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 The Other Side
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Page One

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The Story Unfolds...

Season Six, Episode Fifty

ßß    The Other Side   ßß

Debut Launch: December 16th, 2007.

From: Mark Panitz <>
Date: Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:42 pm
Subject: False Alarms

It was a cold winter day. Roy and Gage were
griping about how cold it was for the week.

Then the tones rang on.

Station 51 responded to a traffic accident
at 5th and Alameda that had persons reported
as being trapped with fire involved.

The boys ran to the rigs and soon rolled out of the ramp.


It took them about five minutes to reach the scene,
but there was nothing there! Nobody was hanging around,
except for some kids on the corner. And they looked bored.

Captain Stanley got on the radio.
"L.A. , Station 51 at scene. Uh, this an false alarm."

##10-4, 51.## L.A. copied.

"Station 51, returning to quarters." Cap returned back.

Gage was fuming. "Roy. This makes it the fifth false alarm

Roy agreed. "Yes, these false alarms cost us plenty.
Letís just hope we donít have a false alarm in our territory
when something else for real happens on the other side."

Johnny was too worked up to comment.

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Later on, after lunch, Roy and Gage ran out to Rampart
to pick up more medical supplies.

They found Kel and Dixie taking a coffee break.

Then as soon as they tried to get some coffee, the tones
rang out again.

##Squad 51, Engine 7, Trucks 8 and 10. Respond to
a structure fire. 3700 West Sunset Blvd. Cross street,

ďResponding from Rampart." replied Roy on the HT.

##10-4, Squad 51.## L.A. replied.

Roy and Gage jogged to their squad with an apologetic
shrug to McCall and Brackett and they rolled out code R.


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It was rush hour and people were in a hurry.

The squad approached an intersection with lights
and siren on full blast.

They approached it slowly as Roy checked,
they had green lights as they went though it.

A car driven by a person on a newly wired in car phone
rolled right through the red. The car hit the squad just
beyond the right door where they kept the biophone.

Grunting in reaction, DeSoto and Gage knew that their own
impact hadnít been that severe. Roy was able to pull the squad
to the curb. "L.A ., Squad 51. We've just been involved in a minor
T.A. at Vermont and 120th. Uh,..we are checking on the other
vehicle right now."

##L.A. Squad 51. Advise of victim status.##

Gage and Roy went to check on the other person in the
car. It was a woman who was very apologetic.
"Iím sorry I hit you guys. Iím not hurt. Iím just sorry I didnít
even hear your siren or see the traffic light.  I was yelling at
my boyfriend on my new phone here. Like it?"

Then over the radio channel, they all heard.
##L.A. This is Engine 8. Our structure fire report is
unfounded.  There is no fire at this location.## came a captain's

L.A. responded back. ##10-4, Engine 8. All units responding
to the structure fire with engine 8; return to quarters.##

Now even Roy was fuming. "What? ANOTHER FALSE ALARM?"
he yelled in annoyance from where he was leaning on the woman's
car door.

Gage was not laughing. "What are we going do about this?" he
said of their winning day so far.  

DeSoto sighed tiredly when he knew his partner didn't mean  
the squad's newly damaged chassis at all.

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From: patti keiper <>
Date:  Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:30 pm
Subject: Any Penny Annie Port In The Storm

Roy moved back to the woman driver's side. As he peeked
in, a chamois sweatered arm snaked out of the window and
waved something in front of his eyes. It was an insurance
card elegantly perched between long, red polished fingernails.

She said. "Don't you need to see this, Mr. Fireman?" Then,
just as fast, she started yelling into her expensive car phone.
"I heard you, Marvin. THEY were the ones speeding, not me."
she declared, twisting the phone cord sticking out of the dash
board nervously.

Gage made a face where he was standing on the sidewalk. "We
were answering a rescue call, lady! You know, with our red flashing
lights and everything? Didn't you see that your stoplight was on?
We had the right of way and we were going the posted speed limit."

