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Page Two

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"Nine or ten years old, Rampart." Marco replied.

##Start two large bore lines of Lactated Ringers at 20 cc's per kg. Continue supporting
her respirations, supplementing with pure oxygen as soon as it becomes available.
Establish an ET when warranted. Obtain baseline vital signs, get an EKG reading and
add direct pressure to the wound site if the tourniquet still doesn't appear to be working
well enough for you. 51, fly her in, doctor's orders.## she said as Joe Early,
standing next to her, made twirling motions in the air while reading her notes.
##We'll have vascular and orthopedic surgeons waiting on arrival.##

"Ten four, Rampart. Two large bore of Ringers Lactate, treat for shock and transport
out by chopper. We'll re-establish communication with you once she's in the air."
Marco shared, still watching the firemen working above him.

##We're standing by.## Joe said.

Lopez dropped the biophone receiver into its box and jogged to the engine. He switched
on the loud speaker inside the Ward La France's cab. "Engine 51 to Squad 51. I've our
victim's med orders. Two large bore of LR at 20 and we've a go ahead for an ET if necessary.
I'll have her O2 waiting." he said using the roof megaphone speaker's boosted amplification.

He paused until Gage and Roy both looked up and nodded acquiescence.

Then Marco switched the hand mic's radio frequency to Cap's main HT channel. "Engine
51 to HT 51. Rampart wants an evac by chopper."

"Gotcha, pal!" Stanley shouted to him out loud from the other side of the ladder truck. Hank
immediately got off his portable's incident command channel tuned in to the bucket firemen
and shifted to L.A.'s main fire frequency in order to notify them of a change in their call from
ground to air support.

Roy and Johnny had Tasha safely intubated and on the ground by the time the second
paramedic squad arrived to take over her care and the rapid flight in to Rampart.  Unoccupied firemen assured a clear landing zone for Copter Two as she landed in the school's empty soccer field.

The medic grabbing the hanging bags of I.V. colloid from Roy's hand shouted something
over the growing 'thwap' of the helicopter's whirling blades as they approached the bird's
loading doors. "Got her name yet?"

"Yeah. Here's her parental consent from the principal's office." DeSoto said, pointing under
the head of the blood stained child's backboard. "First name's Tasha."

"O.K." waved the medic.

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His partner took over Gage's bag squeezed ventilations. He eyeballed the blood that was
drying on Gage's shirt and pants. "How much blood loss?" he asked.

Johnny shook his head marginally. "800 cc's. She's losing no more. Tourniquet on her
upper left arm needs releasing in three." he yelled holding up the same number of fingers.

"All right." he said, patting Johnny on the shoulder in acceptance. "We got her."

The two medics waved off Squad 51 as Ladder Nine firefighters helped load the child's
board and the new paramedics' rescue squad gear into the hot running, waiting helicopter.

When Copter Two was just a dot on the skyline, Johnny collapsed onto his butt to start a
serious resting period in an attempt to cool himself off. Roy plopped down right next to
him as they watched Engine 51 and Ladder 9 tidy up the scene and playground sand
before the police moved in with their cordoning tape perimeter barrier that would seal
off the area for future city investigators.


"That was quite a spectacle, gentlemen." said the principal, handing the two exhausted
paramedics paper cups full of ice water. "I'm just sorry this wasn't a harmless
demonstration like everything else you did today."

Gage and Roy nodded their thanks for the cold drinks. "That was definitely NOT by the
book." Gage grinned. "But,.. like you, I'm glad everything turned out okay." Johnny
smiled cordially.

"So am I." piped up Captain Stanley meaningfully. He hefted up Roy, Johnny and the little
girl's life belts significantly.

Johnny held up his hands in apology. "Won't happen again, Cap. I promise." he replied,
straight faced and serious. "That's one hot doggin' it experience I never, ..ever want to
live out again."

The principal chuckled. "Oh, yeah? Too bad. They sure enjoyed it." he said, pointing
over his shoulder with one of his thick thumbs.

Roy, Johnny and Cap glanced up and over in that direction.

From every playground facing window, all the firemen saw a jumble of excited, cheering
faces of school children who were celebrating what they had just witnessed first hand
in what they thought was simply another phase of their fire department demo day.

