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   The Fire Within
   Movie One
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               Page Fourteen

*Attention*- The following casualties are all mock exercise images.

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Subject: From The Depths..  
From:  Patti Keiper <>
Sent:  Fri 11/13/09 2:05 AM

Chet Kelly and Hallie Green got about forty feet nearer to the
commercial airliner that had been thrust nose cone first through
the ticketting area, when the smell of raw Jet A penetrated
even their self contained air fed faceplates.

"*Choke.*  No way are we going in there. Not without being sure
everything's shut off and shut down." Chet told his female firefighter
partner. "There's a huge leak or fuel pool nearby!"

"But... It's still cool with no fire, the water's on, and it looks like the power's
off in our whole entire area." she suggested. "People, if they're still here,
can't wait any longer for us, Chet."

Kelly scoffed, immediately about facing for the gaping rend in the airport
terminal wall that led to the outside, close to heavy hose backup.
"Do you want to fry in a fumes blast? Cause I'm not in the mood to get
a free winter tan and complimentary close New York shave, anytime soon."

Green made a face. "Let's just let the gas sniffer decide. Anything even
close to red, and we'll bail."

"Deal.  Whew...Can't you smell it? My nose is stinging." Chet said, making
for the front door anyway, even as he kept a nimble close eye out for hot spots
and fresh building smoke.

Green began to get nervous as she drew out the probe from the small unit in
her pocket. "Can't smell a thing. I've got the start of a cold working on me."

"Maybe that's 100LL."

"The FS? Hardly. It's supposed to stench up a place when exposed to air."

The meter immediately began howling. Green made a tiny noise of shock.

Kelly immediately held up his gloves. "Be calm. Just relax."

"There are old fire sparks everywhere!" She emphasized, fidgetting as she
hurried back the way they had come.

"We're moving in the right direction to safety." Kelly reassured her.

"Not fast enough!" Hallie shouted him and began her fastest sprint for the outside.

Chet's nonchalance lasted about five seconds before he, too, gave into blind
fleeing panic.

As another fast measure, both firefighters turned off their handy talkies to prevent
any inadvertant spark of static electricity that could ignite the invisible gas cloud
they now knew was slowly spreading its dangerous essence through the dark and
broken airport.


Greg Hicks continued to hail the security supervisor through the fire station ham radio.

"N4DL8, this is W6A1. Can you hear me?" the Hollbrook fireman continued.

Al Martelli shook his head in frustration. "This is bad. I'm telling you, something's
seriously wrong."

"You figure."  Hicks gestured, impatient, at the firestorm still licking the foot of the
now totally evacuated control tower.

"I mean something ELSE is not right. Something we haven't gotten wind of yet."
The Italian firefighter said, biting a rough nail.

"What? We've enough guys--"

"And gals." Al corrected, thinking of Hallie Green and Dr. Joanne Almstedt.

Greg didn't miss a beat. "....and gals to pretty much cover any unexpected angle at
this point. I swear every firefighter from here to New Jersey's put in an appearance.
Just look at all those companies!" Hicks gestured again, squinting in the flashing
red lights clustered along every safe runway at the airport.

Martelli wasn't comforted. "Gordon.. always.. answers his radio."
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"Maybe he was smart and abandoned ship." Greg shrugged.

"An airport is not a ship." Martelli snapped.

"Gordon's not a captain, nor is he navy. He's.. well...he's a member
of the Lyons club." Greg said, consulting his airport personnel dossiers
that he had laid out all over their work table.

"Close enough." Al said.

"Then why isn't he answering?" Greg insisted. "Think he got into that trouble
you're guessing at?"

The jury rigged radio crackled into life before them. Both firefighters skidded forward
on their wheeled chairs in the communications room toward that microphone, but Al
beat his partner to the grab. Martelli hefted up the mic and cord in triumph. "Unit calling
in repeat. This is W6A1, Fire Station One." he hailed urgently.

## *Static*.. *Static..*##

Al slammed down the talk button. "Try Morse Code. You don't need much power with

A long dragged out silence reigned. Then a long string of dots and dashes began
to filter in a hurry through the fire department noise from the other crowded speakers.

##  .-. ..- .--. - ..- .-. . -.. / -- .- .. -. / ..-. ..- . .-.. / .-.. .. -. . .-.-.- / --. . -.-- ... . .-. .. -. --. /
--. .- ... / - .... .-. --- ..- --. .... / - .... . / ..-. .-.. --- --- .-. ! / .- ..- - --- -- .- - .. -.-. / ... .... ..- - /
--- ..-. ..-. / ... .- ..-. . --. ..- .- .-. -.. ... / .... .- ...- . / ..-. .- .. .-.. . -.. .-.-.-  ##

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Click distress beacon to listen to a morse code message.

