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Where The Wind Blows
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From: "Derrick" <>
Date: Thu Dec 29, 2005  3:36 am through
          Wed Jan 4, 2006  12:29 am
Subject: Up and At 'Em  

Johnny Gage's alarm clock radio popped on in his Marina
Del Rey apartment at 5:30 in the morning.

It was time to get up and prepare for another shift at Station 51. And
his radio was tuned to KROR 99.9 FM "The Roar", one of the FM
hard rock station in Los Angeles, where Ken Kruiser, a popular
morning dj, was on the air.

The dj said to his audience. ##Wake up L.A., it's half past the six
o' clock hour. Time for you working folks to get up for another day
of work, and for you kids listening to get your butts to school on this
windy Thursday morning and here is your weather. The weatherman is
calling for patchy morning fog along the coastline and partly cloudy
skies inland with a slight chance of a shower or two after the noon
hour. Your highs today in the City of Angels and surrounding vicinity
will be in the upper 60's along the coast to the mid 80's inland, and
the overnight lows will be from the low to upper 50's, with those pesky
Santa Ana winds kicking up with gusts up to 50 miles per hour by
this afternoon. Red flag warning is in effect for the hills and canyons
so be careful with fire. ##

::Now he tells us.:: thought Gage. With that in mind, Johnny knew
that it was going to be a long day.

He arrived two minutes late at the station for the start of his shift
and said. "Well, good morning all. Windy out there, ain't it? I--"

Captain Stanley interrupted Gage and said. "Good morning to you,
too, Johnny. I don't want to ruin your day but may I remind you that you
are now three minutes late? That means that you have exactly
two minutes to get in uniform and report to the living room.
You too, Chet."

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Chet Kelly tried to make up a good excuse for his tardiness,
replying. "Cap, you know how hard I try to be here on time, but
the traffic is murder out there!  Especially with the wind blowing!"

Gage agreed with Chet. "It's still early, you know what I mean?"

Then Captain Stanley stated. "Well, o.k. But don't make it a habit.
McConnikee has been on my back about this. And I agree, this new
starting time for our shift at seven in the morning just doesn't make
sense." The captain yawned as he finished his conversation. "I
kind of cut it close getting in here myself. I'm still tired."

As Kelly and Gage entered the kitchen for coffee and exchanging hellos
with the rest of the crew, Marco Lopez was looking out the back door
window. He said, laughing. "Geez , you've got to see this. The
wind just picked up a trash can and tossed it like a rag doll down
the street! There's trash everywhere!"

"No kidding?" said Roy DeSoto. "Our neighbor had a tree branch
land on a power transformer early this morning and it knocked
the power out to the whole neighborhood for two hours."

"Two hours? Why so long?" Marco inquired.

"Because that's how long it took before Pacific Gas and
Electric could get out there with a boom truck to get it down
and restore the power. As a matter of fact, they had just turned it
back on when I left this morning. The guy told me that they were
already ten calls behind and they were still getting calls for more
help by the time they got to us."

"Wow, looks like we may be in for a busy day." replied Marco as
Henry the station's basset hound mascot sunk his head into the couch
in a sign of pity for the guys.

Chet Kelly scratched his nose.
"I remember one time when I was over at 7's when a power pole fell
onto a house up in the hills near Bel Air. Huge house, and it had
squished it right in half! The wind took the pole right off of its base
and we had sparks flying and arching wires everywhere. It was a
miracle that no one got killed!" he added.

Mike Stoker had another story to tell.
"When I was up at 69's, we had Santa Anas up to seventy miles per
hour. We had a whole family with seven kids in a station wagon that
got blown off Altadena Pass Road and rolled off to the side about ten
feet down an embankment. That was a miracle there because the way
it looked, we thought that everyone would be dead or badly hurt. But
it turned out that everyone only had just a few bumps and bruises.
That's all. We were glad to be out of there with them when a spark
caused the gas tank to explode, which then caused a five alarm
brush assignment. We were there all night putting that one out."  

Hank swallowed a bite of donut.
"When I was working at 58's, we had an assignment where one of
those steel power poles somehow blew over onto the tower of the
shortwave radio station in Idaho Canyon. McConnikee was walking
up to inspect the damage to the tower when a gust of wind caught him
off guard and blew him right onto his rear. We all got a good
chuckle out of that! Like the saying goes, once a b----- ."

Captain Stanley was interrupted as the station's tones sounded.
##Station 51, Engine 95. Antennae on top of a structure. Two
seniors trapped. 11864 Pocohontas Circle. 11864 Pocohontas
Circle. Cross street, Alta Vista. Time out: 0714.##

The men scrambled to both the squad and engine as Captain
Stanley acknowledged Sam Lanier's urgent dispatch.

