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        En Route
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From: patti k (
Sent: Thu 10/07/10 9:15 AM
Subject:   Evacuation...

Dr. Brackett met up with Joe Early and Dr. Morton at the
edge of Casey's field. They fled from the trio of helicopters
that had carried them to the triage area where the fire department
and National Guard were setting up.  All three of
them had been given flight tunics and were carrying medical
bags of advanced trauma intervention gear.

"Really think we're gonna do surgical procedures in all this, Kel?"
asked Mike Morton.

"I can see mainly controlling visible bleeders in wounds, Mike. We
can do a lot that way." replied Kel as they hurried over to the fire
department's Incident Command table to sign in.

"Doctors Early, Morton and Brackett from Rampart General Hospital."
said Joe to the firefighter taking attendance there.

"Glad you're here, doctors. We could really use you." the young man
said with relief. There was dried blood flecked on his face that wasn't
his own.

Joe noticed. "Where to first?"

"Row A, near Engine 51, northwest corner. We're saving the interior college
buildings for yellow tags. Reds are prioritized now. And yes, Mayfair's here."
he reported. "Twelve rigs. See that medic in white standing up just now? He's
in charge of it all as Triage Officer. Know his name?" asked the firefighter.

"Yeah. We all do. That's Roy DeSoto." Kel answered.

"Thanks." replied the young man. "I'll mark him down. There hasn't been
time to find out who's who yet." The firefighter sounded calm, but he was
wild eyed with concentration. "If you leave Triage, turn in these I.D. cards
so we know you haven't gone unaccounted for or you'll end up the subject of
a search and rescue." he said, handing out three of them on lanyards. All they
said was, 'M.D.'.

"Don't worry. We're not going anywhere. Let's go." Brackett said to Joe and
Mike. "Time to live up to our titles."

Joe shouted as he ran towards DeSoto who was supervising a couple of
EMTs through their first yellow tagged victim's secondary treatment. "Who's

"Her." said Roy, pointing to a twenty year old wearing a wet college
cheerleading uniform.  "She was stabbed in the neck with a piece of
wood. I think she was punctured near the left jugular."
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"Active hemorrhaging?" Early asked.

"Not yet." DeSoto shook his head. "But she's shocky. That coratid
sinus bruise has her heart rate way down."

"That probably saved her life." Joe asked, feeling for a neck pulse
on the uneffected side. The girl opened her eyes briefly in non
comprehension and started gasping weakly.

"Her respiratory rate's been dropping off." DeSoto said. "But she has
no bruits."

"We won't lose her." Early promised, crouching by the woman's side
with a pair of hemostats. He looked up and shouted to a Guardsman.
"I need some light over here!"

Kel was next. "Give me someone fast, Roy." He ansed, eyeing up the field
of completely silent red tagged victims lying in neat rows on the grass.

"Tag 344, the abdominal. He's a flight candidate. Partial evisceration."

"I got him." said Morton. "I'm faster at meatball surgery." he said to Kel.

"He's yours." Brackett said. "Clamp off that torn intestine like an
umbilical cord. His circulation will bypass those injured sites and raise
his BP better than a set of mast trousers. Check and seal bleeders only.
They'll do the pretty work and sweep any bowel back at the hospital."

"Will do." said Mike. He nodded to the EMT with the man, to start cutting
off the victim's clothing from his trunk and chest. Morton saw that
the patient was on one of the fire department's still rare bottles of oxygen.
"How's that doing?" he asked.

"Still half full." she replied.

"Hand it off to somebody else. You have my permission to bag him if he
gets breathing suppressed." Mike told her. "If he quits, we're leaving him.
Is that clear?"

"Yes, sir." she said, neatly splitting the man's sweat shirt away from
his main body core and the gaping, gut loop writhing hole in his abdomen.

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             Simulated injury.
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"Where's Dixie?" asked Brackett as Roy checked his chart for the third
most urgent red tag on his list.

"She's a Tag Officer on the other side of the field. Her group of EMTs
are prioritizing the incoming for us." DeSoto replied.

"Best place she can possibly be." Brackett grinned in approval.
"Come on, Roy. We've got to hurry."

Roy finally pointed. "That child with the orange shirt. Basilar skull
fracture. Vitals are still holding but he may need a few bore holes.
He's classic Cushing's triad but only early Cheyne-Stokes respirations."

"And his legal guardians?" Brackett asked about parental permission

"They're both dead." the EMT with the boy reported. "Firefighters told
me his whole family was in a car when the wave struck. They could only
reach him before it got swept away."

Brackett looked up from where he was studying the boy's pupils. "Tell
those firefighters their rescue wasn't in vain. I can save this boy."

"He's not posturing?" Roy realized with discovery and relief.

"Nope. Not a single muscle." Brackett smiled. "So he doesn't have any
really active epi or subdural hemorrhaging going on. Just some mild
ICP which we can fix right here."

