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      Water Day Saints
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From: "Roxy Dee" <>
Date: Wed Apr 5, 2006 0:53am
Subject: Drooling For Donuts~~

Johnny Gage sailed into the day room in the best of moods.
"Morning. Morning all. Isn't this the most terrific morning, guys?
Boy, last night I think I had the best date I've ever--"

"You're late.." grumbled Cap. "We're just about to begin the meeting
the chief's asked us to have about lining up another fundraiser for
the station."

Completely unphased about his tardiness or the growled complaint,
Johnny snatched up the warming coffee pot from the stove and sat
down in a spot next to his partner. "Oh, Cap. Not another one. I still
have nightmares about how badly the one we tried to set up selling
fireman's picnic tickets at Rampart."

Chet and Stoker, who were still whispering confidentially about
something together in close conference, broke off when Johnny got
curious enough to peek at some papers they had laid out on the table
in front of them. Kelly protectively snatched them up and stacked them,
keeping their information a secret. "Only you did so badly, Gage. The rest
of us breezed through selling our ticket packets. We had no problems at
all. Who knows what your excuse was."

"Maybe Johnny's just not a born door to door salesman." Marco scoffed

"Ain't that the truth.." Chet goggled. "I mean, who'd buy from a fireman with
that smile coming at em.."

"Hey...." Gage protested immediately. "Cap.. now that was uncalled for.
Chet just--"

"Cap just nothing, Gage." said Hank, no nonsense."I'm not responsible for
Kelly's flapping gums."

"Yeah, there is such a thing as the First Amendment in this country, Johnny.
Did you miss hearing about that in school when you were growing up?"
Chet grinned, trying to snatch a donut waiting on the platter in front of
them that was to be their reward for getting company business done.

Hank smacked a butter knife across his knuckles instantly.

"OwW!" Kelly howled.

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"Not until we're done. You know the rules. You should know
them better than anybody else around here." Cap told Kelly.

Johnny laughed, celebrating Chet as he nursed his knuckles
in between his lips. "And who's been assigned to this station
longer than anybody else has been, except Stoker?" he teased.

Bonnie, sitting on the empty chair next to Johnny, was practically
salivating as she stared at the freshly baked donuts Cap had
set out intentionally as a powerful meeting attendance incentive.

Kelly just glared at him for a few seconds, then fell into blatant
ignoring as he and Stoker brought their heads together into animated
conversation about something that seemed to be a project that
they were working privately on together. Roy seemed to know
what it was, for he began nodding to himself when he overheard
a term or two outlining a specific that they were hashing out.

Gage couldn't help but be cattish. "Ok, so what're you working
on?" he asked them.

Stoker and Kelly didn't look up. They might as well have been
a news broadcast for all the response they gave Johnny.

Hank, however, immediately glommed onto Gage's interest and
set him straight. "They're working on what the chief asked them
to directly. And that project's gonna be the meat of this whole
meeting today. We're gonna raise money so Stoker and Kelly
can continue working on it with the department's blessing. So the
sooner you zip your lips the sooner we can get eating the donuts
I brought in for all of us."

Marco's stomach couldn't keep silent any longer and it growled.
"Sorry." Lopez mumbled. "Guess I'm just as bad as Bonnie here."
he apologized.

Chet Kelly eased Bonnie's self inflicted torture by sweeping her
into his lap and petting her affectionately. "I'll start this meeting
off, Cap. Stoker and I have already come up with our preliminary
figures. We figure we'll need around five hundred dollars to complete
phase two. That'll include paying for Brackett's time evaluating
our invention and the cost of materials to build it."

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"What invention?" Johnny interjected clearly into a pause in

"If you needed to know that, I would have told ya. Now shush."
Cap glared at him. "Drink your coffee and cork it."

Gage immediately whispered animatedly to Roy. "What's this
all about? Geesh,.. I was only trying to-"

"Shhh." Roy said mildly. "I'm trying to listen to this.." he stage whispered.

"Listen to what? They haven't even given us a real subject matter yet."
Johnny countered.

