My first Emergency! fanfic. No beta for this one so please forgive any mistakes. I read and re-read it but probably missed a few things. Emergency! and it's characters do not belong to me but thanks to all those who created this show and it's characters. I loved watching the show as a kid and love watching it with my son a generation later. With so few good family shows now it has been great revisiting this show and the real heros it represents. I have no firefighter or medical experience so I beg your forgiveness on both and ask only for creative license. Your feedback is appreciated as I do wish to know if I get I am getting right.
"Station 51, unknown vehicle accident ClearCreek Canyon and Winchester. Dense fog warning."
The men of station 51 came to life, putting down newspapers, coffee cups and forks carrying half eaten breakfast. They had done it so many times; it was almost like a well rehearsed ballet—without the tights.
"Station 51 KMG365," the calm deep voice of Capt Hank Stanley said. He half grinned at Mike Stoker as he got into the red engine. The engineer was ready to go and returned the grin. Even after all the years together, station 51 never got tired of getting a rescue call. It was a testament to the devotion to helping others, but there was also the little boy in each of them that loved putting out fires and running the sirens. They wouldn't admit it but there was a rush and the grin between Stanley and Stokes were the only acknowledgement of that thrill. Of course when they got there, it was all business and sometimes it was an ugly business.
Stanley frowned when he saw the squad with De Soto and Gage swerve to avoid hitting a car that had rolled through a stop sign. Stoker was on the horn and Stanley shook his head. Some people would never learn. The dispatcher called back for an ETA and to provide more information. Stanley turned to Stoker. "Looks like possible multiple vehicles, brush fire."
"Are they sending more help Cap?"
Stanley nodded as he steadied himself when they turned a corner. "Yes. 15 and 8. Others are standing by until after we assess." Stanley's gaze shifted up the hill. The sun had still not risen completely and it was hard to see. "Watch out Mike. There are cross streets plus that farm road close to here until we get pass the bridge, and this rolling fog is not our friend."
"Gotcha Cap," Stoker said as he laid on the horn for good measure. He turned and looked at Stanley who was rolling his eyes. "Any chance hey Pal?" the Captain said with a laugh.
Stoker smiled again and nodded. They made good time despite the fog and Stoker slowed down as they the squad in front slowed.
"Engine 51, Squad 51. We see two cars to the left. They looked pretty banged up."
"10-4 Squad 51. You stop and assess their injuries. We will continue a bit to see if we can determine how many more and catch a visual on that brush fire. Report any new info. We are going to find it hard to see each other even just a few yards if this fog stays like this."
"10-4 Engine 51. We will stay in radio contact."
Stanley looked out the window. "Good thing not too much traffic so early. Just move up there slowly Mike. I think I see some lights up ahead. "
Stoker moved the Engine slowly up the street straining to see up ahead. There was a brief clearing of the fog and he could see two more cars and something else that looked like a motorcycle. "Cap. 10 meters on the left."
Stanley looked to the left, then the fog rolled in again. "Hold it up here Mike," Stanley said as he turned back behind him. He handed Kelly a radio. "Marco, Chet, you guys check this one out. I am smelling smoke, so we are going to roll just past the bridge. There should a hydrant on the cross street right before it."
"Okay Mike ," Stanley said quietly as he looked out to the side, "the bridge should be
right there up ahead. "Be careful, I don't think there is much more than that guardrail between us and that pretty steep hill."
"No kidding," Stoker said as he looked down at the road as he moved forward. "There," he said pointing with his right hand. "There's the hydrant."
"I smell smoke, but it doesn't smell like brush," Stanley said.
"Must be the cars back there. Or maybe up ahead But we better put them out quick."
Stanley was about to pick up the radio when he heard screeching tires. There was a clearing in the fog so as he looked to his right he could see the semi-tractor trailer barreling toward them. "Mike! Look out"
Stoker had his hand on the door to get out when he caught site of the semi.
