Disclaimer: This story is for fun, not profit. I do not own the characters. Universal and Mark VII do. Please do not sue me.
Time To Get Up, Time To Play
The station was quiet. It was the middle of the night, and all six men slumbered quietly. The station had already had a kitchen fire to deal with that night, right after lights out. They were only out two hours, but were exhausted when they returned.
BWAAAH, BWWOOOOOOT DWEEEET! Six men jumped out of their beds into boots that were tucked into turnout pants.
"Squad 51, possible drug overdose, 3251 Palm Tree Way, 3-2-5-1 Palm Tree Way, cross street Stetson. Time out: 0325. Ambulance is responding."
Four men sank back into their beds in relief. Two men did not. John Gage and Roy DeSoto headed out to the red Dodge where they spent half their waking hours. Roy fired up the diesel engine while Johnny responded at the call station. "Squad 51, KMG-365."
Johnny hopped into the squad. "Man, I hate the OD calls. It's always these young kids, doin' stupid stuff, sometimes gettin' themselves in a lotta trouble," said Gage.
DeSoto smiled to himself at the thought of his junior partner, who was practically still a kid himself, complaining about the antics of "kids these days." He had to agree, though; it seemed like their OD call patients were getting younger and younger.
"Okay, Roy, here it is, on the right, with the fence." Roy pulled the squad over and the two men jumped out and grabbed the gear they would likely need for drug overdose. Roy carried the O2 cylinder and the drug box; Johnny carried the biophone, datascope, and intubation supplies. They hurried through the gate, hoping that the fence was not there to contain a dog.
A woman met them at the door. "Fast, come in fast, so she doesn't get out!" She hurried the men into the house. Johnny looked around for the dog, assuming that was the "she" that the woman did not want leaving the house.
A pink and white blur streaked past the paramedics. The blur was making "vrooming" sounds. Johnny and Roy looked at each other, both thinking the same thing – that 3:30 a.m. was a bit late for a child that age to be up.
"Ma'am, we had a call about a possible overdose at this address?" said Roy.
"I'm sorry, I just didn't know who to call. Now that we have that new 9-1-1 number, the doctor says to call that first for an emergency. And, I wasn't really sure whether this was an emergency, but it's totally out of hand, that's for sure." The woman looked pale and haggard.
"Beep Beep! Vroooooommm!" the blur said, as it sped past.
"Ah, ma'am, where is the person with the overdose?" asked Roy.
"Well, she just ran past for the second time, is where!"
The men looked at each other. "The child? You think the child OD'ed?" asked Johnny. "Tell us what happened."
The woman sighed. "Well, I put her to bed at about 8:00 as usual, and I went to bed at about 9:30 myself. Then at about midnight, I was awoken by Kimmy here jumping up and down on my bed, and shrieking at the top of her lungs." The woman took a deep breath, and continued. "She was giggling and shouting, 'Time to get up! Time to play!' And then she started running around the house like mad. I swear, whoever devised a floor-plan that allows children to run in circles must not have any kids."
"Outta the way! Vrooooom!" the pink blur, AKA Kimmy, sped past again.
"What makes you think she's OD'ed?" asked Roy.
"This," said the woman, as she reached into the pocket of her white terrycloth robe. She handed Roy an empty bottle. "I found her kitchen step-stool in the bathroom, and this empty bottle in the sink. It was three quarters full last week. She must've climbed up onto the bathroom counter to reach it. And yes," she added, "that is a childproof cap, for what little good it did."
Roy read the label on the bottle. "Diphenhydramine HCl. One teaspoon every four to six hours as needed for allergy symptoms."
Johnny got out the biophone and started calling in to Rampart. "How old is Kimmy?" he asked the mother, "And do you know how much she weighs?"
"Three and a half, and about thirty pounds. Or five hundred, when she's having a tantrum," the frazzled-looking mother added.
"Rampart, this is Squad 51, how do you read?"
"Loud and clear, 51. Go ahead."
"Rampart, we have a female, age three and a half, approximately 30 pounds. She has apparently consumed approximately—" Johnny looked to Roy for an estimate, and Roy held up his notebook for Johnny to see— "125 to 150 milligrams of diphenhydramine HCl. The child has been extremely agitated for over three hours."
"51, do you have some vitals?"
"Ah, Rampart, we have not yet, uh, caught the patient." Johnny looked at the mother. "The hospital wants us to check her out – should we just grab her, or can you make her stop?"
The mother gave Johnny a you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me look. "By all means, grab away."
On Kimmy's next pass through the living room, Johnny and Roy corralled her into the room, and Roy caught her up in a bear hug.
