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The Quint Connection
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Page Two

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From: Roxy Dee <>
Date: Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:46 am
Subject: The Wave Of Change

Kel Brackett decided on a light Chardonnay and tuna fillet.

Salad was far from the menu choices of the gang who
ate typically firefighter with steak, heaping potatoes and...

"Brussel sprouts..." said Chet, resting the butts of his knife and
fork on the fine white dining cloth under his plate.

Gage made a face. "Brussel sprouts?!"

Kelly ignored him.

Roy answered on his behalf. "Sure. Why not? They're healthy."

Johnny kept right on eating his hamburger cordon bleu, looking
both chipmunk cheeked and incredulous. "But this is vacation."
he insisted. "Chet, you're supposed to be indulging yourself."

"According to Dr. Morton,..I AM." said Chet, glaring a little.
He had nothing else in front of him except black coffee and the
bowlful of tiny steaming cabbages.

Cap buried his mouth in his hand and spoke under his breath.
"Oh, no. Not the great crash diet again.." he murmured. ::He's
NOT gonna drag me into that whole deal again. Ever.:: he thought firmly.

No one heard him. Luckily.

Chet was amenable and not once did he enter his usual defensive
mode. "Johnny, look. I promise I'll order some key lime pie and a small
snack afterwards. Limes are low on polyunsaturated fats." he grinned

Now the others were making faces of distaste, too, as Chet shovelled in
a large spoonful of what looked like rabbit food.

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Dixie fought to keep from giggling as she set her heated brandy snifter
back down onto the table. She pegged Stoker with a stare. "So, Mike, am
I finally going to learn what you do for a hobby when you're off duty this
trip? Or is that going to remain one of the great mysteries of the ages." she

Stoker glanced up from the porterhouse that he was wolfing down in unrealized
haste out of force of habit. " Oh, is that all you wanted to know? All you had to
do was ask." he said straight faced. He went back to eating without replying for
several long seconds until a good natured grin bubbled to the surface underneath
Dixie's cool but half impatient scrutiny. "I invent things. But they never usually
amount to much when I finally do get done tinkering with them." he admitted.

"What kinds of things?" McCall said, nibbling on a breadstick over her plate full
of penne pasta, olive oil and basil.

"Anything that helps fight fires." he offered easily, stretching in his chair. "The chief
throws open invention contests every once in a while to see what we regular guys
come up with that might better the department in some way."

Marco sniggered. "Yeah, like Chet's human fly shoes." he laughed. "Aren't they the
trendy thing nowadays at the carnival's fun house with all the kids? I hear they
walk all over the rotating tunnel tube with them on while they're wearing whole
body safety pads and hockey helmets."

"Oh, oh..really?" Dixie said, not being able to come up with anything else to say
that wasn't going to sound impolite in some way.

Hank wiped his mouth on a napkin, and leaned forward proudly.
"They earn about fifteen dollars every week for the heart association charity
on behalf of Station 51."

"Aww, that's sweet, Kelly. I didn't know you had a charity streak a mile wide."
said Dixie thoughtful.

Kelly kept right on chewing, pointedly ignoring everybody. But then he
stopped, letting out a long, painful sigh. "Believe me, it wasn't intentional. I was
aiming along the same lines as Stoker was about coming up with new firefighting
inventions. Only it didn't work out that way."

Dixie blinked, smiling gently. "Seems to me that things worked out just perfectly,
Chet. I'm real proud of ya. That took guts not trying to market those shoes as
a new toy line." she said, offering him a friendly toast with her nursed drink.

Chet's face fell into one of instant dismay. "Wait a.. wait a minute.. as toys?"
he said, pushing a half chewed sprout out of his mouth onto his plate, licking his

Roy DeSoto handed Kelly an elegant copper ring rolled cloth napkin without

Kel Brackett suddenly changed the subject. "Who brought their skis?"

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"I did.."
   "I did..."
"Me, too." said a chorus of replies.

Kelly gave up what could have been a nasty case of hindsight.
He sighed sadly.  "Not me. I have to go rent mine."

"How come?" Brackett asked. "I thought you were an avid skier."