DeSoto shut his partner up by pouring way too much sugar from the
table dispenser into Johnny's mug with intentional moderate malice.

Gage sighed and rubbed his face in irritation at the stunt.
Then he started fidgeting in his seat, when he began to realize
that he'd be unable to dump out his coffee into the sink just yet
with the meeting officially going on to go pour himself a new one.

He finally fell to silence.

Hank conducted the next natural question."Does anybody have
any ideas on how we can get half a G by the end of next week
to fund this brainchild project submission?"

Gage decided to hasten things along. "How about a barbeque or
a fish fry at the supermarket?" he suggested sarcastically.

Chet didn't even blink a mild eye. "That'd cost us personal
money first, Johnny. And you already know how hard that is
to swing getting ANY money from the other shifts."

"I agree. So some kind of cookout's out." Cap said empathetically.

Johnny threw up his hands. "Well, what other option have we got?
Anything we plan to do's gonna cost us money, even if we just
host a handpainted backyard carnival dunk tank and cheek kissing

Stoker looked up at that enthusiastically. "Now that's getting a little
closer.." he said brightly.

Roy raised his hand slowly with confidence."I got it."

Hank called on him with a nervously chewed on pencil eraser.
"Shoot it out."

"We declare a fire department holiday for kids and spruce up
the usual station tour rigmorale to make it more fun. Then ask
for donations from all the parents." DeSoto smiled.

"Hey. Now that's one heck of an idea.." Kelly grinned toothily.
"Stoker, I think we're back in business here."

Gage blinked into another pause. "Back in what business?"

"Never you mind." Stoker said, flipping a chin at him. "You'll find
out about it soon enough when the time's right."

Hank clattered his drained coffee mug on the table to call
things back into order. "Ok,.. sounds like a great idea, Roy. What
shall we call it when we sing out about it with an advertisement tarp
hanging from the flagpole?"

Roy looked a little uncomfortable then and he crossed his arms
across his chest shyly. "Well, I don't exactly know, Cap. I.. sort
of didn't think it through that far yet."

Marco piped up. "I got it.. why don't we call the holiday pitch Water
Day? The kids'll get it right away. Getting chances to fire off real
fire hoses despite of the drought restrictions.. It'll be perfect!"

"It sure would.." said Cap, enthusiastically. Then he snatched for
a donut faster than the speed of light. "Meeting's over.. Gage, you
were late so you get to design and paint the tarp banner. Solo.
Give it to Stoker when you're done so he can string it up and
fly it by tonight."

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"What!?!" Johnny sputtered.

"Don't press your luck, Johnny." Roy warned him with a grin,
reaching behind and over his back for the coffee pot to give
to Johnny so he could get a fresh cup to replace the one
DeSoto had ruined. "You just may learn to regret it."

"But..." Gage gasped.

Bonnie barked.

"Uh oh.." said Hank.

The tones went off. ##EEE, ooo AArrrrroooo.##

The gang grabbed two donuts in each hand and jogged
out of the kitchen.

Before he left, Chet broke off a large piece of one of his
for the diminutive Yorkie still sitting patiently in her chair.

Bonnie wagged her tail at him and yipped in appreciation.

##Station 29, Truck 8, Heavy Extrication 20, Station 51. Battalion 1.
Multiple car traffic accident with injuries. Highway 580 and
Ventura  Freeway. Highway 580 and Ventura Freeway.
Time out 0915.##

Cap felt his blood begin to pump as he hauled on his turnout
jacket. "Let's move. Sounds like a big one." Then he
got on the radio. "Station 51, 10-4. KMG 365...."

The rest of them needed no encouragement.

Soon, the squad and engine were driving down the boulevard
with all their lights set to maximum, their sirens screaming
for space through which to dart around the morning's choking
rush hour.

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From: "patti keiper" <>
Date: Thu Apr 6, 2006  8:15 pm
Subject: MCI Level 1

The hair started going up on the back of Hank Stanley's neck
as they got closer to where they could see the morning
rush backing up. "Oh, L*rd. There must be a dozen
cars involved in this one." he said to everyone in the Ward's
cab. He got on the mic.

