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All That Glitters
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      Page Two

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From: "patti keiper" <>
Date: Wed Mar 29, 2006  10:01 am
Subject: The Fudge Factor..

"Rampart, we've a male, approximately 25-30 years of age weighing
150 pounds. Unconscious and unresponsive to pain. Multiple trauma's
apparent. He's got a head injury of nonspecific origin with a laceration
on his chin, a possible pelvic fracture, also involving his left femur directly.
He has an open left tib/fib with circulation. Uh, there are also positive signs
of spinal cord insult originating below the waist. He has non-essential tremors
evident in both lower extremities. Vitals signs are :
BP is 74 systolic. Pulse rate's 140 and weak. Respirations are 22 on fifteen
liters of O2. Pupils are reactive but sluggish on the right. Our victim has
been helmet and long board immobilized, Rampart. And that's affirmative,
we have him placed in a PASG par your standing orders." said Roy over the
roar of racing bikers and the crowd's cheering.

##51, you've anticipated my next question. Go ahead and inflate the abdominal
and right leg chambers one at a time, starting with the pelvic compartment first.
We need to get that BP up now in spite of the risks. Start two large bore I.V.s
of Ringer's Lactate in both arms and send me a strip. Also, draw a red top
for a type and cross if you can.## said Brackett.

"10-4, Rampart. This will be lead 2." said Roy twisting a dial inside the comm
box so the hospital started receiving what they were seeing on the scope.
Then he abandoned the phone. "Johnny, would you start pumping up the
suit here? We'll do his stomach first before that uninjured leg. Go slowly.
I'll monitor his BP while you're doing it. We can't go higher than 90 with
that possible head injury.   Are you able to find a vein on him?"

"Not yet." said Johnny, searching swiftly for one with temporarily tied off
tourniquets. "He's getting too shocky in his arms and I think his jugulars have
already started collapsing. I couldn't find them well enough for a good stick."

"Go IO on his right leg then. We'll leave worrying about trying something new
before it's officially become official for later. You ok with doing that?"
Roy asked him, making sure that he had definite eye contact with Gage.

"Like we have any other choice. He'll die without getting I.V. fluids." Gage
scoffed, working fast. Soon, he had a set of running lines into the man's tibia
just below his right knee. "How's his pressure doing now? I got these patent
using sixteen gauges." he said, securing the flowing lines with double the tape
to hold them still. He hung both large bags off the side of a stack of hay bales.

Roy looked up from the sphyg dial and pulled off his stethoscope. "It's 84/50.
Let's hold off on inflating that right leg. We can't do that side now because
we've got those I.V.s there."

"And we can't put on a Hare traction splint either on the left because
of that pelvis break. Ok. I'll monitor his respirations get him suctioned out
a little more." A few seconds later, Johnny spoke aloud to Roy when his guilt
was highest. "Roy, I might as well give Brackett a head's up on what we did
that deviated." Gage sighed. He reached for the phone his partner handed to
him. "Rampart, Squad 51."

##Go ahead, Johnny.##

"His pressure's in a climb, but only into the eighties with very poor extremity
perfusion even with the MAST's abdominal cavity inflated. We had no choice
but to go intraosseus, doc."

##That was jumping the gun a bit on protocols but I'll cover for your actions.
You both were more than right for going that route. He's in no shape to follow
the usual run of the mill standards.## Kel said bruskly. ##Did you get both the
lines in?##

"That's affirmative, doc. And both are on full flow."

##Support his respirations as necessary and get him in here by air.##

"10-4. Uh, we're not in a location suitable enough to call for a chopper. We're
in a large crowd." Johnny told him."Our ETA is at least fifteen minutes by land."

Johnny heard Brackett let out a huge frustrated sigh.
##Do what you can to keep him stabilized, 51. I'll have a surgical ward
open and waiting upon your arrival. Bring him directly there.##

"We're on our way, Rampart." Johnny said.


They were loading up the Mayfair they had summoned when the track
official ran up to them again. "Guys, don't go yet. A report about a couple
of kids colliding on their bikes has just been called in to the main booth."

"More motorcrossers?" asked Johnny.

"No, this time it's two children on the side lines. A camera man told me
that one of them is still lying down on the ground, not moving."