"I am. I have five sets of water skis in the storage shed at my
apartment." said Chet. "I....just kinda.. well... I lost my snow set
last month." he said quickly, gulping down the last of his coffee.

Roy craftily gave him more so he could fortify himself for the
next question to come.

Kel was curious. "Oh, yeah? What happened to them?" he asked.

Chet met Brackett's eyes but couldn't make his mouth work quite
enough to answer him effectively due to a lingering sense of

Hank let Chet off the hook gently. "He used the wrong wax on them, doc.
I'm afraid they got ruined during an inadvertant cleaning session." Stanley

Next to him, Marco pantomimed something going up in smoke in a big
silent fireball much to Chet's dismay, but the dinner picking doctor and
nurse failed to make the connection as they emptied their plates of food

Mike Stoker took heart. "Say, Doctor Brackett, is it true that paramedics
can work anywhere in the lower forty eight states now, free and clear,
as long as they have a doctor on the line?"

Roy and Johnny tried not to look surprised. They both realized then that
they had forgotten to read the new memo on the announcement board at
the station posted that very morning.

"They can." Brackett said. "After all, I can. Why shouldn't they? It didn't make
sense to keep a paramedic so limited in his scope of practice inside a restricted
service area. In fact, it was the Los Angeles County Fire Department that
showed me and the powers that be exactly how much moving around their
medic firefighters actually do in any given fire season."

Cap looked up from his mashed potatoes. "You mean because of all our
brush fire assignments we get every year."

"Yes, that's exactly what I mean." said Kel. "When Chief Houts came to me and
showed me how often you men were jumping the county and state lines
because of firestorm duties, I just had to go to legislation about it. Immediately."

"Why worry about it so fast?" Johnny asked. "The old system works pretty well."

Chet piped up. "Not really, not if you're stuck out of state in the middle of a desert
along a rural highway." Kelly still remembered the fishing trip where Roy, Johnny
and he encountered a traffic accident with a jugular stabbed little boy and his injured
mother. It had happened the same week as Johnny's almost fatal rattlesnake bite.    

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"We got to a phone, Chet." Gage said, glancing at him.

"Yeah, but don't you remember how steamed you got at first? Morton couldn't
issue I.V. orders to you when we needed them and it was only Doc Frick
walking in physically who saved the day for us." Chet said.

Johnny squinted as he remembered back.
"Oh, yeah, that's right. Guess I was so worried about the kid I forgot how frustrated
I was." Johnny said. "I guess a change in practice was necessary."

Brackett set down his fork and balled up his napkin onto his plate.
"Oh, it was. Think about it, Johnny. A paramedic is an acting extension of his over seeing medical physician's license. Why should he be restricted where he can practice
that emergency medicine, as long there's a biophone or landline open, just because
he's across a city or county or state's recognized lines?" Brackett countered.
"It didn't make sense to limit one and not the other when we're already working
so closely together on every rescue call."

"Well that makes sense." said Hank. "What took them so long to realize that fact?"

Brackett shrugged.

DeSoto was still acting surprised.
"I wasn't aware that all you physicians can work over state lines now. The AMA
must have instigated that, thinking that we, in our branch of EMS, didn't need to know
about it yet. Is there some kind of new agency or committee that'll be overseeing all of
these new changes for our fire station's level of involvement?" Roy asked Kel.

"There sure is. That's the subject of the next meeting I've scheduled for Monday
morning. Guess you both forgot to read the new notice on your way out the door."
he teased."It's called the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.They're
becoming THE testing and sole recertification body that'll handle all relicensing
and new registration country wide at both the EMT and paramedic levels so area
hospitals won't need to follow up on that kind of paperwork themselves anymore."
he smiled. "The agency will officially become testing ratified in four years. What we're
entering now, is a trial period. The agency itself formed in 1970, but didn't have
any real committee power available until I and others stepped in and got attention
redirected and focused on them."

"1980... I can hardly wait. That sounds like an eternity from now."
DeSoto leaned back in his chair, nursing his dark beer glass thoughtfully.
"We're growing up so fast. Seems like just yesterday when it was just me and Johnny,
Ben Stone's crew and Craig Brice's crew as the only paramedic rescue squads
out there in existence."

