This is in answer to a fun challenge posted on the ALLE!Fanfic List by E!lf.
John Gage wandered into the apparatus bay after parking his Land Rover in the rear lot of Station 51. Already in uniform, he joined the rest of the crew who were assembled just behind the trucks and around a . . .
“Pole? What in the. . .?”
“It’s a new regulation,” Captain Stanley explained for the fifth time that morning. “Every fire station has to have a brass pole now.”
Johnny looked at the pole, his gaze following it from the ceiling above to where it met with the solid concrete floor. “But it doesn’t go anywhere.”
“Doesn’t matter. Nothing says it has to be utilized, just that we’ve gotta have one.”
Johnny eyed the captain, then the others, waiting for more protests to follow his. None came, so he decided to make more of his own points against it.
“I don’t get it. We’re a one-floor station. It makes no sense to have a pole in the middle of the bay. I mean, unless we always run in front of the trucks to get in ‘em, someone’s liable to run into the thing coming around the other way, whether it’s from the locker room or somewhere else.”
“You mean someone like you,” Chet added.
Johnny rolled his eyes and shook his head.
“We’ll just have to keep in mind that it’s there until we get used to it,” Hank stated.
“At least you don’t have to worry about backing an engine in with it there,” Mike said to Johnny. “I know they gave us room, but if I’m having a bad day, I’ll probably manage to run right into it.”
“Man, first we get the new engine, then Rampart has the new base station set-up, and now this. Next thing ya know, we’ll be feeding and taking care of a Dalmatian.”
“Don’t give ‘em any ideas or I’ll assign you as sole polisher of the darn thing,” Hank said with an edge of sarcasm.
“Polish?” Johnny’s eyes widened. “You mean we gotta polish it too? Ah man. . .”
“It is pretty,” Roy commented.
“And it adds character to the place,” Marco offered.
“But it doesn’t go anywhere.” A baffled expression on his face, Johnny glanced around and asked, “Am I the only one who doesn’t get it?”
Roy placed a hand on his shoulder. “You’re thinking too hard on this. It’s like Cap said. It’s just here for looks because this is a fire station and fire stations are supposed to have one.”
Realizing he wasn’t going to get any other explanation than that, Johnny followed Roy to the squad to do an inventory check. But he couldn’t help glancing over his shoulder now and then, shaking his head every time he looked at the pole.
Johnny was in the dayroom and Roy was in the locker room when the first call of the day occurred. Both hurried for the squad from opposite directions. Worried about colliding with his partner, Roy veered to the left and ran dead center into the brass pole.
“Roy!” Johnny exclaimed in concern. He immediately was at his partner’s side. The senior paramedic was on the floor and out cold. “Roy! Can you hear me?” He quickly did a sternal rub and felt a little relieved when he got a groan for a response.
“Hey, we’ve got a Code I here!” Gage yelled.
The engine crew ran to where the paramedics were. Johnny rattled off what had happened and Mike hurried over to the radio to call in the accident while the others grabbed the supplies from the squad.
As Johnny checked Roy’s pupils for a reaction, he heard Chet remark, “I owe ya two bucks, Marco. I thought for sure Gage would be the one to run into it.”
When he arrived for the following duty two day later, Johnny saw that the pole was gone.
Man, Roy’ll be glad to see *that* when he gets back. But I wonder how anyone got it removed?
As he lined up for roll call with the others, he asked the captain, “What happened to the pole? I thought every station had to have one.”
“Well, following Roy’s mishap, they implemented a new rule.”
“Let me guess. Only we don’t have to have one.”
“Close. Only stations with two floors do. And the new rule is called the ‘Downed DeSoto’ Amendment.”
“The . . .Downed. . . DeSoto. . .Amendment? Roy has an amendment named after him?”
“See, Gage? If you’d just listened to me and run into the thing first,” Chet commented with a sly grin, “you could’ve been famous instead.”
Johnny once again rolled his eyes and shook his head at the fireman’s remark. He could think of another use for the brass pole, had it been handy, but jokingly figured Chet on a stick would probably get him duty polishing all the brass poles department wide anyway.
He’d just have to be happy that he’d been right in the first place and that Station 51 was once again pole free.
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