Disclaimer: The characters of Emergency! don't belong to me and neither does the episode 'School Days'. I just got an idea for a different kind of an ending. A small amount of the dialogue in this story comes from the episode, but most is used in a different setting. To add drama, I increased the size of the car stacks at the junk yard and made some of the cars flat.
School Days – Alternate Ending
By Audrey W.
This picks up where the two paramedics and their trainee are trying to find out the status of a victim trapped in a car at a scrap yard. Captain Stanley has mentioned the possibility of Chet stabilizing a stack of cars with a crane, but he hasn’t given direction to start that process yet. . .
Johnny, Roy and Billy trotted around the toppled mound of cars, looking for the man who had been trapped inside when the stack collapsed. They spotted him at the bottom of the pile.
“He’s alive!” Gage called out.
“Okay,” Roy responded. “Billy, we’ll follow your lead.”
The paramedic trainee nodded as he coughed slightly, his lungs still irritated from a recent rescue at a fire. He carefully climbed up beside Johnny, slowly making his way over to the upward facing side of the car with the victim. Roy spoke to Johnny as Billy started to ease himself down inside.
“I’ll get the biophone and drug box.”
DeSoto hurried back around toward the squad. With both angles of the rescue being covered at the moment and things going smoothly, Johnny stayed in place to observe Billy entering the car.
As the young trainee lowered himself down to the victim, the injured man tried to shift his position in an effort to get free of the debris that was pinning him down.
Not very alert, the man didn’t comprehend the command and continued to struggle, though it was hopeless.
“I said--” Billy stopped in mid sentence at the sound of creaking.
Before the vehicles could be stabilized by a crane, the stack that had previously fallen and the other that had still been intact, began to fall in on each other. Johnny made a quick effort to get off of the cars, but lost his footing in the sudden movement. He fell onto his back as the cars slid. In a matter of seconds, Gage was sandwiched where two cars rested against another above him; the one underneath him that had been flattened at one time was tilted, forcing him to the center of the two fallen stacks.
Billy heard the sound of the car sliding and looked up in time to see the way he’d come in closed off by the belly of it. At the same time, the car he was in rocked and a loud crashing noise ensued as the other stack fell in toward the sliding automobile, stopping it in place, the top car from the other stack landing on top of it on its side. The paramedic trainee stayed still, holding his breath for a moment, waiting to see if anything was going to come down on him and the victim. By luck, nothing more happened. As he peered out through the already partially obstructed opening of what was once a front windshield, Billy could barely make out Captain Stanley and the other firemen just a few feet in front of him.
“You okay?” Hank Stanley asked.
Billy slowly wiped sweat off his brow with the back of his forearm, coughing before he replied. “Yeah.”
Roy suddenly came into view. “Ask him if Johnny went in with him.”
Captain Stanley started to ask when the answer no one wanted to hear came first. “I thought he was with Roy. . .he must’ve still been up above.”
All eyes aside from Billy’s and the victim’s looked at the two piles that were now merged as one. There was no sign of Gage anywhere.
“Johnny!” Roy called out. “Johnny!” When he got no answer, he and the others exchanged worried glances. “Cap?”
“He wasn’t behind the stack anywhere?”
Roy shook his head. “The cars fell as I was going back there and I didn’t see him afterwards.” He looked at the mess of vehicles again, the sinking feeling in his gut intensifying. If those cars fell *on* him. . . He tried to shove the thought away.
Hank Stanley squinted into the sunlight as he looked to where his younger paramedic was most likely trapped. There were four vehicles that were sandwiched, their tires and roofs fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle. A flattened automobile sat on the fourth car in the stack, another flattened one above that, tilted at a slight angle. The top two vehicles that were still in their original shape sat at an angle where the lower of the two rested on a portion of the car once above them, but that had fallen completely on stack next to it. The only place Johnny could be was on one of the flattened automobiles. "Chet, get that crane started. We may need it to lift those cars off.” The captain then turned to Roy. “Our first priority is getting the victim we know we have out of that bottom car and on his way to a hospital. As soon as he’s out, we’ll be able to look for John without the risk making things worse. We can’t do much for him until I get us more help anyway. Let’s move on it, guys!” As his men went into motion, the captain called for additional rescue crews that he felt would be needed. “LA, Engine 51. We’ve got a man trapped and a possible code I; send a snorkel and another squad to our location.”