The primped up driver looked at him askance. She snapped her gum
and batted long eye lashes at Johnny after pulling away the phone
receiver from her ear to get away from her irate boyfriend's voice.
"Marvin says I should talk to my lawyer before I talk to you."

Roy's mouth flopped open, but for a different reason. "Johnny!" he
shouted, pointing to a thick trickle of smoke snaking out from under
the hood of the woman's grill cracked car. Gage startled. Then he
stuffed himself into the sedan long enough to pull the hood's release

The woman smothered an angry reaction. "Hey! What do you think

Johnny and Roy ignored her and together, they hastily yanked up
the hood. Roy hurried to the back of the squad and snatched up
a fire extinguisher.

Gage started yelling. "Ma'am! Get out of the car! It's on fire here.
It could be near a fuel line!" he hollered from behind the hood.

"What?" she asked, still glued to the phone and her furious boyfriend's
tirade. "Marvin! Marv-- I've got to go, love. The cute one says the motor's
caught a bit and I don't mean it's idling. But it looks like it's under control.
It's nice to see our tax payer dollars at work. These fire guys are really

Annoyed, Johnny ripped out the wires connecting the battery to the
rest of the car's electrical system as DeSoto coated the engine
block with a thick cloud of repellent powder.

The lady was obvious to what they were doing. "Marv? Marv? Are you
still there?" she peeped.

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Johnny finally got fed up with her, opened the car door, grabbed
a hold of the woman's arm, and flung her unceremoniously over his
shoulder to get her to the safety of the nearby sidewalk.

The woman screeched in startled surprise and she finally dropped
the phone before the cord, stretching out after them, reached the
snapping point.

Roy's muffled voice finally gave a verdict. "That was the oil pan.
There was some bare wiring taped up next to it in some kind of--"
his comment trailed off when the lady Gage had set down on the
lawn started laughing in embarrassment. She plunked down onto
the grass onto her butt. "That was... M-Marvin.." she snorted,
chortling. "I told him to follow the instructions for installing that new
phone. But did he read them?" she shrugged, out of control with
her amusement. "No." she mouthed.

Gage just raised his eyebrows and set his hands onto his hips.
He turned his head guardedly off her towards Roy. "Do we need
the engine at all?" he glared, still irritated.

"Nah. There's no gas smell. What you're seeing dripping now is
all from the radiator." he sighed, brushing white powder off the
front of his shirt absently.

Right about then, Vince Howard arrived and headed straight for
the woman sitting on the lawn after he had parked a safe distance
away from the accident scene. "Is she hurt?"

"Not a bit. She's all right." Roy said, shaking his head.

Gage mumbled under his breath over the woman's still hysterical
laughter. "Physically, anyway. Don't know about the rest if you know
what I mean." he hissed, smiling professionally with closed teeth.

Vince relaxed, amused. "What happened?"

Both paramedics opened their mouths to say something, but then
thought better of it. At a loss for just how to begin, they just shrugged,
indicating the giggling lady driver at their feet dramatically with a sarcastic

The lady wiped away laughing tears, imagining what her bumbling non
mechanic boyfriend's reaction going on was right then over the dead car
phoneline. She finally looked up. "I think I'm the best one to explain
that. Come here.." she burbled, tugging on Vince's pants leg from
where she still sat Indian style.

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Sighing, Vince squatted down onto his toes at her side to start taking
down her statement.

Roy and Johnny circled the hapless telephone wired car once more
to be sure their handiwork was going to last.  Afterwards, they took
a seat on top of the squad's hood to await Vince's damage to vehicle
photo taking.

Gage nudged Roy.

"What?" DeSoto asked, still upset that they still had to deal with their
current annoyance.

"Flip ya for being the one to get out of telling Charlie about our
scratched up fender.."