"Station 51, 10-4, KMG 365."  he replied on the mobile radio
inside the Ward La France engine. Both the squad and engine left
with lights flashing, sirens wailing, and air horns blasting on the way
to the scene which would take them seven minutes to get there.
::But seven minutes can seem like an eternity for those in need
of help inside the damaged home, especially if you are elderly.::
thought Cap.

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According to the mail box, the house that the firemen could see they
had the response to, belonged to Mr. Frederick Risenborough
and his wife Carolyn. Cap saw that it was a modest home, most
likely with a couple of bathrooms, a den, maybe four bedrooms, and
a large backyard with a barbeque pit and wooden deck. There was
also a three car garage, some fireplaces due to the type of chimneys
Hank could see, and a built-in swimming pool round the side.

Now it was a pile of rubble. And the fate of its occupants was still
unknown according to the police over the radio.

Soon enough, Station 51's crew pulled closer onto the scene
where they were greeted by Officer Howard as they exited their

Officer Howard explained that the upright base station radio antennae
in the back yard of one of the next door neighbors had snapped near
the base and had landed on the roof of the house. He said that the
neighbors had built and used it to pull in ham and shortwave radio
transmissions. "It used to be about seventy feet tall." he said.

Captain Stanley noticed that the antennae was also lying across some
power lines. He told Officer Howard. "Well, Vince, before we do anything
we have to get the power turned off. Are there any other outages in the

"None that I know of, Hank. But there may be in the rest of the
neighborhood. Anything I can do?"

"Why don't you keep any onlookers and cars out of the area except
for immediate witnesses.  Also see if you can get a crane to clean
this mess up later on. O.k., pal?" asked Captain Stanley.

"Will do." Vince said.

Cap got back in the engine cab to give out his report.
"L.A., Engine 51. I have a heavy steel radio transmitting and
receiving antennae approximately seventy feet tall on top of a
residential structure with two elderly people perhaps still trapped
inside at this time. Send a truck company for assistance in rescue
operations and an ambulance. Notify PG and E and have them
expedite if all possible. Advise of their ETAs."

##10-4, Engine 51.## dispatcher Lanier replied.

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The firemen tried to find their way around the house safely
to make their initial damage assessment so they could identify
how to gain access and locate potential hazards, including the
antennae on top of it. They also had to decide what resources
they would need as far as equipment and manpower was concerned.

Roy called over to Captain Stanley. ##Squad 51 to Engine 51. We have
located a way in on the west side of the house. We will need the
Porta-Power, air bags, K-12, and the Hurst tool to gain access to
the victims.## he said over his HT.

"Engine 51, Squad 51, 10-4. Engine 95!  Assist my crew in any way
you can." Captain Stanley ordered as he spotted Engine 95 was
coming on scene.

##Engine 95, 10-4, Engine 51.## the engine's captain replied.

The scene action progressed.

Chet Kelly, with his gloved hands, used a crow bar to break out a
bedroom window to allow the firefighters to get inside the house.
He peeked inside the bedroom to look for obstacles that might
impede their advance toward the victims and found a bureau
dressing drawer in the way. He crawled through the window, able
to pull himself up and through the couple of feet that separated the
window from the ground.

Engine 95's crew hustled with a ladder to aid their fellow co-workers.
Then they retreated with Station 51's crew to get more equipment to
set it up.

Chet and Marco moved the dresser out of everyone's way, shoving
it into a corner wall.


Johnny got out the biocom and called into Rampart near where Dixie
McCall was standing within earshot of the radio. The light flashed and
the alert buzzer sounded as Johnny said. "Rampart base, County 51."

##Go ahead, 51.## Dixie replied.

"Rampart, we are at the scene of a rescue operation. We have a seventy
foot steel antennae that has fallen on top of a house. It has trapped
at least two victims inside. We are working to gain access at this
time and will let you know when we have contact with them.
We're estimating about a forty minute extrication time. Over."

As the conversation kept going on, Dr. Morton listened attentively
as Nurse Mc Call stepped out of his way for him to use the radio.
##51, this is Rampart. We read you and are standing by. Is an
ambulance there yet?##

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"Affirmative, Rampart. It just arrived along with an engine,
a truck company, and the Battalion Chief." Gage told him.

##Okay, transport as soon as possible but only after you give
us a full report on your patients.## said Mike.

"10-4, Rampart." replied Gage and he headed from the squad back
to Roy and the rest of the guys at the house.


As the firemen made their way inside, Captain Stanley stood at the window
where they had made entry as Chief McConnikee arrived to be filled
in on the situation.

"Hank, what have you got?" McConnikee asked him.

"Bill, I have a seventy foot radio antennae that has collapsed on top of a
house with two people trapped inside. My men along with 95's and
the truck company I called are still gaining access. I've heard that they are
older people." said Hank glancing over to the worried bystanders
across the street. "I hope that we can get to them while they're still alive."