Lopez turned up the street when he heard the screeching brakes. The fog had cleared and he looked on horrified when he saw the tanker barrel into the red rig with the Captain and Stoker still in side. The rig tipped onto its left side and skidded through the guardrail before coming to a halt. He could not see around it. The fog rolled in again slightly obscuring the view. It was hardly ever foggy in this part, why now! "Chet! Chet! The Cap and Mike!"
Kelly had already turned when he heard the breaking. "Get over there Marco! I'll call it in!" He could hear at least one other engine not too far from them but they would be cautious. The fog was thinning but had not gone completely. Marco raced the few meters toward the engine and heard Kelly calling DeSoto and Gage.
Stanley did not know exactly how they had gotten in this position except he had reached for Stoker as the Engineer was losing his grip on the steering wheel. He was hanging from the door with one hand with a death grip on the mirror bar and the other holding Stoker. Stanley closed his eyes a moment to clear his head, then looked down toward the hill. It was steeper and rockier than he thought. They wouldn't survive if they fell. "Stok…Stoker," he rasped. The pain in his shoulder brought tears to his eyes, and his head and side hurt. God please don't let me drop him. Please. Stanley tried to focus on breathing then decided it was best to not focus on his body because it hurt too much. "Stok…Mike?"
The Engineer stirred. "Cap," he said groggily then realized his predicament. "Cap?"
"It's okay Mike. They'll come get us." Stanley was determined not to let go. He vowed he would die before ever losing another man if there was anyway he could help it.
Stoker surveyed their situation. How the hell was Stanley holding both their weights on the one arm? He couldn't keep that up. Stanley's face was bleeding and it looked like blood was running down his leg.
"Cap you okay?"
"Yeah," Stanley said steadily. He was not going to focus on the pain. "Are you hurt?"
"My other arm. I think it's broken. My head a little but not too bad. Cap…you…you can't hold on."
Stanley managed to look down at him. Stoker thought it odd that somehow the skunk hat was still on the Cap. "To hell I can't Mike. I've got it. They'll be here soon."
Mike closed his eyes and tried to be still. He could try to get hold of the Captain's legs but he would have to reach and he wasn't sure his own arm could hold him and if Stanley's leg was bleeding it could hurt the Captain more.
Stanley tried to look up but grimaced as the pain in his head shot to almost unbearable. Hanging on was not just muscle strength but mental focus and he could not afford to lose focus.
"Marco!" he managed, "Hurry up!" The effort left him breathless and he focused on his grip. He was thankful he was wearing his gloves. It was a habit putting them on with his turnout. Others sometimes waited until they got to the scene.
Marco did not waste any time with words. He ran down the bridge toward Kelly. Engine 8 was there already and he went straight to the Captain. "Cap! Captain Stanley and Stoker are hanging from the engine. Stanley has them both. I couldn't tell how hurt they are but it can't be good. I…I don't know how but they are still alive but that hill is steep and rocky. The Cap can't hang on much longer!"
"Don't worry. We'll get them. We'll have 85 extend the ladder. Your rescue squad is on it's way up here and mine has taken over for them. 51 I want you to focus on your men. We have the rest covered." The Captain waived 85 forward. Kelly, DeSoto, and Gage were already on the runners hitching the short ride with as much equipment as they could load. Lopez nodded at the Captain and jumped on.
"Marco, what did you see?" Kelly asked anxiously.
"The Cap is hanging form the engine with one arm and he has Mike in the other."
"What?" Gage exclaimed. "How they heck could they have ended up like that?"
"I don't know Johnny, but I think it was luck. The rig is hanging just enough off. It looked stable enough but I don't know if we can get any leverage."
DeSoto squinted through the thinning fog. He saw men on the semi truck. He wasn't sure if the driver was alive but he was being worked on. Then they saw 51 on it's side like a wounded animal. His heart started racing and he breathed in slowly to calm it. He had to stay focused if he was going to help the Cap and Mike.
"Cap, you have to let me go."
Stanley could see 85 moving into position. It had to only have been two minutes but it felt like an eternity. He groaned at the misery in his body and tried to will it away. He had Stoker tight but he was sweating at the effort and was finding it hard to see out of his right eye. Blood, sweat maybe both. He heard Stoker somewhere in his thoughts.