DeSoto didn't move or even blink. "I outrank ya. Have fun." he
said, crossing his arms over his elbows, still not looking at his


Roy grinned just then and reached into the squad cab for the
radio mic by feel alone. He thumbed the toggle. " L.A. Our
minor MVA is a non-injury. However, a citizen tow is definitely
gonna be needed." he reported.

##Squad 51.##

At that, the woman on the ground fell into another bout of
guffaws, completely lost in absolute abandon.

Smiling and getting infected by her sense of the ridiculous,
DeSoto passed off the radio mic to Johnny, so he could follow
the next bit of protocol.

"Oh, wonderful." Johnny swallowed miserably. "I really hate
doing this." he said, referring to contacting the vehicle shop
for an emergency stop checkup.

Roy conmiserated. "Don't we all?"


The gang was still actively hiding from Charlie's loud
streaming colorful vocabulary as he popped out the squad's
dented side and reapplied fresh touch up paint after his
meticulous brand of sanding.

Even Boot was buried underneath the couch, completely
out of sight from all eyes.

Cap leaned into his men where they were hungrily digging
into lunch. "You're positive it's not your fault?" he asked
Roy and Johnny timidly.

  "Without a doubt." they both said empathetically.

Hank smiled weakily. "Okay, uh.. I guess I'll go try and shut him
up with a bowl of chowder. Think it'll work?"

Gage grinned. "It worked with calming Joe Early down when he
was so restless recovering at Rampart following his heart attack."

Stanley was unappeased. "Yeah, well, Charlie hasn't HAD one yet."

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Marco sniggered. "Trust your own cooking, Cap. There isn't a fireman
alive who doesn't feel better after filling his stomach on your soup.
Isn't that right, guys?"

"Yeah,..yeah.." nodded Gage.
"Sure is." said Stoker.
"That's true." said Chet.

Cap sighed and picked up the snack tray he had prepared for the
grumpy mechanic. "Okay, here I go. Uh,.. you guys have prior
permission to treat me for burns if he lobs this right back at me out
there." said Cap as he headed for the vehicle bay with their peace
offering. He slowly left the kitchen.

Expectantly, the gang scrambled to place ears against the door and
window to eavesdrop on the outcome.

It was one that came fast and surprised them all.


Joe Early sighed when two charts smacked down onto the counter
top next to where he sat on the stool in front of the reception desk
Dixie was manning in Emergency. "That's it?" he asked her.

"That's it, sadly enough." she remarked, bored, eyeing up the empty
and silent waiting room. "And those only need additional orders from
you on followup antibiotics. Father and daughter were both admitted
to the floor an hour ago."

Early smiled, rubbing the rings on his fingers. "Okay, if I stretch it, and
write real slow, I'll be preoccupied for a full half minute." he said with
exaggerated enthusiasm.

Dixie chortled softly. "You know, I used to dream about having a
day as quiet as this one once. And now that I've got it, I keep wishing
a catastrophe or two would strike out there so I won't fall asleep on you."

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Early took sympathy on his head nurse and slid his untouched stars
and stripes bicentennial mug of hot coffee over to her."You all is a
grand total of two doctors on the floor. Me and--"

"Dr. Morton, I know." she sighed. "At least one of us three has found
something productive to do around here. He's in Treatment One."

Joe joined her in a like slump on his stool as he finished updating his
meager pile of patient charts. "Oh, yeah? What's he doing?" he asked
curiously, admiring the neat rows of narcotics Dixie had already
alphabetized inside the metal cabinet behind her. They were precisely
spaced by user date.

"He's testing all the defibrillators we have." she grinned secretly.

Joe blinked. "We only have four. That'll take only about as many
minutes to do."

Dixie clarified, her smile getting bigger. "That's all of them, Joe. All of
them everywhere. Hospital wide."

Joe's eyes lit up with new appreciation. "Ooooo, what a mystery to solve.
I don't think ANYone really knows how many crash carts we actually have
floating around. Does he have a locations diagram?"

