." she said, accepting the apology. "But I'm
sense of helplessness even as we speak.." she admitted.
"How?" asked Brackett.
"I told Joe Early about the landslide way before Squad 18 got their call to
respond. I'm sure
he's now riding along with them."
"Dixie, you're beautiful!" celebrated Kel. "He can cover any
treatment territory from the triage station on a walkie!"
"And you,...can finally
stop chewing up your nurses. See ya.." she said,
heading for the coffee lounge down the hall before
himself further by hugging her in public.
Brackett sat down heavily onto
Dixie's vacated desk chair in profound relief
and chuckled ruefully.
From: "Cassidy Meyers"
Date: Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:59 pm
Subject: Basement Depths
Captain Stanley watched Roy and Johnny run up the hill to
where he was standing along the line
of fire engines working
the landslide. He directed them to task instead of to another
call. "Roy, Johnny.. Stoker's working on the third
house down there. Searchers thought they heard
underneath it. But watch yourselves, there's still some mass
wasting coming from the cliff
like scarp at the head of the slump
from unconsolidated sediment. Note this, you've got people from
the town's local fire department helping you out so you don't have
to go get tools. They're on channel
seven. I'll have a link open
to them and to you. Stoker's got one of our K-12's and three air bottles
in case of a fire."
"How's Chet, Roy?" Hank asked as they walked by.
"He's fine. He had some light rhonci which cleared up right away
with only one injection. I sent him
to the R & R part of the triage
station." DeSoto replied.
"Good going. Thanks for the update."
Cap nodded, his helmet strap
swaying in the breeze. Then he turned back to Battalion One to plan
broader rescue efforts.
Overhead, the newscast crews buzzed the canyon site with their helicopters
relentless. But they didn't interfere with the landing zone set up by
the school for patient evacuations.
In fact, the pilots from the televisions
stations often gave out condition reports to the incoming
Gage and DeSoto got to work. They met up with Stoker right away.
got?!" Johnny shouted over the din of the working
Mike Stoker didn't stop spliting
the main beam he was slicing through.
"Witnesses said they saw a man dive in between a couple of cars
the slide came down. I've found the two cars inside this house. I'm cutting
down into a crawl
space to see if the victim's still there where he took
"Have you heard any signs?"
"Not me. But these guys from La Conchita did." and he nodded at the two
volunteer fire department
men rapidly digging off jumbles of mud and a pile
of splintered wood from under Mike's spinning blade.
"He's down there." said one of them.
A creaking sagging sound of stressed roofing made all
the men duck as the
cockeyed slanted floor and ceiling of the house started moving again
Roy spoke again as he took up a pike and started rolling large timbers out
of the way with his
feet. "Are you sure we're on stable ground?"
"As stable as it gets. The USGS said this spot's
ok. Any settling will just
be damaged house support beams giving way to gravity. The worst is over
the landslide's energy was spent in the first couple of seconds."
"Until the next one.." said his partner ominiously. "This slide only took|
five years to build up
after the last one."
"Then why do they build here?" asked Johnny.
"For the money. The climate
and the natural springs in La Conchita are just
too good to pass up. But I'll agree, it's stupid that
they don't see the old
slide zones as well as we can. I've been at city hall for years trying them
rebuilding in this arroyo because of the slide risk. Now, this happens and it's gonna
when I have to tell em, I told ya so.. yet again." said the local fireman.
"It sure will.." echoed
"What were you doing in the area? We didn't hear 51 get called out from the
said the first fireman who was helping Roy push away massive
cracked timbers from the house's garage
"We were transporting a drug case by ambulance, taking a short cut. Then the
us as we were going through town to avoid some traffic we didn't know was
related to the slide here."
"Oh my G*d. We saw that boulder in the road. Anyone get hurt from that?"
directly. Our victim died on us when some fire ants ravaged her, a
crewmate, and our ambulance attendants,
after we got out of there."Johnny said tightly,
grunting as he dug in with his shovel into the disturbed
dirt sucking around his
"I'm so sorry. Those d*mned things came with the home builders.
Came on a load of
southern state lumber according to one teacher in the school who's been studying
them. Are your buddies ok?"
"Yeah, no one was allergic. And everyone else effected will get
::I hope.:: he thought privately.
Joe Early came over 51's HTs. ##Squads 51, 18 and
45. I'm on scene and will
be open for any medical traffic should you encounter a situation warranting
treatment decisions. Use your walkies normally. I have been given three to cover each
"HT 51 to La Conchita Base, 10-4, doc.." smiled Gage as he heard the other
of paramedics acknowledge Dr. Early at the same time over the airwaves.
"We've got a live one working,
but he's still out of our reach. Stand by.." he
##Standing by, 51.## replied Joe.
Johnny pushed down his HT's antennae and he stuffed it into a side pocket.