Roy straightened up with a lighter heart. "Thanks, doc. That's the first bit of
good news I've had since this whole thing started."

"Anytime." Kel smiled.

DeSoto returned to the edge of the field so others could find him with
their triage tag chit notes and to answer any urgent treatment questions
asked by Mayfair's brand new EMTs.

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Ponch did a double take when he spied the front end of his ambulance.
Some creative National Guardsmen team had rigged a motorcycle rack for
their two highway patrol motors onto the front grill of the CHiP officers'

"Hey, they got us our bikes." Frank celebrated as they left Rampart's ER

"They did? Wow." said Baker.

The Guardsman with them, just grinned happily at their uplifted spirits.
Their triaged child hadn't been an easy run to the hospital. Even Brice
had been stone faced for the whole trip in.

"Yeah, let's hope we don't have to use them. I don't think we'll be able
to go forty feet in some places before some piece of debris on a wet road
pops out our tires." Baker replied.

All three of them quickly climbed back into the ambulance.

"Want me to drive?" Craig asked the hispanic CHiP officer.

"Nope. I got it." Frank replied. "You just keeping listening to your
hand held radio. I don't want us to miss anything crucial." he
said turning on the ignition.

Brice took the front passenger seat with a shrug. "Okay."

Ponch took the wheel in his leather gloves. "Hang on!" he said, taking
off nimbly after putting the ambulance into gear.

Jon and the Guardsmen began to strip the bloody sheets off their
bed after donning fresh pairs of gloves. They stuffed them into a black
bag and chucked it out the side door window and into the hospital
parking lot.  

An orderly assigned to attend the ambulance entrance retrieved it into a
wheeled linen bin before the next light flashing ambulance pulled up.

This new Mayfair was Johnny Gage's.

"Mel." said Gage quickly. "She's vomiting again." he said of their near
drowning patient inside of the caretaker cab.

Mel helped Johnny tip over the woman's long board so Gage could
suction out her mouth with a Yankauer flange. A lot of brown water
gushed into the capture container.

Rosalie quickly got out of the driver's seat. A few seconds later, she
and their National Guardsman had both rear doors open to retrieve
the woman's stretcher. "Johnny, how's she doing?"

"Barely breathing but she's not aspirating any more." he told Arnold.
"That was the last of it. Her leg wound's nothing. Mel and I clamped it
off." He said as they kept the boarded woman propped up
onto her left side using straps and extra pillows. Gage reinserted the
woman's oral airway over her tongue and between her teeth after
tapping some water out of it onto the sheets.

Sharon Walters met them at a junction in the main hallway. "Treatment
rooms are full. Park her in front of the nurses' station. Somebody'll get
on her head to monitor her breathing until one opens up."

Gage nodded and the four of them hurried the woman's stretcher on past her.
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"I hate the ocean." Sharon chanted. "I hate the ocean. I hate the ocean.
Okay. Instant therapy over. Next!" she hollered out to the next team
of ambulance crew to disembark.

Gage, Rosalie, Mel and the National Guardsman jogged rapidly back
into the direction of their parked Mayfair. On their way, they saw the first
images of the tidal wave coming from a news chopper on the TV showing
through the open Nurse's Lounge door.

It was like a scene from H*ll.

"I don't think I like the idea of instant beach front property..." Rosalie

"I promise to never take us to the shore on a date." Johnny vowed.
"Man, it looks really bad out there."

"It is." said the National Guardsman. "We can't reach a lot of places."

Soon, they were headed back to Casey's Field for another red tag
triaged patient transport.

"Let's pick up two patients at a time for the rest of our runs. I'd say
we're well broken in, don't you?" asked Mel.

"I was thinking exactly the same thing." Gage said.

The others agreed by making more room available on the Mayfair by
stacking their extra supplies into towers with bungee cords.

Rosalie picked up her HT band radio. "Mayfair Three to base. En route
from Rampart. Our E.T.A. is five minutes."

##Mayfair three. Your evacuation route is still safe and dry at this time.
Report to Row A, northwest corner. See doctors there for a pickup
and rendevous.## replied a police dispatcher from a Communications
Table in the park.

"10-4." replied Arnold.

The guardsmen next to her cocked his gun visibly in a warning as they
suddenly encountered a crowd of panicking, uninjured evacuees on the
boulevard who tried to rush the ambulance by pounding on its sides.

"Help us! We know where hurt people are!" one woman cried.

"Away from the ambulance!" he ordered through the closed windows.

"Please! They're dying!" she sobbed.

"Ma'am, assigned rescue teams are sweeping your neighborhood!
Keep walking! You're almost there!" he encouraged to keep them
consciously heading for the hospital on foot. "We can't stop for any of
you." he said tapping the window with the muzzle of his machine gun.

The sopping and filthy business woman backed away hastily.
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From: patti k (
Sent: Sat 10/09/10 10:04 AM
Subject:  Snatch and Run..