Chief McConnikee surveyed the damage to the roof and sighed,
"I sure hope so."

Inside the house, the firemen made their way down a short hallway that
had serious damage to the interior walls in which crumbled sheet
rock and cracked paint and plaster lay. Ahead of them, there was
a huge pile of rubble in what could have been the living and dining
room. It was where the tower had landed. Roy called out to listen for
a response from the victims they all thought were trapped there.
::I hope someone's conscious so we can have an open line of
communication to them until we get there.:: thought Roy. "Hello.
This is the fire department. Can anybody hear me?" he said.

There was an eerie silence.

"Hello! Fire department! Can anybody hear me?!" Roy DeSoto
shouted louder.

There was still no response. ::We're not going to give up
that easily.:: Roy decided mentally.

Johnny Gage, following behind Roy, shouted as loud as his
voice could carry. "Hey! This is the Los Angeles County Fire
Department. We are coming to get you out!"

Ten seconds later, there was a muffled cry ; a female voice
within the rubble.

Roy, Johnny, and Marco heard the elderly woman with
difficulty, but they smiled. They knew she had survived and
perhaps her husband, too, if he was anywhere near by her.

The firemen urgently, but very carefully, placed their equipment down to
get it ready to get to them both.  They were especially careful to not
cause any sudden moves.  

The Battalion Chief, watching his men work, thought. ::A further collapse
would endanger the lives of the other rescuers inside if they aren't.::

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Johnny asked the woman. "Are you trapped?"

The woman replied. " ..*Gasp*...yes, help me. My husband is, too.
He is out cold." came her muffled voice.

Johnny then asked. "Is he breathing?"

"...yes, but not that good..*gasp* I feel ..short of ....breath. Please get
us out of here!"

"Okay. Stay still and we will have both of you out in a few minutes.
There is going to be a lot of noise. That will just be the equipment
we'll have working to get you out so try to relax." said Johnny
through the tangle of debris still between them.

Captain Stanley said. "Chet, Marco. K-12 and easy with it.
Henderson and Briggs from 95's, man the inch and a half just in
case we spark something and the rest of you, start clearing out some
of this debris as we go. Stoker, standby the biocom to Rampart."

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"Okay, Cap." he replied.

All the firemen then busied themselves with their tasks.


The wind outside made the shrubs, tree limbs and power lines dance.
All loosened debris around them was being hurled through the air by
it as it suddenly gusted up to forty five miles per hour.


Inside the house, there was a loud creaking that seemed to be
coming from the threshold leading from the hallway into the living room.

Captain Stanley, who was standing nearby, heard it and went to
investigate. He knew that the supports to the roof had been pretty
weakened and that the whole roof could cave in at any time, trapping
everybody inside. He heard another groan above him just seconds
later and ducked instinctively. He got on his portable radio to Chief
McConnikee, who had since gone outside to head command the incident
while standing on the street in view of the house. "Battalion 14, HT 51."
Captain Stanley's voice crackled into his radio.

##Battalion 14. Go ahead, Hank.## McConnikee said.

"Battalion 14 , the roof on this structure is weakening as I speak
and can go at any time. I have sixteen men getting to the victims
inside and it will be at least another thirty minutes before we gain
contact. But we maybe have fifteen to twenty only to get them out before
this place falls down. Any suggestions?"


Vince, overhearing Captain Stanley's radio conversation, said to
Chief McConnikee. "I have men up on Alta Vista and Loma Prieta
shutting down traffic, except for you guys, to come through. I put in
for a crane to come even before you arrived. They should be here in
twenty minutes." Vince said, looking at his watch.

McConnikee glanced up directly into Vince's eyes and replied.
"I don't know if these guys have twenty minutes. Hank Stanley says
that roof can go at absolutely any time. Is PG&E here yet?"

"They just got here a minute ago. They should have the power off
by now." Vince said to him, looking around for the flash of utility

It was then, they both noticed that the sparks and arching of the power
lines that had fallen down because of the windstorm and the
antennae, had all but died away.

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:: Hmm.Things are now a little safer for everyone.:: Bill thought.
:: But the peril of the roof collapsing remains.:: the chief worried.
Battalion radioed inside to Captain Stanley. "HT 51, Battalion 14.
The power has been turned off. Repeat. The power is now off."

##HT 51, 10-4. What now?##

"HT 51, you're going to have to step it up but be careful. Do
you need additional manpower?" asked the chief.

Hank Stanley surveyed the scene in front of him and knew with
about sixteen men, that he was fine. He conferred with Engine 95's
Captain Eddie Green, a 26 year veteran, working near by.

Eddie nodded to Cap. "Another engine company would be nice. But
we don't want too many cooks spoiling the pot. We'll be outta here
sooner with just ours if we can push it a little."