Roy let out his breath. "Johnny, use your HT and I'll relay to Rampart about what
you find as long as I can while we're still within range of each other. I've got him."
DeSoto said, pulling out what drugs he thought he might use if the racer suddenly
lost a pulse. "I'll take out just some crash doses."

"Keep the defibrillator, too." said Johnny. "I'll call for another squad if I have to.
I'll use the track's ambulance as my backup for an extra pairs of hands." he added
as he took back the drug and trauma boxes.

"All right. I'm set. Good luck with them." he teased about the civilian ambulance
crew.  Gage made a face as his partner closed the rig's doors. Johnny delivered
two loud 'I'm locked up.' signal smacks against the door so the driver in front knew
that Roy was now ready for departure.

Image of johnseesmayfairgo.jpg Image of gagelookupsquadrearoutside.jpg

He didn't even watch as the Mayfair sped away with screaming sirens for he had
turned all of his attention to the track official. "Here. Put this on and get in." Gage
said, handing off Roy's sun warmed helmet to the fretful man as he put the
gear boxes back into their side storage racks.

"What? I'm riding with you in there?" blubbered the man about the squad.

"Yes. Because you're the only one of the two of us who knows where we're going.
Would you just hurry a little and buckle up? Kids go sour real fast, mister."
Johnny urged him, jogging to the driver's side door.

Soon, they were on their way and off the main track. But in seconds, they found
themselves surrounded by the thickest of the milling crowds and they were forced
to slow way down.

Johnny was relentless and leaned on the horn and whooped the siren at times
to get their attention. "Don't people know we're responding to a medical
emergency?!" he said slamming his hands down onto the steering wheel as they
were stalled by a crush of bodies yet again.

"I suppose they do, but they're too distracted to pay any attention." said the
track man. "Wait, I have an idea that might work. " He pulled out his private
band walkie talkie and asked for concessions.

"What are you doing?" Johnny asked in exasperation.

"Shh." said the man apologetically. "Gimme a sec, ok? This'll work.
Hiya, Stu? We need a Pabst truck asap to the western concourse. We're
bone dry. Would you get on it? Ok, thanks." and he shoved down his
antennae on his radio. "Problem solved."

"No, it's not.." insisted an agitated Gage.

"Sure it is.. Look."

A huge semitruck dripping refrigerator fog through an open rear door
slowly lumbered to a position in front of them. Painted in a broad image
across its side in advertisement, was a case of dew dripping beer bottles.
All the truck driver had to do was tap his horn once and the crowd parted
like the Red Sea before Moses.

Gage began to smile. "Heh. Guess it is. I'm right on his tail." he said,
putting the squad into drive once more.

"Yep. You got the idea all right. People will always listen to their stomachs.
I'm surprised you didn't know that being a paramedic and all." he said
in amazement.

Johnny just laughed.

Image of johnnydriveswitnessinsquad.jpg Image of anhydtruck.jpg

Two minutes later, they found the accident site. Bikes were the mechanism
involved only they weren't the motorized kind. One bike was pink and the other was
green and both had foot pedals. "Oh, I see now. The kids were trying to emulate
the big guys by making their own track and jumps?"

"You got it. Right here in between all the campers.." sighed the official.

Gage hurried out of the cab with his HT and the 02 apparatus and
went to the side of a small African American boy still entangled in the handle
bars of his fallen bike."Hey, son. You doing ok? Can you hear me?"

The boy started to move where he lay on his back. "...Yeah.. Ow..
I wanna get up. I'm ok I tell you."

"Don't move yet." Gage said, holding a hand against his chest. "Let me
check you out first to see how hurt you are."

"Who are you?"

"I'm a paramedic. My name's Johnny. What's yours?"

"Keenan." groaned the boy.

"Is this your boy, ma'am?" Johnny asked, finding the woman who most looked
like his new victim.

"Yes, he is."

"Did he lose consciousness at all when this happened?"

"I don't think so. He just said he hit a jump wrong and landed on another girl
and her bike. He walked back here to tell me that and then he just sort
of fell over again and the bike came with him." said the mother.

"It did? Uh, Ok. And where is this second girl?" Gage asked,
plying for more details.

"Right over there." offered the boy's mother.

