Note: This story is all in fun. Some stuff is purposely exaggerated, some based on personal experience. :o)
By Audrey W.
“Squad 51, unknown type rescue, 2123 North Hill Street, two one two three North Hill Street, cross street Peach Avenue, time out, 14:11.”
John Gage quickly jotted down the information in a small book from his shirt pocket, then reached for the mic in the squad.
“Squad 51 10-4.”
His partner Roy DeSoto had turned on the lights and siren to alert the traffic around them they were on an active response. He was in the process of putting his helmet on with one hand while he kept the other on the steering wheel.
After he replaced the mic, Gage grabbed his own helmet.
“Unknown type rescue. I hate unknowns.”
“Ah c’mon. Some of them end up more sensible than the knowns,” Roy reminded.
Johnny couldn’t disagree. He sure hoped it would be the case with this one.
Roy brought the squad to a stop along the curb in front of a one-story white house. An elderly woman came rushing from the front doorway, waving her arms in the air as if she needed to flag the paramedics down.
“I have a really bad feelin’ about this,” Johnny commented as he climbed out of the squad.
The woman grabbed Gage’s right arm as Roy came around the front of the truck.
“Oh hurry, please hurry!”
“Ma’am, we’re hurrying. Just calm down,” Johnny soothed as he gently worked his arm free. “Calm down, don’t get all worked up or you may be the one needing our help next, okay?”
As they grabbed the equipment from the squad compartments, Roy asked, “Can you tell us why we’re here?”
“Oh it was terrible. . .terrible.”
Obviously the only way they were going to get a clear answer was to see for themselves. She led the way, all the while muttering, “I just can’t believe it. . .terrible.”
Johnny and Roy rushed to the elderly male victim when they saw him lying on the kitchen floor on his back.
Roy noticed a small blood stain on his right side about the size of a nickel and was already questioning, “What happened?” He set the drug box down beside the man.
“You won’t believe it.”
“Try us,” Johnny responded as he set the trauma box and biophone down as well. He squatted on the other side of the man across from Roy. “We gotta know what we’re dealin’ with so we can help ya.”
“He was shot!”
The man didn’t look happy his wife had butt in. “I’ll tell ‘um, Margaret.” He looked at the alarmed expressions on the paramedics’ faces. “I was shot with. . . a .22 caliber pellet gun.”
“Pellet gun?” Johnny glanced around, but didn’t see any sign of a weapon of any kind. “Where is it?”
“Not in here. She made me come out to the kitchen so I’d only get blood on the linoleum ___ easier to clean,” he added when the paramedic looked surprised.
“Let me take a look,” Roy said as he gently pulled the shirt hem out from the man’s brown trousers and pushed it up to get a view of the small wound.
Johnny took the man’s pulse as Roy examined the injury.
“Well, it probably penetrated beyond the dermis. I can’t see it. How’d this happen?”
The question was met with silence.
The medics exchanged glances. Johnny set up the biophone to contact Rampart General Hospital while Roy dealt with the patient.
“Sir, do you know who did this? Did you call the police?”
“Look, we don’t need the police. Just do what ya have to do.”
Johnny looked over momentarily, then continued with his call. “Rampart, this is Squad 51, how do you read me?”
Meanwhile, Roy still had hope they’d get some answers once he finished getting the vitals.
“Rampart, this is Squad 51.”
“Go ahead, 51,” Doctor Brackett answered.
“Rampart, we have a male approximately seventy-years-old, he’s the victim of a .22 caliber pellet wound. . .”
As he described the location, Roy waited to give the remaining vital signs. Meanwhile, Margaret took it upon herself to clear up the matter.
“The cat did it.”
Johnny stopped in mid-description and Roy just looked puzzled.
“You mean a cat burglar?” Roy wondered.
“No, the cat. Our cat. It was just terrible!”
Gage hesitantly updated the hospital. “Uh. . .Rampart. . .seems our victim was shot by. . .uh. . .the family cat.”
He waited for a response. But Brackett must’ve been as baffled as they were as the line was silent for several seconds. He could just imagine the look on the doctor’s face when he heard the news.
“51, did you say he was shot by a cat?”
“Look, I’ll show you,” Margaret offered.
Johnny handed the biophone handset to Roy and stood up. With one last look at his partner, he reluctantly followed the woman. He could hear Roy explain, “Johnny’s gone to find that out now” as they entered the dining room.
“Go slowly now,” the woman directed. “He may still be armed.”
She stayed behind as the now wondering-if-this-was-a-set-up paramedic cautiously peered around the edge of the next doorway that led to the livingroom.
Maybe we shoulda called the cops first after all. . .*now* I think of that?
Sometimes they could be too trusting of elderly citizens.
Johnny scanned the room from his half-hiding place. Suddenly he froze, his brown eyes open wide.
“His name’s Bandit,” Margaret explained, having moved closer, but still partially behind the younger man for safe cover.
Johnny just shook his head. A cat named ‘Bandit’ with a gun. This was certainly going to be one for the books. Even more astounding was that the feline hadn’t left the ‘scene of the crime’. Any cats he’d ever come across would have been long gone and hiding somewhere, if only from the sudden ‘pop’ of the gun.
‘Bandit’ should be renamed ‘Ruthless’, he thought to himself.