Station 51's engine crew had already learned the value of armed escort.
Chet had been attacked by a head injured man at their very first search
and rescue scene at a damaged Super Eight just off the beach. They were
still flinching at both the sounds of the receding tidal wave and the frantic buzz
of a distant disaster crazed crowd. The smells of gas, smoke and sea salt lay
heavy in the air.

"You sure you're okay?" Cap asked Chet again as Marco rechecked the
dressing on Kelly's forehead.

"Yeah. I'm fine. It's just a nick." Kelly said, pointing to the painful spot on his

"It doesn't even need stitches." Lopez said, pushing more tape over a
sweat dampened loose piece.

Chet helped him, sighing with impatience.

"If you think he needs a corpsman, let me know." said their lieutenant
National Guardsman who had responded to their radio message about
a riot around the fire engine. "And I'll get one priority. We've been
ordered to treat firefighters first."

Chet got mad, throwing angry eyes at the man's machine gun. "Well, that's
not gonna wash one second with me. Civilians are gonna be cared for
before us, no matter what! Even if I fall flat onto my face!"

The Guardsman squared his jaw in mild discomforture and looked away.

"Easy, pal." Cap grinned. "He knows that. Somewhere." he said with
a sidelong glance. "If you're in top shape, get your helmet back on and
go in with Marco on a life line. Go to Side B second floor and start a
victim search." said Hank.  "The first floor's had it so go in through
a window." he ordered, "I'll chain the ladder to a tree so it doesn't
grow legs while we're in there. Stoker, lock up the Ward. Tight.
There's no fire here."

"I'll stand by your entry point." offered the Guardsman.

"Thanks." Cap nodded.  "Guys, move." he said, patting his men on
their shoulders. "Keep your air bottles on. We don't know whether or
not the utilities inside have been turned off. If you find any meters or
fuse boxes..."

"Right, Cap." Kelly said, shoving his helmet back onto his head. He
snugged up his chin strap around his facemask. "Shut em down."

Mike Stoker was assigned as Safety for the engine herself. He began
removing fresh debris in the muddy road from around her tires as
a brown skin of dirt laden ocean water continued to ebb away
around them. A hydrologist hovering in a news chopper above the
neighborhood was broadcasting updates.

##Rescue people in the area! All roads east of Mesa are dry and undamaged.
A second, larger tidal wave is due to hit in twenty five minutes. Evacuate
as far back as Pacific when you retreat.##

Other choppers were searching for victims and instructing trapped tidal
wave victims to reach the roof on any buildings taller than five stories for
a rescue pick up.

The sound of crunching glass whipped Hank's head around. It was another
fire engine, Station Ten.

Captain Stone stepped out of the cab and activated his radio. "Battalion One.
Engine Ten. We've arrived to Station 51's assignment. We will assist with their
building search. We've four on board."

##Engine Ten. Copy that. Total of four.## replied the busy chief over HT.

Chet saw that a covered truck from the National Guard had accompanied them
and four new soldiers leaped out of the back.

"Ben?" Cap asked, surprised.

"I pulled a few strings." Stone explained. "I told IC what we're dealing with out
here with looters and green tags and he okayed the idea of larger fire department
responses to incidents. What do you got?"

Hank pointed. "This was a Super Eight Motel before the top floors collapsed
into the sub basement parking ramp. The YMCA to the back is intact and has
been fully evacuated. I've got two of my men who've gone in right there on the
second floor. It's still dry. They're covering side B. We don't know about the
utilities yet."

"I can stay here and supervise. Take your last man and do whatever you need
to do inside? I'll send in two of mine to follow through on Side C's quarter."
Ben suggested.

"Sounds like a plan. First floor's too damaged to attempt without Urban Search
and Rescue. It'll take a Navy Seal to reach below ground level into any air
pockets. The subterranean ramp's still under water. The rest of the building
is stable. Only the floor fell. As far as I can tell, the walls and the rest haven't
been settling. All the windows and doors are still working. Nothing's jammed up."
Stanley reported.

"Are the managers sure there are still people left inside?" Captain Stone asked.

"Yes. The hotel staff did a head count of those who got out through the exits.
They continue to say there are a dozen folks missing from their checked in log
book. These are the rooms they're supposedly in." he said, scribbling down
the room numbers. Cap shared more. "But I've told my men to search all of
them. That list didn't include any on-duty staff who are still unaccounted for."

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"Okay. Cover Side A? Our men can all meet and split up Side D's search pattern
afterwards. I'll have my engineer take over our engines' safety detail. I've already
got the Guard getting our extra air bottles laid out in between the engines."