Al's forehead was still creased in total confusion when Hicks stood up so fast to reach
his Main IC Channel HT, that his chair fell over backwards. "Break! Break! IC-1 and IC-2!
Message from Security/Ticketting! RUPTURED MAIN FUEL LINE. GEYSERING GAS

The fire department scanning board came to instant life. ## Roger that emergency traffic.
All personnel converge on the main terminal if not actively in a frontal attack or vertical attack.
W6A1, abandon your post and meet at IC-2's staging area ASAP. I want every available
hand finding the source of that leak and the means of how to shut it off.## Chief Joe Rorchek
ordered. ##Maintain standard large fuel safe distances while conducting your search.##

Captain Stanley, soon reciprocated with like orders. ##HT 51-A, 51-B and all other paramedic
search and rescue teams, meet up with me as soon as possible for reassignment and for
an emergency personnel head count. Grab any victims along the way only as long as it
doesn't slow you down.##

Both commanders addressed the airport's layout map for more information on the new
risk they all faced. Nearby, support personnel began building medical gear around
open ambulances with deployed stretchers in the green zone.

Martelli and Hicks ran for their assigned fire truck and outer turnout gear. They abandoned
the station so fast, the snow was still blowing into the closing apparatus bay doors when they reached their emergency rendevous destination.
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Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto looked at each other.
"How long do you want to stay before we leave?" the Native American
paramedic firefighter asked his work partner.

Roy DeSoto hefted up his tools pack and the resuscitator meaningfully.
"Technically, we're safe already. We're over five hundred yards away
from ticketting and the security concourse. But, we still need to make
Cap's attendance row."

"We'll go. We'll go.. I just have a feeling about this last stairwell. I'm sick of
finding just DOAs lying ar---" he broke off when his shoulder met with
an obstruction to the door he had just skin tested as being fire free. "Well
that's odd. There's no structural damage in this part of the terminal."

"No it's not. This is heavy as in it's being blocked." Roy confirmed, restuffing
the search marking tape back into a shirt pocket.

Gage began shouting loudly at the door through his faceplate. "Hey!
If you can hear me, back away from the door! We're gonna get you out!
But you gotta move back!"

With a concerted effort, Gage and DeSoto pushed all of their weight against
the metal door and got it cracked ajar just enough to see a row of black fingers
and a few knees jut themselves out. It was a panicked crush of people, piled
high against the exit. Smoke shot out in a lurid mane of gray from around the

"There's a lot of fire in there!" Johnny said. He radioed for Marco and Rags and
Chet and Green to assist them in pushing back the people using the door.
Finally, with five firefighter backs straining into it, the door finally opened.
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A literal river of sweaty, coughing bodies in the worst kind of blind terror flooded
out. Fifteen or twenty adults shoved past their rescuers who just let them by,
with one or two helpful shoves into the right escape direction. "Watch your head!
You're trampling her! Be careful!  Slow down!" Johnny tried to shout.

Roy just stayed silent, helping people untangle legs and arms from falls over
debris and other victims trying to escape the heat that oozed out behind them.

"You're okay now. Anyone still in there?" Green said, guiding a few as they ran by.

Nobody answered.
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"They're blitzed." Hallie said. "But they're all on their feet." she told the others as
they pressed against the wall tightly to make more room for their victims to pass

As soon as the crowds tearing out of the stairwell ended, Roy DeSoto immediately
entered the landing. He peered at where the back wall used to be. It was totally
engulfed in flames. Hot and deadly.  Without being summoned, the crew assigned
knockdown wormed in past Roy as he knelt by two silent forms lying on
the concrete. He reported the situation to Cap. "Stairwell Five's a hot spot. Multiple
ambulatory on the way out! Checking for stragglers." Then he spoke to the others.
"There's two still in here! Both alive!" DeSoto shouted as he crawled over to a sooty
woman and man laying sprawled before him.

"Add two more by me." said Gage. "Looks like they're food workers." he said, feeling
for signs of breathing after his pulse checks.

"Maybe this was that part the restaurant crowd who got separated from the others."
Chet said, hauling one man up into a carry onto his airbottled back.

"Could be. There's no tunnel down there." said Roy, picking up the nearest person
to him after offering her his air breathing mouth piece apparatus.

