Disclaimer: The boys from Emergency! do not belong to me. They belong to Universal and Mark VII. I am just borrowing them for a little fun. J.
And let me say, this is my first story in English, I hope although you enjoy it.
A Bad Run
It was dinnertime and the sun was slowly going down. The paramedics of Station 51 arrived at their station in a dismal mood after a very bad run. Johnny got out of the squad and closed the door with more impact than intended. De Soto shook his head and got out of the vehicle too.
Roy looked sadly after his partner when Johnny disappeared into the rear parking lot of the station. De Soto shook his head and got out of the vehicle too. But he made his way to the dayroom where the other members of the A-Shift were sitting at the table eating their dinner.
“Roy, where is Gage?” Captain Stanley asked. “Mike cooked fried chicken and your portions are getting cold.”
Roy took a seat on the opposite side of the table and rubbed his forehead with his right hand. “Cap, he’s outside and I don’t have much of an appetite right now, maybe later.” He looked apologetically to Mike: “Sorry Mike, you know that we all love your fried chicken.”
Mike nodded. “It’s okay, Roy. I’ll take your portion in the refrigerator so you can eat it later. It’s fine cold too.”
Roy stood up and went to the sink, took a mug out of the cupboard and filled it with coffee. When he turned around, four pairs of eyes were looking at him and a concerned captain wanted to know, “Was it a bad run?”
Roy dropped his head and looked at his coffee before he answered. “Yeah, it was a very bad run for us, especially for Johnny. I have never seen him so quiet and distraught.”
The captain knew how badly the youngster of his crew digested a bad run and was very concerned about the paramedic: “Roy, what do you think? Should I go and talk with Johnny or should I give him a little space to be alone?”
Roy thought about it a short time and then he spoke. “Nah, I think it’s better that we leave him alone for a while.”
Chet was up to say something, but a stern look from his supervisor caused him to close his mouth without a word.
“Chet, don’t say anything stupid or play a dumb prank on John or the latrine duty is yours for the next two weeks, got it?” Hank Stanley asked the fire-fighter who had an alter ego “the phantom”
“Cap, it’s not fair,” Chet protested. “I didn’t want to say something stupid. Why does everyone think that I’m so cold-hearted?”
Mike responded before his captain could. “Because you always make fun of everything that has to do with Johnny, especially when he’s down.”
The fire-fighter was shocked and couldn’t say something, because nobody would believe that he meant it seriously this time.
Johnny leaned against the wall of the firehouse and looked with blank eyes into the sun. He was very tired and wanted to be alone. He was glad that his partner and best friend Roy didn’t come after him so he would have the time to think about the last run, which was very hard for him.
He thought, what happened? Had he and Roy known about the child a few minutes earlier, would the girl have survived? What if the electric company was quicker with turning off the power? If they’d had more time to free the passenger before the car exploded? Johnny didn’t know if he had done all he could. What if he had treated the girl in another way, could she still live? Questions over questions and nobody had answers for them.
Gage’s eyes got watery when he thought about the blue-grey eyes of the girl and her look of fear all the time during the rescue. He shook his head and wanted the memory to go away, but it didn’t help and he sunk of his knees.
“Why did she have to die on this beautiful day?” he asked himself and tears streamed down his face, which he wiped off with the back of his hand. But he couldn’t stop the tears from falling and so he rested his elbows on his knees and placed his head in the palms of his hand. So he cried under the sunset sky.
As the dinner was over, the crew went to do their chores. Mike washed the dishes and Chet was helping him with drying them. Marco turned the TV on and Roy was looking like he was a thousand miles away.
Captain Stanley was on his way to his office when he heard the sound of a crying. He knew immediately that it came from his youngest paramedic, so he turned around and went toward the parking lot.
When he saw Johnny sitting against the wall with a hanging head, he felt like somebody would tear out his heart. He didn’t know what to do. He asked himself if he should go to Johnny and talk with him or give him some space.
The captain decided that he wouldn’t disturb the paramedic. When Gage wanted to talk about something, he knew that Hank was all ears for him. But before the captain went to his office he watched towards where the younger man was a few moments longer.
Hank jerked when he heard footsteps behind him. As he turned around, he could see Roy, who had a concerned look on his face.
”Roy what happened?” he asked him, as the senior paramedic joined him.
Roy nodded toward the office of his superior and Hank understood immediately.
As they entered the room, the captain pointed to one chair, so Roy sat down and Hank closed the door behind him.