"Nope." Dixie chuckled.

"Even better. I...think I'll go join him." Early said, polishing off
his newly poured cup of coffee quickly.

Dixie immediately fluttered. "Oh, no... Joe.. Don't leave me down here
all by myself. I'll go stir crazy." she moaned.

Early waved goodbye as he wandered down the hall towards Treatment
One. "You're a big girl. I think you can handle it." he winked, abandoning
her lonely work station.

"Rats.." McCall sighed, melting back onto her chin and elbows."So I'm
stuck holding the fort again." Longingly, Dixie eyed up the quiescent
paramedic base station, using every optimistic and encouraging thought
in her arsenal, to will the buzzer light into life. ::Please, please, please...::
she thought.

But it went on ignoring her in stony silence.

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Doctor Morton was efficient. He was pushing around just the head
and chest of a resuscitation manikin, parked on a wheel chair fitted
with thick rubber wheels. He had it hooked up to an EKG simulator
control box that could mimick shockable rhythms.   To his credit, he
showed no reaction when Joe arrived to bug the h*ll out of him.
Mike was a rock when he realized that his senior preceptor was
going to glom onto the chore that he thought would be his all night
by the virtue of solo discovery. He didn't even look up or offer any
resistance as he ran the unit through its paces. "Room enough for
two, Joe. Which do you want to be? Paddle man or code master."

Early looked properly meek. "Can I have the box?"

"It's all yours.." said Morton, handing it over. "Try a junctional. Mac
said the sync was touchy at beats that were forty or lower.."

Joe raised his eyebrows, thinking. ::An orderly bored enough to offer
machine maintenance concerns? Wow. Guess this patient drought's
lasting longer than I expected.:: he mused. He spoke aloud. "Touchy
as in how? As in a defib that won't synchronize capture? Or as in not
maintaining regularity afterwards in a pace?"

"The latter. Off by five beats over a period of one minute intervals. It's
fluctuating high and low counts inside of that range." Morton replied.

"Did he leave an extra strip from the last code run off the machine?"

"Yep. Take a look." Mike said, handing off the roll he had stuffed into  
his white tunic's front pocket. "See the bad spikes? I marked them at
the full second ticks. The off-cycle lasts about a minute every four into
this man's difficulty. The sync fired in at diapause instead of during AV
nodal depolarization."

"Hmm, sounds like a sensor issue." Joe said, setting a slow weak beat
of thirty on the controller. "Coordinating like that would double the intended
pulse rate." he theorized.

"It did." said Mike empathetically. "Sync on 70 jumped to 140 in actual,
scaring the cardiac team into thinking they were on the verge of an
allergic reaction to the atropine."

"Do you have a bioengineer on the way to recalibrate this?"

"I called the moment I ran into Mac and got word in the cafeteria at lunch."

Joe frowned and studied his watch. "Mike, that was a full two hours ago.
Where is he?" he asked, growing a bit angry at the danger the malfunction
could have had in that time period.

Morton stayed Early's hand on the phone that he was about to use to start
rattling some cages. "Uh, Joe. Our man's not at fault for a no-show.
Remember the name Ashby?" he asked.

Joe nodded. "Yeah, that's--"

"A recent E.R. admit of yours. A t.i.a."

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Joe sighed. "I thought he looked familiar."

Mike grinned, and took the phone receiver out of Joe's hand.
"How's he doing?" he asked as he hung it up back on the wall.

Joe nodded satisfactorily. "He's responded to medications one
hundred percent. " Joe answered. "He should be back on his feet
in a week."

"Oh. Uh, that's great." Morton replied, trying to muster up enthusiasm.
"So...what do we do about our datascope's little sync problem here?"
he wondered, running the malfunction algorithm again to re-pinpoint
the problem more clearly.

Joe thought hard. "Uh, park a peds cart in here with a tag to direct the
next code team to its still good sync button unit."