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"Time flies when you're having fun." Dixie demurred, curling up into her chair
as she pushed her empty pasta bowl away.

Kel Brackett smiled softly, very pleased with their situation, saying little.
He only nodded in agreement. But then he spoke. "Relax, Roy. We've got the most
important thing in operation that matters now." he said, finishing his wine. "The fact that we can work EMS anywhere we happen to be, so long as we're
still in direct communication with each other, is a big one in the bag." he grinned

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From: Patti or Jeff or Cassidy <>
Subject: That's The Name Of The Game
Date: Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:19 am

About twenty minutes later, Chet scraped the last
of the whipped topping off his dessert plate. He raised
his eyebrows expectantly at the waitron who came to
collect his dishes."Sir, I'll take that special order now.
Anytime's cool." Kelly said.

"Very good, sir." replied the black jacketted bow tied man.
"I'll bring it directly. Oh, thank you, miss." he said when Dixie
handed him her empty brandy glass and some more dishes
that she had gathered up from the others.

"Dixie. You're not at home being a party host. Leave those be."
Kel teased her, a little sharply.

"Says who? Here, I AM the party. Well, at least, part of it anyway."
she declared happily and the others hear hear'd her sentiment.

In high spirits, the gang was still heavy into animated conversation
due to mutual sugar rushes from either sweets or modest
amounts of alcohol and their chatter really filled the room. But soon,
somnolence from the richness of their meals tempered them into
quiet periods of reflection. That was when they noticed that they
were the just about the last chalet guests left in the whole restaurant
apart from a mother and child pair catching a late snack by the live
feed TV monitor. It was showing a graceful line of night time
resort skiers descending the highest slopes in a midnight display
of brightly lit hand held flares, one in each hand.

"Oh, would you look at that?" Dixie exclaimed, pointing to it.

"Umm, hmm. Beautiful.. They do this on every clear night, according
to the front desk." said Brackett.

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"No, I don't mean them, I mean all that steam pouring out of their
mouths. They must be freezing to death out there skiing so fast
in all this cold." McCall clarified, shivering anew.

"Dix, don't watch. Here. Take my coat." said Brackett laughing, as he
peeled out of his jacket to give to her. "It sounds like it's time for you
to rejoin those toasty flames by the fireplace."

"Not in here, though. Looks like they're about ready to close up. I can
go back to the lobby in a few minutes when everybody's through with
their cocktails."

"Suit yourself. Keep that for now to ward off the chills." Kel, said, sitting
back down and readjusting his tie so it stayed off the table top.

The waiter returned with Chet's after dinner repast, a box of Cracker
Jacks, purchased from the gift shop down the hall. With relish, the man
tore open the box deftly with napkined wrapped fingers. "Oh, excellent
choice, sir. I indulge once in a while with these myself." he admitted
bending close. "Ma'am. Please stay." he addressed Dixie. "The
kitchen may close at midnight, but not the bar." he winked. "That closes
at one. So please, make yourselves comfortable. I think we're empty
because everyone else turned in a bit early to catch advantage of the
ideally angled early sun tomorrow morning on the higher slopes." Once
the box was de-lidded, he handed the whole snack over to Chet with a

Marco noticed what Chet had ordered. "Gage's slider was way better
than those things. Don't tell me Cracker Jacks are your idea of getting
something else good to eat."

"Sure they are. Very high in fiber and I think you already know the best
part about getting some of these babies." he said, digging his fingers inside
eagerly. He grunted a little when he didn't find the prize packet that he
knew was in there. The grinding noise continued and everyone around
the table was soon strangely mesmerized by the undecided issue. Kelly
grew more and more frustrated with his search until Gage threw out his
hand. "Chet, give it here. I'll find it."

"NoOOOoo." said Kelly, protectively drawing the cracker jack box to himself.
"I don't want your grimy hands all over my food. Go away."

Johnny pursed his lips."I'm not gonna paw your kernels. I got tools."
he said, flipping open his jacket. He was wearing his paramedic holster

Roy chuckled. "Did you forget to take that off in your hurry to meet us
at the airport?"