Chet Kelly accorded them a comical little bow, doffing his helmet with flair as he stooped to
acknowledge their accolade, making every one of the kids laugh out loud.

Still giggling tiredly, Johnny realized he was receiving a couple of smacks on the shoulder.
It was Roy. Gage turned around to look at him.

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"Come on." Roy said. "Let's get you cleaned up and into a new uniform before all those
kids get too close of a look at ya. Stoker's got a charged hose laid out with your name on it.
There are fresh uniforms in the squad. I put them there in case we got all smucked up for
some reason before we finally got here to give our presentation."

Painfully, Johnny got to his feet. "Heh. Well, I remembered to bring extras, too." he shared,
donning the jacket Cap hastily handed to him to cover up his bloody shirt. "The only thing
we'll have problems with now is figuring out whose is who's."


A couple of minutes later the frantic playground shaperone from earlier gathered up
both empty water cups from the two paramedic's grips. "Is Tasha going to be okay?"

Roy raised his eyebrows empathetically when he saw the woman's lower lip begin to
quiver with worry. "Yes. Most definitely. She only had that nasty gash and a couple
of broken fingers to reset." he reassured her. "Nothing that a month or two's time
spent in a cast won't fix."

"Oh, that's a relief. I thought she was going to die." admitted the young woman.

Gage regarded her with gentle amusement as he wrung out his hair under the
shower Mike was giving him as he peeked from around the corner of the engine.
"That was never in the cards, ma'am, all thanks to you. Your fast action, probably
saved her life." he told her gratefully, sputtering a little under the hose spray.

"Really? Oh, my gosh. That's - that's quite a surprise." the woman gushed.

"Oh? How so?" asked Roy.

The woman wrung her hands self consciously. "Well, you see, I've never taken
a first aid course in a formal setting my whole life. All I've ever learned is just
from watching you firemen from time to time when you come to school here and
give the kids all your paramedic demonstrations." she admitted. "I guess some of
that know-how must have rubbed off a little."

"I guess." said the out-of-sight Johnny happily, realizing that his previously boring day
teaching children fire-lore hadn't proved to be as useless as he had thought. "That's

"REAL cool, ma'am." added Chet. "Cap, I'll go put the real gear away to buy us time
until the fellas get all gussed up again so they can go back inside to salvage the fake
stuff." Kelly offered.

"Okay, Chet. I'll put us available in ten." said Hank.

"Well, see you all next year." said the playground assistant. "I'm going to go wash
up, too. I'm sticky in places I'd rather not think about too much."

"Want some disinfectant?" Marco offered. "We have peroxide bottles in the squad."

"No thanks. I've decided I'm going to go scrub every pore I have with plenty of
soap and hot water under a shower in the girl's locker room." she said, waving and
walking away.

"See you, ma'am. And thanks.." Roy shouted after her.

"No, thank you." she fired back, disappearing through a side access door.

The firemen paused, recounting their lucky stars.

Then Mike piped up.
"Better make it fifteen minutes until we're 10-8, Cap." said Stoker after a moment.
"Gage and DeSoto are liable to get mobbed by the kids again every step of the

"Is that a fact?" said Cap with an amused expression.  He caught the principal's firm
but sympathetic nod of agreement. "All right, how about... you, Kelly and Lopez go on
ahead. Go in and run a little interference for them in backup moral support.
There's gonna be no stopping along the way to answer questions from anybody once
you're in there." Cap chuckled.

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"Yeah, they've already been answered." said Gage, a little testily as he undressed
behind the shielding bulk of the engine, suddenly feeling the garbage ember seared hole
on the back of his soiled uniform shirt as the wind cooled down the water drying there.

"Don't worry. It'll be a piece of cake." said Chet, rubbing his hands together confidently.


"Piece of cake he says...." grumbled Gage. "The only piece of cake I want is the one I
didn't get because we got caught in a crowd of nosy kids anyway. Roy, see? We got
here too late for me to eat any." Johnny moaned at him.

DeSoto narrowed his eyes as he folded his elbows over his arms thoughtfully when he
saw the long vat uner the sweets sign full of nothing but ice and a few calcified dishes
of Jello. "Tell you what. I'll buy you an ice cream cone instead." he offered.