"What did you say Mike?"
"Hank you can't hang on. You have to let me go." He rarely called the Captain that, and more rarely on duty.
Stanley glared down at him. "I am not going to let you go. Shut up and let me focus."
Stoker could hear Stanley's breathing get more and more labored. He closed his eyes and prayed. "Hank, I can't let you…you've got a wife…kids"
"Damnit Mike. Shut up. If you let go, I will let go." Stanley looked down and met Stoker's eyes. "I will let go. They'll be here in a minute. I can hang on."
Stoker shut his eyes. "Okay Hank." Stoker prayed some more, mostly to just stay still and not retch his breakfast as the nausea in him increased.
"Can't we drag the engine back?" 85s captain asked.
"No way. Just moving it could shake the Captain's grip. I think if you can extend the ladder over the cab of the truck we can lower down to get them. Gage on Stoker and me on the Cap."
"Okay do it. It's been almost two minutes at least; he can't hold on much longer, miracle it's been this long. We'll shore 51 up as much as we can."
DeSoto nodded and pulled Gage's arm. "Marco Chet, let's go." They hopped on the ladder and rode the ladder up. De Soto looked at each of them. "Remember guys slow is fast. This is just another rescue. Step by step." They nodded in unison and each checked for their own safety belts.
The ladder was finally in position just a few meters past and above the cab and they looked down. DeSoto did not even have to shout. "Cap, Mike. We are here. Just hang on a second and we will get you down!" He did not bother asking for injuries. There was time enough for that later.
Stanley looked up at DeSoto. His face was eerily calm but Roy could see the pain in the Captain's eyes or at least one of them since the other was shut from blood running down from a gash. "You mean up don't you Pal?" Stanley said calmly.
DeSoto smiled and looked back at the men as they chuckled. "Johnny. Change of plans. Now that I can see it better I am going to go down get a belt around Mike and you all pull him up while I get the second one on the Cap. Better than four of us down there and two up here." He was not sure who could get the belt up first but he figured if he could get it on Stoker and Stanley slipped he would have a better chance of catching the Captain then trying to reach down for Stoker.
Gage nodded. "Okay, I'll stay hooked up just in case."
DeSoto sat on the edge. "Okay now lower me." As he was lowered he saw the precarious white-knuckle grip Stanley had on the mirror. He could hear the Captain grunting with effort but Stanley said nothing. "Hang in there Cap. I'm going to get Stoker's weight off of you."
"Not going anywhere," Stanley gritted in reply. A couple of seconds more and DeSoto was face to face with Stoker. He began to quickly wrap the belt around the Engineer. "Hey Mike. Have you outta here in a second."
Stoker nodded then whispered as DeSoto fastened the final strap. "Cap's hurt bad Roy. His leg has been bleeding pretty good."
"It's okay Mike. We'll take care of him and you." DeSoto looked up. It had only taken a few seconds. "Okay guys prepare to haul. Stoker is fastened. Cap you can let him go now." When Stanley looked at him but did not move, DeSoto placed a hand on the Captain. The taller man's fingers around Stoker's wrist were like steel and also white at the knuckles. "Cap, it's okay let him go."
Stanley commanded his fingers to move. He looked down and could see that Stoker was in the harness. He just couldn't get his fingers to move. "Roy," he rasped. "I…I can't move them." Roy smiled slightly as he gently pried Stanley's fingers open one by one. He heard Stanley groan but they were off finally. "Get me to the Cap and pull Mike up!"
DeSoto found himself finally face to face with the Captain. "Your turn Cap. How's your grip?"
"Slipping." Stanley said matter-of-factly. His eyes looked at DeSoto distantly.
"Stay with me Cap. I am going to wrap my legs around you and then they can pull me up slightly to take the weight off of your hand okay?"
Stanley nodded but said nothing. DeSoto could hear Stanley's rattling breath. "Pull me up slightly guys," he said looking at Gage. "Just a little to get the weight off."