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Gage shot him an irritated look. "Something like that." he said, drawing out
a pair of long Magill forceps. He did a double take when he caught his partner
still regarded him with amusement. "Ok, all right. I'll admit it. My holster's like
a watch. I really notice it when I'm not wearing one and it drives me up a
tree. I hate the sensation I get when I take it off."

Brackett started chuckling and moved his head aside, showing everyone the
ear pieces of a stethoscope sticking out of his shirt. "I got the same problem.
Shh..." he said, hiding them again inside of his collar. "Don't feel bad, Johnny.
I'm exactly the same way."

"No fooling?" Gage asked him, really not believing.

"No fooling." Kel told him, his eyes twinkling.

"Yeah, and Kel probably wears that in the shower, too." Dix guffawed, enjoying
the secret revealed tidbit about her best friend.

Chet smirked, eyeing up the room. "Anyone else in here packing anything?
Come on, now. It's time to 'fess up."

"I brought a pocket mask." said Roy. "But that's in my suitcase."

"I got my swiss army knife. Can't leave the station without having it." Hank admitted.

"Every guy's got a pocket knife on him somewhere, Cap. That's nothing
oddball." Chet teased. "You're fine." he waved in dismissal.

Marco displayed a couple of bandaids and a St. Christopher's medal, and
Stoker, a favorite chrome polishing rag.

Kelly held up his lucky rabbit's foot. Then he looked up expectantly. "Dix?
What have you got that you couldn't leave home without?"

McCall hugged her purse. "My traveler's checks?" she offered lamely,
still guarding her belongings.

The gang winced and groaned at the pun.

Kel made a face and plucked the handbag out of her grip in high amusement.
She didn't resist the stealing but she did cover her eyes in acute embarrassment.

Dr. Brackett looked down inside of it once he opened the top. "Uh huh.." he
coughed in discovery, peering inside closely. "Just what have we here?" he
said, extending the suspense with a nosy grin.

Johnny chuckled as he expertly dug around Chet's cracker jacks with his Magills
by tool touch alone. He was biting his lip as he felt their sensitivity as he probed.
"Ah, there it is.." he said, drawing out the paper and foil toy packet deftly.
He held it out by the probe tips to Chet who snatched it free happily.

"You did that without looking?" Chet exclaimed.

"Course I did. There isn't much looking you CAN do whenever you find yourself
stuck using one of these things." Johnny shared, restabbing the forceps deep into
the box before he plunked both the box and embedded tool down onto the
table top.

"That's right." Roy agreed.

"Not unless you have a laryngoscope, too." Brackett added, still admiring the
contents of Dixie's wool woven purse.

Chet became lost in the mystery of his unopened prize. "Gee, thanks, Johnny."

Kel made an announcement. "Everybody, let's have a drum roll, please. I found it."
Then he pulled out something very familiar and set it onto the table dramatically.
"She brought...... her rolodex.."

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"My spare.." Dix said, turning the dial so all of the phone cards flipped around on
the wheel. "Well... I...never know when I'm gonna have to call Betty or one of the
other nurses this weekend for something I forgot to tell them to do at work while
I'm gone."

Roy grinned at her. "You know what they always say..Once a head nurse..."

"No, once a fire fighter..." Chet corrected him.

"Or a paramedic..." said Gage, pointing to the tool embedded in the box sitting
in front of him.

"Or a doctor.." Kel said, ending the irony. Then he held up his finger. "Waiter.
Can we grab our bills, please?"

The whole gang dissolved in fits of shared laughter and they admired everybody's
away from the work place pacifiers in high amusement.

But then their happy sounds were suddenly jarred by those of someone in
dire respiratory distress, someone very young, suffering high pitched vocal

They whirled back towards the outdoor monitor lounge only to see a frightening
sight. A little boy had crossed wrapped his hands around his throat. He was  
fighting to breathe in desperately. The child was doing it, but barely.

The station and Rampart bunch got to their feet fast, hurrying to the small family's
side. Roy knelt by the child and asked. "Son, are you choking? Can you speak?"
The boy didn't answer but he kept right on coughing. He didn't protest being sat
on Roy's crouched knee. "That's ok, just keep trying to get the air in a little better.
Keep coughing as long as you can. We're here to help you." Roy said, opening the
boy's collar a little wider.