Johnny sighed and planted his face into both of his palms, propped up by his elbows.
"No, thanks." he sighed miserably.

"Hiya fellas!" greeted a warm silky voice brightly. It was Dixie, carrying a late lunch
snack from the buffet line.

"Hi, Dixie.." returned Roy, smiling in surprise.
"Oh....hi..." said Johnny without any enthusiasm.

Dixie sat down in between the two paramedics who were still parked in front of
their empty plates. "Geez. What's his problem?" she asked Roy, hooking a thumb at

"Nothing." Gage shrugged.

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"Uh huh.. And I got some swamp land for ya for sale in Florida." Dixie replied.

Roy sighed with a tolerant smile at their friend and head nurse.
"He saved a life today."

Dixie blinked. "Okay. So why isn't he happy about that?" she asked dryly
still gesturing a finger in Gage's direction.

Johnny made a face.

Roy elaborated and met her stare of disbelief. "He missed dessert doing it."
said DeSoto casting a hand over to the pie-less, well picked over dessert area.

Dixie didn't move visibly, but the corner of her mouth crooked up more than
just a little. Then she cocked her head at Johnny. "What did you miss getting
yourself, Johnny?" she asked.

Gage still looked stung. "Coconut cream pie." he growled at her. And Gage
was a little clueless as to why Dixie would even be asking the question.

"With extra nonpareil sprinkles." added DeSoto, grinning. He was catching on far
faster than his partner.

"I'll be right back." McCall winked at the two of them. She rose from their little
round table and disappeared through a swinging door attached to the hospital
cafeteria's kitchen room.

"Where's she going?" Johnny asked sharply.

Roy eyed him up, still smiling. Then he leaned forward to meet Gage eye to
eye in a close stare. He opened his mouth. "Doctors aren't the only miracle
workers around here."

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"Huh?" Gage blinked, totally confused as he took a sip of coffee.  His eyes lit up in
complete surprise when Dixie returned with not one, but two heaping slices of pie
on a freshly frosted platter. Johnny immediately snatched up his dinner fork.

Dixie held up an admonishing finger. "Ah, ah, ah..You know the rules. One dollar,
pre-paid for the cashier, out where she can see it, in advance." McCall ordered.

Gage slammed down his money so fast that the dishes on their blue plastic table
jumped up and rattled. "Wow, thanks, Dix." he said, eating hungrily. "How'd you
manage this? I'm.....almost speechless." Gage smiled crookedly.

Dixie chuckled. "Well... Do you know of my knack for getting apples out of that
touchy buttoned fruit machine in the nurse's lounge that has a tendency to always
deliver oranges down its dispensing chutes?"

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"Yeah, Joe tells us that whole sordid tale every time he finds himself stuck
with another orange." Roy answered her.

Dixie angled her head, still smug and highly pleased with herself. "I've learned my little
hip nudging trick works far better on live chefs than it does on cold heartless machinery."

"I'll bet."
"It sure did." the two paramedics said. And they laughed uproariously.

Johnny was licking the last of the coconut whipped cream off the back of his
nearly inhaled lunch fork when the tones went off on the portable squad radio
resting beside them.

##*Beep.*Beep.* Squad 51, what's your status?## asked L.A.

Roy replied while Johnny hastily threw out more dollar bills to pay for all three of their    
meals. "Squad 51, L.A. We're available." DeSoto replied back.

##10-4. Stand by for a response. *Beep.*Beep.*Beep.* Squad 51, with Engine 51. Gas
leak at a warehouse. 1711 North Emmett Drive. 1711 North Emmett Drive. Cross street,
Nass. Time out : 16:34.##

Gage snatched the radio out of Roy's hands eagerly.
"10-4. Uh, we're 10-8 from Rampart Hospital. Our E.T.A. is.." Johnny looked at his
watch and did a few calculations as he traced their route out on the mental map of the
county he held in his head. "...six minutes. KMG-365." he acknowledged.

Just a second later, they all heard a like echo when Captain Stanley copied the call and
began rolling out with his pumper crew.