Johnny turned about on his squatted toes. Then he spotted his
other victim. "I'll be right back, Keenan, ok? Just lay still for a minute
more. Falls like this can get tricky. They can come back and bite you."
he told the boy with a nod. "Are you dizzy?"

"No. Never was."

"Just so you know, I AM gonna take another look." he said firmly.  
"Only I can clear you of everything so don't hide the slightest
thing from me when I get back. I'll be able to tell."

Keenan just sighed where he was still stretched out in the dirt.
"At least, get this bike off me, it's getting heavy."

Image of royjohnnytreatkiddownbike.jpg Image of motorcrossgirlcrash.jpg

Johnny set it up and applied its kickstand.

Gage hurried over to the little girl. Two first aiders from the track
were already attending her where she sat stunned on the ground.
"Is she all right?" he asked them.

"I don't think it's anything we can't handle, sir." said one of them.

"That boy's mom over there said that he just landed on her with his bike."
Gage told them. "That kind of force might have done quite a bit of
damage to her internally even though her consciousness level seems
ok so far. The only way to tell is for me to get a vitals set on her.
Is it all right if I take a look at her first before you bring her and
her parents to the first aid station?"

"Sure, don't you outrank us or something?" smiled one of the men.

"Guess I do, I never thought of it quite in that way before." he grinned.
Gage looked the blonde girl over carefully. But the only thing she was
complaining about was a bumped chin and a couple of scraped up palms.
"Stick around, would ya. I'm gonna go take a vitals set on the first boy
and then I'll be back to get hers."

The ambulance men and parents were amenable so they waited, the
first aiders giving a status update to their department heads sitting in
the announcer's booth.

Johnny returned to the boy's side. "How are you feeling now?"

"All right. Is it ok to move anything yet? This sun's getting too bright for
my eyes." complained the boy.

The track official took off his fire helmet and used its shadow
to block off the sun over the child's face.

"Thanks." sighed the boy as Johnny put away his penlight
after a pupillary exam.

"Do you hurt anywhere down here?" Johnny asked, feeling the long bones
in the boy's arms, and legs. He took a pulse at his wrist and found it
to be normal. "Can you feel me touching your feet?"

"Uh huh."

"Ok, move them for me. Just a little."

The boy's reactions came quickly and he didn't seem to be in any pain.

"How about your hands and arms? Can you move them as well?"


"How's your neck and back? Did you hurt them at all?"

"Nope. Just my pride.." groaned the boy. "Just gimme some ice! That's
all I need! I keep telling you guys that I'm fine. Why aren't people
listening to me?"

The other bike girl piped up. "Because we're just kids, duh. Don't be stupid."
she grumbled. "Look what you did. My hands are all messed up!"

"I didn't do nothin!" said the boy, sitting up. "It was your fault you
didn't follow my right of way rights. I can't help it if you were dumb
enough to ride past an active jump."

"Hey, hey, hey. now. Just settle down, the both of ya." Johnny
shouted. "The important thing isn't trying to figure out who was right
and who was wrong here. The most important thing is about seeing who's
hurt and who's not, ok? So how are ya?" he asked the boy, grabbing his
shoulder to get his glaring attention back.

"I keep telling ya. I'm fine. I just didn't get up again because everybody
kept telling me not to so I wouldn't get paralyzed or something worse."
the boy said angrily.

The track official just shrugged self consciously. "Uh, I did make that
kind of announcement to all my employees on wide band while
you were treating the first injury.. Sorry."

"Don't be sorry. You did right by doing that. It's always better to play
things safer. I'm just trying to make sure things are really ok and all.
Son, is it just your butt?" Gage asked, whispering so the still angry
little girl wouldn't overhear.

"Yeah. And yes, I can still firehose ok, too. Don't have to find out
about whether or not I can do things the other way because I already did."
the boy complained, reddening in fury.

Image of oxygengearbikekidsceneangrymom.jpg Image of motorcrossgirlcrashclose.jpg

A rising waft of wind shared that fact with Johnny right then, clearly. The
paramedic bent low, placing a hand over the boy's shoulders.
"I would have been scared sh*tless, too, if I saw I where I was going to
crash. Don't feel bad about it." he whispered again, trying not to chuckle
at the boy's embarrassment.