“So, Roy, what happened while I was outside?” wanted Hank to know.
Roy breathed deeply and answered, “The telephone was ringing and Dixie was on the other end of the line. She told me that the other victim we transported to Rampart died a few minutes ago.”
The captain swallowed hard before he spoke. “I am sorry to hear that.”
“Yeah, me too. But I don’t know how Johnny will handle this news, especially after this traumatic experience with the girl. He was there as she died right before his eyes.”
Hank didn’t know what kind of call the boys had, because the call was an unknown type of rescue as the two paramedics were sent out.
“Roy, you want to talk about your last rescue?” But the senior paramedic shook his head and he apologized to his captain that he just wanted to go to the dorm.
Hank could understand this. “It’s okay. But let me say, my office is always open for you.” The paramedic was very glad about it and was on his way to the dorm.
Johnny didn’t know how long he had cried, but the sun had gone down a little bit ago. Now he was looking in a starry sky and took a deep breath to calm down. He didn’t want his crew members to see him crying.
After a few minutes he stood up from the ground and wiped the tears away. He went to his white Land Rover and sat on the hood of the vehicle where he looked up to the sky with no intent to go inside the station.
What he didn’t notice was that his captain stood outside against the wall and was now coming across the parking lot. He approached the vehicle and asked in a soft tone: “Hey, are you up for company?”
The paramedic was startled with the arrival of Hank Stanley and jerked. “Sorry John, I didn’t want to give you a heart attack”, Hank said.
John nodded: “Its okay, Cap. I just was lost in thoughts. What gives?”
Hank leaned against the car and explained, “I wanted to know the same from you. What’s been bothering you since you returned from the last run? Do you want to talk about it?”
The young man briefly thought about it and then he gave a slight nod. “Maybe it’s a good idea. But, Cap, could we talk here? I don’t want Chet to get wind of this conversation.”
Hank was surprised but gave his word. “Sure, Johnny, where ever you want to talk. So what’s bothering you so much?”
Roy lay on his bunk and stared to the ceiling. He couldn’t believe that now the second victim of last run was dead.
He knew that he must go to Johnny and tell him that the woman had died too, but he didn’t want to hurt Johnny anymore than he already was. But he had to come to terms with the rescue for himself before he could talk about it to someone else.
Roy closed his eyes for a moment and had the scene of the accident in his mind. He underwent the experience one more time, the fire and the little girl who lay in his partner’s arms.
As he opened his eyes, he knew that he must talk with his partner and best friend about the rescue so both of them could deal with the trauma. Roy got up from his bunk and was on his way to Johnny.
Johnny sat up on the hood of his Land Rover and told his captain about the last run. “A woman had an accident with her car. She crashed right into a pole after she had hit a hydrant; the electric cables were broken. The ground was wet and so we couldn’t do anything until the electric company had turned off the power.”
Johnny swallowed hard and continued. “The woman was unconscious and had multiple fractures of ribs, right arm and right leg. As the power was off, we were in a hurry to free her because Roy found a leak in the gas tank. As soon as the woman was rescued and was treated, the assistants were loading her in the ambulance as she regained consciousness and asked about her daughter. Roy and I looked at each other and I said that I would look after her girl. Barely one second after I started toward the car the whole thing exploded and I found myself on the ground through the blast.”
The young paramedic got tears in his eyes as he thought about the fact and Hank laid a hand onto the man’s shoulder. “John, its okay. You don’t need to talk further if you don’t want.”
But John looked to the sky and spoke in a very low voice. “I want to continue, but the scene was so horrible. The mother screamed and Roy shouted, asking if I was okay. The car was in flames and the men of Station 8 had their hands full fighting the fire. I couldn’t do anything even though I ran over to the car and saw the little girl lying under the dashboard. Roy handed me my turnout coat and the gloves, so I opened the door of the passenger side and freed the girl. She was unconscious and had a lot of two degree burns.”
