In the episode ‘Snakebite’, when Johnny is being transported on the back of the engine after being bitten by a rattlesnake, Captain Stanley holds the microphone to the radio backwards when he talks to LA. I don’t know if it was LA Dispatch, but in this scenario it is. This is my thoughts on part of what we didn’t see in the show, obviously exaggerated on some points and is intended 'tongue-in-cheek'. :o)
By Audrey W.
As they drove away from the scene with John Gage on the back of the engine, Chet Kelly alongside him, Captain Stanley grabbed the radio mic and reported in their status. Unfortunately, he didn’t notice he was holding it with the front facing away from him.
“LA, Engine 51. We are transporting snake bite victim to Rampart Emergency, ETA is thirty minutes.”
The dispatcher, who was fairly new to the job, got a bewildered look on his face at the report and looked at the more experienced dispatcher near him. “Does he sound like he’s far away from the microphone to you? I can hardly hear him.”
“Maybe he was looking away when he called in.”
The other shrugged and returned his attention to his own mic, relaying some important information. “10-4, 51. Rampart requests an update on the patient’s condition.”
A different male voice came over the radio in response. It sounded weak and kept cutting out, like the transmit button was being intermittently released.
“LA, __51. Patient is__ ___around the ___ and he’s____ sy.”
“Now what?” the dispatcher wondered. “51, you’re breaking up. Engine 51, you’re breaking up and unreadable. Repeat.”
Again Captain Stanley reported in with the mic in the wrong direction. “LA, Engine 51 repeating. Patient is experiencing numbness around the mouth and also drowsiness.”
“10-4, 51.” He looked at the other dispatcher again. “Hear that? It sounds far off again. All I can figure is it’s because they’re so far away. Maybe it’s interfering with the transmission.”
“LA, Engine 51,” Hank Stanley reported after a short time. “Notify Rampart our ETA is now fifteen minutes.”
This time the dispatcher could hear the sound of the engine much better than he could the voice.
“51, please repeat. I couldn’t hear your transmission.”
Hank exchanged a brief puzzled glance with his engineer Mike Stoker. He then tried again as Mike quickly returned his attention to the road ahead.
“Can you hear me now?”
“Can you hear me now?”
“51, you sound like you’re away from the microphone.”
Hank held the mic back and right away saw the cause. “Oh for Pete’s sake, I’ve got the darn thing backwards!” he turned it around and reported, “LA, Engine 51. Our ETA is now five minutes.”
“And you’re coming in loud and clear. Must’ve been the distance.”
This time Hank exchanged a knowing look with Mike and shrugged. “LA, it certainly was.”
He then glanced behind them at the now unconscious paramedic and curly haired fireman using a suction tool on John’s leg.
“I just wanna know one thing.”
“If we’re going to get Johnny to the hospital in time?” Mike wondered.
“Well, besides that. Where in the hell did Kelly’s helmet go?”
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