A Man from the Past
By SQ51 Storywriter
The engine was out on an assist call and Johnny and Roy were working on the squad. Roy was underneath the squad while Johnny was polishing it. Johnny rubbed one spot particularly hard.
“Hand me that Phillips screwdriver there on the toolbox will you, Johnny?” Roy asked as he lay under the squad.
“Yeah, Roy,” Johnny said as he reached over to the red box. He handed it to Roy.
“I need to put these four screws back in place and I’m finished.”
“Good, Roy, then you can help me polish.”
“Sure. It sure is quiet today.”
“That’s the truth,” Johnny said as he continued to polish.
“Finally finished,” Roy announced. He slid on top of the crawler from beneath the vehicle but lifted his arm up too soon. “Ouch!” he shouted.
“You all right?” Johnny asked.
“Yeah, I guess so,” Roy said as he slid out further. He noticed that his arm was bleeding. “Darn, I cut my arm.”
“Let me take a look,” Johnny said.
“I’m all right, it’s nothing,” Roy said, as he got up from the crawler.
Johnny saw that Roy’s arm was bleeding quite a bit. “Roy, I think it’s a bit more than nothing. You may need stitches in that arm.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” Roy said. “It’s not that bad.”
“Well, let me at least bandage it for you. What do you say?”
“All right, Junior, if it’ll make you feel better.”
Johnny went to the compartment that held the equipment. He got out a pressure bandage and applied it to the deep cut. “Roy, I really think that you should have some stitches in this cut and get a tetanus shot.”
“Nonsense. I’m fine, really, Johnny,” Roy said as the claxon went off.
Johnny put the trauma box back into the compartment while Roy acknowledged the call to dispatch. “Squad 51, 10-4. KMG 365,” Roy said.
Johnny and Roy scrambled to the squad. Johnny took his seat on the passenger side beside Roy who handed him the paper with the information on it. They donned their helmets and headed out of the bay.
As they pulled up and grabbed the equipment they could see a small crowd gathered around the man.
“Excuse us! Coming through!” Johnny shouted.
“Please move back!” Roy shouted. The crowd finally moved out of the way for the two paramedics.
“What happened?” Johnny asked the man on the ground. As he set his equipment down he recognized the man. “Mr. Wandrock,” Johnny said, with a surprised tone of voice.
“Johnny Gage, you really are a fireman.”
“Yes sir, a firefighter paramedic now. Let me have a look at you. Where are you hurt?”
“My leg. Can you do something for my pain, son?” Mr. Wandrock asked, as he moaned.
“Perhaps. Can you tell me what happened?” Johnny asked.
“Oh, fumble foot me stumbled over that parking lot bumper there. I think I may have broken my leg. It really hurts.”
“Let me check you out here. Did you hit your head when you fell?” Johnny asked, as he looked at the injured leg.
“No, I didn’t hit my head. Just went to step over the blasted thing and my foot got hung on it. I fell on my elbows and ended up on my side like this.”
“This is my partner, Roy Desoto. He’ll be taking your blood pressure,” Johnny said, as he took Mr. Wandrock’s wrist to get his pulse while also getting the rate of respirations. Roy got the pneumatic splint ready and took his blood pressure, while Johnny checked his pupils. Roy and Johnny applied the splint. “Pulse 102, respiration 20, pupils equal and reactive, Roy,” Johnny said.
Roy wrote Johnny’s findings down beside the blood pressure reading that he had written in his notebook. He went to the biophone. Johnny cleaned and bandaged Mr. Wandrock’s elbows. “Rampart Base, this is Squad 51, how do you read?”
“Loud and clear 51. Go ahead with your transmission,” Dr. Early said.
“Rampart, we have a male patient approximate age 66 who has an open fracture of the left tibia sustained as a result of a fall over a parking bumper. Patient is alert and orientated. Pupils equal and reactive. Vitals are: Pulse 102, respiration 20, BP is 138/90. Patient is complaining of pain at this time. Ambulance has just arrived Rampart.”
“10-4, Squad 51. Is there any head injury, 51?” Dr. Early asked.