Soon, all the firefighters were laden with the four unconscious people.
Hallie Green took up the front as a safety, following their lifeline rope back
to the entrance. Behind them, a hose team pair provided cooling measures.
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On the way out to the hazmat showers and the initial triage area, Roy and Johnny
saw a person floundering in a pool of sprinkler water in a depression in the floor.
The illumination towers a support fire department had recently deployed provided
enough light to see by for her fast rescue. The hose crew relieved Gage and
DeSoto of their victims and made a beeline outside.

Johnny peeled down to his shirt and pants to make the save. It took only moments
in the clearer air near the shattered windows of the terminal. "She's bleeding
badly from the head." he reported as he handed her off to the others.
"No time to secure her." he said, about her C-spine as she went limp with relief
in his arms at the edge of the hole.

"She was swimming. Pretty good neural ability check if you ask me." Kelly said.

"I'm fine.." said the soaking wet woman. "I tripped and fell getting away." she
coughed weakily. "Just too tired to move."

DeSoto grabbed both of her wrists and hauled her bodily up. "Easy. Just relax.
We've got you." he said, setting his helmet onto her head.

"Let's go. This way!" said Hallie, wrapping up the woman into Johnny's coat.
Together she and the rest of the firefighters got out of the building with the
last victim from the burning stairwell dangling between their arms.

Outside, silver suited Hazmat immediately descended upon the injured woman
in a swarm.
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Subject: The Tuna Can..
From:  patti k (
Sent:  Sat 11/14/09 3:08 AM

Johnny Gage was through with his hazmat shower and glad to be in a fresh uniform.
"Tetra-ethyl lead, gotta love it." he said to Roy as they hurried over to Cap's
huddle by the command table in IC-2's staging area. "They told me that stuff's
really toxic after a while."

"Shouldn't have any effect on you. You're already neurally challenged as it is."
DeSoto quipped.

Next to him, Chet grinned, gladly accepting ease from some of their work stress.

"Oh, ha ha." Johnny sighed, eyeing up the lines of firefighters waiting for Cap to
begin giving new directions through his megaphone. "At least we know what
we're dealing with now." he said, pointing to the inner lining where blue dye had
stained his turnout jacket. It had been cleaned and hosed down thoroughly,
but the colorization had remained.

"Avgas?" asked both Chet and Roy.

Johnny nodded miserably.
"Subterranean. I got it on me when I got wet going after that woman from the
stairwell. And she got it on my coat after being wrapped up in it." he smiled,
glad that she was safe and well.

"What part do you love about this situation, Johnny? The fact that somebody
spotted the ultimate Old Faithful in fossil slimes spurting up through the
foundation? Or the fact that we're the lucky ones that have to go traipsing back
in there to cap it off before it blows us all up sky high?" Kelly asked,
misinterpretting his expression.
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Mike Stoker looked up from a fast sandwich he was eating that came from the
canteen. "Shouldn't be too bad. Fuel manager says there are cut off valves
every few hundred feet along the pipeline. A foam turret, robo controlled,
ought to make it there safely enough to blanket it to prevent it from igniting
so that the rest of us can move in to fix the leak."

"Glad you're so confident. That won't help the stuff that's still geysering up
into the air, now would it? That can still burn real fast." Gage said sarcastically,
still frowning at the turquoise liner that he had inherited from New York's surprise
nightlife. He spun around in place trying to see whether or not the outside canvas
surface of his jacket was effected as well.

Roy told him the truth. "You're fine. Doesn't show. Nobody'll notice anyway."

Next to them, Hallie Green bounced on her toes. "Oh, here we go. He's starting."
she murmured excitedly, eyeing up Cap as he looked up from his dry marker
status board under the fire truck tower lights. She began popping her gum loudly.

"Spunky, isn't she?" Kelly whispered back to Johnny.

"Not my type." Gage growled just as quietly back to him.

"I'm afraid you've got that backwards, gentlemen." Green said, piping up in
amusement. "Neither of you,.. are mine. I like only non-gossipers for dates."
she said, folding her hands behind her back to stretch out a few muscles.
"And in that dislike, you both fail." she said flatly.

"Sorry.." said Chet and Gage in stereo, genuinely. "We didn't mean anything
by--" Gage broke off, clearing his throat. Both firefighters couldn't hide their
discomforture and embarrassment at being overheard. "We were just--"

"...being men." she scowled. Then Hallie let them off the hook and just winked.

Roy rolled his eyes. "Kids.." he chuckled.

"Who says?" All three of them shot back at DeSoto.

A squelch from the megaphone silenced all chatter in the rows of companies.
Hank triggered the loud speaker. ## Attendance is complete. All firefighters have
been accounted for. Listen up! We're gonna tackle this situation as follows...##
and Cap began to layout the gameplan for each of the crew teams under his wing.