Cap lifted his head sharply in agreement and turned back towards
the victims' pocket. "Hey, let's hurry it up in there. The hallway roof's
gonna go real soon and bring down the one above us with it." Hank Stanley
warned everyone. Then he turned to Green. "Let's give these guys a hand,
Eddie, ok?" Finally, he answered Battalion's question over the radio.
"That's negative on additional manpower, Battalion 14."

"HT 51, 10-4." McConnickee answered.

"Cap. We've made it to the victims!" Gage yelled.

"How are they?" Captain Stanley shouted back.

"....The lady is semi-conscious, but coherent. The man is
unconscious. Responds to painful stimuli. Looks like they are
both pinned down. The tower debris is lying on the lower part
of their bodies. We'll need ....the airbags, jaws, ......and the
Porta-Power to just lift it up off them a bit so we can get em' out."
said Johnny.

Roy DeSoto then filled the captains in with their medical priorities
and he said. "The older man goes first!  We'll need O2 for
both of them."

Captain Stanley ordered Mike Stoker out to the squad to get the
O2 and he told Chet Kelly to retrieve the O2 kit off of the engine.
Then he advised the chief on the portable radio about their
reaching the victims inside and what their conditions were as
both being trapped by their lower extremities. He shared also
that Kelly and Stoker were on their way out of the house to get the
medical equipment.  ::Come on. We now have just fifteen minutes at
the most to get them out before the roof collapses for good.
Time's not on our side.:: worried Hank.

##Okay, Hank.  It's too windy for me to be standing out here. I'm
coming in to help." McConnikee replied.

Hank Stanley was suddenly concerned about his Battalion Chief.
::Wow. I wonder if he can still hack it with the rest of the guys.::
Cap thought. Then he keyed the mic on his handheld. "All right,
Battalion 14, 10-4. But be careful."

Outside, Chief McConnikee popped open the trunk of his red
battalion chief's car by pressing a button inside of it. He
walked briskly to its back and put on his bunker pants after he
had taken off his coat and helmet to get their suspenders onto his
shoulders. Then, putting his bunker coat and white helmet back on,
he made his way into the house with Stoker and Kelly who then
followed behind him with the oxygen kits.

"Chief?" Lopez asked. "What are you doing in here?"

"I'm gonna help you guys. Maybe teach you all a thing or two while
I'm at it. Hurry it up!" McConnikee said to Stoker behind him.

The chief got behind Captains Stanley and Green who were working
the Porta-Power and he said to them. "Good. Keep going. Just a
little more."

"Yes, Chief." replied Green.

"Henderson, as soon as you get the tower up a little with the
jaws, get a good bite on those poles and a good lift on the
tower struts. Stoker and I, with the other two guys here, will get those
bags into proper position. We don't want any mistakes." Bill added.

"We've got four more air bottles off of the squad, chief. " shouted
a young rookie firefighter of Oriental descent from Engine 95 as
he propped them upright for the porta-power's hydraulic use.

"Good, Tse. Set them up for 51's guys and fill the lift bladders
fast." said McConnikee.

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Gage returned to the biocom once again to advise Rampart of
their current situation. "Rampart base, County 51.."  he said.

Dr. Morton, still in charge of the base station over the call,
re-entered the radio room and replied, ##Go ahead, 51.##

"Rampart, I am updating you about our situation. We have made
contact with our victims and they are being extricated at this time.
We have a shortened revised time of ten minutes due to the danger of roof
collapse. As far as I can tell, we suspect both our victims' conditions as
having critical lower extremity injuries and possible internal injuries to their
abdominal cavities. The female is still semi-conscious. Earlier she was
somewhat incoherent. The male is now responsive to verbal stimuli. We
have them both on 15 liters of 02 via non-rebreathers. Over..." reported

##51, can you visualize their upper extremities?## Dr . Morton
inquired as Dixie and Dr. Brackett walked into the radio room to
listen into what was going on.

"Uh,..stand by, Rampart. We have another development." Johnny
replied at a sudden cessation in sawing noise behind him.

##Okay. Keep us posted.## Morton answered.

"What's going on?" Brackett asked Dr. Morton.

"Do you know the case we have been working with 51 for
almost a half hour now?" Mike asked him.

Kel nodded.

"Well, it seems that they have gotten access to the patients
and are extricating them now."

Brackett sagged in relief.

Mike shook his head. "However Kel, they are in immediate
danger of having the roof collapsing right down on top of them.
They're saying that it can go at any time."

Dr. Brackett and Dixie bowed their heads in deep concern.

Dr. Brackett sighed then, looking up."Well, I know that the boys,
with enough help, can really get the job done. Let's hope for the
best." he said.