"Have you ever--?"

"Of course. And it happened when I was much older than you are right now."
said Johnny animatedly. "I think I was twelve."

"What happened?"

Johnny admitted. "I wiped out waterskiing in a reservoir. Gimme
your arm. I've got to take a blood pressure reading. Then one of
these fussy men over here will get you that icepack donut you want
so bad."

"They'd better. I'll use it after mom gets me another pair of Under Roos
and jeans. But I don't know where I can change into them. We aren't camping

"Tell you what. I'll hold up a fire tarp around ya so you can do that." Johnny
promised. Then he got his reading. "100 overrrrr......72..." he announced.

"Is that good?"

"Yep. Let me go get your friend checked out and I'll help you with your changing."

"She's not my friend! These were my favorite pair of jeans!"

"I'll buy you a new pair, dear." soothed Keenan's mom.

"That won't be the same. It never is." whined Keenan, getting gingerly to
his feet. He limped away behind a camper to shake some poo out of
his pants leg.

Gage sighed. "Uh, ma'am.. This man will get you that tarp from my squad's
compartment. Sir," he addressed the track official. "It's in the second from the
last compartment on the passenger's side at the top, folded up. I'll be right
over here with her for a couple of minutes if you find you need me." he said,
pointing to the little girl.

"We'll be ok. Keenan's very independent for his age." said his mother.

"Yes, ma'am, I'm sure he is." he smiled. "He's nicer than most seven year
olds. Very level headed."

Johnny went to check out his second bike crash child in detail.

She had ended up with just what he figured; a bruised chin, two road rashed
palms, a slightly bitten tongue, and a huge steaming shorts load ...
just like Keenan's.

Johnny thought only the best as he was packing up, his paramedic's
perspective putting the healthiest slant on things. ::Ah, but that's a good
sign in these two. I'll take a fudged child victim's embarrassment over their
being totally silent, any day of week.::

From: "Cassidy Meyers" <>
Date: Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:37pm
Subject: Hoisted By His Own Petard..

Johnny wandered through the ER entrance at the hospital,
looking for Roy. He found him standing in the hallway, talking
to Dr. Early.

"How's he doing?" Gage asked them both, already knowing what
the subject of conversation was about.

"He's in surgery with Dr. Rhodes to handle a lacerated hepatic vein
that they found on one of his radiographs. It was a life threat." Dr.
Early replied, waving hello.

"What happened with that?" Johnny wanted to know.

"He developed marked rigidity in all quadrants soon after arrival, and
his packed cell volume, after a four quadrant abdominocentesis test, started
far exceeding his peripheral packed cell volume counts. That told us that it
was very likely that he had either a splenic, hepatic or renal parenchymal
laceration with hemorrhaging. Rhodes and Brackett found a liver rupture
with a lot of frank bleeding just a couple of minutes ago."

"Which the mast suit slowed down." Johnny added.

"And what your aggressive through-a-bone I.V. fluids push offset. Nice job."
Joe smiled. "Kel told me about that move before he left for the operating

"How about that paraplegia we found on him?" Gage asked, diving in
a little deeper.

Joe looked down at his hands apologetically. "It's too soon to know
how he'll pull through on that evaluation. But he's got an abnormal
Babinski's only on the left side."

Roy nodded. "Then there's a chance that the cord in his lumbar spine
wasn't completed severed."

"That's right. It may just be bruised with some swelling going on. You both
sound pretty relieved. What happened out there with him? Was it a
bad extrication?"

Johnny shook his head. "No. He got a little too much help from bystanders."
Gage said seriously. "He was moved around off some haybales before we
got there in time to stop them." he said, looking away uncomfortably.

"Oh, that's too bad. I'm sorry to hear that. But listen, he's has absolutely
every chance still going for him. Those leg fractures weren't anything
a few pins can't handle. He's almost guaranteed to survive now that
all his internal hemorrhaging's being stopped."

"Yeah, but will he want to later, doc, if he stays permanently paralyzed
in that same leg? That's the burning question now, isn't it?" Johnny sighed.

Joe conmiserated with Gage. "Yes, he got a bum deal, but there's
always hope for anybody in his kind of case." Then Dr. Early licked his
lips thoughtfully. "You want me to poke around in a few days to find how
he turned out so I can tell you guys later?"