All the paramedics' ears perked up when they heard their group was being
given the middle airplane, the only one not yet in a war between staying on
fire and being put out by foam crews. are to proceed to that location and determine egress enough to
either verify it free of victims or to extricate the casualties that may be on board.
Truck Nine will assist. ##
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They vaguely heard that fully suited scouts were being sent back inside only
in small protected groups, in an attempt locate the gas leak source's exact
whereabouts. But the rest washed into irrelevance because they were moving
and getting into each of their trucks to start back into their rescue work.

Gage had a thought as they all drove to the safe zone a foam crew had made
around the middle airplane. "Why don't they just scan the thing with heat
sensors and see whether or not anybody's inside?" he said into the paramedic
HT channel at the others overhearing it live.

Hallie spoke up on their private band. ##It's because the radiant heat from
all that nearby fire's hotter than any people are right now. Even after any fire's
been put out. Takes a while for scorched concrete to cool down that far.##

"Huh. Never thought of that." Johnny admitted.

##Well, your captain sure did.## said Green. ##That's why we're being sent
in there. To find out that fact for ourselves.##  

Hank broke into their channel once the chatter had ended.
## Paramedic team, make sure the plane is still grounded before
boarding. A mechanic said her cable should still be attached to the grounding
rod embedded into the runway just beneath the wings of the aircraft under
her fuselage. It's anti-static and very crucial that it remains connected.##

"What happens if it gets severed?" Chet wanted to know.

But Cap had moved off their channel and back onto the main IC.

The three lime fire trucks soon arrived to the site and everyone got off in
a hurry, eager to get started with the job. They all grabbed extrication
gear along with a fresh set of air bottles to wear.

When the foam crews signalled that things were finally safe to enter, they
moved in closer. The first thing they did was locate the thin grounding
umbilical tying the aircraft to earth. "It's there!" Chet said, pointing a flashlight.

"Hey!" said Stoker in discovery. "The passenger tunnel's still up." he
shouted, pointing through the thick falling snow. "Could be another
fast way in that won't involve any cutting."

"Cut anyway." Hallie suggested. "We still need a direct way to get
people down to the ground."

"Rags and I'll get started." said Stoker.

Marco and Chet offered assistance. "We'll help."
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"Roy and I'll try getting in from the building side of the gate!" Gage shouted
to the others as he and DeSoto climbed up a foam truck ladder to
reach the damaged plane. Johnny ran up its skin nimbly from the tail
to the nose followed closely by his partner. They stepped quickly across
the roof of the tunnel gate before jumping down into its smokey maw
through the explosion shattered window. They immediately turned their
flashlights on.  "Why didn't anybody try to get out? I'm not seeing
any footprints." he said, pointing to the lightly snow dusted carpetting
of the canvas roof shredded boarding tunnel.

Roy shook his head. "Fumes maybe? Or shock from the explosions?"
he guessed, making sure his air mask was on tight under his helmet.

"It's possible. Anything that damaged concrete like this had enough
force to do a lot of bad. Including concussive collateral through
the skin of an airplane. Eardrum effects alone from a pressure
change might have stunned them all." Gage decided.

Roy hurried into the darkness, shouting for a response.
"Hey, fire department! Can anybody hear me?!"

Only the sound of dripping water met their ears.
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Subject: Coincidence..
From:  patti k (
Sent:  Tue 11/24/09 1:23 PM

Roy and Johnny walked carefully through the tunnel and stepped into the
still docked airplane through its open hatch. "Where is everybody?" DeSoto
asked as they passed through a blue curtain and into stillness.

Gage shook his head in deja vu. "This disaster scene is a huge one.
We haven't seen all of it yet to know its effects. We should stop asking that
question. I'm starting to get freaked that we can't sniff out people any faster."

The darkness beyond the fire foam covered windows smelled of burned
insulation. And sweat.

"Somebody's here." Gage said, when he detected the odor of people.
The two paramedics wove their way down the filthy aisle even faster, shining
their flashlights. "Hey! Give us some light!" he shouted at the rescue crews
outside using his radio. A sharp water blasting hose cleaned off half a row of
windows and a bright swathe from a new rescue lamp tower illuminated the

Passengers were still in their seats, dazed and throughly zombied. They
looked like waxworks with shiny but whole skin.

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"They're not burned." Johnny sighed in relief as he hurried forward.
Gage hurried to the tail area of the plane to start rapid triage checks
from the opposite end.

Roy knelt by the nearest and saw only a two hundred yard stare
on the man. His face was peppered with a bright petechiae and blood
was flowing out of his ears. A slumped woman, still holding her briefcase,
showed the same signs.