Meanwhile, the air bags were ready. The large black squares
marked with an X to indicate area of placement, had been inflated
fully. And with the other equipment in place, they had finally lifted
the heavy antennae off of the victims. They had provided
just enough space for the firefighters to move in to remove the
injured couple.

"Okay, that's enough! Let's get them out of here." McConnikee
shouted, bending low to see into the victims' gap. "Gimme the
extrication collar for this man,.. uh-ah , what's your name?" the
chief directed at Chet Kelly.

"Chet Kelly." Chet replied.

"Kelly. Right." The chief said. "Chet, get the second one while you're
at it, too."

The chief shouted with dismay as another groan came from the roof
above him. It seemed to be much louder than the first one heard by
Captain Stanley, who was still working on locking off the Porta-Power
with his friend, Captain Green.

Truck 11's Captain Marlon Hankins ran into the house. He was
one of just three African-American captains that Hank knew about;
a 20 year veteran of the County F.D.. Hankins ordered two of his men,
Fisher and Jenkins, to get 51's back boards propped up against the
wall behind the two other captains and nodded as Battalion told him
the names of the victims that he had read off of the house's
streetside mail box.

McConnikee made sure that he said them loud enough for all the
rescuers around to hear as well.

Chief McConikee slipped the first collar easily behind the old man's
neck, making sure to get the trachea hole facing center forward on it.
He wrapped it around the man's neck then, to immobilize it.
He spoke to Mr. Risenborough as Roy maintained manual traction to
the man's head. "Sir, please don't move your head. I'm placing this
collar around your neck just to remind you to keep your head still."

"Oh ,.... sonny . Please help. I hurt..... all over. I still can't...... move legs! What's.... that..... board .....for ? " Mr. Risenborough gasped.

Roy explained to him.
"It's to make your whole body immobile so we can keep your
head, neck, back, and body straight, okay? We are going to roll
you onto your side and place you onto this. Then we'll support
your head with a head immobilizer and your body with straps.
All right?"

The old man didn't reply. His attention was starting to drift.

McConnikee, Lopez, and Jenkins, rolled Mr. Risenborough easily
onto the backboard as Johnny placed a HeadLoc device and its
straps on that were still needed to safely remove him from entrapment.

The old man was soon carried out of the house and set onto the front
lawn where it was truly safe.

The small crowd of onlookers, a few houses down, standing on a neighbor's
plush, newly mowed lawn, applauded the firefighters as Mr. Risenborough
was brought out. They had seen that he was in and out of consciousness;
still alive.

Johnny, Chet, Hank, Wally Tse, and Tony Fisher were hard at work
preparing to remove Mrs. Risenborough from the wreckage of the home.
Davis, Truck Company 11's tillerman, dragged the biocom nearer to both
the woman and the paramedics.

The roof let out a really loud groan above suddenly and some light roofing
material showered onto Gage, Chet, and Fisher. They hit the floor protecting
Mrs. Risenborough with their bodies as the others inside protected
themselves by covering their helmeted heads.

"Everyone all right?!" Gage shouted, looking up, heavily frightened.

"Yes." Chet yelled after he had checked with the other guys
in his group.

"Are you, too, ma'am?" Johnny asked Mrs. Risenborough.

"Yes! Just get me out of here. I ..*groan*...don't want to die now."
she cried.

"You're not going to die, Mrs. Risenborough. We're taking you out
of here right now." Johnny said .

"How's Fred? Where is he?" she asked, blinking in the falling dust.

Johnny said. "My partner Roy and some other firemen are taking care of
him outside. I can tell you that he is alive, but he may be hurt bad." he
told her truthfully.

Mrs. Risenborough's face twisted at the news.

Gage reassured her. "Easy. We will do everything possible to help him
and you, too. Okay?"

"Thank you. You paramedics are just wonderful." the old woman said.

"Thanks." said Johnny, trying to smile at her.

Johnny and the guys soon rushed Mrs. Risenborough outside and
they placed her onto the grass next to her husband, positioned so
that she could see him. He had had splints applied for fractures
to his legs, hip, and for an ankle.

Gage could see that Roy was readying an I.V. of anticipated
Lactated Ringers, that covered Dr. Morton's usual silent standing
orders, stringing it out for him.

::I'll probably need one of those as well.:: he thought. Johnny began
his full updated primary and secondary patient survey on Mrs. Risenborough.

Privately, 51's paramedics were also concerned about the status of the firefighters
still inside. They both could see that only Captains Stanley and Green and two other
of 11's firefighters were reported as out of the wreckage with their Porta-Power.
Gage and DeSoto knew that Captain Hankins, along with his crew firefighters
Henderson, Brown, Bridges, Collinsworth, Gentry, and Terrelli and a couple of
others, were still inside taking down equipment.

::I hope they get out of the house before the roof collapses.:: Johnny thought
as he treated his patient.

Time was running short.