Marco Lopez gave a questioning look as Hank brought the HT down to his side. The captain explained, “There’s no way we can risk anyone climbing up on that stack to attach the hook from the crane. The way those vehicles are sitting, moving around on them could easily upset the balance. And if John’s not already seriously injured, he could be then. We’re gonna need someone to go up in the bucket and try it from there.” The captain didn’t want to mention the worst possible scenario . . .John being a fatality.
Marco nodded, looking up at the cars with a worried expression. It was going to be risky no matter what.
Billy began clearing as much of the debris away from the victim as possible, carefully setting a piece at a time here and there behind him. He glanced ahead at Roy, who was at the edge of the frame of the car. The look in DeSoto’s eyes told him he wasn’t the only one who feared the worst for Gage.
Johnny lay still while the sound of creaking metal continued several seconds after everything had come to a stop. As the noises eased and then faded to an eerie silence, the paramedic groaned slightly.
Oh man. . . wha. . .? His eyes were closed, though he didn’t know why. Was I out? Slowly opening them, he realized he was in a sparsely lit space with just a small beams of sunlight shining in from somewhere near his feet and head. He could feel crumpled metal underneath him; odors of rusted metal and oil assaulted his senses. Johnny tried to push himself up, but he was in too tight of an area to even raise his head very much. His left arm was pinned against him as he lay cocked at an angle where he’d slid down when the stack tipped.
The paramedic held his right arm to his side and panted as he tried to catch his breath. He could tell he definitely had the wind knocked out of him. His back was hurting from where it had hit against the hard surface. And somewhere along the way, he'd lost his helmet.
Squinting, Johnny stared up at the underside of the automobile above him, the dirt and grime that had accumulated on its rusted parts over time apparent in the dim light.
Oh man. . .I’m in between the cars.
Doing his best to remain calm, Billy quickly assessed the victim’s condition and relayed the vitals to Roy for Rampart.
“Does he need MS?” the senior paramedic asked.
“No, he’s got quite a bump on his head. I don’t want it to mask any symptoms if he has a concussion.”
Roy nodded and explained the possible head injury to Joe Early. Under different circumstances, DeSoto would have been smiling at Billy’s progress as a paramedic, but for the moment he was too concerned about his partner. Roy found himself looking up at the toppled stack of cars as the doctor gave instructions for treatment. He repeated them to Billy.
“Okay. Is the backboard handy?” the younger man asked before once again coughing.
“Right here beside me. Just give the word when you’re ready to move him and we’ll get him out.”
“Alright, just as soon as I adjust the drip on his IV. . .okay, got it!”
“Cap, we’re ready.”
Hank nodded. He and Marco came forward to help while Mike Stoker monitored the ETA of the other rescue crews.
As he waited alone, Johnny wondered if anyone knew exactly where he was. There was no sound of voices calling out his name, no machinery running. . .nothing but silence in the tight space. Considering what happened, the fact he was still alive surprised the paramedic.
Maybe they have doubts, too.
A sudden feeling of nausea washed over him at that thought, but he quickly reassured himself.
Nah, they wouldn’t just assume that and not try to find me. . .it’s gotta be something else. ..
He then recalled Billy and the victim being in the bottom vehicle. If the cars fell on them. . . .
He ignored the headache that was starting to throb and the soreness of his body resulting from the fall. For now all worries were on the trainee and the man whose dilemma had brought them out to the scrap yard in the first place.
Chet sat in the crane, ready to move whenever Captain Stanley gave the command. The scrap yard worker was standing nearby.
“Your guy is gonna need a lot more luck than the first one to live through that,” he said, pointing at the toppled stacks.
The fireman looked up to where the vehicles were now precariously balanced together. Even if Gage survived what had just taken place, getting him out alive was going to be a challenge in itself. The way the cars rested against each other now, there were two pockets of empty space in the stack. Johnny could be in either one, hidden by the lengths of the vehicles. But Chet knew any kind of movement could cause another shift and further collapse.
“He’ll be okay,” Chet said in an effort to convince himself too. He kept his eyes on the cars, still wondering how they were going to pull the rescue off.
Roy, Marco, and Captain Stanley carefully eased the first victim out of the bottom car and directly onto a back board. Once he was secured, Roy checked his vitals again as Billy slowly crawled out of the vehicle. Two ambulance attendants wheeled a stretcher over, and the injured man was placed on it.
DeSoto took another look at the toppled stacks of cars as he followed behind Billy and the patient. He’d hoped that he would be able to help get his partner out and treat him if necessary. However, the other squad hadn’t arrived yet and a paramedic was required to ride into Rampart with the victim. And Billy wasn’t qualified to do it alone.