Roy brought his HT to his mouth urgently. "HT 51-A to IC2. Thirty four
victims! Most with internal concussive blast injuries."

His eyes swept the plane and noticed ruptured insulation and cracked
glass everywhere, but no damage to the skin of the fuselage. "Must have
been a very large pressure change in here, Johnny."

Gage radioed out more. "Mast trousers! As many as you can get!" he
said as he found pulse after pulse that was only evident weakly
in carotid arteries.

##10-4, HT 51-A. I've two crews working their way in.## replied Captain Stanley.

Roy found a row of older women seated upright. They started screaming
when they slowly realized that they could see light again that revealed the
blood splattered on their clothes from tiny glass cuts. "Easy! Don't panic.
Your eardrums have been damaged and that's why it's quiet. Stay still for
a minute and let me get you free." he said, working to cut their seatbelts
off.  He grunted, reaching over the trio with a seat belt cutter he had pulled
from his pocket. Ripping, the straps parted with loud snaps.
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The women clung to one another and fell silent once they found could move
freely. Roy could see their physical pain was only just beginning to be felt
in their faces. "We're gonna get all of you out. Real fast. Just try to relax."

The seniors hollered again when the skin of the airplane was peeled
away by entering arff from a ladder on the roof. Marco and Stoker climbed
in wearing full gear along with cloth stretcher nets.

DeSoto issued an order. "The still ones first. They're all alive. As soon
as you get them out and into the green area, put them into mast suits
and man their oxygen. Johnny and I will be right out as soon as we make
a complete sweep for others.  We haven't seen any of the flight crew back

Gage suggested more. "There's no bone fractures or spinal injuries. Everything's
gonna be internal pulmonary, head and abdominal trauma so load and go. Those
suits and I.V.s are the only things that're gonna help them enough until they
all see a surgery table somewhere. Positive pressure ventilate any who quit
breathing only lightly." he said, thinking of barotrauma.

Roy and Johnny worked fast, climbing over the seats and looking under them for
small children. They found a single boy who was more bloodied than the rest.
"Marco, the kids are going to be the worst. Take this one and stay with him." said
DeSoto, carefully lifting the blue shirted child into his arms. "Find out where he's
bleeding out the fastest and treat him."

"Like he's my own." Lopez said, taking him. "Easy, chico. We're going to help
you right now." he said, wiping blood away from the boy's nose and mouth with
a glove.

The boy was no sooner out of the plane when a new smell filled the crowded cabin.
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"I found a fuel leak by the wall!" a safety shouted. "Everybody double time!"

"Oh geez, didn't need to hear that comment." Johnny grunted.

Only one passenger understood the danger. He hugged his dazed wife
closely. "Madeline, you know I'll always love you, no matter what."

She whimpered, her head sagging against his chest as an arff quickly struggled
to cut free, their tangled seatbelts.

Roy and Johnny found the flight crew who managed to convey that there was
no pilot or copilot on board yet. Gage helped one of them to the gash in the
side of the plane the firefighters had made.

Cap's voice came live from the roof of the plane. "Make it fast! This plane's no
longer safe enough!"
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There was a mad scramble as passengers suddenly found their legs mindlessly,
obeying only a surge of animal adrenalin. Eagerly, fire crews pulled them out.

Roy and Johnny quickly freed one pinned man from a food cart that had jammed
him against his seat, with a portajack.

Mike Stoker caught one passenger as he was overcome by shock, grabbing him
before he could fall to the floor and be trampled. "Mister? I'll get you out!" he
promised, gesturing for a net stretcher with a free arm.

Then he knelt by the skin of the plane and worked with crews to yank out a
new fast escape hole with a chain and a pair of jaws tools.

In minutes, anyone not on their feet in the front of the plane, had been

"Now let's clear out the tail!" Hank ordered, working fast with a crowbar.

But one by one, the firefighters' air bottles began to sound off low alarms.
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DeSoto, Gage and all the others were forced to retreat from the plane to a support
truck to grab fresh sets. As they hurried into new scba, strapping in, they watched
the arff leading people down stairs that had been wheeled close to the escape
hole in the airplane. Roy mourned the loss of the emergency slides, whose hatches
had been warped beyond any possible chance opening by the initial Concorde
explosion. "This could be working a lot faster if those had been cut open first."

"That would have taken too long. Golden Hour, remember?" Gage said seriously,
gulping down water from a bottle quickly.

Cap called a break a short distance away from the plane to gain some vital information
about the cracked fuel line's location in the airliner.