Again, the roof gave out another loud and menacing groan, dumping more
shattered material into the inside of the house.

Chief McConnikee, nearby, shouted into his radio.
"HT 11, Battalion 14 . Get the h*** outta there, now! You might only  
have three minutes or less. Move it!" he told Hankins.

##Battalion 14, HT 11. We have gathered the gear and we're
coming out now.## Captain Hankins replied.

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As Hankins' firefighters and Stoker made their way, without incident, to
the window through which they had all come, Johnny started
relaxing while Roy got back on the biocom to Rampart.


The incoming buzzer sounded at the hospital.

Dr. Morton finished his second medical case off quickly.
It was one from Squads 110 and 36, in which four patients had been
injured due to an auto accident on the San Diego Freeway.

While he talked, Mike motion invited CHP officers Baker and Poncharello
to listen in on Johnny's radio transmission. Mike had seen the two
officers at the nurses station, filling out an unrelated accident report.

##Rampart base, County 51.## Roy called.

"Go ahead, 51. This is Rampart." said Dr. Morton.

##Rampart, we have extricated both victims successfully.
Patient number one is a semi-conscious, but arousable
seventy two year old male who's a critical trauma patient. He was
trapped for approximately thirty five minutes due to a fallen
radio tower antennae that collapsed from its base onto a house.
It caused the roof severe structural damage. The victim
was unresponsive when we initially arrived, but his LOC improved
when O2 was given to him during his extrication.

##At this time, he has a fracture to his left ankle, left hip, and right
femur. He is complaining of pain in the cervical spine but we're
finding only tenderness. There's negative deformity to it. We also
have found some abdominal swelling. He has no signs of distention.
Negative on absent bowel sounds. Vitals are as follows : BP is 92/70.
Pulse rate 116. Slightly abnormal, are respirations at twenty eight
and shallow, but his SaO2 is at 98% on O2. He's on 15 liters per
non-rebreather. The patient has a history of arthritis in his back for
which he takes over the counter medications as needed. He has no
known allergies. We have him fully immobilized on a long spine
board with an extrication collar via HeadLoc, and straps. A Sager
traction splint has been applied to the right femur fracture and the
leg's now stabilized. Vacuum splints are also immobilizing the ankle.
We're supporting the hip fracture, too, for pain relief. Any further?##
DeSoto asked about medical orders.

Dr. Morton glanced down at the toggle switch and pressed it.
"County 51, start an I.V. of Lactated Ringers, followed by piggyback
I.V. of 250 milliliters D5/W t.k.o . Administer 5 milligrams
Fentanyl I.V. Monitor his vitals and get him set to transport."

##10-4, Rampart. Stand by for patient number two.## replied

Johnny took over the biocom. "Rampart, County 51 with
patient number two." he reconfirmed for the radio log.

"Go ahead, 51." Dr. Morton answered.

##Rampart, patient number two is a conscious, but somewhat disoriented
seventy year old female. She's a potentially critical trauma patient
from the same incident with the same length of entrapment to extrication
time as patient number one. Her chief complaint is severe pain to
her left femur, right foot and its tib-fib. She is complaining secondarily
of minor c-spine and general back pain. She has pain in her left wrist
and left hip. On exam, I found her to have an open fracture to the left
femur with gross deformity. Absent distal pulses were present on first
arrival. She has an open fracture of her right tib fib with moderate to gross
deformity of the leg. Noted initially there, too, were no distal pulses. She
has a closed fracture with deformity above the right foot. She also
has tenderness and slight pain in her neck and back with a small contusion
and swelling on her left side neck. And Rampart, she has moderate
pain with any slight movement of the board.## Johnny added about her
awareness level.

##There's a large deep bruise on her left hip with severe
swelling and acute tenderness but with no pelvic deformity. Her vitals
are : BP 122/92. Pulse 110. Her respirations are also at twenty six
with an SaO2 at 98% on oxygen. Patient has prior history of migranes
and has taken Cafergot. She says she's also allergic to horse dander.
Reaffirming at this time, we have her in general c-spine precautions and
we've immobilized the left leg with a Hare Traction Splint. The wound's
covered with dressings and is bleeding controlled. The leg's distal
pulses are still showing and limb color and temperature to that foot
are normal. We have the right open tib-fib fracture immobilized with a
full leg vacuum splint which is likewise dressing covered and bleeding

##Distal pulses have just returned there with half normal limb coloring and
temperature. I have an ice pack applied to the left hip contusion and she
states some relief from pain in that area. We also have the wrist splinted
with a short vacuum splint, sling and swathe. There's ice there as well
which is gaining pain relief. Note, I have her on 15 liters of O2
per non-rebreather. Any further instructions, Rampart?## asked Johnny.