"L.A., this is Station 51. We're arriving on scene.
I'm seeing a multiple MVA pileup in excess of ten vehicles just
south of the Highway 580 viaduct. I'm officially declaring a
Level One Multiple Casualty Incident. Infrastructure has
collapsed on top of vehicles and at least one semi truck of
undetermined type. The command post will be Engine 51
with the same call sign until further notice. Note the best
route of access is from the north along the outside lane's
margin, going southbound."

There was a slight pause as Sam Lanier, the dispatcher of
the day, digested Cap's information. ##10-4. Confirming
MCI Level 1. I copy victim numbers ten or more vehicular.
Responding four additional paramedic stations, a full
hazmat team and two air support units.##

Fluting tones rang as the county wide issue came over
on Station 51's frequency as the high level incident was radioed
out to all available EMS in range. It was followed with rapid radio
traffic as additional police and highway response crews were
notified of the call and acknowledged it.

##Engine 51, Battalion 1. My ETA is still four minutes out. I'm giving
you permission to assume the scene as Incident Commander. Install
your posts ASAP.## said the chief through his car radio.

"10-4, Battalion 1. L.A. an update. There is no smoke.
I repeat. No smoke as yet." annunciated Cap clearly to his superior.
::Last thing we need are fires breaking out.:: Then he turned to
his men, gathering around him with full turnouts, tanks and gloves.
He spoke urgently quiet. "As I assign you, put these reflective vests

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Captain Stanley's mind kicked into high gear and he took action,
giving rapid orders. "Roy, take over as Medical Group Supervisor.
Order any needed resources through me, such as law enforcement
or coroner's aid. Establish communications through a secondary
control channel and designate yourself as DeSoto HT 51 to L.A.
Make three staging treatment areas for triage, red immediate, yellow
delayed and green minor. Use the squad's triage kit for taping.
Gather the bottom halves of all triage tags with their patient
information and have them brought to me. When Battalion gets
here, he'll coordinate evacuations as Operations Section Chief."

Roy nodded, breathing hard as his eyes took in more
and more of the damage laid out about them.

Hank turned to his left.
"Stoker, you're my Safety Officer, sweep the area and determine
casualty numbers and all hazards and report them to me directly.
It'll be your job to make sure no one, including rescuers, gets into
danger while working out there. Direct units to handle any
problems you see through my channel. You arrange critical hazard
mitigation, deal with any fire threatening survivors and all critical
exposures, ongoing hazardous substance releases, and
any further structural instabilities. Manage all of that
before performing any nonambulatory victim rescues."

"Right, Cap." said Stoker putting on his scba mask. He snatched
up his HT and went running for a slope above the pileup to
get a birdeye's view of the whole area.

"Chet, you're the Transportation Supe. Create channel Kelly HT 51.
You'll be responsible for loading ambulances by priority triage tags
and sending recovered victims off to the appropriate assigned
hospitals. Coordinate with Rampart, Mercy General and Mount Sanai
Hospitals direct." Hank directed. "Roy will send victims to you
as you call for them."

"Got it, Cap." said Kelly. He swiftly decided that an adjoining viaduct
cloverleaf circle would make the perfect helicopter landing zone
and ambulance disembarkation point. He ran for that area, changing
channels on his handheld as he hurried into his scba mask.

"Johnny, you're the head treatment unit leader for triaging on
Gage HT 51. Use the first two arriving paramedic units and make
them a part of your team. Declare yourself now and have them report
to you out there directly. Go. Grab the Ward's triage kit and tags
with just minimal airways and trauma dressings. The rest
of any squads' gear will be brought to triage shortly."

"I'm gone." said Johnny, heading for the nearest car to their location.
He didn't hurry, but first looked to Mike Stoker for a thumbs up to
make sure the area he was entering was truly safe.