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Roy and Johnny wiped their mouths with their napkins and rose from their seats quickly,
grabbing up the wire wrapped EKG monitor and oyxgen apparatus they had wheeled in to lunch with them. Johnny paused at the automatically opening door of the cafeteria leading back into the main hospital proper. He deftly balanced a gear box in each hand. "Say, Dixie!" Gage hollered out. "Did I tell you that I love ya?"

Dixie raised an eyebrow craftily over the rim of the teacup she was sipping in pure creature
comfort as she nursed the steaming beverage in between laced fingers."Over the resupplying
counter? Frequently!" she yelled back at him, bubbling in mirth. She waved them on and
away very firmly around her hysterical giggles. "I'll see you tomorrow, fellas. I'm going home
in a few minutes.."

"Lucky you." Roy replied.


Station 51 began racing to the scene from two different directions.


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From: "Pat or Cassidy or Jeff" <>
Date:   Thu Feb 8, 2007 1:22 pm
Subject: That Loving Doctor Speak

Roy looked at Johnny askance once they were on Wilshire
Boulevard and flowing through traffic that was scattering before
their lights and sirens. "Shall we take a bet on that?"

"Take a bet on what?" Johnny asked, lifting his chin from his palm
where it was propped up by the elbow on the open window
frame of the squad.

"On whether or not we get to this place in exactly six minutes." Desoto
said cheekily.

"No way. No bet, Roy. I'm not that stupid." Johnny said empathetically,
making a face and chuckling.

"Why not? Don't you trust your innate skills of arrival estimations?"

"I trust myself just fine, pally. I'm not betting because I just know...that
we aren't gonna get there on time." Gage explained as if it were the
most natural answer in the universe.

Roy's face folded in sheer puzzlement as he rounded his next turn. "You
know, Johnny, some days I think I've got you all figured out, and then along
comes something just like this that's puts another irritating twist on things."
DeSoto said with a little heat.

Gage let loose a tolerant exasperated sigh. "Roy, I'm not betting on
our E.T.A. because I don't trust my guessing. I'm not betting because
I know we're gonna get there ......earlier than six minutes." he finally
confessed to his flustered partner.

Roy blinked. Then his cherubic face opened into an incredulous smile.
"Huh. You're making yourself sound good for the radio logs."
he figured out. "You know, I know that you know that the engineer's exams
are coming up again..." he mentioned suspiciously.

Johnny's mouth flopped open in stunned surprise."I'm not going for a
promotion! Geez, Roy. Quit reading mountains out of mole hills. For
crying out loud, so I didn't take you up on a bet for once in my life, is that
such a bad thing? It's not the end of the world just because I did something
different today."

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"You never know." DeSoto said mysteriously, turning his attention back
onto the road. "It very well could be, knowing you."

The Converta-Com tuned in at their knees suddenly gave voice with a triple
beep. Squad 51 and Engine 51, cancel. Citizens' report of gas leak
is unfounded according to a local municipal facility who show and are
reporting all sensors as nominal. Units responding, return. ##

Roy threw out an indignant hand at the radio. "See? What do you call that
which just happened right there? I tell ya, things are changing already." DeSoto
said worriedly superstitious.

It was Johnny's turn to look at Roy oddly. "Is Chet rubbing off on you or
something? You're getting all worked up over absolutely nothing, Roy."
Then he immediately cut himself off with a chiding remark. "Geesh, now
I'm starting to sound a lot like you." he said throwing up his hands. He took
off his helmet and hung in on its hook behind his head with a bang.

"So parallels happen." Roy defended himself. "We do spend every working day,
awake or asleep, together. Maybe our copy catting cover is just another way to
cope with the stresses of our job." he said, his voice levelling off as he, too,
took off his helmet as he flicked off their lights and sirens and slowed to
normal cruising speed.

Johnny did an immediate about face, thinking thoughtfully. "You know, I've
never thought about it in quite that way before. Wow, you may be right. Maybe
we're taking after each other because that means we get along so well."

"Don't bet the rent on it." mumbled DeSoto under his breath, not smiling.

"Okay, okay. You win. I confess. I really wanted to take that bet with you on
our E.T.A. I just... well, I don't know WHAT I was doing exactly, I just..." Johnny's
voice trailed off. "...didn't wanna do it, that's all." he said softly.