Roy gave a shout. "I
think I see something! Mike, hold off on the K-12 a
second. I wanna hear for a bit.."
snuffed the power to an idle and set it down.
"Hey!!" Roy shouted into a deep hole that seemed
to be in the basement of
the foundation jilted house. His feet rested on the roof of one of the two
cars that had been described by witnesses. And the bumper of the second
was just visible through the
pile of red dirt that Johnny was sifting
through. "Fire Department! Can you hear me? Shout if you
can!" he ordered.
A muffled moan to Roy's left sounded, from underneath the still buried car.
"He's alive.." DeSoto said with a tight expression. "But he's under there."
he said pointing to
the still buried second car with his lit flashlight.
Gage coughed. "What I'm trying to figure
out is how these cars...
got into the basement."
One of the La Conchita men replied. "Easy,
the house rolled on top of
them from the cliff top upslope. This is actually the streetside curb
us. See?" and he pointed to a yellow fire hydrant that was
oddly jilted against a pool table that
was still standing upright next to
them. "I just hope nobody was home when it did."
Johnny agreed wholeheartedly. " Uggmmhhf! I can't get to him.
Looks like all of us are going to have
to crawl down into the basement to
get to him. Let me get my belt on. Roy, tell Incident Command where
we're headed. I'm sure Cap's gonna wanna know that we're going
into a slide hole."
did. He's coming himself to help us out. Battalion Two has
taken over for him." Roy replied.
Stoker, Cap, Roy, Johnny, and Marco were completely covered
in darkness inside the destroyed basement.
Only a tiny hole showed
the way back to the top of the landslide's edge. Johnny began to take
when he smelled neither natural gas nor blood or bowel material
in the shattered room. "La Conchita.."
he said into his radio.
##51, go.## said the two firemen watching the climbing ropes which had
carried station 51 down into the angled house.
"Looks like we won't need our air bottles nor the mast suit. Just a stokes!"|
on the way down.##
Roy crawled under the first car and had to drag himself from bumper to
in order to reach the moaning man they all heard clearly now
under the second. He was grateful that
all eight tires on the cars hadn't
been blown by flying slide debris. "Hey,.. how are you doing?" DeSoto
asked as he peeled off a glove to feel for the semi conscious man's carotid.
"I thought I .. had
found myself a really...good safe ...spot." he panted.
"You did. A house fell on ya and you're
not a pancake on the pavement."
quipped Johnny from above. "Can you tell us what hurts on ya?"
"My head...and...my knee. The left one. I think I blacked out for a couple
of seconds." said the trapped
"Can you move at all? Is anything pinning you down?"
"I can move. Just too dizzy to."
he gasped. "Afraid to move.."
"You don't have to. We'll do all the work getting you outta here."
Roy. "Just try to relax.." he said sweeping his hands over the man's back
and sides and
limbs, looking for wet spots or deformities. "No fractures or
major bleeders, Johnny."
How's his neck?" Gage asked.
Roy felt along it. "What's your name? Can you tell me that?"
"Martin.." said the man. "And it's Tuesday around six o'clock. Look mister,
I'm not that bad. Just
got a headache. My neck's fine, just get me outta
here. I gotta find out where my brother is..."
The rescuers fell silent.
Captain Stanley spoke up from where he crouched under the low
of the broken house's floor boards. "Where was he when the
"At the school....He
always goes to play on the swingsets on vacation days."
Everyone let out the breaths they were
Hank smiled. "Martin. Everything's fine. The school wasn't hit at all.
In fact, I
wouldn't be surprised if your brother's running around all the
fire engines parked there. That's where
we have set up our triage
Martin sighed as he let Roy check his eyes out with
a penlight. "That's a
DeSoto grinned. "Well, it looks like you aren't hurt too bad.
strong and both your pupils are reacting normally."
"Thought I was just bumped
and bruised. Can I try and get off my stomach
"Wait until I get this lifebelt around
ya.." said Roy. "Then we'll get you
pulled out of there."
Gage motioned in the
dim space. "Stoker.. go ahead and start cutting. If we
get this fender off right here. I think we
can get Martin out sideways instead
of making him crawl the same way Roy did getting to him."
"Martin, I'm gonna give you some oxygen to help push away some of
that dizziness you're feeling. Ok.
Just breathe this in normally." Roy
said as he pressed a passive demand valve over the dusty man's
nose and mouth so he could get its full benefit.
Martin closed his eyes gratefully.
Stoker and Hank got to work on splitting the car open just behind the front|
had pulled the chassis away when the rest of the house came down
unexpectedly, sending the two firefighters
from La Conchita spilling into
the hole after the 51 gang and it motion sprawled them spreadeagle
top of the two cars. Dirt and debris rained down, covering everyone like
sand into the bottom
chamber of an hourglass.