He put his legs around Stanley's hips and they raised him slightly. "Cap, can you life your other arm?"
Stanley tried but all he could manage was a half groan half sob. "Sorry, Roy, it doesn't seem to work right now."
"It's okay Cap. I can get this around you. " DeSoto said as he gently slipped the belt under the Captain's arm and around his waist. He breathed a sigh of relief once he had the Captain fastened. "Okay Cap. You can let go now. We've got you."
Stanley looked up and saw that they had hauled Stoker over to the safety of the ladder. He smiled. "Thank God. Thank you." His breathing was even more labored and he looked clammy. He felt a hand gently touch his face. Stanley focused on DeSoto's eyes. "Cap, you can let go," the paramedic said softly. Stanley closed his eyes and relaxed his hand. He only slipped a few inches before he felt his men pulling him up to safety. DeSoto continued to hold the Captain close to his chest although he had unwrapped his legs. "Almost there Cap. Almost there." DeSoto felt the Captain go completely limp as he lost consciousness. He felt for a pulse and sighed with relief. It was there, fast and thready but there.
They hauled him up finally to safety. Stoker was already in a Stokes stretcher and they had no trouble placing the Captain in one. They quickly got him fastened. The ladder was already moving back over land but had not retracted. They lowered Stoker and Stanley directly in the stokes down to the ground while Gage and DeSoto made their way down the ladder.
"Hey Mike how are you doing there buddy?"
"Living John," Stoker whispered. "That was close."
"Yeah it was. Good thing the Cap has long arms."
Stoker managed to smile then grimaced. "Head hurts."
"Yeah you have a pretty good bump. Dizzy, headache?"
"Yeah. Think I blacked out a couple of times. Feel sick to my stomach."
"It's okay Mike. You probably have a concussion, couple of cuts on the back too."
Gage continued to thoroughly check Stoker out. "Looks like you broke your arm." Stoker gasped slightly. "No kidding. I really feel sick Johnny. I think I need to…"
Gage helped Stoker sit up and bend over to the side so he wouldn't aspirate. "Chet get me a wet towel will ya?"
Chet quickly returned with a cold folded towel. Gage placed it on the back of the neck of Stoker while the Engineer was dry heaving. Stoker finally sighed. "It's okay Mike. Just lay back and keep still. I'm going to call Rampart." Gage placed the towel on Stoker's forehead and was about to leave when he felt a hand on his own. "Johnny. How is the Cap?"
Gage looked over and saw the Captain's arm move so knew he must have regained consciousness. DeSoto was still reviewing his injuries. "He's awake and Roy is with him now. He'll be okay Mike."
"My fault John."
"No it wasn't and you know it. Damn fog. That's all."
"I don't know Mike. I will check on them and let you know okay? Chet you stay with him."
The usually jovial firefighter Kelly was serious and all business. "You got it Johnny."
"Hold still Cap," DeSoto said gently putting his hand on Stanley's shoulder as the Captain began to rouse. The paramedic set the Captain's helmet to the side. He wondered where the turnout was. The Captain almost always had it on.
"Yeah Cap. It's me just hang on okay. We'll get you fixed up." The captain grimaced when DeSoto pressed a bandage to his leg. "Just hold on. I need to get this wrapped tight Cap."
"Where's…where…Stoke…" Stanley said half dazed. The effort left him breathless. He moved restlessly trying to get comfortable. He felt himself shiver and was not sure why he felt cold.
"Cap, I need to get this bandage on you, you've already lost enough blood,"
"Lost…lost Stok..er." Stanley half sobbed. DeSoto turned around. "Marco! I need your help! Mike's okay. Cap."
Marco nodded as he finished with the H.T. He knelt beside DeSoto. "Copter is on the way Roy to take the Cap, and Mike . ETA two minutes. Fog is pretty much lifted so should be no problem. The Captain of 85 requested a second one. There was a second accident about two miles south making it hard to get through on ambulance."