It had only taken minutes to get the first rescue completed. But it seemed like a lot longer to everyone involved. No one wanted to even think about the possibility that they’d let their trapped shiftmate down by deciding not to take chances and to wait for more help.
As Roy and his trainee climbed up into the ambulance, the captain reassured them.
“We’ll get John out.”
Roy nodded solemnly. Billy busied himself with their charge in an effort to help keep his mind off the situation with Gage.
The doors were soon closed and the ambulance pulled away, Marco following behind it in the squad. As they departed the area, the snorkel truck arrived to assist with Johnny’s rescue.
Chet felt a knot form in his stomach when he saw help arrive.
This is it.
He took a deep breath as he waited for Captain Stanley to give the word.
Hank explained what happened and discussed strategies with Captain Daryl Swaggert from Station 127.
“I’m thinking if we can have a couple of guys go out over the top of the mound in the bucket, Chet can bring the arm of the crane directly above. Then as he lowers the arm, the men can attach the hook to a secure part of the top car. . .Chet slowly lifts it off and brings it down over there.” He pointed to a clearing just adjacent to the pile.
“It’s gonna be a slow process. And with a couple of those cars leaning on the other, holding it up, how are we gonna keep it from falling when they’re removed? And if that car moves at all, those small gaps above the flat ones are going to be gone.”
“Get ropes on the other one first to keep it from moving.”
“Secure them to your engine?” Swaggert wondered.
Hank nodded. “Mike can bring it closer, and back it up once the ropes are tied off. . .it’ll keep the tension on and that car stable till we can get to John. First we need to figure out exactly where he is and how many cars we’re gonna have to remove.”
“I’ll get two of my guys up there now to check it out.”
Captain Stanley put his hands on his hips and bit his lower lip as he took another look at the mess of toppled vehicles.
I hope you’re okay, pal.
Squad 110 arrived on the scene just as the snorkel truck was in position to send men up to assess the situation with Gage. Since they were going to need medical information as well as strategic, it was decided one medic would go up as well.
As the bucket neared the stack, paramedic Tom Wheeler called out to the missing man.
“Johnny! Gage, can you hear me?”
After several long seconds of silence, a barely audible muffled voice could be heard from within the mass of cars. Wheeler leaned over the rail of the bucket and peered around in an effort to spot where Gage might be. It was then he spotted the sole of a shoe not far from the opening of one of the small gaps in the stack.
“Hang in there, buddy, we’re gonna get you out!” Excited by the discovery, he forgot all about using the HT, but rather turned and hollered down to the others, “He’s alive! He’s under the top two cars!”
Everyone felt a wave of relief with the news. But it was short lived when reality once again set in. They still had to get him out of the tricky spot without making the situation worse. How much room did they have for error?
Johnny had heard the sirens as emergency vehicles both left and arrived at the scene. Between his headache intensifying and him getting hot in the cramped space, the trapped paramedic had a difficult time making sense of it all. He just wanted out.
I’ve. . .gotta get . . .help.
He was about to try to move again when he heard Tom Wheeler call out his name.
“Hey,” Johnny yelled as loud as he could. His raspy voice was weak. “I’m in here!” He panted as he tried to yell again. “I’m here!”
Johnny squinted toward the light near his feet as his vision began to fade to a pinpoint. He blinked a couple of times to clear his head, but he figured it wasn’t going to be long before he’d pass out. He was growing wearier as time went on. But determination set in and he tried to keep himself alert by keeping his mind occupied.
Roy let Billy take care of their charge on the way into Rampart. The senior paramedic watched and listened carefully as vitals were taken and updated for Doctor Early on the other end. So far the injured man remained stable, though somewhat confused on exactly where he was now.
When Billy was done with another set of updates, he looked at Roy sitting on the other bench. “You think they’ve got Johnny out yet?”
“I don’t know. . .they’d have to locate him before they could move anything.” He thought back to the silence he was met with when he’d called out his partner’s name. If Johnny was still alive when the others found him, the effort to free him could take a long time if he was buried under more than one car; or if the automobiles were as dependent on each other as it seemed to keep one another in place. If Johnny was located and hadn’t survived, the whole situation would be handled differently and at a much quicker pace.
No, I’m not even gonna think about that. He’s gotta be okay.
Roy glanced at his watch. It’d been less than ten minutes since they’d left the scene.
Once the top car that was being held in place by the others beside it was secured with ropes, Mike Stoker sat in the engine, the vehicle keeping tension on the ropes as planned.