The captain squeezed Johnny’s shoulder, but didn’t say a word to push the paramedic further. John blinked the tears away. “Roy helped me to bring the girl to a safer place so I could take a look at her. Roy was in touch with Rampart and gave me the information from Doctor Brackett. He ordered an IV and sterile bonds with normal saline for the girl. I started the IV and dressed the wound as the girl come around. She moaned and I told her that everything would be okay. She gazed at me with her blue-grey eyes; I could see her fears and her pain. Her name was Claire. She touched my hand and I held her hand in mine. Doctor Brackett wanted a new set of vitals; Roy helped me, so that I could stay with Claire. She began to shiver and I put my arms around her to give her a little warmth, but nothing helped. The blood pressure dropped and we gave her a something to stabilize it. But it didn’t work and I could feel how much weaker she became with every minute. The entire time she looked up to me and then tears streamed over her cheeks because she knew the end was coming. I wiped her tears away while I had tears in my eyes too. Before she died in my arms she could say a single word. She said ‘thanks’ to me and then took her last breath. We couldn’t do anything; I couldn’t do anything.”
Roy saw Johnny and their captain together at the Land Rover and didn’t want to disturb them, but the captain looked at him and nodded. So the senior paramedic came over at the moment when Johnny said that he wasn’t able to save the girl’s life.
John collapsed after his partner arrived and Hank and Roy had trouble to keep him from falling to the pavement. Roy got a hold of Johnny’s waist and Hank got his shoulders. They laid the young paramedic on the ground.
The captain yelled over his shoulder toward the station house, “Mike, Chet, Marco, we need your help here.”
Marco was the first who came out of the station. When he saw that Gage was down, he sprinted to the squad and opened the side compartment. Chet was beside his fellow fire-fighter and so Marco gave him the drug and trauma boxes and he got the biophone. They ran to the paramedics and their captain.
Mike let the dispatcher know that a code I was at the station. Afterwards he joined the group around John.
Roy was glad that Marco responded so fast and he opened one of the boxes to get the bp-cuff and the stethoscope while Chet contacted Rampart over radio.
Mike asked what had happened to Johnny and Roy answered, “I don’t know for sure, but I think it’s stress. He had a rough evening because of the last run, so he just collapsed from exhaustion.”
As Roy got the blood pressure and pulse, he informed doctor Early, who was on the other end of the line, about the condition of Johnny. Doctor Early gave instructions for treatment and transport.
Johnny regained consciousness and wanted sit up, but Hank and Mike keep him lying down. Hank said, “John, hold on, you were out for a few minutes. Let Roy check you out first.”
John shook his head. “I’m fine, just a little woozy. Let me get up.” But Roy didn’t allow it. “Johnny, Doctor Early wants you at the hospital after I have this IV started.”
Gage protested against that and refused any help. He claimed he’d be okay after a few minutes if he could just lie down on his bunk.
Doctor Early didn’t feel so happy about the decision. But he gave Roy permission to give Johnny a slight sedative if the younger man had trouble trying to rest.
A few minutes later Johnny lay on his bunk, his left arm covering his eyes. But he knew he wouldn’t rest well. Whenever he closed his eyes, he saw the sight of the burned girl, how she looked at him. But somehow sleep found Johnny and he fell into a slight slumber.
His shiftmates were in the dayroom and Roy told them about the last run, so they knew why Johnny was so down. Every man understood it and Chet was very concerned about John, so he left the dayroom.
Chet opened the door to the dorm and walked to John’s bunk. As he looked, he saw that John was asleep so he turned around and left the sleeping paramedic alone.
Kelly was back in the dayroom and told Roy that his partner was asleep and Roy was glad about it since John had the chance to rest, he could relax a little bit on the couch beside Boot. He knew he wouldn’t tell John that the woman died in the hospital. Not until his partner was over this incident.
The headquarters had stood down the squad until the morning when B-shift arrived, so the both paramedics would have an uninterrupted night’s sleep. As the men of A-shift hit the sack early in the night, John was still sleeping and Roy drifted to sleep after he checked his partner’s condition.
In the morning Roy was awake first. He saw that Johnny was still alseep. The senior paramedic got up to start the first pot of coffee.
As the smell of fresh coffee filled the station, a second man from the crew came in the dayroom. It was Johnny and he looked better than the previous evening.
“Morning, Johnny, how are you feeling today?” Roy asked.
Johnny filled a cup with coffee before he answered. “Miserable, I would say. All night long I dreamed of the girl’s last minutes. It is so hard for me to leave the rescue behind me. She was so young and all.”
The two paramedics sat at the table and talked about the rescue and the feelings about the loss of a victim. It seemed that helped both of the men to handle the bad run.
Thanks so much to Audrey for your beta… it means me a lot and I hope it wasn’t so hard for you to beta read it. All mistakes are mine.
*Click above to send Bine feedback