"Whoa, there, speedy!" he said to Kimmy. "Looks like you're pretty wound up there, kiddo." The small child squirmed and panted in his gentle grasp.
"Hey, you're a fireman! Where's your hat? You're s'posta have a hat and can I drive your truck? I wanna see your truck and blow the horn – HONK HONK!"
Johnny started taking the child's vitals as Roy kept her as still as possible. The child kept up a rambling monologue the entire time.
"Hey, Mister Fireman, what's your name? What's your friend's name? Is he a fireman too? Do you have air tanks? Do you spray water on fires? I'm not supposed to go near fires. Fires are REALLY REALLY HOT, did you know that? You can get all burned up in a fire. Your clothes can catch on fire and then you have to STOP, DROP, and ROLL! Rock and roll! Do you like Rock and Roll? I do. It's loud. LA LA LA LA LA! Rock and roll singers sing LOUD!"
"Roy, I can't get a BP on her with all this movement and racket. Can ya get her to hold still?"
Roy shot him a look. "Uh, whaddaya think I'm trying to do here, Junior? You wanna try?"
"No, no, I'm just sayin', is all." Johnny backed away and went to the biophone. "Rampart, pulse is 130, respirations 40, unable to get a BP reading due to, uh excess movement and noise. Patient is lucid but extremely active and verbose, and will not follow verbal instructions of any kind."
"... and guitars, and drums! I can play DRUMS! I used to have a drum but now it's gone and I can't find it. I don't know where my drum went. Mom, where's my drum? I need it!"
"51, was the medication ingested in liquid or pill form?"
"10-4, 51. It sounds like your patient is having a paradoxical reaction to the medication. Usually this medication would sedate an adult, but in children it can cause agitation and hyperactivity. Are you able to establish an IV?"
"Ah, that's negative, Rampart, the patient will be unable to cooperate."
"10-4, 51, as we suspected. Attempt to have the child drink at least eight ounces of any liquid, and transport as soon as possible."
"Transport?" asked the mother. "To the hospital?" She had turned a grayish color.
"Now, ma'am, it's just a precaution."
"But what can they do for her? You're on the phone with them, can you ask them?"
Johnny looked at Roy, who shrugged his shoulders.
"Can't hurt to ask, can it?" said Roy.
"Rampart, the patient's mother is wondering what will happen at the hospital."
"51, tell her that depending on patient's condition, we'll either do gastric lavage, or administer activated charcoal, to try to remove as much of the medication as possible from the GI tract so it is not absorbed by the body."
"10-4, Rampart. Ambulance is at the scene, and we will transport immediately. We will give liquids en route." Johnny then translated for the mother. "Sounds like they'll pump her stomach – which is not as bad as it sounds – or give her something to soak up the rest of the drug."
"All right, then, I guess we'd better get her there. I'll get my keys, and see if we can get her ito the car." The mother turned to reach for her purse.
"Ah, we would advise letting us take her in the ambulance," said Roy, struggling to hold onto the squirming child. "In her condition, it'll be safer than having her bouncing around in the car. You can ride in the front with the driver if you like, or you can follow in your car."
"I think I'll bring the car, so we can get home later," replied the mom, just as the Mayfair ambulance attendants entered with a gurney.
Roy addressed his wiggling charge. "Hey, Kimmy, we don't have a big fire truck for you to ride in, but how about an ambulance? You can sit right here on this rolling bed, all right?"
"WOW! Can I drive? Can I make the sirens go? Can we go REAAALLLLY fast?" exclaimed Kimmy.
"Well, Jim here is the only one allowed to drive, but sure, we can go real fast, and we'll turn the sirens on, too, if you promise to try to stay on the bed, okay?" replied Roy. He loaded her up onto the gurney. "I'm gonna put this belt on you, just like a seat belt in the car. There you go."
Talking a mile a minute, the child allowed herself to be safely strapped down and covered with a blanket.
"Johnny, you wanna follow in the squad, or ride in back with Kimmy here?" Roy asked, teasing his partner. He knew perfectly well what Johnny would choose.
"Are you kidding? Kimmy's got the right idea – I'm gonna drive that fire truck, man." Johnny packed up the equipment, and loaded it all into the squad as the ambulance pulled away. He patted the squad on the hood, and slid into the driver's seat. The engine started with its noisy diesel growl.
Johnny couldn't resist. He looked around, to make sure no neighbors were watching. "Vroom vroom!" he said, as he revved the engine.
1. Now this one is autobiographical. Straight from real life. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
2. Diphenhydramine HCl is better known as Benadryl.