Silent seconds spread like years inside the rescue squad. Then DeSoto opened
his mouth... "Awwww, Johnny. That was really nice of ya." said Roy, genuinely tickled
to death. "Wow, finally, there's a guy who actually decides not to take his best friend
to the cleaners when an opportunity presents itself. That's- that's..."

"Don't get all mushed up about it. I'm still feeling funny about this the way it is."
Gage told him sourly. "So shut up now while you still can." Johnny warned, holding
out both hands empathetically.

Roy buttoned lip immediately, grinning like a banshee as he gripped the steering
wheel. "So things are all right in the world after all.." he snuck in.

Gage glared at him. "Just...*Shhhh*" he hissed, shifting back to the window in an
attempt to ignore his other "half."

Roy moused down.

##*Beep.*Beep.*Beep.* Squad 51 with Engine 24. Possible heart attack...##

"Here we go..." said Johnny, grabbing out his notepad. "See? I didn't mess up
a single solitary thing." he said to his partner as the address droned on. Gage
flicked on their reds and siren with one of his green pens from where he sat.
"So, aren't you going to answer that?" he said, jerking a head at the radio.

Roy pursed his lips in irritation.
"I will... I will... Give me a little time to turn us around here first." he said defensively
while he eyeballed all of the suddenly startled-into-attention cars surrounding them.
He grabbed the radio mic and brought it to his lips. Looking down for a moment,
he toggled it.  "L.A., Squad 51 is responding.. KMG 36--"

"*Gasp...*"  came an involuntary noise.

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Roy heard the sudden intake of horrified breath from Johnny and got an instant chill
the second he looked up again. Color drained out of Roy's face at the same
terrifying sight and he froze then, finding himself unable to move his one free
hand that was still holding onto the wheel. He saw a flash of an image in his head.

A white, middle sized sedan was barrelling towards them... its brakes
and steering control inexplicably gone out, swerving into their lane.

Roy registered a brief glimpse of terrified eyes and what he thought was
the open, red gaping mouth of the other driver and the flash of silver finger
rings and earrings, when the impact came at forty miles an hour.


Squad 51's front end crumpled sickeningly, throwing Roy and Johnny into the
dashboard snugging along the windshield, despite the fact that they were both
belted in.

Blackness descended when both cars spun in their mutual dance of destruction
and eventually came to a halt along the side of the road under some trees.

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It was two minutes later when the first police squad car pulled up after receiving
a citizen's payphone call about an automobile accident.

Vince Howard and his lady partner of two years pulled up rapidly one hundred
feet ahead of the crash to allow a good safety margin. As he got out, Vince
had trouble registering the fact that one of the vehicles was somehow very
familiar, big, and red.

He shook himself back to the present when his partner gripped his arm near
the mangled rescue squad after she had spoken with a male bystander who
had stopped to help its passengers, for details.

"Looks like they were on a response when they hit that car. I'll call it in." she
said. Then she leaned into the folded up, steaming, windshield shattered
squad once more to speak with the male passer by who was with a forehead
bloody, weakily moaning Roy. "Keep holding that paramedic's head still, and
keep an eye out for any sign of fire. If you see smoke starting up, let me
know." she told the bystander. Then she turned back to Vince, gripping her
shoulder radio mic. "I put him on the oxygen I grabbed from our trunk. He's
saying that he can't catch his breath. The other one's not awake but he's
breathing normally. Can you see to the other car?"

"I can do that.." said Vince as his partner called for additional help over their
frequency. Shaking away numbness, he ran for the other car that had flipped
over and impacted a guard rail. Grimacing, Howard saw that there wasn't
much left of it. ::I hate Volvos...they fall apart like egg shells every time.:: he
thought. ::Okay..Just how many others are we going to have here?::

A hail from the violated rescue squad's fire department radio began calling
out their emergency to the closest engine crew seconds later. ::Engine 51?::
thought the patrolman. ::I'm glad it's them.:: he said as he began crawling
on gloves and shoes around the wreckage, trying to see inside the ruined
white car. ::Looks like one more. Someone in a red checkered shirt.:: He
reached inside, trying to feel for signs of life, but he couldn't reach far
enough. ::D*mn, there's too much debris in the way.:: Howard realized.
He rose and got to his feet. And his radio. "Dispatch, this is Sierra Bravo
Five. We've a total of three victims at this MVA, one inaccessible." he
reported, hearing his own voice in stereo as it echoed between shoulder
radioes. Then he got clear of the car and started directing traffic. "Please
notify Fire Department Headquarters that this accident involves one
of their own vehicles. Their B.C. needs to be informed. Also send two
additional squad cars for traffic control." Vince began to shiver unpleasantly
when he heard something else over his shoulder.