Hank nodded again and motioned for Stoker to join him in attaching a pair of life
lines to their belts. Then they went in after Marco and Kelly quickly, wearing full


The darkness inside the hotel, and inside the hallway into which they had entered,
was absolute. Hank Stanley and Mike Stoker immediately set their gloves on
the wall and turned left to begin a search by physically tracing and feeling
around the contours of room perimeters. They decided to triangulate to any
heard victim-made noises by requesting one of the other teams if it was
needed. Cap lifted his HT and spoke loudly to be distinct through his faceplate.
"Engine 51 to HT 51. Station Ten's got our backs covering our search area.
Watch for them!"

##10-4, Cap.## Chet radioed back, his voice equally muffled by his air mask.

Mike pulled a gas sniffer out of a turnout pocket and took a reading while
Cap shouted out loud. "Fire Department! If anybody can hear me, come
to the sound of my voice! We're evacuating the hotel!" Hank looked at
him. "Anything?" he asked, glancing at the meter in Stoker's glove.

"300 ppm. There's definitely indicator in the air."

"That could be from a few soaked out water heater pilot lights." Cap
guessed. Hank was about to gesture splitting up in opposite directions
around the first hotel room when a word in white outside in the hallway
became illuminated by his questing flashlight. "Stoker! It's the mechanical

They backtracked and eagerly tested the maintenance room's steel door.
It was locked. Together, they popped it open using their jacket halligans
wedged into the side jam opposite the hinges and forced it free in a joint

Mike quickly brought his torch to bear. "This is the main one." he said,
studying the array of complicated control panels, valve assemblies, and
fuse boxes labelled along the wall.

"This is the only one." Cap clarified, tapping a diagram glued onto
the back of the door with a gloved set of knuckles. "Look here."
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Mike did. "Just five floors and no penthouse. Got it."

Swiftly, they shut off the power, gas, and the main water lines to
the whole building, panel by panel. Then they watched as a secondary
generator kicked in by battery that was designed to keep the
fire alarm system functional in the event of a power outage. They knew any
water needed would flow from the filled roof water tanks then down and out
any ceiling showerheads, using gravity.

Stoker updated their I.C. who had their frequency up on the live
channel. "HT 51 to Battalion One. The damage at our location is all
subterranean. The lower garage is totally submerged and only the ground
floor is gone. All exterior walls are intact and uneffected. The utilities are off.
The hotel staff confirms twelve missing as still being somewhere inside the

##10- 4, HT 51. Sending in USAR-1 to your incident. Is there any nearby fire
in other buildings that might later jeopardize your operations?##

"Negative, Chief." replied Cap. "Our block's just wet. The sea surge's less
than half an inch here on Canal Street."

##Mind your time, Captain Stanley.## said Battalion. ##Pull out all resources
with a very good head start long before that second tidal wave's warning is

"Understood." Hank replied. "Engine 51, out." Then he looked at Mike
where they stood surrounded by blackness in the damp hallway. He sucked
in a deep breath from his air bottle. "What do we got for gas, Mike? Is
it going down yet?"

"It's down to breathable levels. 10 ppm."

"Good enough for me." said Cap, pulling off his mask quickly to begin
shouting for trapped victims again. Mike and Hank returned to the first
room they had left and searched it quickly, opening closets, the shower
curtain and the joined door access space. The room was empty.

Cap grabbed the fluorescent grease pencil from where it hung around his
jacket sleeve and marked down the time, who they were by call sign,
the lack of victims by number and the fact they had turned off the gas in
one simply drawn figure symbol X mark.

Then they started the pattern of searching, and marking beside the door,
all over again for the next room.
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"Luggage in here!" said Stoker, kicking its stand out of the way with a

Cap began shouting and together they found a man hiding in the bathroom.
He looked about twenty. "Hey! Didn't you hear me?" Hank asked him.

"Oh, my G*d." said the sleep rumpled man. "It's really happening."

Hank grabbed him by the arm. "Go on, Mister. Get out of the building!
It's not safe. Grab a hold of this rope and follow it outside."

"Uh, what's going on? I - I felt a jolt and--"

Stoker interrupted. "Are you hurt anywhere?"

"Ah, no...?"

"Then follow me." Stoker told him. "We've got to get you out before the
next wave hits."

"Wave as in earthquake? I thought all that water noise outside was just
a rain storm. I - I had the curtains closed." the man said numbly.

"No. It's a tidal wave." Mike told him, looking him over for signs of injury to
explain his dull reactions. "Cap, he's fine." he concluded.

Hank barked. "Get going! Move! We're coming with you." he told the man
with an encouraging shove. "Take nothing with you except your I.D." he




On the east wing of the hotel, Chet and Marco found six people passed
out from gas exposure in a stairwell. They had been trying to reach their
underground parked cars when the rushing water and building gas layer
from the collapsed section of the ground floor's pipes had stopped them.

Kelly got on his radio eagerly. "HT 51 to Engine 51. We've found six down
in the B/C stairway in a gas pocket!" he hissed through his scba gear.