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"51, start an I.V. Lactated Ringers on patient two along
with a piggy back of 250 milliliters of D5/W t.k.o. Administer 5
milligrams Fentanyl I.V. for discomfort. Monitor vitals and transport both
patients as soon as possible. What is your ETA?" Dr. Morton asked.

##Ten to fifteen minutes, Rampart.## Johnny said.

"10-4. Get them in here." said Morton, smiling at the two highway
patrol officers.


As soon as Johnny got off the biocom with Rampart, there was
a loud crash and a big cloud of dust emitted from the doomed house.

The roof had caved into the bigger section of the house and what was
left of it was no longer standing.

Gage sighed. ::But I'm not gonna be worried any more. The chief's
relaxed and that means that everyone got out of the house with
no one getting themselves in any kind of peril doing it.::


At Rampart, things were wrapping up.
"Wow! This is like being right there in the action, Docs."
Poncharello said with his trademark smile.

"Almost. But we still can't see the patients until they get here.
Someday when video telemetry comes along, we will have that
ability." Dr. Morton replied.

"Every one of these squads you see listed on our board; 14, 24,
36, 45, 51, 99, 110, 116's and these two L.A. city R.A.s, work under
our licenses. And here we provide them with on-line medical direction."
said Kel, resting a hand on the recording base station terminal.

"We also share equal responsibility over the patient in the field
with the paramedics until he or she comes here. Then, they are ours."
Dr. Morton grinned with mock threat.

The two highway patrolmen chuckled.

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"We've known Johnny and Roy for a little while. They are great to
watch at work." Baker said, nodding.

"They're the best we've got. But I can't leave out the others."
Mike Morton said.

##Rampart Base, Squad 45.## The base radio beckoned.

"Excuse me, gentlemen. I'm wanted again." Dr. Morton smiled
as he stood over the flashing radio toggle to answer the squad

Quietly, the other three left the glassed cubicle, leaving Mike
to his work.


Back at the scene, everyone stood momentarily gaping
at the house which had been thoroughly reduced to a pile of rubble.

McConnikee shook his head and turned to the three captains.
"You know, I hate to see beautiful homes be destroyed by an act of
nature like this. I know their owners usually have enough insurance
to rebuild... but.. It just goes to show you that everything, no matter
what it is, has an ending."

Green, Stanley and Hankins agreed with him in mutual nods.

They all watched as the Mayfair ambulance EMTs, Harold and Malcolm,
came up to Roy with a wheeled gurney. Mr. Risenborough was hoisted
onto it and placed him on the cot side of the ambulance as Roy sat
in the jump seat in back of his patient. Then the EMTs brought out a
flat stretcher to take Mrs. Risenborough into the ambulance, too.
Johnny stood in the jump door stairwell as Mrs. Risenborough was
set gently on the squad bench.

Marco and Chet brought their equipment to them and Captain Stanley
ordered Chet to drive the squad into Rampart.  "Kelly, go."
He then told him that they would follow in behind to pick him back up
again after the transport.

The ambulance doors closed and Marco Lopez gave Malcolm the
"all clear" signal to drive away.

The Mayfair took off code three towards Rampart.

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McConnikee said, as Engine 51's crew starting leaving, to all
except Chet Kelly whom he had noticed was driving the squad into
Rampart. "Hey, Hank. I'll meet you back at the station for some
of that good coffee you guys make? I need to tell you guys
something about this incident that will interest you."

"Sure. Come on down, Bill. Make yourself at home. Henry will be
glad to see you." Captain Stanley said with a smile.

"See you there." Chief McConnikee said. Then he picked up the
mic on his vehicle C.B. "L.A ., Battalion 14. This incident's under
control. Police and PG&E are to take over with Fire Investigator
3 on scene. Time out : Forty five minutes at 0800."

##Battalion 14, 10-4.## Sam Lanier replied over the radio.

Captain Stanley then got on the Ward's mobile radio and added.
"L.A., Engine 51. We're clearing the scene and are en route to
Rampart Hospital to briefly pick up a crew member."

In his usual fashion on their private station channel off the main
one, Dispatcher Lanier replied. ##Engine 51, 10-4. Good job, guys.##  

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As soon as the ambulance took off towards Rampart, Roy DeSoto got
on the biocom. He waited until the yellow busy light was off before speaking
since he knew that Squad 45 was using the same frequency for their
patient report. As soon as the frequency cleared, he got on the air.
"Rampart,County 51." Roy said.

##Go ahead, 51. This is Rampart.## replied Dr. Morton.

"Rampart, we are in route with our two patients now with a seven
minute ETA. There are still no changes in our victims' statuses
since we've  last contacted you. Please have the trauma team standing
by, over."

##51, yes. They are standing by.## Dr. Morton replied.

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"We'll give you another update when we are two minutes out."

##10-4, 51.## Dr. Morton said as there was another flurry of activity
at the ER entrance.