##Squad 51, this is L.A. Do you copy? Your previous outgoing transmission
was interrup---## Vince heard Squad 51's radio abruptly cut off as his partner
tore away the wires leading to its power source to end any sparking risk.

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Birdsong reigned after multiple squad cars first off blocked then redirected
curious onlookers away from the crash. Silence filled the air briefly...

Engine 51 approached from the east, going full out. Hank Stanley was
inwardly worked up to a fever pitch when he learned the news that their
collision call was involving his own rescue squad. He immediately heard
L.A. send out another one. ::Squad 24? Sh*t, they're still at least seven
minutes out.:: he worried. "Stoker, park it right here. Let us out.
Then run the Ward down the block with two inch and a half's. I'm smelling
gas. Kelly, charge his lines and then get on an immediate washdown.
Marco, check out Roy and Johnny. They can't be too bad, the people
around them aren't hurrying too much. I'll grab the car victim and see what
we've got. Mike as soon as you're free again, connect with Rampart and
let them know what we have as soon as we learn it. Salvage what gear you
can from the squad. Pop open all the compartment doors with tools
to get at it if you have to. We're gonna need everything they've got in there.
Set out what you save along the side of the road."

Hank heard his men accept their assignments with alacrity. Stanley
got on his HT to L.A. "L.A. Engine 51, we're on scene. Respond an additional
alarm. We've fuel spilling. Also roll out urban rescue. One of our two vehicles
is heavily damaged with the driver entrapped." he added when he saw Vince's
hand signal telling him of that fact.

As the fire engine's cab rolled to a halt, everybody got out and started running.
"Get into scba as soon as things are good and wet!" he told them.

Cap ran to the radiator steaming white car with a pry bar. He shouted to Howard
as he set his air bottle close by onto the ground. "Vince, move yourself and your
partner away a hundred feet! There's a gas smell blowing downwind of you coming
from this car."

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Vince replied. "There is?! Ok, must have just started." he gripped his microphone.
"Sally. Get yourself and that civilian well clear. We're done." Then he let it go.
"Hank, this one's bad. I can't even make out the driver clearly or get anywhere

"We'll handle it. Just keep yourselves safe." he ordered. "Thanks for what you've

"No problem." Howard said, walking away to push traffic back even further.

Stoker finished laying hose. He got on the pumper panel and quickly connected
up the flow they would need at top volume.

Cap crouched by the most intact passenger door and started work on it with
his crow bar. His handy talkie crackled. ##HT 51, this is Kelly. A g*d d*mn*d BMW
is parked in front of our f*ck*ng hydrant. Permission to smash through windows?##

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"Do it! We'll have the police write their citation later!" Cap grunted back at him
over the airwaves. Soon, he got the upside down car door open using sheer muscle.
He nearly fell when it finally gave way. Taking off his helmet to see better, Hank slid
into the seat to peer down at the body he could see crumpled along the floor
boards, lying face up. His heart just about stopped in his chest when he easily
recognized the woman. "Oh, my word.." he gasped. Quickly, peeling off his gloves,  
he dug several fingers into the inner groove of her neck. A weak coratid met him, and
faint sounds of wet gurgling. As he squirmed lower down, he radioed out. "HT 51, this
is Engine 51. I need airway help and I need it now."

##I'm coming with the O2 apparatus.## reported Stoker.

Hank quickly began a careful jaw thrust maneuver as he felt Chet start to lay down
a full fanning spray first over and then down and out in circles around him. "Kelly,
it's Dixie!" he shouted as he opened up her mouth with a couple of thumbs. He
ignored the spray of blood that suddenly misted up violently towards his face.