##We'll be right there, pal, in less than three minutes.## Cap radioed back.
##We found a green tag and had to walk him out to the Guard truck.##

"10-4." Lopez replied. "We'll let you know their statuses when you get here."
Marco said, peeling off a glove as he opened an elderly woman's airway. His
bare hand felt some chest rise. "She's alive." he shared, rolling her over
into a recovery position.

"So is this man in the jeans." Chet replied, doing the same thing with his
victim. "How far up do we gotta go to get out of all this gas?" he asked,
checking the time on his air regulator.

"Ground level. The sniffer detected nothing up there." Lopez replied.

"Let's get these two out first and dump them where Stoker and Cap'll
find them." Kelly decided.

"Then go back for the rest." Lopez agreed, hefting up the slight woman
over his shoulder until she nestled into the space between his air bottle and
his back. He stood and started back up the stairway, following along their

Marco had just positioned her so she was breathing secured in
the hallway when Cap showed up.

"Mike's right behind me. He thought he heard something." Hank said,

"The other five are in the same area." Lopez puffed into his air mask,
as he checked once again on the old lady's breathing by feel. Then
he stood up.

"Are they still alive down there?" Hank asked, testing his mask for
patency as he put it back on.

"One is. Don't know yet about the others." Marco said, reopening the
stairwell door.

Hank made a decision. "Let's get the rest up here and out of danger before
we evacuate this pair."

Lopez gave him a short wave and headed down. Cap followed him.

They nimbly snugged up against the wall when Kelly lugged up stairs
past them bearing his male victim. "He's stable!" Chet sucked through
his mask, climbing fast.

Marco and Cap descended back to the gas filled basement landing
near the surging water just under the garage's roof. Chet had left
his flashlight angled on the floor to illuminate the other bodies still
lying in the stairwell. One had clearly fallen to the bottom and was
injured. Blood dripped from his face. Cap found breathing on him but
not on a young mother nor her kindergarten aged child. He left them
be. A nearby senior aged male proved to be just as dead.

Chet soon thundered back down the stairs, five at a time,
and he quickly crouched down by the still writhing guy.

When Kelly touched the fallen man, he cried out with a moan. It
was followed by a pitifully weak squall from an infant encircled
inside the man's protective arms where he lay sprawled, face
down. He lifted his head, coughing badly. "She's daughter..
*cough* Get ...her out!"
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"I will. Right now." Chet promised. "More firefighters are coming."
he said, quickly checking and finding a broken leg on him. "This is
going to hurt. I've got to move you." he said, shifting the man until
he turned upright from his stomach into a seated position. "We've
got to get out fast. The gas is at fatal levels down here." Kelly
slung the man's arm over his shoulder after carefully tucking the
twitching baby inside of his fire jacket. "Help me hold onto her." he
shouted to the father to be heard over the sound of the rushing
sea water just below them. "I'll be tying your bad leg up with this
ace wrap."

"What about.. the others?" the man gasped, keeping one hand on
his infant daughter's sweaty head and the other on his lower
leg break as Chet swiftly bound it up parallel with his good one.

Chet looked over into the darkness where the dead lay.
"You first. You're awake." he said truthfully.

Kelly started up painfully, bodily lifting the man's bad foot off the
ground with each stair, and ran into a masked Stoker coming
down. "Take the kid! Take the kid!" Chet yelled through this
faceplate. Mike began to go farther down the steps when Kelly
grabbed his arm. "Not there. It's a baby. She's inside my coat.
She can't be older than three months."

"She's a seventh?" Stoker asked about their total victim number.

"Yeah." Kelly said, readjusting the father's arm over his neck,
who was beginning to sag heavily, no longer feeling his splinted
fracture. "This guy can't walk. I've got to shift around to carry him."

Mike quickly glanced downward to where Cap was untangling
their ropes from a railing as he took the almost totally limp infant
from Chet. He tried to make out the other three victims.

"Don't bother." Kelly told him silently, mouthing the words, shaking
his head around his mask. "It's over for them."


Stoker snatched off his air mask as soon as the stairway door
shut behind him and offered it up to the quietly gasping baby in
his arms. "Come on. That's it." he encouraged her as she
began to cough more and more often in the fresher air.

Chet, Cap and Marco followed him up, supporting the weakly
choking, leg fractured man.

Station Ten's firefighters had heard Chet's earlier radio
transmission and had come to assist their emergency rescue.
Already, they were picking up the first two victims in the hallway
from off the floor.  Stoker held up three fingers and made a cut
throat gesture at them, jerking his thumb toward the stairway.

They nodded and hurried off with their burdens shouldered.
Hank left a completed search mark with their call sign, the time of
day and the results of the three dead inside of seven total found.

Outside, Captain Stone and the Guardsmen had tarps and oxygen
tanks laid out and waiting. Mike left the infant by her father's side
while the military men oxygenated everybody. He got on his radio.
"HT 51 to I.C. We have two adult males, and two females: an adult,
and an infant rescued at our location. All victims of gas exposure
with one escape trauma. Requesting transportation to Triage."