“Patient states negative and none apparent upon examination, Rampart,” Roy said.
“Alright, Squad 51, splint the leg and start IV with Ringers Lactate. Also give patient 10 mg MS IV. Transport on a backboard as soon as possible, 51,” Dr. Early said.
“10-4 Rampart. IV with Ringers, 10mg MS IV, transport on backboard,” Roy said.
Roy looked at Johnny. “Did you get that?”
“Yeah, got it, Roy,” Johnny said as he got an IV set out along with a bag of Ringers.
Roy went to get the backboard, as the ambulance attendants were unloading the stretcher.
“I’m going to start an IV on you, Mr. Wandrock,” Johnny said.
“Fine with me, son, as long as you know what you’re doing and can take some of this pain away.”
“Yes, sir. I’ll give you something for the pain as soon as I get this IV started,” Johnny said as he swabbed his arm.
Johnny got the IV in place and adjusted the drip. He looked at Mr. Wandrock. “I’m going to give you some Morphine in your IV to ease your pain.”
Mr. Wandrock moaned a bit and nodded.
Johnny swabbed the port with alcohol and injected the morphine into the IV. “There, you should feel better in a few minutes.”
‘Thanks, son,” Mr. Wandrock said.
Roy and Johnny got him on the backboard and loaded into the ambulance. “I’ll go in with him, Roy,” Johnny said as he handed Roy his helmet.
“That’s fine, partner. See you at Rampart.”
“Yeah, see you there, Roy,” Johnny said.
Johnny went into the treatment room with Mr. Wandrock. He gave Dr. Early the latest vitals on him.
“You’re in good hands now,” Johnny said. “They’ll take real good care of you here.”
“Thanks, son. It was really good seeing you again. Bye, Johnny,” Mr. Wandrock said.
“Yeah, good seeing you again too, sir. Bye,” Johnny said as he turned to leave.
Just as he was leaving he heard Mr. Wandrock say; “He’s a good kid. I knew him before he was a fireman.”
Johnny smiled as Roy came up to him after getting a drink of water.
“Ready to clear us?” Roy asked.
“No, not yet,” Johnny said. “Come here a minute.”
Roy walked with Johnny down the hall. “Hey, Doctor Brackett!” Johnny shouted.
“Something I can do for you, Johnny? Where are you hurt this time?” Doctor Brackett asked with a smile. “Hi, Roy!”
“It’s not me, Doc. Look at Roy’s arm. He cut it and I think he needs stitches and a tetanus shot.”
“Now, Johnny, that’s not at all necessary. I told you that I was fine,” Roy said.
“Well, since you’re here, Roy, I may as well take a look at it,” Dr. Brackett said.
Roy gave Johnny a disgusting look.
“Right in here, Roy,” Dr. Brackett said as he held the door open to treatment room three.
“Uh, right in here, Roy,” Johnny said with a grin as he gently pushed him through the door and followed behind him.
Roy sneered at Johnny. “I’ll get you for this, partner.”
“I might remind you that you already have gotten me, partner. As a matter of fact several times in the past if you remember, Roy,” Johnny said with a grin.
Doctor Brackett removed the bandage. “Hmm!” Doctor Brackett said. “You’re right, Johnny. Roy, I think you definitely need some stitches all right. I’d say you got here just in time thanks to your partner.”
“What’d I tell ya, Roy. I knew it,” Johnny said.
Doctor Brackett picked up the phone. “Dixie, bring a tetanus shot into treatment three.”
“See, Roy, I told you,” Johnny said. “I told you that you needed a tetanus shot.”
“Well, you don’t have to look so happy about it,” Roy said.
Johnny smiled and patted Roy on the back. “I’m going to grab a cup of coffee, Roy. Be back in a few minutes.”
Johnny met Dixie on the way out. “Hi, Dixie!” Johnny said.
“Hi yourself, Johnny,” Dixie said. “Is this tetanus shot for you by any chance?”
Johnny pointed his right hand to his chest. “Me, no way, Dixie, nothing wrong with me.”