The procedure of removing the other top car went smoothly, though slower than everyone had hoped. Chet had to pause several times in his efforts to lift it off the toppled stack when the movement of the car began to cause the one beneath it to rock slightly.
With the automobile now safely on the ground, it was time to free Gage from his prison underneath the other vehicle that was over him on the pile.
Johnny felt sweat trickling down the sides of his face, running into his hair. His now dampened uniform clung to his skin. The paramedic figured he was perspiring not only from the heat and stuffiness of the small space, but from the stress of the situation as well.
When the car perched above him creaked as it moved slightly, Johnny waited for it to come down on him. He trusted the other firemen with his life and had no doubt in their ability to get him out of the mess he was in if things went in their favor. However, he also had to be realistic. There was always the possibility something could go wrong despite the good intentions.
With the creaking now stopped and the sound of machinery running again somewhere out in the scrap yard, Gage waited to see something other than the dirty rusted belly of a car.
As the second car was slowly lifted up, the vehicle underneath it where Johnny lay started to creak and shift slightly.
“Whoa. . .whoa! Stop!” Hank and Captain Swaggert yelled in unison.
Chet immediately brought the arm of the crane to a halt. He frowned when he saw that the car was only several inches higher than before.
“We can’t risk moving it any farther,” Hank said to Daryl.
The other man shook his head. “No telling where Gage’ll end up if we cause more of a collapse.”
“He’s gonna have to slide out at least enough until Wheeler and Dillard can reach him.” He looked up at the stack again. “If he can get himself most of the way out and onto the exposed hood of that car he’s on, that would do it.” Captain Stanley brought the HT up to his face and pressed the mic button. “HT 110, Engine 51.”
“Go ahead, Captain Stanley.”
“Tom, we aren’t gonna be able to move the car anymore. It’s too risky.”
“What about Gage?”
“We’re gonna take you guys in closer. Try to find out if he’s got a neck or back injury. If not, he’s gonna have to slide out from underneath until you can get a safety belt to him, and you and Chris can get him down to us.”
“What if he does have one and he’s not aware of it?” Tom wondered. He knew both the shock from being hurt, and the adrenaline rush from being in a dangerous situation, could prevent a victim from realizing the full extent of an injury. Wheeler held the HT out as he waited for the next reply. Soon the radio crackled and Hank Stanley’s answer was heard.
“I don’t like it anymore than you do. But we’re gonna have to direct this based on what he says. We don’t have a choice. Let ‘im know.”
“10-4.” Tom put the HT down and shrugged at Chris beside him. “If we’ve got no choice. . .” After the bucket of the snorkel was moved up and over the slight gap between the cars above Gage, Wheeler leaned over the rail and yelled to the trapped paramedic, “Johnny, can you tell me if you’ve got a neck or back injury?” He waited a few seconds, then repeated, “Gage, do you have an injury to your neck or back?”
“No! I think . . .back’s . . .just bruised!”
The answer was once again muffled, but clearly not a yes. Like it or not, they were going to have to trust Johnny’s assessment of himself.
“Okay. Captain Stanley says it’s not safe to move the car that’s over you anymore than we already have! You’re gonna have to work your way out!”
Though he was beginning to lose the battle to stay conscious, Johnny understood what Wheeler was telling him. He looked up at the belly of the car that was still fairly close to him.
I hope I don’t upset the balance of these cars underneath me.
“Okay!” Johnny called out in a weak voice. He made the effort to carefully and slowly push away with his left side. It was then he realized that his left arm had gone numb from the pressure on it. He didn’t have the ability to move away from where he was on his own. He closed his eyes in a long blink, trying to ward off the intense headache that was increasing as time passed.
Gage opened his eyes to just a squint again. With determination, he ignored all the discomforts he was experiencing and very slowly began to slide along on his back, lifting up slightly to avoid the crumpled surface of the flattened vehicle underneath him. Moving against the edge of the car near him, he used his right arm and hand for leverage on the surface he rested on to help with his efforts in getting out.
Hank anxiously waited below, wondering if they were making the right call. Though it was true that the remaining stack of cars was likely to collapse more if they continued to move the top one, it was also possible Johnny’s efforts to free himself would have the same effect. Another worry was that any injuries he had already sustained could become worse no matter what he or the others did.
Suddenly Tom Wheeler’s voice came over the HT. “Engine 51, HT 110.”
“He’s starting to move.”
In a minute or two, they’d find out if they made the right decision.