Then he got his hand signal to proceed in and suddenly all the
rest was as if he was wearing blinders.

Set on his new channel and connected with those
rescue squads coming to report to him, Gage reached his first victim...

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It was a woman, twisted and moaning in the driver's seat.

"Maam, stay still. I'm a paramedic with the Los Angeles County
Fire Department." he said, reaching into the shattered car window.
"Can you understand me?" he asked the panting, bloody woman
as he grabbed her by the sides of the head to check her true
consciousness level.

Her respirations count was twenty and he got a pulse at her
wrist easily but she didn't open her eyes for him or attempt
to answer any of his loud questions. Gage swept down her
body and limbs for problems. He found and tied off a bad
bleed on her right thigh. Finding nothing else,
Johnny got the young lady's license out of her purse, wired it
to the woman's triage tag and wrote down the controlled
bleeding's location and the time, and left a triage tag untorn
as red immediate around her upper arm.

Her companion was on the floor, unmoving. Jerking the passenger
side door open, Johnny crawled inside the car and climbed
on top of the seat. He checked and found no breathing with
his hands. Ignoring the finer spinal protocols, he tipped up the man's
chin with a jaw thrust and listened for air exchange. He found none.
Johnny left the man with a short tag torn down to the black color
and a time.

There was no one in the back seat in spite of a child's restraint
chair strapped in. Johnny marked the car's roof with an
orange spray can. ' R X 1,  D -- 1.'


On the hill, Cap noticed Johnny's first marker. He got on his
hand held radio. "Engine 51 to Engine 29. You're assigned
extrication. Head for the white two door Chevy Impala that's
been marked, immediately next to Squad 51. One victim critical."

##Engine 29 to Engine 51. We copy. Our crew's moving in.##

Cap noticed Heavy Extrication Unit Twenty rolling in with her sirens
blaring. "Truck Twenty. Head for the broken viaduct. We're seeing
two pinned cars by that jackknifed truck. Determine all hazmat
risks, live victim numbers, then radio back to me. I'll send no
paramedics into your area until you secure full scene safety."

##Truck 20, Engine 51, 10-4.##

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Roy DeSoto was animated. He spoke into his frequency,
requested, and got a reply back for a doctor and nurse to
fly in from Rampart. "I'll use both of them for victim treatment.
Vince can head up being morgue manager. Looks like Johnny's
found the first Code F." he mumbled to himself.

He contented himself with laying out multiple tarps and
medical gear upwind of the crash site into three rows. He squared
these off into three sections with red, yellow and green tape on
sticks thrust into cones. Moving to Squad 51, he unloaded
absolutely every piece of medical gear it had and organized them
opened and ready to use in a row along a center aisle which ran
through the middle of all three tape colored areas. Thinking
ahead, he asked a couple of policemen to go to any
other light flashing rescue squads parked away from the crash site to
gather their gear and courier the equipment to the triage station.

Then he waited with a command slate for the first fire teams to
arrive with a victim's stokes. When he saw two firemen
coming from the white chevy, he called for a paramedic team
to intercept and treat the red tagged woman without using their
biophone. "Treat her briefly here then contact MD control when
you're in route. Brackett's on the way to the scene if you find
anything life threatening that needs immediate intervention with
a doctor's order." he told them.

Squad 29's medics handed Roy half of the woman's triage tag
outlining her designated color and the ID notes Johnny
had jotted down along with her driver's license. He got on the
radio to Chet. "DeSoto HT 51 to Kelly HT 51."

##This is Kelly HT 51.##

"I've a red tag. She'll be ready to move out your way in.."
Roy peered closer at what the paramedics were doing for her with
an I.V., oxygen without an airway, and additional dressings to
her one wounded leg and guessed at her possible departure
time."Four minutes. Altered LOC. Bleeding controlled. Triage tag
number #1. An Evelyn Samuels. Age 54."

##This one a fly out?## asked Chet, writing down the woman's
information on his command slate.

"No, we've stabilized her. A ground transport will do." Roy told him.