DeSoto looked surprised, it was almost a breach of confidentiality on Joe's
part. Almost. Roy opened his mouth once or twice, but then he said. "Uh, no
thanks. It would only get us both down in a bad way if we found out that his
spinal outcome wasn't anything but rosy."

Beside him, Johnny agreed with his partner a nod. "See you later, doc.
Thanks for offering."

"Sure. No problem. See you later, fellas." Dr. Early waved and he
started walking away.

"Bye." they both said. They gathered up their medical gear that
was still resting on the countertop of Dixie's desk to carry it outside.
Another nurse there briefly smiled a greeting at them.

Johnny stopped in his tracks. "I wonder where Dixie is?"

"It's Sunday, her day off." Roy answered. "She'll be back at

"Oh, that's right." Johnny said, snapping his fingers."I forgot that again?"

"You forget a lot of things." Roy told him to his face.

Johnny ignored him, and set down a coffee mug that he had
filled from the standing base station pot. He had it polished off
in seconds.

DeSoto shook off a depressed air. "So, how did your kids run go?"

"A couple of skinned knees and palms,.. among other things. Nothing big."
Johnny sniffed, taking a finishing sip of water from the drinking fountain.

"I take it neither of them transported because I never heard anything
over the radio from you." Roy said.

"You'd be right. Although I did almost have a full blown riot between
those two on my hands." Gage smirked.

"Why? It was a bike accident. What would two kids fight about over
that kind of of situation?"

"A favorite pair of jeans." Johnny leaned into him meaningfully.

"Oh. I got it." Roy said, immediately understanding that idea. "The boy's, huh?"


"Now that WOULD be a matter of pride. The love of a good pair of jeans
comes first they always say." Roy chuckled as they put away their equipment
out in the parking lot.

Image of earlyroyhallfar.jpg Image of gagemoperamparterentrancebysquad.jpg

"Yeah, and then it's the love of a good car a few years later." Johnny grinned

"That much is true. But what about the love of a first special crush in between
them right in the middle?" Roy said, getting into the new topic happily.

"Some guys aren't lucky enough to hit that stage, Roy. I have to admit
that I was one of them." Gage admitted, smiling.

"Really? Us guys figured you grew up being a natural born lady killer.
But then we all thought that you must have lost it somewhere along the
line soon after you hit puberty." Roy grinned.

"Very funny. Nah, I think my problem striking out with the opposite sex stems
from wanting to deal with the opposite sex so bad in the first place. Once I figure
out how to uncondition myself out of being so overeager about falling in love
with one of them, I think I'll be able to manage them just fine."  Johnny said

"I'm afraid that that's the heart of the problem right there, Johnny. You can't
manage women. They'll always insist on managing themselves."
Roy said, grabbing the microphone off the squad's ConvertaCom.

"I know. I know.. I was...speaking hypothetically. I meant 'charm' not 'manage'. I
just picked the wrong word and ...misspoke myself.." Johnny said empathetically.

"I sure hope you did, or you'll be in for years more of sheer disappointment."
DeSoto shared. "You almost ....have to get married first order to
understand women a little better." he teased.

"Well that sure makes a whole heck of a lot of sense now, doesn't it?"
Gage scoffed sarcastically, getting frustrated.

That only made Roy's grin larger.

DeSoto thumbed the mic. "L.A., this is Squad 51. We're available."

##Squad 51. At 13:33.## came Headquarters' reply.


Roy and Johnny sailed into the day room, whistling. Most of their
troubles had already been forgotten. Gage tried to sneak in with
two grocery bags full of something but the smell gave him away.

"Whew.. what's that stench? Is that garlic? I know it's not mustard gas.."
Cap complained.

"Would you just ...Shhh! Or Chet'll hear you. I'm trying to play another joke
on him."

"It won't work. Try putting those garlic strings outside until you're ready
for them. Or he'll smell em for--" Hank broke off when Kelly entered the kitchen,
still brushing his teeth after the nap he had enjoyed.

Chet didn't bat an eye. "Oh, cooking lunch again? Smells good. I'll expect
my plateful soon. After all, we can't have me fainting dead away a second time.
Thanks, Gage. That was real nice of you." and he walked right back out
of the room.