Ben relaxed when he saw that two of the National Guardsmen were
at the medical corpsman level. He realized that he hadn't noticed
their pins before. ::That frees us up from doing any further first aid.::
he sighed mentally.

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Hank waved an acknowledgement in his direction as he donned
a fresh air bottle to go back on search inside the hotel with the other
teams. Mike Stoker was helping him strap in.

Ben frowned at the note in his hand that Stoker had handed to him
mentioning the three fatalities in the B/C corner stairwell.
::That's eight of twelve non-staff victims located... Now where
in the blazes are the other four?:: he wondered.  Stone studied
the layout of the building that the hotel management had provided
with the unaccounted for rooms circled with all the missing names.

He looked at his watch. Fifteen minutes were remaining until the
next promised ocean surge. Then he became worried very, very
fast, suddenly realizing that most of the victims found so far had
not been inside of their hotel rooms.

From: patti k (
Sent: Sat 10/09/10 4:46 PM
Subject:  Second Wave..

Ben Stone stapled a green triage tag onto the sleeve of the man Cap
and Stoker had walked out from Side A. The man still looked shell
shocked. But this time, he was gaping more at all the machine guns
than at the sight of the Pacific Ocean rolling down Canal street back
towards the sea. "Are you sure you're not injured?" the fire captain
asked him.

The man jabbered. "I'm...not. Maybe inside of my head if you know
what I mean. This is a lot to take in!" he screamed. "I almost died
in there and I didn't even know it!"

"Do me a favor, sir." Captain Stone requested.

"What?!" the man screeched. He was in a sort of quiet panic that
showed in his voice but not on his face.

"Take this oxygen mask." Ben told him. "And hold it near this
baby's face. Her father can't do it any more and I need this soldier
for something." he said pointing to the Guardsman who was caring
for the infant.

The change in the hotel customer's demeanor was miraculous.

"Uh, all right.. Is she bleeding? I hate blood." he said evenly.

"No, she's not. We just need to keep her wide awake until a military
truck or fire engine arrives to take all of these people to Triage.
Including you."

"But I'm not hurt, sir." The man blinked.

"I know. It's for your own protection. There are crazy people out here.
Looters and probably those who've already snapped from the stress."
Ben said, snapping his fingers.

The nervous man flinched at the noise. "Allright. I'mfine. She'sfine.
I'll do it,...sir." he sputtered quickly. "Just....just give me the mask." he said,
holding out a trembling hand. Moments later, the feel of the infant
grabbing onto his fingers made the emotionally rocked man relax and
refocus into a better sanity.

Ben smiled and added a no nonsense order. "If she stops breathing, do
what you can, okay? We can't. It's our orders."

"I..I will. I...know CPR. I have a baby sister back at home about her age."
he grinned wanly.

"Oh, yeah?" Stone asked. "Where's home? Got an I.D. on you? We
can call your relatives so they won't worry about you once we get
to Triage."

"Yeah, it's right here." said the man calmly, handing Stone his wallet.
"Uh, is there anything else I can do for you, captain? I want to help."

"Sure. Keep an eye on her father's splint job. Make sure the circulation
to either foot doesn't cut off. If it does, loosen that bandaging." Ben
told him.

"Okay." the man nodded as he watched Stone mark down his personal
information from his driver's license onto his green triage tag.

Then Ben felt a tap on his shoulder from the soldier who had been
caring for the baby. "What do you need me for? This guy? Will he
be cracking up on us?"
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Stone stared at him.
"This guy is fine. He just needed something constructive to do. I need scope out that." Stone said, pointing down half a block. A large
looter mob was gathering out front near a department store. They could
see pieces of lumber, crow bars and axes in their hands and the idea of
rescuing others who might still be trapped, was clearly not in their minds.

The lieutenant Guardsman handed off the baby to the hotel man, rose to
his feet, and whistled piercingly to get the attention of his other men. They
all stood menacingly, forming an unconscious blockade in the water flowing
street while one of the corpsmen hovered protectively over the gas victims
with a machine gun.

Instantly, the lieutenant fired a gun into a tree in warning and the concussion
startled the looters into active fleeing, back the way they had come. The
military sharp shooter eyed up Stone. "Nobody's gonna hurt us or our
patients!" he snarled.

Ben Stone suddenly felt better a whole nine yards.
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Chet Kelly was muttering inside of his air mask while he and Lopez
finally got to the fifth and final floor of their Side B search assignment.
"Where would I go if I was a simple businessman and saw a twenty foot
wave bearing down on me through my hotel room window?" he
asked himself.

Lopez kicked down another hotel door. "Did you say something?"