"It's around row sixteen, about an inch underneath the floor." reported the safety
to Cap. Roy and Johnny nodded. "There's a pretty big hole there. Looks like one
of the passengers tried to find a way down to the luggage storage hatch with an
axe." Johnny confirmed.

Hank sighed, "I've always said there's no reason for sharp things to be accessible
by the public in an airplane."
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There was a sudden commotion by the landing gear of the plane. A crush of passengers
tripped over a duffle bag being kicked around at their feet and the bag suddenly tumbled
off the stair top.

Nearby, Sophie looked up, and barked.

Roy DeSoto glanced into that direction urgently as he donned a safety belt.

"No!" Stoker shouted, pointing. He dove for a hose team to knock the falling
bag away from the antistatic tether, with water, but failed.

The wire snapped in two and parted as the bag landed on it and arches of pure static
electricity began to sweep the plane from nose to tail. The firefighters at the top leaped
off of it, grabbing the aerial bucket in desperation as their ladder truck backed them
hastily away from the suddenly ground charged plane. The stair crew's driver just as
quickly retreated from the area, taking his arff and victims crowd with him on the
wheeled stairs.
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Every firefighter had fled about sixty feet away when the airplane exploded into a huge
ball of fire. Inside the plane, all the remaining passengers were incinerated in seconds.
The fuel pump station nearest the mooring, also self destructed violently.

Roy and Johnny escaped underneath a protective fan of hose water. But the coolness
did nothing to end the pain of the fire so suddenly seared into their hearts.

Inside the medical clinic, Dr. Joanne Almstedt flinched and froze, shutting her eyes against
the hellish sight that could be seen clearly even through the silver coated windows. She was
the only one there who knew exactly what had happened.

With a struggle, she returned back to saving the lives of those brought to her.

Outside, Cap began shouting attack commands to try and quell the new larger fire.
Teams of firefighters struggled to obey.

Nearby, the passengers who had escaped first, turned away and started crying.
A husband and wife embraced in horror.

One by one, more rescuers from the airfield came in to intercept them all.
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Johnny spun around in a circle and spotted a little girl, folded up onto
the ground right where she sat in the snow. She was staring at the burning plane.

Rushing up, Sophie the fire dalmatian quickly started licking the child's
shocked face, trying to warm her with kisses.

Gage immediately scooped the girl up into a blanket and carried her to safety.

Sophie moved on to locate more stragglers who might have been lost
in the panic.

Joe Rorchek's voice came over the wide band. ##A hanger's been made
available near the fire station for any and all black tags. It's been turned into
a makeshift morgue. Bring those casualties there after you've cleared out
all the living.## he said softly to the plane crews.  His voice sounded
very tired and sad.
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Subject: One by One...
From:  patti k (
Sent:  Thu 11/26/09 10:06 AM

It was finally dawn.

The sun hadn't been kind as it slowly revealed the chaos that had
ruled the night before. The only fires that remained burning were
the ones deep inside the main airport terminal complex. Plans
were being formulated on how to best tackle the inferno surrounding
the ruptured fuel line that was still glowing there with pure fire.

Some firefighters were being rotated out for a rest and refresh break.
Among those were MacArthur's own airport firefighters. All, except one.
Chief Joe Rorchek's youngest son.

Ted Rorchek sighed as he finished his assigned task. ::I've been
ordered to pick up a visitor from a neighboring airport while my
own burns to the ground. Does this make any sense?:: he asked himself
mentally. :: I suppose it does considering who it is for whom I'm playing
chauffeur.::  He spotted his quarry, and shouted. "Dr. Brackett!" he hailed.

A tall, denim jacketted man wearing sunglasses turned in the parking lot
to face the red battalion chief's car that was speeding fast towards him.
He saw the young, fresh faced driver who was a firefighter and waved back.
"Station One?" he said, pulling on a winter parka.

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"Yep. Hop in." said Ted. "I'm taking you to the right flight pad. Morgan
Wainwright's waiting to take you right into our controlled airspace. She's
got the proper authorization. Only emergency vehicles are being allowed

"Choppers included?" Brackett said as he hurried to the passenger side
of the car and slid in. He threw a small suitcase into the back seat.

"Yes, because the weather's improved a lot." Ted said, of the bright sunlight
that was just clearing the horizon. "We can use them now finally for patient
evacuations. I'm Specialist Ted Rorchek. I've been working the scene
since it happened."

"How bad is it?" Kel asked Ted as he shook his hand in greeting.

"We've been losing more than we're saving, doctor. The fires have been
a real vision of h*ll." Ted said tiredly. "Most have died because of fuel
related explosions and fumes and the fact that planes have crashed down
onto the airfield."