"And how do we mark this one?" Mike said, pointing to the flashing
yellow toggle not working in front of them.

Joe shrugged and grabbed a set of Magill forceps from the cart's
top metal utensil drawer. Using them deftly, he clamped down and
yanked off the button's plastic square cover with a pop that left just
the toggleless hole behind.

Smiling, Morton covered up the missing button's space with a smiley
face bandaid from his pocket. He followed up with a note scrawled
onto a spare toe tag telling users to switch to the peds sync on
the adjacent cart.

Joe picked up the phone by their heads. "Hello, operator? This
is Dr. Early. Have an orderly locate a spare pediatrics defib. We need
to have it in Treatment One on standby in less than five minutes." he
told her, thinking about liability. "Thanks." Early said, and then he hung
up. He rubbed his hands together happily. "One cart down with an
unknown number to go..." he said cheerily.

Morton's eyes matched the gleam in Joe's eager ones. "Let's go find
the rest, shall we?"

Bundling up the testing leads back onto the electronic dummy's
wheelchair, Joe spoke. "Care to wager how many we'll eventually
find?" Early challenged.

"What's the prize?"

"A weekend off. The loser works for the winner." Joe anted.

"You're on." Morton accepted playfully.

"Closest guess wins." Joe chuckled, getting excited.

"Sounds good." said Mike as they exited the room.

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Kel Brackett was sleeping soundly on a gurney in the resident's
bunk. He had reached a break in this surgical schedule's rotation
and was catching up on his debt of days worth of poor sleep.

*Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock.*

Brackett groaned, jerking awake as his next conscious thought
was to check the newly commissioned pager that he was wearing
on his pocket. "Who is it?" he mumbled, wiping moisture off his
sagging mouth. Sitting up, he eyeballed himself accidently in
the mirror hanging on the wall and startled with a cry. ::That's me?::
he thought in horror. ::My G*d. I look dead!:: he quailed sleepily,
still emotionally vulnerable with fatigue.

The person outside finally spoke. "Dr. Brackett? It's Nurse Sharon.
Sorry to bother you, doctor, but I think I've found out something
kind of important for all of us to know."

"Oh?" asked Kel, yanking open the door. He winced at the swathe
of light that immediately blinded him from the brightly lit hallway
just beyond. "Owww!" he complained. But Brackett forced himself to
smile at the timid doe-eyed young woman mincing in front of him.
"What's the problem?" he asked in a gentler voice.

Sharon wrung her hands in her new light blue nurse's smock and
just stammered like she used to do during her nursing clinical days
the year before. "Well, I, uh.. I think I might--" she broke off. "I mean
I could be in a lot of trouble because.."

Brackett lost all patience, feeling every second of the grogginess
pounding down in his head that he had only just begun to dispel.
"Well, spit it out, Sharon! I haven't got all day." he snapped.

Sharon shrank back visibly, going pale. "I.. I have reason to believe--
I.. I might be..."

"Well, what?!" Kel roared.

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"...sick..." she whispered. And then a bead of cold sweat ran down
out of her unusually sweat plastered dark bangs. With that, she collapsed,
right into Dr. Brackett's sheet wrinkled arms that were still poking out of
equally wrinkled surgical scrubs.

Kel caught her and hefted her suddenly limp form up automatically in
complete, still sleepy surprise. Then the doctor in him awakened
and he began shouting for help from any and all who could hear him.

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Setting Sharon down onto a bare sheeted bed still lining the hallway, he
bent close, checking on her ability to breathe through a guarded head
hold. It was ragged. He looked up as a full response team from the nurse's
station thundered up with a portable oxygen tank. "Let's get her into the
nearest empty room, stat!" he ordered. "She's not reacting to me."
he said, letting go of the skin he had just pinched on the side of her neck.