"Yeah. I was just thinking. This place is near the airport. People who
travel a lot come to this hotel, right?  If they travel a lot by plane,
that means they have good paying jobs. So, they aren't stupid. Well,
most of them. Those people we pulled out of the stairwell were
probably tourists. Marco, I think we've been seriously barking up
the wrong tree for this trip in."

"Think we should skip all this and check the roof?" Lopez nodded,
agreeing with Kelly's line of reasoning.

"Yes I do. If we're wrong we can always come back down to finish
this up. It's safe enough. Natural gas doesn't rise."

"Yeah, and that second wave's gonna be here any minute now."
Marco remarked unhappily.

"In eleven minutes nine seconds exactly. I hit my timer when I heard
that chopper announcing when." Chet said. "Brice has been rubbing
off on me."

"Let's go." Marco urged.


And there they were. The last four. Huddled like chickens
against a firm air duct spinner as far away from the roof's edges
as they could get. They didn't look happy to see the fire department.

"Who's shooting at us?" one of them asked as Marco and Chet propped
open the stairway door leading to the roof top.

"Other people. It's a surprise luau. Got a beach ball?" he said sarcastically.
"Be very glad to see us. Because there's no way down again." He lifted his
radio while Lopez questioned the four adults to see if any had been harmed
by the tidal wave effects. "HT 51 to all Motel Super Eight teams. The last
four are safe on the roof. HT 51 to any available chopper. Can you pick up
victims from our roof?"

##HT 51, This is News Five. We see you. We're coming in for a landing.##

Marco looked up in surprise. "How'd they get our HT channel frequency?"

"Don't knock it, they're saving us some work." Kelly grinned. He looked
at the wind whipped hotel guests again who were converging around them.
"Notice any hotel staff still running around down there before you came up
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"Yeah, they all went down, and not up." said one businessman. "I told them
not to go into the garage level with all that water coming down the street.
They're probably dead."

"How many?" Kelly asked.

"Three or four total. Front desk people. Oh, and a janitor." said another man.

Marco nodded and radioed out the update. "HT 51 to Engine 10. Our roof
victims say four staff ran into the basement level when the wave hit, trying
to get out." he sighed.

##10-4.## replied Captain Stone. ##Then that's where I'll send USAR-1 and their
dive teams. There's plenty of air pockets down there in the outer corners of the
ramp. Remember seeing those heat breaking girders angling up?##

"Yeah." said Kelly. "Like a row of hollow pyramids." he said over the radio,
remembering stairwell B/C.

##That's where these currents will wash them if they were swimming for it.##
Stone said.

Near Ben, on the street, a hotel manager was getting into a military evacuation
truck. He shouted down an idea to Stone. "The security camera tapes could show
you exactly how many people there are, who and when. The main control deck's
in the front office." he offered.

"Not without any power they can't." Ben shrugged apologetically. "We'll do this
the hard way, with infrared seeking cameras once the second wave's gone by.
Get yourself someplace safe, mister. That's what we're doing next."

"G*dspeed, sir. And thank you." said the manager.

Stone lifted an appreciative glove.

##That's the last of em!## Kelly reported through the HT channel.

Ben looked up and saw the news chopper fall away into the sky with a signalling
waggle to tell him about their successful pick up assist. "Yeah.." Stone mumbled to
himself. "And you got the rescue story of the century doing it, too." he

A civil defense siren, inland, began to sound. Ben turned his radio to emergency
broad band, covering police, fire, EMS and military main frequencies.
##Second wave in five minutes. Everybody abandon all hot zones. I repeat,
abandon all hot zones.##

He began running to help Cap and Stoker out through the windows."Leave the
ropes! They're cheap enough."

"I'm not worried about those. I'm worried about--" Stanley gruffed.

##Don't worry about us, Cap.## came Chet's voice over Hank's handy talkie.
##We're hitching a ride outta here.## he said.

Stanley looked up to see a nimble National Guard helicopter plucking his
two remaining firefighters safely off of the hotel roof. Hank grinned hugely.
Ben, Hank and Mike Stoker separated for their trucks.
"Stoker, you heard the man. Let's get Engine 51 to high ground, lickety split."
He snatched up a last empty air bottle set and tossed it up into the hose bed.
"Ben, you and yours all in?" Hank asked over his handy talkie.

##Yep. We're set. Let's go.##

Stoker climbed into the Ward's cab and got her into gear as Cap joined
him in the passenger's seat. The military lieutenant leaped onto the back
of their engine and he belted himself in securely as a protective rear guard
using a rescue sling.
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In a convoy, the two fire department companies, the evacuation trucks
and the National Guard's jeep all fled the harbor neighborhood. Behind
them, a boiling wall of blue water rose up higher than the palm trees
lining the boulevard on the beaches. "Holy mother of--" said Hank as
they got safely back to the high hill on Pacific and Mesa Drive.

The violent noise of destruction far below in the Torrance harbor basin
drowned out his sudden explicative at the unbelievable sight.