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Click the air bottle to change music soundtrack.

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Gage moved to a chair and sat down next to his mother. "Ma'am, we're Los Angeles
County Paramedics and this, is Dr. Brackett and Nurse McCall from a city hospital.
Was he eating something when all this began?"

"No. Yes. Uh, I- I don't know... I.." she panicked. "I wasn't watching him, I was watching
the T.V. over there. Oh, please. Tell me what's the matter with him."

"Ma'am, my partner's trying to determine just that. But your son's doing fair
for now." Johnny told him. "Just tell me what you do remember."

Nearby, Dixie flagged down the waiter. "Mister, call for your resort's first aid team
and their medical gear. This boy's in serious trouble."

"Uh,.. well, we don't have them inside right now. They're way up there
on the peak on med standby for the pyro display people going down the

"Ok, call for an ambulance crew. Or your fire department. Whoever's closer."
she ordered.

"Right away." he said, rushing off with one more worried glance back at the cluster
of people surrounding the suffocating child. "But I really don't know how
to contact them."

"Show me your phone. I do." said McCall and she followed him out of the room.

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Dr. Brackett drew out his stethoscope and listened fast over the boy's lungs. "They're
fluid free. Whatever's effecting him is all upper respiratory. Roy keep him in whatever
position is the best for his own expelling attempts. Don't intervene yet." he shouted
over the boy's loud strangling noises. "His color and consciousness level are still

"Ma'am, how old is your son?" DeSoto asked, gently calming the boy with a
supporting bear hug. He left his chin resting lightly in the boy's hair to
show him that he was still there close by.

"He's four.." she answered. "His name's Bobby."

"Bobby, you're doing real good. I know you're scared right now but your mom's still
right here beside you. Just keep coughing, hard as you can." Roy nodded as he
watched the others move the rest of the audience chairs out of the way and cleared
some floor space under a light source. DeSoto loosened the child's dress pants belt
buckle and used the move to get a respirations count. Gage took up a grip on one of
the boy's wrists for a pulse quality check. "Doc, it's one fifty. Rising."

Roy added another detail. "Twenty eight. Inspirations are more problematic than
exhalations. But he's not barreling out any, at all."

"Thanks." said Brackett from where he knelt on his knees listening to the boy's
breath sounds.

Dixie returned quickly. "Kel, they're on the way. Both the chalet's medical team and
the local FD and ambulance company. The resort folks have oxygen."

"Perfect. Just what I wanted to hear. Where from and exactly when are they all due
in?" Brackett asked, keeping a close eye on the boy as he struggled to breathe
enough to fill his chest.

"The team? From the mountain top, on skis. ETA a minute and a half. They
have radios tuned to the hotel front desk. Their El Dorado County rig is driving in
with an ALS crew based out of Placerville Medical Center, a level two trauma
facility in four, and the Meeks Bay Volunteer Fire Department will be roaring in
here in three. They're based right around the corner on the point overlooking
the lake." Dixie recited from a hotel stationery pad. "A Terry G. Murphy, is the
M.D. on call tonight and the Base Hospital Coordinator is Tamara Burns, an
R.N. He knows we're coming." she added.

"Okay. Good." Then Kel sat in a chair by the mother. "Ma'am, help's on the way
so try to calm down. I need you to answer a few questions. Has Bobby been sick
recently with a cold or flu?" he asked, thinking about the possibility of croup or

"I'm not sure. Frank has the most time with him. He has partial legal custody. Um,
I get Bobby only on the weekends. But I know my son doesn't have asthma. All this
is new tonight. Oh, G*d. Please, Bobby. Please be all right." she begged.

Dixie took her by the shoulders gently. "These two with Bobby are the best
paramedics we have back in L.A. and they work everyday handling emergencies
just like this one. They'll make sure Bobby stays breathing and they'll fix anything
they find that's not going normally as soon as it happens. So relax and try to
answer Dr. Brackett's questions as thoroughly as you can. It's important." said
McCall, taking the mother's hand. "We have to know for sure what the problem is
here so we don't cause any more that we haven't found out about yet, to act up in
a worse way."