Marco waited near the base station while Roy and Billy went into the treatment room with the victim. Not familiar with Dixie at all, the fireman leaned against the wall beside her desk, remaining silent.
“Would you like a cup of coffee?”
“No, ma’am. We’ve got to get back to the scrap yard as soon as Roy and Billy come out.”
“Still quite a bit going on there? Is that why Johnny didn’t come in?”
Marco looked at Dixie in surprise. He’d forgotten that she and the others at the hospital wouldn’t know what had taken place unless someone from the scene filled them in.
“Yes, some cars at the scrap yard fell unexpectedly. Johnny got caught up in it.”
A look of worry came over her face. “Is he okay?”
“We don’t know. He wasn’t located before we left.”
Dixie nodded and glanced at the base station. Nothing had come over the line yet to indicate Johnny was injured.
That could mean he’s still missing. . .
Johnny inched his way toward the opening near his feet, pausing every few seconds when the cars underneath him would creak from his movement. He could feel more sweat run from his face into his already soaked hair as he slowly made his way out from the tight space. The few inches the car above had been lifted wasn’t helping the ventilation much. Gage licked his lips and could taste salt from the perspiration on them.
The paramedic panted and winced as his headache made him feel like his head was going to explode.
Oh man. . .
Johnny’s lower legs were completely out from under the car when Wheeler called down to him.
“Gage, you’re gonna have to move out to your right so you can get on a portion of the hood of the car you’re on! Don’t come straight out or you’ll fall!”
Johnny listened to the instructions and shifted his feet toward the direction he was told.
When he and Billy came out of the treatment room, Roy could tell by the expression on Dixie’s face that she knew something about Johnny.
Either Marco told her or. . .
“Any news?” Roy asked, looking at the base station.
Both the head nurse and the fireman shook their heads.
Marco and Billy followed behind Roy. Dixie frowned. She could tell DeSoto wasn’t fairing well overall. His abrupt departure with no other verbal exchanges with her was completely unlike the paramedic. She walked over to the telephone near the base station and paged Kel Brackett.
Hank Stanley and the others continued to watch as Gage slowly made progress in his escape. He was nearly all the way out after several long minutes. Wheeler was standing above in the bucket, ready with a safety belt to send down.
“Looks like he’s almost cleared,” Swaggert commented.
Hank nodded and sighed in relief, never taking his eyes off the mound of vehicles. Just a another minute or so and we should have you down, John. He and a couple of other firemen started toward the cars to help Johnny to the ground once he had the safety belt on and Wheeler tied it off to lower him.
A sudden creaking noise from the pile of cars startled everyone when their placement once again began to shift. It was just enough to cause the automobiles to slide against each other more. By instinct, Johnny started to grab for anything nearby to hold on to. Then it quickly dawned on him that he would be safer falling off the cars instead of being taken down with them.
Ignoring what injuries could result, the paramedic shoved off with both his hands. His left arm and hand had returned to feeling normal after regaining full circulation. The effort provided enough momentum to send him falling off the hood of the car.
Johnny landed with a thud, dirt that kicked up getting in his mouth. He spit in an effort to clear it as he got up on his hands and knees to crawl away.
Hank Stanley was the first to reach Gage and pulled him to safety, out of harms way. When the captain turned around to look at the stacks of cars, he could see that Johnny’s small open space was no longer in existence. He sighed as he looked down at the younger man. Gage was lying on the ground, panting, as he murmured, “Thanks. . .Cap.”
Tom and Chris were on their way down in the snorkel bucket and other firemen rushed to the fallen man to see if they could help if needed. Chet abandoned the crane and quickly made his way over as well.
Johnny glanced over at the mess of vehicles. “Wha. . .what happened?”
Stanley and Swaggert shrugged, both of them squatting down beside him. Even they didn’t realize there had been a slight random tremor of the ground. It wasn’t even strong enough to do any damage except to upset the balance of a few things here and there.
On the way back to the scrap yard, Roy had Marco try to reach Engine 51 on the HT for an update.
“Engine 51, HT 51.” Lopez waited for a response. When none came, he repeated, “Engine 51, HT 51. Do you copy?” Again, no answer. “Cap must be on another frequency with the other squad.”
DeSoto nodded and reached over for the mic on the radio. “LA Dispatch, Squad 51.”
“Go ahead, 51.”
“Is there any word from Engine 51 on the status of Gage?”
“10-4.” He couldn’t hide the disappointment and concern in his voice. He quickly glanced at the others, then returned his eyes to the road ahead. “I guess we’ll find out when we get there.”