"What?!" Chet startled. "Ohmyg-- How's she d--"

Hank spoke quietly, firmly.
"She's alive, but in trouble. Just keep washing everything and everybody down,
fast as you can." he said, turning his head, trying to see the extent of her injuries.


"I've got her under control so far and Stoker's coming to help me. Your job is
to concentrate on what you're doing. When the other company gets here, they'll
pick up our other charged hose and they'll soon be joining you." Stanley said,
shifting his fingers' position slightly so McCall's fitful breaths came easier. "Keep
at it!" he ordered as her desperate gasping began to slow satisfactorily.

"Yes, sir.." Chet said, worried and serious. He redoubled his efforts.

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Back at the squad, Marco pulled DeSoto's oxygen mask away from
his mouth and shut off the tiny bottle the policewoman had laid at Roy's
feet when a fresh wave of gasoline stung his nose. He nodded approval
mentally when he saw that the radio had already been disconnected.
He felt Johnny's wrist, even as he laid a hand on Roy. "Hey.. can you guys
hear me? Roy?...Johnny?"

Gage began stirring and moving his legs. "Ohhh..." he said, opening
his eyes.

"Easy. You've both been in a wreck. Don't try to move yet." Lopez cautioned
as he pulled out his radio. He stepped back from the squad, until he no longer
smelled fuel, before he transmitted. "HT 51 to Engine 51. They're conscious. I've
got a gas leak over here, too. Once I check them over better, I'll wash this

Marco frowned when Cap's reply didn't come, only Stoker's. ##He copies.##
said the engineer. There was the hiss of active suctioning behind his voice.
## I'll let them know. Cap wants all O2 kept off until we get a chance to
snip both batteries under the hoods.##


All four of Station 51's firemen looked up when the sounds of approaching
sirens began to grow in the west. There were two sets of them, an engine's
and the hastily summoned second rescue squad's.The hurrying squad's voice
almost brought tears to Marco's eyes when he began to hear its sweet familarity.
::Come on, come on. Rush your butts!:: he thought at them.

Marco began sweeping down Roy and Johnny's arms and legs, looking for free
flowing blood past the cuts on their faces as he talked with them to learn how
out of it they really were. ::Neither are speaking yet.:: he realized. Lopez found
and wrapped an oozing deep gash on Roy's right calf with Coban elastic from
the engine's first aid kit to stop its heavy bleeding.

##Engine 99 and Squad 24 to Engine 51. We're one minute out. Urban rescue
reports their arrival in three minutes.## said 99's captain.

Hank Stanley nodded at Stoker to acknowledge them. When he was finished,
Cap spoke again. "Get her shirt off. My foot near her chest's getting wet with
something. She may be injured there."

"Is she responsive at all?"

"No." said Cap.

Stoker reached into the airways box he had brought and inserted an oral
airway Dixie's size around Cap's supporting hands. "Ok, this is in. She has no
gag. Let me check." he said, grabbing out a pair of shears. He began cutting
and feeling quickly. He stopped when he felt a return of moist air misting his
hand from a solitary ragged hole punched into her left side. "It's a pneumothorax.
There's only one. Sealing it off." he said, laying a firm palm over it and pressing

Cap let go of Dixie's head without moving it once he saw the airway was
doing its job ok. Then he, too, began grabbing for fast supplies. He tore off
the foil wrap on a petroleum pad. "Here. Use this instead. It'll work better."
said Stanley, passing it over.

Mike did and soon was freed up to go run for the biophone.

Stanley looked up at him as his engineer left the car.
"Pulse is 120,'ve already counted. I'm detecting no pulses
at her wrists or above the elbows." Hank hollered. "Looks like that initial
suctioning was all she needed."

"For now. Let me know what else she's got going on, Cap, as soon as you
can. I'll be on the curb." Mike told him.

"I will. I'm getting the rest of these off." he said, beginning on her
jeans. "Leave a shock sheet next to me."

"It's already there. And yes, I got all the medical gear, oxygen tanks and air
bottles out of, or off of, the squad. I left just the heavy equipment. Their two
stokes and all the backboards I tossed over onto the lawn."

"Okay, pal. Go update Rampart and Squad 24 with the statuses on our victims."

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