Companion piece to "I don't really like parties all that much anyway." This story will make much more sense if you read that first.
Disclaimer: This story is for fun, and not for profit. That's what my day job is for. So, I'll just have to keep doing this, even though I don't own the characters. Universal Studios and Mark VII productions do. The situations in the first four paragraphs are from Season 4 Episode 6, "Surprise," by Preston Wood.
Grab and Go
Chapter 1: Chet
I was trying to get everyone out of my way so I could run a 2-1/2 to the main entrance. Some people, I swear! This one lady was more worried about all the "things" she had to do than the fact that her building was about to blow up if she didn't get the hell out of my way.
Just as I got to the entrance, Roy called out for me to bring a stretcher. I ran back down the front steps of the building, grabbed the light-weight folding stretcher, and ran back in. I heard Gage and Roy shouting to each other through the stairwell, so I ran to where Roy's voice was coming from. The smell of gas was unbelievable – it must've been a huge leak in the main gas line or somethin'.
The old lady looked like she weighed practically nothing. If it hadn't been for her bad hip, it would've been a cinch to do a one-man carry down the stairs and out of the building. She kept telling us "Just let me be, I don't want to go," but that wasn't an option, of course. We gently placed the woman on the stretcher. Roy kept trying to reassure her, but she wasn't buyin' it. I didn't get it – why would she want us to leave her?
Five seconds slower and we woulda bought the farm. That place blew like the Hindenburg, about one second after we got down the steps. Roy and I ducked, with our victim, behind a beaut of a classic old car, shielding the woman from the falling debris. As soon as we could, we took her to a safe zone across the street. The whole time, Roy was frantically calling to Cap – "Gage is in there! Johnny's still in there!"
Of course, Cap knew that already. Part of his job as incident commander was to know who was in and who was out. He always knows where all his men are. If he doesn't, and it's our fault – that's a major screw-up.
Cap immediately called Marco for a grab-and-go. Cap got masked up faster than I've ever seen anyone do it before.
It didn't look good for Gage. Man, that place just went – fireballs on every floor. If he wasn't already near the bottom of the staircase – well, I didn't wanna think about it. Roy had already called in to Rampart that we had a Code I, condition unknown, who was being extricated from a burning building.
I tried to help Roy with our victim – I don't think I was doing much good. I don't think Roy was much good either. He kept lookin' at the building every coupla seconds, probably wondering whether he was gonna have three, two, one, or zero people to treat. Best case scenario was one victim – no way anyone who was in that place when it blew was gonna walk out unscathed. Worst-case scenario – not goin' there. Not yet.
I was antsy – real antsy. It was supposed to be me in there with Marco, not Cap. But there wasn't time for Cap to find out whether or not Roy really needed me, so he made the snap decision to turn the incident over to Captain Riley from 60's and do the grab-and-go himself. Luckily, all our victim needed was reassurance and TLC. It's a good thing, too, since I'm useless as a medic.
I think it took less than a minute for Cap and Marco to come out. 60's linemen had a fog pattern going on the front entrance, and Cap and Marco burst right out, carrying what looked like a rag-doll in a turnout coat. They ran him right over to the safe zone and set him gently down a couple of yards from the old lady, who was still moaning softly that we shoulda let her be.
Roy was practically panicked. He's always the calm, cool, and collected one. Not then, though. He started frantically checking Johnny over, muttering to himself as he peeled Johnny's eyelids back and checked his pupils, and took the initial set of vitals.
All I could tell was that he was breathing, he didn't look burned, his face was all bloody, and, oh yeah, one more thing – something was way wrong with his right leg. His foot was flat on the ground, and his leg was bent – but not at the knee.
Roy checked Johnny's upper body and left leg for fractures – it didn't seem like he found anything, 'cause he went straight for his blunt scissors and zipped them up Johnny's right pants leg. I made damned sure I wasn't looking when he did that. I also didn't look to see who was puking.
Gage was starting to come around. "Aw, shit, Chet – hold 'im down. Now, Chet, NOW!" Roy never swears.
I threw my entire body weight over Johnny's midsection. In the position I was in, I couldn't avoid seeing his leg. It was bloody, and there was bone. I'm no medic, but I know you're not supposed to see bone, and when you do? It's bad.
Johnny was really waking up. He had his arm thrown over his face, just like when he's sleeping. But he wasn't sleeping. Poor bastard.
Roy was taking Johnny's right shoe off as he started barking out orders, and believe me, we all followed 'em to the letter. Stoker was arriving – Riley must've stood our station down. Good man.
"Marco, biophone! Somebody get me the splint box – NOW! Rampart, this is Squad 51, how do you read?"
Doc Brackett must've been right there waiting. "Loud and clear, go ahead, 51."
"We have our Code I. He was unconscious upon extrication from a building involved in a gas explosion but is now semiconscious. Vitals are: respirations 28, pulse 130, BP 100/70. Pupils are equal and reactive. Swelling and bleeding apparent at occipital protuberance, some minor facial lacerations. Compound tib-fib, right side, moderate bleeding but with no arterial spurting and good pedal pulse. GUYS, HOLD HIM DOWN, GODDAMMIT! Rampart, patient's consciousness level is increasing and he appears to be having extreme pain, and Rampart," Roy's voice was breaking, "oh God, I can't give him anything, can I?"
"Negative, 51. Start a large-bore IV, lactated Ringer's, wide open. Irrigate the wound with normal saline, immobilize the fracture, and transport as soon as possible."
Roy was already dumping a bottle of saline over the place where the bone was sticking out. Me and Stoker held Johnny's shoulders down, Marco had his left leg, and Cap was at his head. Roy had the hardest job, cause every time he did anything Johnny just screamed louder. The scary thing was that he wasn't even screaming at anyone.
I was hoping to God that he wouldn't remember any of this.
Roy was working as fast as he could, which was not fast enough for anyone. Especially Gage, and especially Roy himself. The tears were streaming down Roy's face. Roy always was telling Johnny not to get emotionally involved, but how do you not get emotionally involved with a patient when he's your partner and your best friend?
I guess Stoker underestimated Johnny's strength. He was trying to keep the arm with the IV pinned down, but Johnny still managed to rip it out.
After about five years, Roy said, "Load him up."
And he sat there on the ground, with his hands over his ears, while the Mayfair attendants loaded Johnny into the wagon.
I let Roy sit for a few seconds. But not too long. I reached down, took his hand, and helped him to his feet.
"He needs you, Roy. Go take care of Johnny. We'll all meet you there."
Roy pulled himself together, wiping the backs of his hands over his eyes. He let out a shaky breath, and without saying a word, turned, and climbed into the back of the ambulance with Johnny.
R&R greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Up next: a different point of view.