Gage's panicky voice rang out through the main emergency channel on HT.
##Emergency! Cave-in at 51's location. We need an immediate emergency
resp---## Then it choked off.
Dirt completely filled the basement and started to bury
all the firefighters as the house collapsed
like a falling house
Two minutes later.. firemen came in a barely controlled panic
when none of
their hails were answered by 51 or La Conchita on any band.
They started digging
at the ruins of the house's front porch as fast as they
From: "patti keiper" <email@example.com>
Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:23 pm
Subject: In Certain Terms...
The glow of the setting sun, twinkling
off ocean waves, now
glinted off the large brown gash that marred the verdant hillside
The whole gang of 51's sat up in a row on the grass of the
school yard, on a curb,
getting treated for suffocation effects.
Each one wore a high flow oxygen mask and were getting medically
treated by the remaining members of La Conchita's fire department.
Joe Early was working down
the line listening to each fireman's
chest in turn for any developing problems.
was still coughing occasionally, so he was the
first to get his blood pressure taken by a rescue worker.
He pulled his mask to the side as he spit out a wad of dirt
from his mouth. "Roy, tell me again how
we all managed
to get out of there. I still can't believe it..."
"Stoker dove under the pool
table and found a firewood storage
bin under the stairs. He opened it up and we all piled in, jammed
together like sardines. Guess we ran outta air soon after. I only
remember waking up here a few
minutes before you did."
Gage held his arm still while a first aider took his blood pressure.
"Thanks, Stoker.. I owe you another one...." coughed Johnny.
"Pay me back by cooking dinner tonight.
Then we'll be even."
sighed Stoker from where he sat a little farther down the street
his own oxygen supply.
"Awww, man.." sighed Gage. "Not KP again. You asked for that when you
me out of that factory fire last week."
"I stick with what works, Gage. I'm that kind of guy."
Stoker said, peering over
around Cap and Roy, to peg Johnny with an ironic glare.
to smile for his caregiver and hide some residual shaking.
"What's it at?"
up.." she replied.
"Thanks." he told her. Then he raised his voice again. "Hey, hey, hey.
seven out of seven not in bad shock. What a track record. Say, Cap.
Wouldn't you say that La Conchita's
got a faster rescue response time than
we do? They dug down to us in two hours flat, and through
rock debris, too."
"They're fast enough, or we wouldn't all be breathing so good right now."
They all watched as a sleeping Martin was closely attended by firemen
set to fly out to Rampart. Joe Early had long ago treated him
and stabilized his oxygen levels enough
for an aerial transport.
The helicopter bearing him away had become a dot in the darkening sky|
when they all turned their
heads at some jaunty whistling that somehow didn't
seem out of place. It was Chet Kelly, bearing a
box full of ice cold bottled water
and some sandwiches. "I love the Red Cross. Ran into Jolene again
got me these. There's enough for everybody here. Eat up.."
Gage went with that completely.
"Yeah, eat up guys, I promise I'll cook tomorrow
night. That okay with you, Stoker? I'm kinda tired
"Fine with me, Just make sure dinner isn't pizza again like that last time. That
cheating." Mike replied.
The others laughed, looking comical behind their oxygen masks.
paused when he reached Johnny, who was the only one who had
had an I.V. started. "So you didn't wake
up fast enough for them, huh?"
"Guess I didn't. My NS I.V.'s still running wide open. But gimme
just as thirsty as the rest of em." he complained.
Chet grinned, playing keep
away for a few times until relenting and finally giving
Johnny his allotment of food and water. "Got
a joke for ya'all that I've been thinking
"Oh, yeah? What's that?" smiled Roy from
where he was getting a small head
Chet lined himself up so everyone, including
the two La Conchita firemen who
were caught inside the collapsing house with his own station's men,
hear him. "Why is hating fire ants considered a genetic trait?"
No one knew the answer.
Kelly delivered his line. "Because they often run in people's jeans. That's why."
he said smacking
his own pair that he had changed into once he was recorded
officially as a code I casualty off duty.
All the sitting firemen groaned, startling their caregivers for a moment until
realized that nothing was actually wrong with them.
Cap sighed under his oxygen mask and toyed
with his still actively broadcasting
HT. His eyes wandered over to the sunlit slope nearby that showed
of backward rotated trees that had been going on for years. "I wonder if they've
that..." he said pointing them out to the others.
"We have.." replied one of the injured La Conchita
men. "That's plot 76-A in
the teacher's log, who's been studying the mountain. He's been my main
supporter whenever we start crying wolf about landslide conditions cropping up again,
in city hall
meetings. Seems the obvious in front of their noses still means nothing to
the mayor and his board
of directors." he said, wincing as a worker splinted his
sprained ankle carefully.
don't think anybody can ignore that, this time around.." said Hank, tossing
his helmetless head up
at the gouged hillside above the town.