The others started chuckling as soon as he was gone.

Marco spoke up, "So, what are you gonna do, Johnny? Not cook
anything? He'll know a vampire gig's up for sure then."

"How'd you know about that? Roy, did you tell em' about my coming prank?"
Gage said, poking a finger into DeSoto's chest.

"How could I? I was riding in the squad with you for the past two hours."
Roy fired right back.

Stoker spoke up. "You know, it doesn't take a genius to guess that Chet's
blood loss incident would set you into teasing him about blood suckers
in general. I say you just wasted your money on all that garlic for nothing."
he said, with a glint in his eye. "That is, if you're going to cook with it."

"Not you, too." Gage pegged at Stoker.

"Hey..." said Mike. "I didn't start anything. I was merely offering a simple
observation based off of Chet's reaction just now." he smiled, holding up
innocent hands in a surrender.

"So,.. what's it gonna be, Gage? Are you going to blow the joke or start grilling
all of us some hamburgers?" Cap said,rubbing his hands together hungrily.
"I'm always hungry these days." he grinned at him.

Image of capmarcolaugh.jpg Image of garlicbags.jpg Image of gagestunnedfrig.jpg

Johnny shot him a dirty look just before the tones went off..

##Station 51. Station 10. Structure fire. 90210 South Beach.
Cross street, Fruitland Park Drive. 90210 South Beach. Cross
street, Fruitland Part Drive. Time out : 13:57.##

Cap got on the acknowledgement instantly, leaving Gage to
throw his two awkward grocery bags full of garlic strings back
into the refrigerator by himself.  "Station 51, 10-4. KMG 365."

Kelly was already miles ahead of them all, sitting in his seat in
the Ward engine, looking like a king.

Johnny could see that he was already in full turnout, and wearing a
Cheshire's smile to match.

Roy, next to him, started laughing. "That was brilliant. Sheer
brillance. He got you good that time."

"Oh, for pete's sake. Why don't you just shut up and drive already?"
Johnny said sourly.

Roy did. Still grinning like a banshee, he flicked the squad's lights
and sirens on as they left the garage.

They were off and running, headed north.

From: Jeff Seltun <>
Date: Wed Mar 29, 2006  9:33 pm
Subject: Turnabout is Fair Play

The house, when they arrived, was going to be completely

Cap let Stoker pull the engine flanking the exposure
that was upwind in the best way possible. "Ok, pull her up
here." he said to the engineer.

He stepped away from the truck and met with Captain
Stone, filling in from eight's for Station 10. "What do we

"Single story structure. Most likely electrical. Nobody's
inside according to the neighbors." said Ben.

"All right. Where do you want us?" Hank asked.

"How about attacking from the south. There's a grove of
trees back there that won't take too kindly on being
showered with downwind sparks." he said, pointing
into the sun.

"What about cleanup?" Cap wondered.

"I've got two of my men already cooling the roof to get it
ready for axe hole ventilations. Should be safe to go up
there in a few to finish up."

"Ok, we'll get right on it. Any surprises on property?"

"Just an old car in the garage and a couple of gas cans.
Those must have blown up before we got here. The garage's
practically skeletal. This must have burned a long time before
somebody even bothered to call it in."

Cap nodded and he started to turn away to start work.

"And Hank?"


"All the utilities are turned off."


Cap began issuing orders as soon as he returned within earshot
of his men. "Stoker.. South side. Lay two inch and a halves for
the trees. 10's crew will set up and charge the hoses. The rest
of you, poles and axes with your tanks on, and enter inside
only when it's entirely clear. Is that understood?"

The gang nodded and jogged off. But Kelly was stopped with a gloved
grip to the shoulder. "Not you. You're still too blood poor for anything
fire related. Stay and help Stoker man the panels."

"But Cap.." Chet protested. "This is an easy fire. It won't hurt me at all
if I just--"

"But Cap, nothing. You broke the rules this morning, so you don't get to
play with the rest of the boys. And that's the end of it." Hank told him.
"Now get going and unscrew that hydrant over there for our wye-line
so we can feed Engine 10 all the water she needs."