Johnny felt the boy's head and face. "Doc, he's not hot at all. Nor is he shocky."

Kel nodded. "Look for signs of growing anaphylaxis anyway. This might be a
first time onset, just beginning."

"Or a food obstruction." Roy guessed.

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Brackett regarded DeSoto thoughtfully, thinking. "Keep an eye out for a foreign
body appearing in his mouth. Yours was my original thought, too. There's a
basket of pretzels sitting right here."

"Right, doc." they both answered.

A few seconds later, the boy began gagging weakily and his wheezes
suddenly dropped off horribly into silence.

"Bobby?!" Roy yelled, as the child start to panic kick. "He's blocked off
completely, Johnny."

"Got him?" Johnny asked.


And Roy started to perform sub-diaphragmatic abdominal thrusts in a modified
force-careful Heimlich maneuver with two gripped palms laced near the boy's

Kel Brackett shot up out of his chair. "Roy, keep at it. Gage, a minute after he
goes unconscious, let's move him to our dining room table so we can use
those Magills. When we get him over there, tip his head back over the edge
after a ventilation and re-positioning attempt. Use those forceps only if you
see something."

"Aghh.. doc. He's going out.." Roy hissed.
Bobby's muscles began to noodle and Roy slid him down his body onto
the floor. He shifted his clearing maneuvers from his bear hug to
leg straddling abdominal ones once Marco had carefully lowered the
boy's head to neutral on his back. After the third attempt of clearing
with the boy lying down, they all heard a gush of sound erupt out Bobby's
lips. "Something gave way." DeSoto said urgently.

Quickly, Johnny, Cap and Stoker scooped up the blue turning boy and
hurried with him across the room. Hank cleared the remaining dishes
noisily out of the way with a sweep of his arm. Brackett joined them.

Chet Kelly looked up and saw two flares growing larger through the windows
framing the overview looking up the snow covered mountain. "Here they
come. And they're fully laden."

"I'll go meet them at the fire exit across the room." said Marco, stepping away
to meet the outdoor first aid team.

"Disable the fire alarm before you open the door. Last thing we need is an
inadvertant hotel evacuation." Hank said.

"It's off." said Marco, using a rod from a no smoking sign to depress the
cancel button on the door unit's shrieker. He propped it open with a chair and
began letting in the cold night air and falling snowflakes. The team skied right
into the carpetted room on top of the snow they were dragging underneath their

The head first aider pulled off his goggles. "Thanks, mister. Close it up. This
is everybody." he said of himself and his female partner as he peeled off his
large medical backpack. They rapidly got out of their parkas and kicked off
their skis haphazardly next to the restaurant fireplace using their ski poles.

Roy met them halfway. "It's the boy. Get out your manual support O2.
He's food choking." he said, pushing chairs out of their way.

"Who are you people exactly?" asked the man.

"Two paramedics, a nurse and a doctor. This is Bobby's mother." DeSoto
told him.

"Ok, let's go handle him." said the leader. "I'm a paramedic, too. My
partner's an EMT Basic."

"These others are firefighters." Roy clarified even more.

"Man, is he lucky." said the woman. "How's he doing?" she
said, digging into her pack for airway gear.

"Don't know yet." replied Roy.

Mike Stoker looked up from the hold he had on the boy's head. "Repositioning's
not working.......... No chest rise either." he said, lifting his mouth away from
the boy's nose and hypoxia darkened mouth. Together, he and Johnny
dragged Bobby towards them by the back of his shirt collar until his head
tipped chin up over the edge of the table and hung down limply.

"He's still got a pulse." Hank said, gripping the boy's upper arm. Then he watched
as Marco grabbed a nearby table lamp and pulled off its tasseled shade down
to the bare bulb. "No response to pain." Cap said digging in a few knuckles against
Bobby's sternum as he climbed up onto the table to straddle the boy's legs with his
knees. He placed his hands in a ready position for further abdominal thrusts,
paused for the word to start up on them again.

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"Wait up on those, Cap. Let me look next." Johnny told Cap.