##I've a Mayfair standing by. Two spots. A rider bench and a gurney.##

"Send those attendants on foot for her." DeSoto told Chet. "She's
in a stokes. I'll try to get another red tag for you to go along with her."

##They're on their way.## Kelly promised Roy.


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Johnny moved rapidly through the next two cars, there were
three green tags, panicking assuredly, but he managed to convince
them to remain where they were inside the glass cracked vehicles
until other firemen arrived who could help walk them out to the triage

"Meyers! I got a non-mover over here!" Gage shouted to another
paramedic that he had assigned to work under him. "Boy of ten
or so. In the black convertible!"

"Where are you?" asked the voice through the steam of violated
cars and dust.

"See my tags? I looped them onto the car's radio antennae!"

"Got you." shouted the man.

He rushed to the car door that Johnny was struggling to open and
helped him yank it ajar. Both men got inside in seconds and
crouched over the crumpled boy in the back seat. His shirt
was bloody. Gage knelt and listened close to the boy's face.
"He's not breathing." Johnny told him as he opened the child's
airway with a modified jaw thrust.

"Does he have a pulse?"

Gage felt for one at the boy's carotid. "Yes."

Meyers bent low and gave the boy five ventilations mouth
to nose, pressing the boy's lips closed to prevent escaping
air. "How about now?" he asked maintaining the boy's open
breathing position.

"That did it. He's around 46 times a minute." Johnny smiled.

Meyers sighed and slipped in an oropharyngeal airway in
between the boy's teeth. The noisy breaths continued.

Gage cut away the child's shirt, looking for the reason
for the dampness staining the boy's clothes. "Pneumo.
Left side. I can feel it sucking in and out." he told Meyers.

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"Only one?"


"Here's a vasoline dressing." said the man, handing it to Johnny.

Gage slapped it onto the child's chest wound on his back
and then wrote down his information onto a red tag.

As they were leaving the car, Meyers asked. "Where's the boy's
parents? Front seat's empty."

"Maybe they were walking wounded before anybody got here."

Meyers frowned intensely. "I hope they're found. This kid needs
parental consent."

"Roy'll call a police officer into the triage station to cover situations
like his to take protective custody. He'll do that with of all unattended
minors brought to him." Gage reassured him.


"He's real good that way with things like that. He's got two kids of
his own." Johnny said.

The two paramedics reluctantly left the gasping little boy alone in
his car to move on to the next one. They left their spray painted
marker for Cap to see and left.

Stoker began shouting and hand signalling to some crews over by
the worse area of the pileup. Something was happening that only he
could see by the semi truck and it was bad.

"Uh, oh.." Johnny noticed, looking up to the hill to where the engineer
stood with Captain Stanley.

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From: "Cory Anda" <>
Date: Mon Apr 10, 2006  6:43 pm
Subject: Extended Rescue..

Captain Stanley's voice suddenly came over Johnny's band.
##Gage! Civilians are being stupid trying to render aid to
someone under a pickup truck next to the east end of
580's viaduct overhang. Stoker says they're trying to use
an oxyacetylene torch on something directly over him.##

Gage's head snapped up. "It takes all types. Where
are the cops when you need em?!" he said in frustration
to paramedic Meyers."Let's go." He got on his radio.
"Gage HT 51 to Engine 51. 10-4. We'll be there in
less than one minute.."

##Follow Stoker's flares in a line. They divert around fuel
spills. Don't worry about the steaming semi. That truck's
been declared Hazmat neutral. Its payload's just milk
and the condensate's only thawing frost. You can
D/C both your scba apparatuses.##

"Copy that.." answered the first-in team. Happily,
they dumped their bottles into a conspicuous open
spot for easier equipment recovery later on.

Johnny and Meyers picked up their light triage packs and began
to run. They stopped only long enough to point out moving victims
to the other roving paramedic teams also assigned to search
through the piled up cars.

Soon, they were there.

A dusty automobile driver ran up to them, pointing. "A driver's been
thrown headfirst into a rotating cement mixer. He's been buried alive under
fresh cement. He's entangled in the mixer's motorized agitator.. My friend
and I are trying to help him."