"Good Marco. Hold the Captain will you. I need to get this leg bandaged and I think he has some internal injuries but he's shocky right now. Rampart wants me to start an I.V. to replace some of the fluid loss. Hey what about the truck driver?"
Marco shook his head as he gently held Stanley's shoulders. The Captain groaned and jerked slightly under Marco's touch. The fire fighter leaned in close to the Captain's head "It's okay Cap. Let Roy finish up okay."
DeSoto finished with the leg then moved to the Captain's broken arm. "I'm going to put a splint on this Cap okay?"
Stanley was writhing as he tried to respond. "Roy. His shoulder feels odd," Lopez said quietly.
DeSoto looked up. "I know Marco. I think he dislocated it or pulled it when he caught the mirror and both of their weights. Marco whistled. "Madre de Dios. God was with him Roy. I don't know how they made it."
The Cap said something and Marco leaned in closer. "What's that Cap?" But he could not make out what Stanley muttered.
Stanley's breathing was rattling. DeSoto looked at his watch as he felt for the pulse of the Captain. "Blood pressure has stabilized but his heart is racing."
"Pain?" Marco said holding a bandage to the Stanley's head..
"Yeah it could be," DeSoto said getting out another bandage to put on the cut. "Could be the bleeding." DeSoto looked back as he heard the copter. "Come on Marco, let's prep him. We need to get him to Rampart quick."
85s Captain came jogging up. "How is he Roy?" he asked squatting down next to Marco.
"He's serious Cap, but I think he is going to be okay if we can get him to Rampart quick. My biggest worry is the blood loss. He lost a lot in the few minutes it took for us to get to them."
The Captain placed a hand on Stanley. "You hang in there Hank. Your men need you back quick you understand."
Stanley mumbled something incomprehensible. "Roy, Marco, I want you all on that copter. There is enough room and you guys might need help with Hank and Mike. We'll finish here and get the squad back to you."
"Okay Cap, Thanks." DeSoto looked back and saw that Gage and Kelly were loading Stoker. "Come on Marco. Let's get him in."
Stanley was vaguely aware of the sounds of others. Any touch seemed painful but he couldn't remember what they had said about Stoker. It was hard to breath now. Almost like he couldn't catch a breath and when he tried it brought red-hot pain to his right side.
He opened his eyes briefly and saw the blades of a helicopter then the ceiling of the inside cabin. He couldn't make out the faces of those around him but the voices sounded familiar. But where was Stoker. He had lost him. He must have lost him. His vision came into focus and he saw the faces of his men except for Stoker. He tried to lift his head up but cried out softly as his body punished the attempt.
"Cap! Stay still. We'll be at Rampart in just a few minutes." DeSoto said has he tried to keep Stanley still.
"No!" Stanley said through a hitched breath. "Stoker. I…I lost him…couldn't hold on anymore."
"No Cap. He's okay. He's here right next to you."
"I don't…I don't see him."
"Cap," a quiet voice said to his left. "Cap it's me Mike. I'm okay." Stoker reached out to touch Stanley but couldn't quite reach. Gage saw what he was trying to do and loosened the strap on the stokes and guided Stoker's hand to Stanley's hand. "See Cap. It's me. I just bumped my head and broke my arm…but I am okay."
DeSoto saw Stanley relax . Tears had stained the side of the Captain's cheek. "I thought I lost you…Mike." Stanley closed his eyes. "I can't….I can't lose any of you," he said before drifting off to unconsciousness. DeSoto fought back the lump in his throat as he checked Stanley's pulse and blood pressure. He looked up at the men. The may have fought the lump in their throats as well but they had to fight harder to keep back the tears. The Captain had always mentioned how they were family, but he had never once spoken about his fear of losing any of them. None of them ever did, but even though the Captain had his quirks, he was an exceptional firefighter who had proven he would do anything including die for any one of them. DeSoto smiled. "He's okay guys, he's just unconscious." DeSoto did not like the hitched and rattled breathing of Stanley and the small trickle of blood that had escaped down the side of Stanley's mouth, but they were just minutes away and Rampart could fix that. They had to. They couldn't lose the Cap either.