“Well, that’s always debatable,” Dixie mumbled as she smiled and went into the room.
Johnny looked puzzled as he heard her comment. He shrugged and went to get his coffee.
He finished the coffee just as Roy came up to him. “I owe you, Johnny.” He smiled.
“No need to thank me, Roy,” Johnny said with a grin.
They walked to the squad and got inside the cab. “Squad 51 returning to quarters,”
“10-4, Squad 51,” dispatch responded. Roy drove them back to the station.
Johnny went to the refrigerator when he got back to the station. “Want something to eat, Roy?”
“No thanks, Johnny,” Roy said as he sat down and started working on the reports.
Johnny brought some left over chicken and a glass of milk to the table and sat down. He took a bite off of the chicken leg and with his mouth full of chicken said, “I can’t believe I saw Mr. Wandrock. I haven’t seen him in years.”
“Who is he?” Roy asked, as Johnny set the chicken down and took a drink of milk.
“My first boss. I was eighteen when I left the ranch. I had roped cattle long enough and decided that I wanted to do something different. I got a job at the local newspaper. You know that I was the editor of my paper when I was a senior in high school.”
“Yeah, I knew that,” Roy said.
“Roy, I remember when I walked into Mr. Wandrock’s office. Man, was I ever nervous. He put me to work in the mailroom. It was boring. One day the photographer called in sick and the backup photographer was on vacation. Well, Mr. Wandrock walked up to me and asked me if he remembered correctly that I had told him that I was the editor of my high school paper. I told him yes. He handed me a camera and said ‘Good, then you should be able to take a few pictures then.’ I don’t know what being the editor had to do with taking pictures, but he intended for me to take some pictures. That’s for sure. I felt kind of excited to get out of that mailroom and thought that this could be my big break. I was going to move up from mailroom to photographer, to reporter, and then clear up to editor. I started thinking about possibilities of my new found career.” Johnny laughed. He took another bite of chicken and drank some more milk.
“You had a lot of ambition partner. What happened next?” Roy asked.
“He told me to go with Rumstock, one of the reporters,” Johnny said. “I got into the car with him and away we went. I asked Rumstock where we were going. He told me we were going to a bridge where two kids had climbed on the girders and were stuck. When I got there, I stood and looked in amazement. I watched as those firefighter rescuers climb way up high and then they brought those boys down to safety. Now you talk about exciting. I thought that was the most exciting and adventurous thing I had ever seen. I took lots of pictures, mostly of the firefighters. When they were developed my boss told me they were good. Yes, he offered me a job as a photographer.
“Did you take the job?” Roy asked.
“Roy, I looked at him and I said, thanks, Mr. Wandrock. I know what I want to do with my life now. I told him that I had gone to the fire station that night after the rescue and talked to the firemen. They explained what they did and I knew right then that I wanted to be a firefighter. So I really have Mr. Wandrock to thank for that. If he hadn’t given me that camera then I wouldn’t have gone and seen the firefighters in action. No, Roy, I never took that photographer’s job. I went to train as a firefighter instead.”
“Of course you did,” Roy said. “What was I thinking anyway? I knew that.” Roy laughed. “And then that lead to your paramedic training.”
“Right, Roy, thanks to you,” Johnny said. He finished the chicken and drank the last of the milk. He got up and washed his hands and sat back down. .
“And it’s a good thing that you decided on that career, Johnny. In my opinion, partner, you are one of the best paramedics out there,” Roy said.
“Thanks, Roy, coming from you, that means a lot.”
“I’m the one who should thank you, Johnny. I really thought that I needed stitches myself today,” Roy said with a grin. “I just didn’t really want to go get them.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean, Roy, you just needed a little friendly nudge is all.”
“More like a big push,” Roy said with a grin.
Johnny laughed. “Yeah, guess I did kind of push you into it, didn’t I?”
“That’s okay, Johnny. I needed it,” Roy said with a smile.
“Becoming a firefighter paramedic was the best decision that I ever made in my life. Not only do I have a great career, I also have some great friends,” Johnny said with a smile as the claxon went off.