Dr. Early met Squad 116 and their elderly patient whom the
paramedics said had a history of mental illness. She had
apparently slipped and fallen in the bathroom where she
broke her ankle. She was singing "Amour" from Biset's opera
"Carmen" as paramedic Bailey and an EMT from Goodhew
ambulance named Hills, brought her out of the ambulance.

As she was being wheeled in with Hills and their respective
partners, she saw Dr. Brackett and Dr. Early waiting for her arrival
at the triage nurses's station. She instantly broke out singing.
''@Oh, sweet mistery of life, I'm so glad I've found you@."

The doctors both shook their heads and Dr. Early said to the
incoming crew. "Put her in three." And then he went with them
to look after his patient.

Dr. Brackett sighed as he met Dr. Morton and Dixie McCall back at
the nurses's station . "I don't know if it's the wind that's bringing
in these crazy patients, or if I'm going crazy myself, Dix."

"Is there a full moon out?" Nurse McCall asked.

"No, first quarter." Dr. Brackett said.

"It seems that every time the santa anas kick up, we get every
strange character under the sun with at least some kind of odd problem." Dr. Morton replied.

"Well, Mike, you are kind of a strange character, too, since you
are the only junior resident we have currently at the hospital."
Dr. Brackett chuckled.

"I resent that!" smiled Dr. Morton as he stood in the doorway of
the base station cubicle with his arms folded. "Still being inexperienced
in some cases doesn't automatically mean that I'm that odd.
Maybe someone who's odd is a doctor who claims to have seen it
all before." he winked, pointing an index finger at Kel.
"Hey, let's not pick on each other!" Dixie said with a smile.

Image of kelmortondixinhallchart.jpg Image of stokesoldwomanramparthall.jpg

From: Patti or Jeff or Cassidy <>
Date: Wed Jan 4, 2006  10:37 am
Subject: Shuffling The Patient Care Cards..

"....We've enough work to do without poking jabs at the home team
while the bases filling up." she told them both. Then the amused
smirk fell completely off her face. "I'm putting 45's near drowning
into five, Mike." McCall added. "That way, we'll have the x-ray
machine in three open for someone else who really needs it."

"Ok, that'll work. I'll go call respiratory therapy to line
up a bird for her." he replied.

"How's she doing? I only heard part of that run while those two
motorcops were in listening with you." asked Dixie.

"45's said that she still wasn't breathing on her own during their
last transmission to me." Morton nodded, quickly disappearing
into that room to get it ready for that patient's full resuscitation care.
"but they also said that her v-tach was stabilizing on adenosine."

Dixie pursed her lips. "Boy, that was lucky for her."

"Real lucky." said Mike. "She'll survive this with a little help."

It was right then that Roy and Johnny arrived with their two tower
collapse trauma cases.

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Kel saw them coming and he called out loudly. "Guys!
Don't bother bringing them into the "stabe" room. We've got two
O.R. and anethesiology teams set and waiting for them upstairs.
Any support work we have to do, we'll do up there in pre-op. Move
them into here. It's on pause." he said about the elevator in which
he was standing.

DeSoto and Gage did, passing off their patients run charts over
to Dr. Brackett who quickly read them while they all piled into the
patient freight elevator still being held open for them by an orderly.

The two ambulance gurneys were steadied by many hands
as the doors closed behind them.


Jon and Ponch from the highway patrol felt themselves backed
against a wall by the crush of patients who seemed to be arriving
to Rampart from every exterior door.

"Come on, partner." said Francis. "If it's this busy in here, just imagine
what the streets are probably getting like."

Jon Baker rubbed his nose, reshifting his motorcycle helmet under his
arm while he sipped his hastily grabbed coffee. "You really want
to go back out there again? It's boring. You know how it works for us
whenever the fire department units get swamped, we never get anything
to do ourselves."

"That's true. And when we're busy, they don't get any calls at all."
said Poncharello.

Baker's face sobered.
"Let's go. It's time we left this to those who are actually
handling it." Jon said, throwing a open palm out to all the bustling
doctors, nurses and arriving fire department rescue squad pairs
rushing around them. "I'm feeling like a extra left boot."

Ponch nodded. "Just watch how fast I can disappear. Race ya
back to the freeway." he said walking fast out of the emergency
entrance doors.

"Ponch, go slow. You don't want Sergeant Getraer on your case again,
do you? You already have two speeding tickets issued out from
our own police cruisers on your records." Jon said, chasing after him.

"I do? Oh.. yeah. I had forgotten about those. Ok. Just for you then
partner, I'll be a pure featherfoot." Ponch grinned toothily.

The two highway patrolmen left Rampart, turning right under
the skywalk, with an accelerating thrum of rev-ed up motorcycle

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Where The Wind Blows
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