"Johnny..." Roy prompted.


"Did you hear?"

"Oh. Yeah. I did. Ok, fully unconscious. Apneic only. Marco, put
that light right behind my shoulder. Yeah, just like that." Gage said as he
snatched the Magills out of the Cracker Jack box swiftly. No one noticed the
popped sugar corn spraying out all over the table in haste as it tipped over
onto its side. Johnny opened Bobby's jaws wide with cross scissored fingers
as he peered inside behind the boy's soft palate. "Mike lift his lower jaw and
his tongue way up high. I can't see anything."

Mike did so, with a hooked thumb and pressure whitening fingers, firmly

"Starting cricoid pressure in case we make him sick monkeying with his
mouth." Cap said, reaching his thumb and forefinger around the boy's neck
cartilage ring in a Sellick's maneuver. He bore down on it an inch, then
he didn't move.

Brackett moved over to the medical team. "Do you have suction?"

"Yes. Blue pack." replied the woman. "In the largest compartment.
Laerdal self powered. You must be our doc, eh?"

"I am, until you reach yours over the radio. Let me know when you've got
that tube out. Stand by with a demand valve. Johnny gets one try to pull
whatever this thing is out. Then we'll work him more. He's been totally
obstructed for only two minutes." Brackett told them. "We still have time.
Pulse's holding. Could one of you two monitor that apically? Here, use
mine. It's already out." he said tugging his stethoscope off from around
his neck to give to them.

The male first aider took it.

Then they moved nearer to Roy and Gage.

The woman used a few waiting seconds to open up the boy's shirt
the rest of the way, exposing his cyanosis mottled chest. "Still no breathing."
she announced to the unfamiliar Native American at the boy's head.
"Ok, suction's ready."

"Almost there." Gage said, tense. "It's right.. above... the vocal cords."

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"What is it?" she asked.

"A button. Without any holes."

"Can you grab it?" Brackett asked helping to hold the boy's shoulders

"Yeah. I think so.. Hang on while I...." Johnny grunted, adjusting the Magills
gripping shaft a little deeper into the boy's throat. "..I ..
grip on it. "

"Pulse's getting irregular." announced the mountain first aider man,
from where he was listening with his stethoscope's drum placed
a little to the side and below the boy's left breast along the ribcage.

Brackett barked out an order.
"Set up a monitor and your defibrillator. Can you adjust down to a 100
joules delivery?"

"Yes." replied the woman. "We handle pediatric drownings during the

"Turn it on. I won't use it unless I have to. He's a little on the
small side." Brackett said. "What kind of meds do you have?"

"Type three ACLS drug box." replied the man.

"Get a 0.5 mg/ml dose of a 1:1000 S.Q. epinephrine injection ready. We'll save
his I.V. NS for last and establish one only if he crashes fully rhythm wise." Kel

Johnny let out the breath he had been holding explosively.
"Cap, let him go. It's out." Gage announced loudly, drawing the offending object
away from the boy's mouth on his Magills.  "And he didn't vomit."

Stanley sighed in relief as he climbed down to the floor again.

"I got him covered." said the woman EMT as she placed a small firm rubber
mask over the boy's face and started feeding breaths into the boy. "Nice job.
Buttons are real hard." she remarked to Johnny. "I'm getting good chest rise
here." she told everyone as she used the resort's thumb trigger resuscitator
with the lightest of pure oxygen ventilations. "No distention evident."

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Bobby's colored pinked up and his fingers began to twitch on the table cloth.
A minute later, the boy began to breathe on his own with occasional coughing.

"How is he?" Bobby's mother asked, her voice hitching as she fretted.

"Ma'am. It looks like he's going to be just fine. He's already waking up for us."
smiled Dr. Brackett as he studied the EKG monitor Marco had hooked up.
"Everything's reading normally for this particular stage of recovery. Guys,
let's cancel that epinephrine. He won't be needing it."

The resort paramedic pulled out his radio."Team Ouray to Meeks Bay Rescue
Medic Three. Return. Situation is resolved. No cardiac arrest. Our ambulance is
en route."