“I’ll bet Fred never leaves his pellet gun lying around like that again,” Johnny said with a grin as he and Roy headed away from Rampart. “At least not unless he has the safety on.”
They’d left the elderly man in Doctor Brackett’s care with the minor injury and were on their way back to Station 51.
“Probably not. But who’d ever think a cat could pull a trigger?”
“You’ve seen how they flex their paws when they’re happy. Fred just happen’ ta be standin’ in the wrong spot when Bandit was lyin’ in the wrong spot. It’s a freak accident. A real freak accident.”
“He must’ve flexed pretty hard.”
Johnny shrugged. “He’s a big cat. ‘Sides, with an unknown rescue, nothin’ is impossible. Nothin’ at--”
The paramedic’s words were interrupted by the radio.
“Squad 51, what is your status?”
Johnny reached for the mic. “Squad 51 available.”
“Squad 51, unknown type rescue, 3242 West Taylor Avenue, three two four two West Taylor Avenue, cross street Vine Boulevard, time out 15:32.”
“What was that you were saying?” Roy kidded.
The younger man frowned. “Squad 51 10-4.” He couldn’t hide the lack of enthusiasm in his voice.
This time no one was out to greet the two paramedics. Johnny climbed out of the squad and eyed the house they’d been sent to.
“I don’ know. I have a bad feelin’ about this too.”
“Well, let’s just get our stuff and see what we’ve got,” Roy said as he came around the back of the squad and opened the compartment doors.
With their supplies in hand, the men trotted up to the front door of the light blue house.
Roy knocked a couple of times on the screen door. The response from inside was unexpected. They heard the muffled voice of a woman yell, “Go away! Leave me alone!”
Johnny looked at his partner. “This is the right address, isn’t it?”
Roy read off the numbers on the house to the left of the door. “Three two four two, yep.”
“Let me try.”
Gage opened the screen door and knocked on the wooden one on the other side.
There was more silence before it slowly opened. A middle aged woman peered out and Johnny gave a smug grin to his partner.
The woman opened the door all the way when she saw who was there.
“Am I ever glad to see you guys!”
“Ma’am, you have an emergency?”
She directed her attention to Roy and nodded. “You bet I do.”
When she didn’t move or explain further, Johnny prompted, “Uhm, do you think you can tell us what it is?”
“Certainly. Just come inside, you’ll see.”
Suddenly the call was feeling like another.
“You wouldn’t happen to own a cat. . .would ya?” Gage wondered.
“No, but I’m starting to wish I did!”
Well, at least it couldn’t involve a furry feline. That was a relief to the men.
She closed the door behind them, but didn’t lead the men to any other rooms.
“Shhhhhsh!” She glared at the senior paramedic. “You won’t hear him.”
Both Johnny and Roy were baffled. . .again.
Suddenly there was a loud bang at the door, like a large rock hitting the frame of the screen.
“There he is! He’s back!”
Gage and DeSoto glanced at one another, then Johnny asked, “Who? Look, lady, we--”
He stopped when she opened the door and pointed.
“There you see? He keeps on doing that. Every day, at least a half dozen times. He won’t leave me alone. I think he’s got to be rabid and I want him out of here!”
The uniformed men were still staring at the sight before them.
“You mean this is about a squirrel?” Johnny asked.
“Not just a squirrel. That one! There’s got to be something seriously wrong with him. Look at him hanging on the screen, those evil beady eyes staring at us.”
“Oh, I don’ know.” Johnny grinned slightly. “He looks kinda cute and harmless ta me.”
The look on her face told him that was the wrong thing to say, and that he was probably lucky not to be needing a paramedic himself because of it.
They then saw a familiar person walking up the front yard. It was Officer Vince Howard.
The squirrel jumped down from the screen and scampered away.
The men went out to greet him and find out why he too was in the area.
“I was here to settle a neighborhood dispute. Seems a couple of residents are feeding squirrels peanuts and there’s one that now goes house to house. I find it hard to believe, but they claim it jumps to and then hangs on the screen doors till someone opens them. It’s become a pest. When I got done with the report, I saw your truck and wondered if you needed any help. What’ve you got?”
Roy pointed to a nearby tree, where the squirrel was watching from above.
Johnny snorted a laugh. “We’re on an unknown rescue call, Vince. Anything’s possible.”
The three men advised the woman she would need to contact animal control to get the squirrel if she wanted it removed. Otherwise to buy a bag of peanuts, recalling the old adage, 'If you can't beat them, join them'. They then headed off on their two separate ways.
Johnny and Roy were nearly to the station when they got their third consecutive unknown rescue call.
“I can’t believe this,” Johnny ranted, “It’s gotta be a conspiracy. A joke. . .somethin’.”
“Third times a charm. Maybe this one will be normal.”
“Ooooh nooo.” He shook his head. “Nuh uh. Not after the last two.”
“Well, we’ll know soon enough.”
Roy brought the squad to a stop in the driveway of a brick house, a shed off to the side of it.
As they trotted toward the front door of the home, Johnny caught something out of his peripheral vision and did a double take.
“Roy! Is that dog holding itself on a leash?”
The senior paramedic followed his line of sight.
He almost hated to confirm it, but, “Yeah.”
“Unknown rescues,” Johnny mumbled, as he shook his head. “When an unknown rescue’s involved, nothin’s impossible.”
Animals. What a wonderful inspiration they are, eh?
None of the photos used were staged. :o)
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