"Show me.." said Johnny, his face growing tight. "Has it seized up?"
he asked about the barrel agitator.

"Yes. The blades aren't turning anymore around the shaft which
I think's been cocked at an angle." said the man.

"Great, now get out of here. Make for those two firemen you
see on the hill by following along these cherry flares."


"It's for your own safety. There's more than enough people
here now who can help that man." Gage snapped. Then
he noticed the cut over the man's eye. "We'll tend to you, too.
Take this tag and show it to them." Johnny said, passing off a
hasty green tabbed triage tag.

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The man hesitated, looking at the other firemen jogging towards

Gage gestured urgently. "Don't worry about him. We know what to
do. Get yourself out, ok? Please, mister,...move!"

The man went.

Johnny and Meyers were shocked when they turned a corner around
the rolled over milk truck and saw the cement mixer. They could see only
the victim's left hand and right leg extended and moving out the top of the
hopper. His head was partially protruding through a small discharge port
on the bottom. And there was a lot of dripping blood.

"Gage HT 51 to Engine 51.. We've a man heavily entrapped and in critical
condition inside a construction agitator under hardening cement. I'm
declaring an extended rescue.." Gage told Cap.

Realizing the scope of the incident, Hank quickly called Headquarters'
communications center to land a medical evacuation helicopter near the
scene. ##10-4, notifying L.A. and Truck 20 to report to your location.## said

As Gage and Meyers climbed to the top of the mixer, they encountered a
beefy construction man attempting to free the victim by cutting the agitator
shaft with a flaming torch. Molten metal from the shaft was flying through the
air and landing on top of the moaning man, causing very obvious third
degree burns to the exposed paling skin around his neck and back.

"What the h*ll do you think you're doing?! Get away from there!" Meyers
said, hauling the torch out of the man's hands. "You're burning him!"

"But I was just trying to get a hole open down to him for you fellas."
said the worker. "He's bleeding ta death!"

"Are you crazy? There's a ton of fuel spilled around here. Didn't you
consider where all your sparks were blowing? You did more harm
than good, man. Get outta here. Now!" Gage shut down the torch and
flung it away from their victim in disgust.

One of Truck 20's firemen immediately removed the worker from the area.

The two rescuers could see the victim's upper torso had pinned between the
lower half of the mixing unit and the agitator shaft. He was trapped face
down, from his head to his waist, under the agitator. His back was bent
backwards under the shaft, and agitator blades had impaled three
inches into his left shoulder. Johnny could see that the metal pistons would
seriously limit the space available to rescuers for cutting operations.

Gage could hear the victim's muffled screams for help.

"Hey, hey. Take it easy. The torch's gone. We got rid of it. Can you
breathe ok?" Meyers asked the frightened man.

The man gasped, shaking his head. "N-no. Smothering me.." he gurgled.

The two paramedics positioned themselves on either side of the man's
head and discovered that the motion frozen agitator was causing a nasty
problem. The cement covering the victim's body had begun to dry, putting
pressure on his lungs and diaphragm. And more of it was oozing onto his
face as he spat and choked and tried to turn his head away from it.

Meyers and Johnny knelt quickly to scoop wet concrete from around the man's
mouth and nose with their gloved hands.

As they also removed cement from around their victim's body, they found his
left arm was badly mangled. This was the source of the tremendous bleeding
pooling under the mixer. Johnny drew out a tourniquet and used it on the
man rapidly. "We need an oxygen tank at our location as fast as possible."
he radioed out to Cap.

##It's on the way with Truck 20. They're also carrying a full squad's gear.
ETA is half a minute.## Hank promised.

"Understood..." Johnny replied.
Gasping in effort as he worked to ease the man's breathing difficulty, Johnny
looked up to see the heavy rescue truck equipped with a hefty complement of
specialty rescue equipment, including hydraulic tools and lifting bags, arriving.

::Good, they're bound to have an exothermic torch for us to use.:: he thought.


