In A Pinch
By Wanda C.
Saint Patrick’s Day
meant little to Station 51’s A-Shift. Everyone except Chet, that is. Every March
17th, Kelly would come into the station with a silly (according to John Gage)
green hat on, and pinch anyone who dared not to wear green. Kelly was proud of
his heritage, and he wanted everyone to know it. He also never forgot to remind
everyone that not every culture had a specific day of recognition.
“Oh no! Roy, is today the 17th?”
DeSoto showed Gage his very green socks.
“Uh…Roy, those are worse than Chet’s hat.” The younger paramedic went on his way, whistling as he walked. He wanted to avoid ole Chester B. as long as possible.
“Hey, Gage…do you know what today is?”
That didn’t last nearly long enough.
“I’m sure you’ll fill me in, Chet.”
“Yea, the twit already informed and pinched most of the rest of us.” Captain Stanley was a patient man, but he did not enjoy being pinched.
“Well, John, it’s the day that all good people celebrate us Irish folks. I see you’re not wearing green, so you’re kinda in a pinch, huh?”
As Johnny moved away, Chet gave him a hearty pinch.
“Hey! Kelly, how do you know I’m not wearin’ green?”
“Show me Gage.” Chet wore a smug grin.
“Okay, you asked for it!” Johnny had that cute crocked smile on his face as he began to unbutton his pants. “See, Chester B., I got a tattoo this weekend.”
The entire crew began to laugh as Chet turned a greenish shade of red and told the paramedic that he was disgusting, and to leave his pants on.
With all the laughter, Roy made his way into the kitchen and after hearing about John and Chet laughed heartily. He knew that his partner hadn’t gotten a tattoo, but Chet didn’t know, and that was the main thing.
The klaxons began to
ring out and the laughter stopped immediately, with the guys getting into the
engine and squad.
“Station 51, structure fire. 309 Angelos Way, cross street Vermont, 309 Angelos Way, time out, 9:20”
“Station 51, 10-4. KMG365.”
The wailing sirens warned everyone to let the heroes by, and most complied politely, but every once in a while they came across a driver that would not move over. Today was one of those days. The siren and horn on both the squad and engine were going, but this driver was an elderly man who refused to pull over. Finally, with the compliance of other drivers, the rescue vehicles moved to another lane and proceeded. As they drove by, Johnny could not resist yelling at the old man.
“You’re wastin’ your breath, partner. He can’t hear you if he can’t hear all this noise.” Roy had to laugh at Johnny sometimes because of his child like ways.
After looking at the fair-haired paramedic, Johnny said, “Oh, I guess you’re right. People like that just make me boil.”
“I know, isn’t the fire on the next street?”
“Uh…yeah, that should be it.”
By the time they
arrived, the building was engulfed and they all hoped that no one was trapped.
There were some bystanders who told police that the structure was abandoned.
“Let’s put this fire out and get things cleaned up.”
Every member of the crew knew what to do. Sometimes, Hank Stanley would tell them out of habit, but this time he wasn’t feeling his best, and allowed them to do their jobs without direct orders. The Captain’s patience were wearing thin already with Chet, making him wonder how he could get through the day.
The fire was finally out, except for a few hot spots. Johnny got an odd look on his face, and Marco immediately noticed.
“Are you okay?”
“Yea, did you hear that?” John looked confused, but that was not terribly abnormal.
Chuckling, Johnny guessed that Marco didn’t hear anything. He asked Roy, and he hadn’t heard any unusual noises either, but the younger paramedic knew he heard something strange and went back into the building to make sure everything was all right.
“Roy, someone’s in trouble! Let’s go!”
When he made his way into the room where Johnny was, Roy could hear it too.
“Boy, am I glad that you caught that. I can’t imagine anyone surviving this fire.”
The paramedics moved closer to the cry, and finally they made their destination. When they realized the source of the cry, they both laughed loudly and ran to get the rest of the crew. They would need everyone’s help on this one.
“Cap, we’re gonna need some manpower for this. It’s gonna be tricky, but if we all pitch in, I think we can manage it.”
“Gage, I’m not in the mood, what are ya talking about?”
“Cap,” Johnny said very seriously, “We have a trapped man.”
“Well, why didn’t you say so? Chet, Marco, Mike, we need some manpower in here.”
Roy had stayed just out of sight of the trapped man while John had gone to get some help. The poor guy was wedged between a bookcase and a wall. When he heard help on the way, the older paramedic began to remove some of the books in order to lighten the load.
“You’ll be just fine, my partner went to get some help.”
When the crew arrived,
they could hardly believe their eyes. Each of them moved in closer to get a good
look, and each one laughed harder. This was not what they had envisioned.
"Uh…Chester B., you’re kinda in a pinch there, huh?” Johnny couldn’t control himself any longer. There was Chet stuck between the bookcase and the wall. He could barely breathe, so the fun-loving paramedic knew he wouldn’t get a response from his Irish friend.
After removing several of the books, the men managed to get Chet out, and luckily he was only bruised.
“Kelly, what were you doin’ back there?”
“Cap, there was this book on Irish history, and when I went for it, well, the bookcase slammed me against the wall.”
“Now I’ve heard it all. Are you boys taking this twit to Rampart?”
“Cap, he should probably have those ribs x-rayed.” Roy tried to compose himself and act professionally.
“I’ll call for an ambulance.”
“Uh, Rampart, this is Squad 51. How do you read?”
“This is Rampart and we read you loud and clear. Go ahead 51.”
“Uh, Rampart, we have a male age 29, correction Rampart an Irish male age 29 who has suffered some bruising to the rib area. The patient was trapped between a bookcase and a wall.”
The guys were rolling with laughter at this point.
“Vitals are, pulse: 125, (whispering) Chet, you nervous? Respiration: 20 and shallow, and blood pressure 125/75.”
“51 wrap the abdomen and bring him in. Is there an ambulance at your location?”
“Negative, Rampart. We will transport as soon as possible. This patient was, uh, in a pinch. Oh, Rampart, be advised the patient is Chester B. Kelly.”
By that time Kel, Joe, and Dixie had arrived at the base station, and everyone began to laugh.
“10-4, 51. Bring him in. We will do what we can.”
“Now, Chet, see all the trouble you’ve caused everybody just for some silly book?”
“It was not silly. That book happened to be about my ancestors.”
“Silly, just like that green hat of yours.”
“Gage, when I’m feeling better, I’m gonna…”
“Gonna what, Chet? Be out of a pinch?”
“Admit defeat, Pal, even if it is Saint Patrick’s Day.” With that from Hank, everyone had another good laugh, and the ambulance arrived.
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Stories By Wanda C.
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