A New Perspective

By Audrey W.




“Ready?” John Gage asked, the biophone and drug box in his hands. His partner Roy DeSoto nodded after having assisted in securing their most recent patient on a stretcher. The two paramedics and the engine crew from A-shift at Station 51 had been dispatched to a ranch just outside the city of Carson. A worker on the land had accidentally driven a tractor too close to a drainage ditch, thus rolling it, his right leg pinned underneath when it had settled.


The firemen had all worked together to free the victim, and now John and Roy were ready to transport him after following the directions from Rampart Hospital to treat the man at the scene.


“So. . .stupid. . .I was. . .so . . .stupid,” the injured man groaned as they started forward.


“We all make mistakes,” John reminded in an effort to make him go easier on himself.


The man just closed his eyes, the MS they’d given him via IV for pain taking effect and making him somewhat drowsy. The paramedic hoped his words would eventually sink in.


John placed the biophone and drug box inside in the back of the ambulance parked nearby, then stepped aside while Roy assisted in lifting the stretcher with the victim up and in before climbing in the back himself.


“See ya at Rampart.” Gage closed the doors and gave them two slaps to signal they were secure. The ambulance then pulled away.


“I’ll call us in as available,” Captain Stanley said to his engine crew. He brought the HT up to his mouth and pressed the transmit button.


As the remaining men made their way a short distance to their vehicles, they passed a one-story structure with walls partially made from chain-link fencing several yards away, one end with a gate-like door open. Chet Kelly trotted forward a few steps to catch up to John.


“Hey, Gage.”


The dark-haired paramedic glanced over his shoulder at the mustached fireman.




“Look over there.”


He gaze followed the direction Chet was pointing.




“With chicks,” he nodded. “Not very often we get to see them at that stage.”


“We raise and sell ‘um,” the owner of the ranch stated as he walked with the men to their trucks.


“Oh yeah?” John again looked at the baby turkeys that had wandered away from their ‘home’ and toward them.  “They sure are a lot cuter when they’re youngsters.”


“Just think,” Chet commented, somewhat solemn. “Those ‘youngsters’ will probably be someone’s Thanksgiving dinner when they grow up.”


John couldn’t tell if the tone was for over-dramatization or if his shiftmate really wasn’t happy with the idea.


“They’re called poults,” the owner explained. “That’s what baby turkeys are.”


The paramedic again turned to look across the ranch land at the fluffy yellowish babies now following the older, more familiar looking turkeys back toward the coop.


As John climbed in the squad, Hank Stanley came up to him.  “We’ll see you guys when you get back to the station.”


“Right, Cap.”


The captain noticed John take one more look at the last group of small birds who were faithfully filing in through the open gate behind their mother.


”They sure are cute.”


The medic just nodded with a slight crooked grin.






The following November the crew of A-shift gathered around the table in the dayroom of their station. It was Thanksgiving Day, and though they were on duty, they’d found time to for a decent dinner to celebrate the holiday. Some of the food had been made ahead of time by spouses and mothers, but the main course was Gage and DeSoto’s duty.


“It sure was nice of Mr. Mason to remember us and offer us a free turkey,” Marco said.


The others agreed, always appreciative of any recognition.


“Who wants to say grace?” the captain asked.


“I will,” Chet volunteered.


Everyone was quiet as they waited.




A few moans and groans from everyone along with a, “Chet, that’s the oldest joke on the planet” from John followed.


“How about I say it,” the captain offered. With sincerity he gave a simple blessing. Once he was done, Roy lifted the shiny dome cover over the main course to reveal the large juicy. . . ham.


“How’s Trevor the Turkey doin’ at his new home with your cousins?” Johnny asked Marco as he plopped a spoon full of mashed potatoes on his plate.


“Good. He even gets a long with the dog.”


Some of the children they’d encountered in various situations over the months weren’t the only young ones that had left a lasting impression on the fire fighters.






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