Kelly sighed, hung his head and finally went along with the order. He
didn't do it gracefully and grumbled about it the whole way across the

Hank couldn't help but smile to himself. ::Ah, one day he'll learn.:: he
thought. ::It's my job to fuss and keep my crew safe. Especially when
they've acted stupid like he did before coming to work.::

Ten minutes later, the fire was out in the garage and the house
was mostly extinguished but still festering in places, fanned by the
moderate winds blowing down from the surrounding canyon.

Two of ten's men were working around the chimney with anchor ropes
while they chopped holes in the shingles to let out dissipating smoke.
Suddenly, there was a cry when one of them fell through a soft spot.

Both fire captains whirled towards the sound and Stone cracked out
orders over his HT. "Get some men up there with a ladder and
all the ropes you can spare. We'll go in after him via the roof.
The front entrance's too unstable and involved to enter through
that way.."

Cap touched Roy on the shoulder. "Go help them. They don't
have their rescue squad here yet. They may need a paramedic."

DeSoto put on his air mask and quickly joined the effort to rescue
the fallen man.

A voice suddenly burst through all the scene chatter. ##HT 10 to
Engine 10. I....think I'm all right... I...  It's just my shoulder.##

Image of capnstone.jpg Image of rooffall.jpg Image of fireroof.jpg

Stone spoke into his radio instantly. "Where are you?"

##I think I'm in the attic.. I've sunlight on me.##

Stone motioned the others on the roof to move to the attic
windows to see if they could see the trapped fireman.

"He's over here!" shouted a grunt to the east. "Towards this end.
He must have crawled over there to get away from the fire."

Roy asked. "Can he reach us through this hole?" pointing to his
venting square still actively spilling out smoke past
their boots.

"No. It's a vaulted ceiling!" replied 10's newest man in fear.

"All right. We'll wait for the ladder and winch. It's coming up
right now. " Roy said. "Just calm down. It's ok. He's conscious
and not in any immediate danger down there. Just relax
a little. Last thing we need is for you to get yourself into a
rough spot for not thinking straight." he said, setting a glove
on the man's tank. "Move your left foot. You're on a weak spot."

"I am?" And he jerked it off. "Right. Gotta relax.. Ok. Thanks, 51."
The rookie jiggled his head, still breathing hard through his mask,
worried for his crewmate. "I'll try to pull it together fast..Really, I will."

"I know." smiled Roy through his steaming faceplate. "It sucks
when it's one of your own crewmates who gets injured. You'll find
a way to tone down your reactions whenever it happens eventually.
Don't worry so much about it. It just takes time." said Roy, overseeing
operations down in the hole.

The kid firefighter nodded again, slowing his breathing rate
by a concerted effort, even more, but his face was still pale.

He smiled for the first time when he heard the sound of his
station's squad arriving on scene from whereever they had

Then it happened.

An overhot water heater blew in the house, sending shrapnel
and debris out every window.

A piece of ejected wood hit Kelly on the back of the neck,
when he wasn't looking, just under the helmet, and he went down.

"Hey! Johnny! Chet's down!" Cap shouted from his place in
the yard.

"What happened?!"

"Debris hit him in the back of the head!" Stone added.

"I got him.." Gage said, peeling off his scba gear.

Squad 10 had seen Chet fall and they skidded to a halt right
next to him along the curb. They began snatching out all
their gear.

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Johnny rolled Chet onto his back, while supporting his head
and neck in a line. He bent down low to check for breathing and
he found it. "He was knocked out." he told the arriving paramedics.

"We know. We saw him drop right after that plank hit him."
said one of them.


On the roof, Roy was distracted by the incident on the ground
and almost stepped off the edge of the roof. He felt a strong
hand grab him by the arm as it hauled him back safely on top.

The rookie next to him grinned. "Like you told me. It really
sucks when a Code I's one of yours." he grinned.

"Yeah.. Thanks." DeSoto said. And then he didn't look Chet's
way again.

Ten's man was almost free. His hurt shoulder had been bound and he
was already waist belted for the trip up the pit ladder.


Johnny started acting strangely. "Just leave your gear out for me.
I can handle him from here."

"Not by yourself, man. No one can long board anybody without help.
Besides, we're grateful that your partner's up there helping get
one of OUR guys out." said paramedic Mahoney. "I'll just sweep
him for you and--" he broke off when he got Chet's shirt unbuttoned.
He gaped. "What are these?" he asked, pointing to the EKG pads
that were already in place on Kelly's chest.