Billy and Marco could feel their apprehension building.
Roy and the others were alarmed when they first caught a glimpse of the newly toppled cars ahead of them. It looked like there would be even less of a chance for there being a pocket in the mound. He glanced at Billy and Marco. From what he could see of the expressions on their faces, they had the same thought he did.
What if it fell when they were getting Johnny out?
The senior paramedic brought the squad to a quick halt and jumped out. Not even waiting for the other two to catch up, he trotted over to where the firemen on the scene, including Chet and Mike, were now standing.
“What happened? Where’s John—”
He cut himself off when he saw his partner lying nearby on a yellow blanket and backboard on the ground, Wheeler and another paramedic taking care of him. Gage’s eyes were closed.
“Is he okay?” Roy asked as he hurried over.
Tom Wheeler started to answer, but Johnny did it for him. His eyes open to slits, he responded with a wince, “Never. . .better. ‘Cept, man, I. . .think I’m gonna hurt everywhere. . .later.”
“Mild concussion, a lot of bruises I’d say,” Wheeler explained. “He was damn lucky.”
Roy sighed with relief as Marco and Billy came up beside him and were also more at ease when they saw Johnny.
“He sure was lucky,” Hank agreed.
“At least. . .there’s one good thing,” Johnny added. “For once. . .there’s no reporters around. . .to write about Tom and. . .give him credit. . . for an over-glorified rescue.”
Roy couldn’t help but smile. That remark alone told him his partner was going to be okay. When he glanced at Billy, he could tell the young man was still very worried.
I’ll fill him in on reading Johnny later. His gaze went back to Gage, and DeSoto couldn’t help but smile as the other two paramedics continued their work. I’m just glad he’s okay.
The following day, Johnny was lying in bed at Rampart, spending his second and last day at the hospital after his close call. Although the paramedic didn’t have any real injuries aside from the mild concussion and deep bruising on his upper back, Kel Brackett wanted to keep him for observation to make certain no hidden problems would crop up in the first thirty-six hours after the mishap.
Gage stared blankly at the television, where an auto mechanic show was on.
Cars. . .I’ve had enough of cars for awhile, he thought, as he turned off the TV with the controls on the bed.
Suddenly the door opened and in walked Roy and Billy. Johnny’s face brightened and he sat up straighter, being easy with his aching back.
“Hey, it’s good to see you guys.”
“How’re you feelin’?” Roy wondered.
“Sore. Real sore. But better.” He looked at Billy. “They takin’ good care of ya?”
The younger man nodded. “Charlie Dwyer filled in for you. He was a lot of help, too.”
“He’s one of the best,” Gage agreed. He then looked to his partner. “Chet was here earlier. You know, that’s twice now he’s had to jump in a crane on a rescue.”
“He’s not thinking of changing careers, is he?” the other joked.
“Nah. . .but don’t be surprised if you hear about it for awhile. You know how Chet is. . .”
Yeah, I do, Roy thought. Sort of like you. It amazed him how two men who played like they didn’t get along were actually friends and were a lot more alike in some aspects than they realized.
Both Roy and Johnny noticed Billy had a somber expression on his face.
“Whatsa matter, Billy?” Gage asked.
“I. . .I guess I just. . .well. . .how do you get used to taking care of someone else when your partner needs you just as much?” He paused a moment as he coughed slightly. “I mean, yesterday. . .it was hard to get in that ambulance with that guy we rescued and leave the scene. It didn’t feel right.”
“It’s not easy,” Roy answered, thinking back to Gage’s tumble off a scaffold when a Monkey virus had rendered him unconscious. He’d had to tend to the other victim once both were on the roof despite his partner being in peril as well. “But you know it’s what you have to do. . .your partner knows that as well.” He looked to Johnny.
“That’s right. It becomes a natural reaction. Unless the original victim isn’t hurt very seriously and one of your crewmates is. Then it’s a different story. You’ll get the hang of it.”
“Maybe. But when did you feel that you’d finally graduated? That you knew everything you needed to?”
“We didn’t,” Roy answered. “There’s something new to learn all the time.” He looked at Johnny and grinned. “Every day’s a school day, right?”
Gage grinned. “That’s right, doctor.”
Billy smiled and nodded in acknowledgment. He couldn’t have asked for better ‘teachers’ to start him on his journey.
Thanks go to Jill Hargan for the beta read. :o) And also thanks to my husband for letting me bounce a segment off him for reassurance. Any mistakes, technical or otherwise, are mine and mine alone. :o)
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