"Not this time.." said the passionate fireman. "It's just
a shame that so many people
had to die before something constructive gets done. You can count on me
the house builders in a few months so they don't make the same mistake a third
"Maybe instead of saying I told ya so to them.. you should just sit back and wait
to see what
they do on their own this time.." Stoker suggested.
The La Conchita fireman laughed. "I'm nice,
but I'm not that nice. They need
their butts kicked so no more people will die. Isn't that strange
everybody's gets selective hearing whenever someone starts talking
"Ahh, now that's the 'what ifs' factor working..." Cap chuckled. "We encounter
all the time working with our brand of bureaucrats about earthquake risks
in L.A. Only we don't have
just a isolated hillside to think about. We have miles long
faultlines,.. and some of them are cutting
right through the heart of downtown."
"I read that. Isn't the La Brea Tarpits bubbling up from
"Yep." said Roy. "Seems the smell isn't enough of a warning sign. And they
built a museum
situated there right alongside the tar lake."
Chet chuckled. "Now isn't that the craziest idea
you've ever heard?"
"Nope." said Gage with a wry smile. "Building at all in California's the craziest."
He started ticking off negative points on his scraped up fingers.
"We got too little water for the
population, we burn up every fall with all the brush
fires because we let things overgrow too much,
and we let ourselves *cough*
suffocate under our wonderfully orange traffic caused smog cap because
of perpetual desert/seabreeze inversions that we know we can't do anything
to eleviate. Now that's
"Speaking of ideas. I've been thinking..." Kelly went on.
"Uh, oh. Here it comes.."
Marco said taking another breath from his oxygen
"No, hear me out. This is good, guys.
Remember the contest the chief sorta
ordered us to enter this morning?"
"Yeah.." Roy replied
for the rest of them.
"Well, I tinkered a bit in the first aid tent and came up with something
I think will revolutionize at least one of your older paramedic protocols.
I brought it along
with me. It's right here."
At this, Gage started paying attention and stopped chewing his food.
Chet Kelly reached under himself and pulled out what looked like
a low metal stool with an opening
square of bars between the support
legs in front. He picked it up and headed for the gurney that Roy
and Johnny were sitting on. "Roy, get up for a sec. Johnny, lie down
on the bed on your back. Here,
I'll string your I.V. up on the pole."
"What are you up to?"
"Just something I thought
about, thinking about Diane Hart." Chet replied.
"I had hours to do that you know, while they poked
and prodded at me."
That quieted the others respectfully. By then, everyone knew the name
the drug overdose fatality that squad 51 had run unsuccessfully due
to horrifying circumstances.
Johnny lay down and Chet set the modified stool over Johnny's stomach,
Then he climbed up and sat
down. Its foot stands were completely on the gurney.
Then he reached down through the square gap and
flicked opened Johnny's shirt,
"Hold still Gage, I'm using you as a demo." Chet framed his hands into
position on Johnny's sternum. "See this? I'm gonna call it a CPR jack. Sitting
like this makes me part of the gurney so I'll bounce at the same time
any arrest victim does in a
moving ambulance no matter how bumpy the road
becomes. Compressions will stay even constantly. Can
you picture it?
You guys won't ever have to give sh*tty CPR again en route. This special seat
mine will smooth that right out." And with that, Kelly got down off the stretcher,
lifted his invention
off the gurney and he helped Gage sit up again and he helped
him swing his legs over the side and
back onto the ground. He gave a jaunty
little bow as the others slowly started clapping in utterly
Captain Stanley took off his O2 mask, pulling it around his neck. "You know, I|
think this idea just
might win McConnike's contest, gang.." he said, getting
excited. He startled when a rescuer first
aider suddenly hurried to his side
to put it back on again, chiding him for taking it off when her
back was turned.
"It might at that.." smiled Roy. "It sure would be nice if we had no inspections
for an entire year."
Johnny was so incredulous, that he forgot to cough. "We're gonna win."
"We sure are.." said Chet. "I was inspired by Diane directly, guys.
I'll even call this the Hart
CPR jack in her honor, man, on the official papers.
It's the least I can do. And when it goes to market,
I'll make sure to set it up
so her family gets all the profits instead of me."
"What a guy.."
said Stoker. "That's so cool. Wish I had thought of this."
said the station's CPR expert, examining
all the solder marks Chet had
made to it.
"In certain terms, I thought of it for all of us,
guys. And I'm dedicating
it to everyone who's died here today." Kelly whispered.
Station 51 and La Conchita's crew raised an impromptu toast with
their cracked bottles of water and
soon, all of them said their prayers and humble
thoughts of consolation for the La Conchita and firefighter
dead, to the arriving
night wind which was blowing up softly from the beach below them.
Episode Twenty Two- In Certain Terms
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