"Uh,..combination pads?" Johnny offered lamely.

"Now I know you didn't have time to put some of ours on because
our defibrillator case is still latched shut."

Johnny dug for a reply. Finally, he said the first thing that came to mind.
"Uh,.. Chet here. You see, he's the kind of guy who likes to be prepared
for any contingency..heh.." he shrugged unconvincingly. "He's sort of a
Craig Brice type if you know what I mean."

Mahoney cocked his head, vaguely disturbed. "He patches himself
every morning just in case he gets hurt later on? That's a little
weird...don't you think?"

Mahoney's partner, slipping an oral airway into Chet's mouth, started
chuckling under his breath as he got Kelly on some oxygen and into a

Gage turned five shades of red. "Not really.. I..."

"And how do you explain these?" Mahoney glared, stabbing a finger down
at the bruised needle marks Chet still had on both of his arms.

Johnny qualmed. Last thing he wanted was Cap getting in trouble for letting
a man work the same day after giving blood. It was a potentially serious
fire department policy violation for him. "Chet. He.. volunteered to be stuck
today. Just for practice."

"Uh, huh.."said the no bones Mahoney in a tell-me-another-one-I-don't-know
tone of voice.

"Our station doesn't have a manikin that can do that yet." Gage concluded

"You won't mind if I draw a little blood for the hospital to check, do you?"

That got Johnny mad. ::Chet's not an addict!:: his mind raged."Go right ahead.
He's as clean as they come, man." he said mildly on the outside.

"Ok. I think I will.." and his eyes narrowed at Gage as he felt for Chet's carotid in
a quality check without looking down. "I trust you. We're both paramedics
after all, right? But that doesn't mean I trust him." said Mahoney, throwing a look
down at the comatosed Chet. "Can you get a set of vital signs for us while we
sweep the rest of his body for other injuries?"

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"Sure thing. I'll get right on it.." Gage said through lax lips. ::Cap.
You owe me one. Big time. :: he thought, thinking of Hank. ::Perhaps even
a very large favor. Like cancelling a practical joke wagering war. Yeah,
that'll do just fine. Thanks, Chet, for getting beaned on today of all days.
Because soon, nobody will be smiling bigger than I'll be smiling when
you find out that all the joke bets are permanently off.::

Roy came by, helping the wounded man walk, with another fireman,
to 51's rescue squad's rear bumper. "How's he doing?"

"Fine. But he won't be feeling so hot later on tonight." Johnny grinned.
"It sure won't be because of a splitting headache I can tell you."

Roy's eyebrows rose. "This oughta be good. Tell me later." he
said moving away with his patient.

"Oh, I will. Believe me. You'll be the first one to know, Roy." Johnny

Mahoney and his partner were so bugged by Johnny's behavior
that both of them almost hit their heads on their engine's ladder for not
looking when they stood up to flag down the Mayfair and both captains
to offer up a status report.

From: Patti or Jeff or Cassidy <>
Date: Thu Mar 30, 2006  2:26 pm
Subject: Let The River Run...

Johnny Gage got excited from moment one after he arrived and
found himself overlooking the tawny banks of the aquamarine
colored Kern River. ::Gold's under there. And soon, I'm going to
get to mine it out of the streambed myself with my own two hands.::

He had driven almost two hundred miles into the foothills where the
old 49'ers used to camp and mine with their mules, pans, pick axes
and shovels over a hundred years ago.

Jim Hanes, the rugged firefighter from Station 110 and his wife
Pamela, waved when they saw Johnny's rover pull up to their campsite.

One of their crew was taking a break from Jim's small underwater
gold mining operation and that had formed the basis of the invite Gage
had received from Jim to fill in for him, two weeks ago.

"Hiya, Johnny. How's business at 51's doing? Is she still the number
one station in the county for call volumes?" he laughed hugely.

"Not this month. 86's beat us out by eleven runs. But we'll catch em
again next month and probably stay there for the rest of the summer."
Gage said, shaking Jim's hand and then the hand of Pam, Jim's petite
wife. He was amazed at  how strong her grip was and he remarked about

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