Stoker instantly parked the LaFrance to face the ocean.

The two Station 51 crew members watched in horror as the Vincent
Thomas Toll Bridge in the bay below them entirely disintegrated
beneath the fury of the newly arrived tidal wave.

"Wasn't that bridge along Mayfair's current guaranteed safe
evacuation route?" Mike Stoker whispered in high fright.

Cap could only nod a mute.. yes.
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Subject: Coalescence
From: patti k (
Sent: Tue 10/12/10 1:50 PM

Dixie McCall was leaning over and checking a tourniqueting dressing
on a red tagged patient in Triage when the sudden sound of tires on
gravel captured her attention. It was an L.A. City police car pulling up
quickly at the edges of the field. Surprised, Dixie glanced down at
her radio and found that it was still on at the proper channel with
the police dispatcher's office. A familiar rugged police officer started
jogging into her direction, still wearing his white helmet. And his radio's
channel was going crazy.

"Vince?" she asked, straightening up.

"Miss McCall. I need to talk to you immediately." he said, unconsciously
glancing at the other Mayfair personnel assigned with Dixie with obvious
mild discomforture. That alarmed even the nurse in Dixie.

Dixie nodded at a Mayfair EMT to take her place over the hemorrhaging
site and left with him until they were out of patient earshot. "What's
happened? Why have you come to see me?"

"There's been a second tidal wave. And this one was far bigger in size
than all previous estimates forecasted by the USGS in calculation models.
Ma'am, I'm afraid the news isn't good. The Vincent Thomas Toll Bridge has
collapsed. And according to witnesses, they've reported that they saw several
emergency and military vehicles crossing over it at the time the water struck.
Some of these were consistently identified as having been ambulances." he
said reluctantly. "Ours, to be exact."

"Oh.." she gasped. A sick, hot stab of bile rose in Dixie's throat. She lifted
her manager's command radio set to the Mayfair Ambulance fleet quickly.
"Mayfair One Command to all units. Check in by radio call sign. I repeat, check
in by radio call sign, A.S.A.P." She jogged to a nearby table and snatched
up the accountability chart with Mayfair's personnel check list and a pen.

Silence reigned...and static. But then the EMTs calling in their numbers
began to come in over the speakers, overlapping, confused.

"They're all walking on each other." Vince said.

McCall cursed. "I hate monophasic channels!" Then her expression
changed. "Help me mark down the numbers." she said calmly, urgent.

Vincent got out his pad and listened carefully to the turned up radio as the
EMTs surrounding the disaster area spoke in response to Dixie.
"This is Mayfair Fifteen."  
    "...*spap* ..Nineteen."  
               "Twenty One."

The jumbled replies went on and Vince and Dixie struggled to make
out their words legibly from cut off and intruding transmissions.
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Dixie finally saw a gaping hole not being verbalized. "Break, break,
break. All Mayfair units radio silence. Break break break. Clear
for emergency traffic." McCall transmitted.

The voices died away.

Dixie swallowed and began hailing. "Mayfair Command to Mayfair
Three. Do you copy?" she asked. Then she looked at Vince. "Who's
got it?"

Howard studied Dixie's chart, going over the callsigns check off again.
He read off the information recorded. "Mayfair Three. Turner,
Arnold...and Gage."

::Not them. Please. Not them.:: she begged mentally. "Okay." Dixie
said softly, stressed. She toggled the talk button again. "Mayfair
Command to Mayfair Three. Respond your status. Over."

There was more static.

"They're not answering." McCall said, shaking her head.

Howard noticed another gap. "There's another absent. Mayfair Eighteen.
We haven't checked it off yet." he said, showing her its empty
place on the chart and in his notes.

Dixie took a deep breath and hailed the new call sign, trying quickly
to reach her ambulance people. "Mayfair Command to Mayfair Eighteen.
Do you read on this channel?"

There was no reply. Not even open air.

"Who's on that one?" McCall asked, thinking fast.

"Uh...Poncherello, Baker... and..Brice."

Dixie closed her eyes briefly in a new shock. "Okay. I guess we can solidly
confirm there's trouble." she lifted her radio once more. "Mayfair Command
to all Mayfairs, keep following your military escorts. There are evacuation
route changes. Your safety comes first. Keep on your radioes for further
condition updates from me or the police dispatcher. Mayfair Command out." She
clicked off. And sagged against the table. "Oh my G*d." she sighed, looking
at Vince in horror. "Do you think they had any chance of surviving that bridge

"Only one way to find out. Declare a missing personnel alert about them
to the Fire Department I.C. Let him handle it. He's the best solution we've got
to finding out that answer." Howard told her.

Dixie switched channels, hitting her emergency signal toggle. Slowly the main
fire channel silenced to allow her transmission through as a priority. "Mayfair
Command to I.C. on Main. Emergency."
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