Battalion Chief One arrived to the command hill shortly thereafter. He had
heard Johnny's declaration of an extended rescue situation. He had received
a face-to-face briefing from Cap minutes earlier and had assumed his
full incident command.

Cap said to him off channel. "Johnny tried to describe the victim's
position in the mixer and.. Well, Chief, you just have to take a look for


Soon, Battalion had. "Tricky. What's your plan?" he asked 20's head
rescueman and officer.

"Me and my men'll cut that 300 lb. agitator shaft here to create a space
between the blades and his chest. It'll give the medics more working room for
their I.V.s and gain them better access to determine the extent of his other
injuries.." said the helmeted fireman.

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      Warning.....Graphic image down below.
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"Make it happen, boys." agreed Battalion. Then he knelt down
next to Johnny. "How's he doing?"

"He's barely holding, Chief. We've got to get him out of here fast.
This cement's started drying and it's crushing down on all of
his arms and legs." answered Meyers.

"We're working on it." soothed Battalion. Then he looked
up. "Here's your medical gear." he said, motioning quickly
for the courier on the extrication fire truck to hasten in with his
full arm load.

"Great.." said Johnny reaching for the O2 apparatus. He
placed the mask over the man's face and began to help him
breathe using the ventilator. In spite of the help, the man blacked out.
"D*mn it. Stay with us, sir. Hang on. We're working hard on
getting you out of there."

But the man didn't open his eyes at all.

Truck 20's rescue crews tried to use hydraulic cutters on the agitator shaft.
Then they attempted to use hydraulic mini-cutters to sever the blades
impaling the victim's body. But the blades and shaft proved to be too thick.

They plied in again with a reciprocating saw.. Still, they had no success.

Finally, they placed a fireproof blanket around the victim and used the
exothermic torch to cut the impaling blade. The procedure worked well,
but the crew had to stop two minutes later when they became concerned
about reburning their victim as they cut closer to his torso.

Battalion was thoughtful. "How about placing a wooden wedge between the
blade and his body? A Partner K-12 saw would be a cinch to finish cutting
the shaft. Don't you think?"

"That'll work.." agreed the truck officer, motioning for a free fireman to
go retrieve a chock from storage.

The firemen soon removed the heavy agitator shaft from the victim's
back, but the blade remained impaled inside of his shoulder.

"That hole's big enough. We gotta get in there." Gage fidgetted.
"He needs fluids yesterday."

"Ok, men. Step back. Let the medics in to work." ordered the chief.

Meyers and Johnny eagerly upended into the mixer, questing
for more information with what they could see and feel with
their slurry soggy gloves.

They were soon disappointed.

With no blood flow to his severely damaged left arm and with his right
arm pinned under his body, the paramedics couldn't establish an IV
on the man. And they soon discovered that the cement mixer's U-shaped
drum made it nearly impossible to completely assess him from the waist
down while he remained entrapped upside down like he was.

Meyers bit his lip. "This is taking too long." he mumbled to Johnny.
"I know." Gage agreed. "But we don't have much choice except to
wait it out."

The crews stepped in once more at a wave from the chief,
to resume chistling concrete and cutting out twisted metal,
bit by bit.

Johnny stayed on the man's head. "Let Meyers patch him in,
next metal-cooling break. We'll be monitoring him using the EKG
so we'll be out of the way except for whoever's ventilating him." he
said to the head rescueman.

The firemen nodded. He said. "Maybe all of this concrete's a blessing
in disguise."

"How so?" Johnny asked.

"Ironically, although the drying cement's hindering us. It's probably
saving his life. His bleeding's being kept in check."

Johnny smiled. "Yeah, let's hope there're no cuts on a leg outside
of the ooze, or he'll exsanguinate further and lapse into irreversible

"I'm all for that idea. Raging optimist. Know what I mean?" said the
older fireman, giving Johnny an enthusiastic thumbs up.

To ease the rescueman's worries, Johnny echoed the
gesture with a soft smile.

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