"How many planes?" Brackett asked, surprised.

"Two. One with survivors. One with none at all. And.....we don't know  
yet how many people have died or still need to be found inside the terminal."

"I'm sorry. I heard about the extent of the situation you guys
are dealing with and so I pulled some strings to make it out here, fast.
There's a lot I can offer you folks by being an emergency physician,
surgeon and cardiologist." Kel said, buckling his seatbelt.

"We're glad to have you, doctor. I heard from one of your fire station captains
that you were very used to triage." Ted said.

"Unfortunately true. California suffers large scale disasters on a very frequent
basis." Brackett admitted.

"Mudslides and wildfires?"


"I've been paying attention." Rorchek said as he accelerated to head towards a
restricted area of the airport with his lights flashing. "Sir, our own doctor, Joanne
Almstedt, is up to her eyeballs in victims at the medical evacuation center. Is it
okay if we take you there before getting you some chow?"

"I wouldn't have it any other way." Kel told him. "I work first, Firefighter Rorchek."

"Please, call me Ted or you're going to get us Rorcheks all mixed up in your
head." Ted grinned.

"Your whole family's into the fire biz?" Kel asked.

"Yep. All at the same station. My dad, Chief Joe Rorchek, he's one of the incident
commanders on right now. And my brother Chris, a specialist like me with paramedic

"I'll call on both of your medic skills often if you don't mind."

"Add Hallie Green, she's a paramedic too. I think she's even working with
your Roy DeSoto and Johnny Gage on a team next for another recon into
the fire zone." Ted looked up, "Ah, here we are." he said as he drove the car
next to a hot running red and white fire department chopper.

Morgan Wainwright, the sheriff's paramedic pilot from the national park was
waiting there, leaning against her bird's windshield. "All set, doc?" she shouted
as Kel Brackett got out of the car and ran to her, head low to avoid blade
danger. Morgan's curly red auburn hair was waving wildly in the wind.

"More than ready!" Brackett replied as he waved thanks to Ted for driving him
to his emergency flight.
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"Put this on." she said, handing Brackett a white flyer's jump suit. "It's your
uniform of sorts. Goes over your regular clothes. It has all the authorization
patches and clearance cards you're gonna need."

Ted took off in the red car, adding a siren to his red lights as he hurried back to
the disaster scene at ISLIP a few miles away.

Soon, Morgan and Brackett were in the air and hovering over MacArthur Airport
just short minutes later.

"Oh my." Kel whispered as he looked down through the observation glass at
his feet at the scene. He beheld what was almost a moonscape of carbon black
craters and smouldering ruin. Rows of corpses lay stretched and covered on
canvas stretchers on the ground near a runway, awaiting a move into a hanger
morgue. Of the airport terminal, only a shell remained in its very center that was
surrounding a tall geyser of fire riding up on a plume of pressurized fuel that was
spurting into the sky. To one side, three sooty skeletons of powdered airplane
remains stained the concrete tarmack as they oozed up through a thick layer of fire
foam. He spoke up into his helmet mic as he took off his sunglasses. "Ted
Rorchek wasn't exaggerating in the slightest."

"No, sir." replied Morgan, swiftly winging over to Helipad One by the medical
center. It was still downwind of the stinging smoke and toxic fumes. "But we've
managed to rescue about a hundred and eighty people so far. Some from a
business jet, others from a restaurant and its stairway, one from the control tower,
a few from outbuildings, and two dozen from that middle airplane. I've really been
listening to all of their radio transmissions."

"More to come in and out by air?"

"I promise you that personally, Dr. Brackett." Morgan said, her face filled
with conviction.
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Dr. Brackett stepped out of Morgan's chopper. "Thank you, Pilot Wainwright."

"My pleasure, doc." she said, closing both their hatch doors. Then she rushed
off to see about refueling her bird.

An ambulance pulled up and a helicopter paramedic leaned out the driver's
window. "I'm Steven Beck. I'm giving you a ride. The only way in's through
a basement garage ramp."

Kel jumped in and belted up once more. Soon, they had arrived. Kel finally met
the woman in charge. "Joanne Almstedt?"

"Kel Brackett." she grinned tiredly, taking his hand as she kept one eye on
the bustling triage activity surrounding them. "Thanks for coming. I didn't know
my broadcasted calls for help had this kind of pull." she said, indicating him.

"I've an invested interest in a couple of paramedics working as guest firefighters
here. Where they go, sometimes I follow." he shrugged with humor.
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"Spoken like a mother hen."

"More like a rooster in my case." Kel smiled. "Show me what you have and I'll
get started."

