Dedicated to all of those who were inspired by Emergency! to become fire fighters/paramedics/EMTs
By Audrey W.
Captain John R. Gage sat behind his desk at Station 36, going over some information he’d need to brief his men on at morning roll call as he waited for a new paramedic trainee to arrive. Taking a short break, he picked up the notice he’d received from headquarters and studied the name again. Something about it seemed familiar, but he couldn’t place why.
Thomas Grey, he read to himself.
Suddenly there was a light rapping on the door frame and the captain looked up from the paper in his hand. There was a young man standing in the doorway, dressed in uniform. It had to be the trainee.
“Hi,” John said as he pushed back his chair and stood. “You must be Thomas.”
“Yes, sir. Tommy.”
Noting what appeared to be a slight nervousness in the guest, Gage gave a friendly smile for reassurance. “C’mon in.”
As the young fireman complied, John stepped from behind his desk and held out his right hand. “Welcome to Station 36. I’m Captain Gage.”
“Yes, sir,” came another reply as the trainee shook his hand.
After a few seconds they released and John took one step back, eyeing the younger man a moment. He looked vaguely familiar. “Do I know you from somewhere?”
“Sort of. I don’t know if you remember, but a long time ago when I was eleven-years-old, you and others on your crew rescued me when I was trapped behind a wall in a building collapse. I was scared to death the wall was gonna fall on us, but you kept telling me to calm down; that everything was gonna be okay. You seemed really old to me then, but I’m guessing you weren’t too much older than I am now.”
“Oh man! I think I do remember you. You said you were gonna be a fireman when you grew up.”
“Yes, sir, I sure did. And here I am,” he said as he spread his arms out, suddenly feeling more at ease. “But I wanted to do more. I followed the growth of the paramedic program as I got older; did an essay on it in high school. I never forgot what you guys did and I wanted to follow in your footsteps.”
The captain gave his trademark crooked grin. “Good deal. I’ve got a great crew here, and I’m sure you’ll learn a lot.”
“I’m ready for it.”
John glanced at his watch. There was still fifteen minutes left before roll call. Looking at Tommy again, he asked, “You want a cup of coffee? Kyle on C-shift makes a great brew.”
The younger man shrugged. “Sure.”
“Great, let’s go.”
As the two headed for the dayroom, John Gage made a mental note to call Captain Roy DeSoto later and fill him in on the new trainee. Being that they’d been partners when they rescued Tommy, he was sure Roy would be as thrilled as him that the boy kept his promise. That he’d followed his dream to become a fireman, and now wanted to be a paramedic as well. . .a dream he aspired to because of them.
Note: The character of Tommy appeared in the episode ‘Botulism’ written by Michael Donovan and belongs to him. There was never a last name given so I made one up. Though it isn’t mentioned in the story, I’m assuming Tommy lived in foster care until he reached legal adult age.
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