##We copy you, Ouray.## said the dispatcher. ##Placer County Sheriff's Office,
Lake Tahoe, ST-51 signing off.##

"Want this as a souvenir?" Chet asked as he prised the button off the clamped
Magills. He held it out to mom with puppy dog eyes, breaking the last of her

The mother tumbled into relief, holding up her son's chair perched outer
coat. "It's from his dress jacket. I knew I should have gotten him some gum.
He's always likes chewing on things. Ever since he was a baby." she said, taking
it to put in the coat's pocket for later resewing.

Cap offered the mother a chair and a glass of water. "He might be old enough
now to get a piece of gum every so often. I know I started my kids off on some
at about his age for the same reason. My daughter was the worst. She liked
sucking on grapes of all things. Calling the rescue squad became a weekly routine
for a while there until she outgrew it." He held out his hand. "Hi, I'm Captain Stanley,
Hank's my first, of Fire Station 51 in Carson. I believe you already met my men.
This is Chet, Marco, Roy, Johnny and Mike."

"Glad to meet all of you. I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't have
been here." she said, beginning to weep again as she returned the handshake.
"I'm Annabel Laughs-At-Cranes."

Johnny's head lifted at the name as he recognized her nationality. "Oh, you're
Native? So am I. But I'm not a full blood, I'm only half." he grinned, watching
as Roy and the female resort EMT took a blood pressure on Bobby. He
was now being supported upright in DeSoto's lap as he blinked back into
full wakefulness. Soon, he was placed on a regular pediatric non-rebreather
oxygen mask as his fast breathing began to slow down again.

"I'm a quarter." she replied. "And Bobby's an eighth. We were celebrating his
tribe naming day this evening. And it was wonderful, but then this happened to
mess it up." she sobbed.

Cap gripped her shoulder and squeezed it in support.
"It's all right. Go ahead and cry. Sometimes things are just meant to be, that's all."
Cap told her with a grin. "In this case, things worked out just fine."

"I'm sorry. I--"

"..Mommy?" asked the boy as he suddenly regained focus. "My throat hurts."
he mumbled through the mask Roy was holding over his nose and mouth.

Annabel broke off her sentence and rushed over to sit on the table edge
so she could hug her son tightly. "Oh, baby. You had me so worried.
How are you feeling now?"

"Ok, I guess." he said as he felt himself placed in his mother's arms by
Roy and Marco and getting covered up with a spare table cloth.

"Why did you have to suck on that button? I've told you a
million times what might happen if you did that." she said, brushing
sweaty hair out of his eyes.

"I won't do it again. I promise..*cough** cough*" Bobby said. "Can we go
up to our hotel room now?"

Dr. Brackett had been speaking with the two resort rescuers. "Annabel, this
is Paramedic Ryan Shreve and his EMT partner Nicole Skoloda. They work here
for Meeks Bay Resort on the ski patrol. They've been in touch with their medical
director via radio and they've certain protocols they have to follow now to ensure the
continued well being of your son. Would you listen to them for a few minutes?
They're the ones who'll be taking over Bobby's emergency treatment now."

"Sure. Sure.." she sniffled. "I can do that. What do they have to say to me?"

"They'll tell you. I'm not that familiar with how their medical service functions
with regard to medical releases or transporting patients in this part of the
state. That's probably most likely what they're going to be talking to you
about. All right?"

"Ok." said Annabel. "And thank you so much." she said tearfully grateful,
gripping Kel's hand. "Bobby, stay right here with these firemen.
I'll be right back, okay?"

"Okay mom. I'm sort of tired anyway."

She turned to meet her snowy benefactors.

Chet ambled up to Cap, Roy and Johnny. "So, how's the little guy doing?"

"He's gonna be ok." said Roy, grinning. "He was very lucky that button
didn't get deep inside a lung somewhere."

"Yeah, that would have meant chest cracking surgery." Gage sympathized.

"Really? Huh. Ouch." said Kelly, thinking about it as he rubbed his own.
The three started walking away, but Chet held them back with a hand.
"Say, you'll never guess what I just overheard on one of their radios."

"What'd ya hear?" Hank asked.

"The call number of their station headquarters in Tahoe City."

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The Quint Connection
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