"Uh, first things first. Here." said Steven Beck, thrusting a navy knapsack at Kel.

"What's this?" Brackett said, hefting it up onto his shoulder.

"Food and water. Keep it yours." Beck chided. "Can't guarantee you'll
be able to get to the R and R tents out on the infield even later on."

"Appreciate it." Brackett said sincerely.

"Well, I'd better get back to the green zone. Just heard more patients
are needing a trip in." Steven said, holding up his radio. "Oh, doc." he
said, eyeing up Joanne. "If it gets any hairy-er, we'll need one of you
for invasive procedures outside."

"I'll go. Just say when, Steve." Joanne replied.

Beck nodded and hurried back to his ambulance.

Sighing expansively, Joanne leaned against a garage pillar for
a short stolen breather. She was startled when she saw a juice box
and a box of cheese thrust insistently into her hands.

"My first orders. Eat, doctor." Kel told her. "And don't tell me you
haven't had time yet."

Joanne made a face.

"That's his line, ma'am.." said an approaching voice. It was Johnny
Gage, still wearing sooty turnout and an air bottle. There was a spot
of blood on his face. "I suggest you let him have it." he grinned.

Roy DeSoto nodded next to him. "So true."

"Boys." Brackett grinned hugely as all four of them headed for
the table that held charts on the most critical victims who still needed
examinations and treatments. "Good to see you."
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"Doc, what are you doing here?" Gage asked, happy at the surprise.

Kel slapped his arm. "Can't let you handle it all. Dixie was very upset
with me. She was steamed that she wasn't authorized to fly out here
herself so she told me to come and bail your butts. Exact quote."

Gage grunted in amusement, shaking his head.

DeSoto was all serious as he turned to Joanne. "There's a case over
here that needs your attention. A neonate. It's over our heads."

"Show us both." Almstedt told him.

Eagerly, Kel and Joanne followed the L.A. County paramedics back
to a place on the floor amid the sea of casualties awaiting care on
neat, yellow tarps.

"He was born a few minutes ago." DeSoto reported. "Pulse 130,
respirations a little fast, Apgar of 8. He's no longer so vigorous as he
was when we first delivered him."

Kel and Joanne knelt down and noted the oxygen mask that
a nurse was holding over the infant's face as they gloved up.
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"Keep rubbing him dry, Roy. I'll have listen." Kel said, snatching the
stethoscope from around Roy's neck quickly. A few seconds later he
looked up. "A murmur. Sounds like a major congenital valve S4. He's
not getting enough blood to all of his systems. That's probably why he
was so limp off oxygen. I want an EKG established immediately with a
central subclavian line. Can we book him a fast flight to a neonate thoracic
surgeon?" he asked Gage.

"Your wish is my command." said Johnny, grinning, relieved.  He got busy
on the airwaves.

The baby's mother lay wearily on her burn sheet package pillow
as Joanne examined her carefully. "How's he doing? ... My baby, can you
help him?" she sobbed.

"Yes." said Joanne. "He's in good hands. Just relax and keep taking
in deep breaths. You still have to deliver that placenta for us." she
said, feeling the mother's labor cramps starting in again. "We'll let
you hold him in a few minutes."

Kel looked up at Roy. "Go ahead and cut the cord. All the blood has
transferred okay." he said, feeling the lack of a pulse in it.

"Right." DeSoto got to work with ties, a pair of scissors and a new set
of gloves.

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Johnny looked up from his radio. "Morgan's all set. She says that's
number one, whatever that means."

Kel smiled. "She's keeping track of a promise made to me."

"That's my girl.." Johnny chuckled, moving on to the next patient.

Dr. Brackett raised both eyebrows but didn't say anything much, aloud.
He just pursed his lips in amusement.

But then the seriousness of their situation and the number of
victims still yet to be seen, wiped the mirth away from all four of them.

They slipped into rapid autopilot, moving down the rows.

Chris Rorchek looked up from a boy he was suctioning. "I need a doc
over here. This boy's starting to posture." The LMA he had inserted
was only just keeping a viable airway open on the child.

Joanne rose to aid him. "Head injury?"

"No, that's what's so puzzling." Chris told her.

"What have you found?" she asked him.

"Bruising on the stomach, no guarding. Lungs are clear.
No cerebral spinal fluid out anywhere. Rapid heartbeat
as you see, showing V-tach on the monitor. Respirations

Joanne lifted her gloves. "Whew.. he's hot. Was he in a fire?"

"Nuh uh. He was one of the plane people they got out first.
No smoke they told me. Just probable sound wave concussive
injuries from the Concorde's impact."
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   The Fire Within
   Movie One
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