Nurse Carol finished fitting her still, young coworker with a high flow oxygen
mask. She passed off an oral airway to Kel for later use that was the right
size. "What's wrong with her, doctor?"

"I don't know yet. Could be anything. Go ahead and page either Joe or Mike
up here. I'm gonna need some fast help with her initial exam." Dr. Brackett
kept a grip on Sharon's carotid. It weakened. "And bring a crash cart! She's
slipping down a bit."

"Right away, doctor." Carol replied, worried.

She hurried away while the others rushed to obey Kel's quietly given, but
necessarily sharp orders.


Two sets of footfalls echoing in the entryway leading to the kitchen from
the garage, immediately alerted the gang to scatter instantly.

Charlie was backing slowly through the swinging door, rear first, while
he protected the deep steaming bowl and spoon he was carrying while
he ate. "Wonderful suggestion, Hank. This is terrific chow. I could use
the break right about n--" he broke off when he spotted the others posed
in fake stances of preoccupation around the same wall as the door he
had entered through. "What are yous lookin' at?" Charlie the county
mechanic demanded. He still had a dot of fresh red paint smeared on his
forehead just beneath his salt and peppered wavy hairline.

Nobody laughed. But everybody stammered excuses and reasons
other than the one they were being accused of to explain themselves.

Chet finally led the crucial distraction. He stepped forward, redirecting
Charlie's usual misconstrued ire. "Say, Charlie.." Kelly began.

"What?!" the taxi driver voiced fireman barked.

"Uh, can I bend your ear a little bit?"

Charlie eyed him up suspiciously. "You mean like how that lame brained
dame bent in Squad 51's rear fender?" he asked without a smile. Not
one mouth uttered a single peep, until Charlie suddenly started
laughing loudly at his own poor joking reference. "You can all relax,
because I can, now. The ol' girl's good as new." he shared good
naturedly as he flipped a kitchen chair around Johnny Gage style to
sit at the table so he could finish his gift of steaming soup. "Gage,
DeSoto.. Next time, feel free to ram a bush before you let the next
person ram you, okay.. These vehicles..."

"... are your babies, we know.." said Johnny dutifully.

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"are my babies." said Charlie, still lecturing. "So, Chet. Ah,..
What is it that you wanna chat about?"

Kelly stood up from where he was slumped against the back of Cap's
lounge chair. "I want your opinion on a new tool I think no engine should
be without." he said mysteriously.

Marco rolled his eyes. "Uh oh. It's that sales pitch again, everybody.
Look out for your pocketbooks!"

Chet scoffed. "Oooo, very funny." he said without his usual sting. He
dismissed Lopez's and the others' reactions immediately. "Charlie,
enjoy your lunch. I'll be right back with it."

Then Chet and Boot made a beeline for the yard. When they returned,
they reappeared with something that they all thought was a shovel at
first, and a spare hose bundle from the store locker by the drying
tower. He unceremoniously noodled the hose out into a messy pile
on the tiled floor.

"Kelly, what--?" Cap started.

"This'll only take a moment, Cap." Chet interrupted. "I promise I'll put
everything away once I'm done."

Of everyone, only Boot and Charlie were truly intrigued. Especially
the mechanic. He abandoned his bowl in seconds, letting his spoon
fall with a splash. "Oh, very good." he trickled, taking the homemade
waist high tool from Kelly's hand. "Is this what I think it is?" he asked
Chet, shaking with excitement.

The gang, was clueless. They all leaned forward, peering with mixed
reactions at the odd business end of the crafted tool that had a normal
shovel handle on top.

Chet proudly showed it off. "Feel free to try it out, Charlie. She's all
yours.." And he held it out dramatically, very pleased with himself and
his captured audience.

Gage shook his head in incomprehension. "What is it?" he asked.

Charlie placed a matter of fact hand on his fire uniformed hip. "What
does it look like, Johnny boy? This is a work of sheer genius!" he
sighed, utterly genuine.

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