Please find your smelling salts.

MM has posted.

Crosstrainers 34

Johnny pulled up to Station 32. Not only was he solo, but his "pally" enjoyed teasing him as he left.

"Darn, old Roy gets today off," the paramedic grumbled to himself, conveniently forgetting he'd had a day off earlier. He could be forgiven since he had been recuperating from a less than hospitable time at a dive bar. Punnies was not a great experience!

Grabbing his duffle he walked into the station glad that the set-up was similar to all the other stations he'd visited. He was a bit surprised that there was no one to meet him.

"Hullo?" he called out when he entered the kitchen area. A man wearing captain's bars came out of an office.

"Yes?," he asked.

"John Gage, reporting for duty?" he asked somewhat confused.

"Oh, yes, our consultant," the man responded negligently. What was going on?

"There's a locker for you across the bay, I'm sure one of the guys will show you where," he flipped a hand towards the door. Gage quietly slipped out into the bay, complete with both a yellow engine and smaller squad. There were two doors on the far side; he chose the one where he could hear voices.

"Hi, John Gage," he introduced himself to the three men and one woman gathered in the room.

"Ah, the consultant," one man stated.

"There's an empty locker here," another pointed to an open locker.

"Thanks," Gage replied, tucking his things away. "Do I need my hat for line-up?"

"Nah, Captain Roberts is pretty low-key," the woman said. "I'm Leah Hawthorne, paramedic," she added.

"Dan Rice, other paramedic," a hand was proffered. "And this is our engineer, Nick Walsh."

The taller man shook Johnny's hand and nodded to the third man.
"John Talis, linesman."

"Good to meet you," Gage smiled as he shook yet another hand. Leah looked at her watch.

"And wait for it…" she began counting down. "Ten, nine, eight, seven…" A new person ran into the locker area, tucking his shirt into his pants. "Mel Kanhawi, our other linesman."

"I'm NOT LATE!" said man exclaimed as he tossed his things into a locker.

"No, just cutting it fine as always!" Captain Roberts commented as he stuck his head into the room. "Let's get to line up, folks!"

Still a bit taken aback at the nonchalant attitude, Johnny moved out to the bay and lined up with the other firemen. He listened to the announcements followed by assignments for each person.

"Oh, and Gage, feel free to help where you want," Roberts tossed in at the end.

Confused, he turned to follow the paramedics to the squad for the morning check-in. Roberts hadn't even introduced him like all the other captains had.

Dr. Choi answered the bio-phone. After all the tests were completed the doctor's warm voice addressed Johnny.

"So I hear you have Johnny Gage with you today," Choi said. "He's really good so all those questions you've been trying to get answered from me you can pester Johnny with!"

"Don't sound so gleeful," Hawthorne retorted. "Our last consultant wasn't very forthcoming!

This one statement threw Gage for a loop. Roy hadn't been very helpful?

"I think you'll find Gage is very hands-on," he replied. "He's very good at triage and vitals!" Both paramedics looked at the trainer slightly suspect.

"Ok, Castle, we'll take that into consideration," she replied and ended transmission.

"I'm not sure what happened when DeSoto came to train with you," Johnny began, "but I am here to help you in any way you need, even if it's just to make coffee and look pretty." He looked earnestly at the two less-than-impressed trainees.

After a long moment Rice snorted. "Well, you are prettier than the other guy," he allowed.

"Why don't we get your chores done and then discuss whatever you have questions about," Johnny suggested. The two paramedics agreed and soon the three of them were pulling hose.

Helping improved the reluctant trainees' attitudes. Once finished they moved into the kitchen area and looked for coffee. There was enough for one more mug. Johnny immediately poured it into the sink then rinsed the carafe before filling it with cold water. Ground beans were readily accessible next to the machine; he only took a moment to find the spices and locate his favorite nutmeg.

The aroma filled the kitchen area and drew out Captan Roberts. He wandered over to the coffee maker and took a deep sniff.

"Hmmm, I think I'll have to test this batch personally," he allowed, putting a mug next to the other two.

Gage felt as if his entire worth was based on this one pot of coffee. What the heck had Roy done? He thought back through the calendar and finally realized his co-worker had been here at the height of his troubles with his wife. That could explain why he'd received such a cool greeting; Roy could be very preoccupied when Joanne was concerned.

With a quiet sigh Johnny squared his shoulders and adjusted his internal attitude. He was an excellent trainer; his evals spoke to that. Everyone was entitled to a bad day, it just so happened Roy had one here while he was training. If this group had been as laid back with DeSoto he knew his pally would be hands off and stew on the ongoing problems with his wife.

"Here you go, sir, one Los Angeles/Honolulu special," Gage poured out the captain's mug with a smile and sketched bow before pouring out mugs for the two paramedics. His mug was filled with the hot brew. He added a scant amount of sugar to enhance the nutmeg and breathed in the aroma.

The three 32's sniffed at their mugs before adding their own sugar/milk concoctions. Each carefully sipped, Dan went so far as to swish his mouthful like a fine wine connoisseur. Conferring with eyes only they prolonged the silence. Finally Johnny rolled his eyes and moved to the table.

"You three just don't have the California aire," he said. "Hawaiians; too laid back!" A moment longer, then someone behind him snorted coffee. There was a scramble for a mug and a hand pounded on a back.

"Rice! You dork!" Hawthorne laughed as she tried to help clear his lungs. Roberts moved to the table and set down the saved mug.

"Good stuff for a mainlander," he smirked. "I'll leave you to teach these two goof-offs some paramedic skills."

Finally having broken through the indifference, the three paramedics sat together. After asking how they handled recording vitals and information on runs, he pulled two spirals out of his pocket complete with pens. Using his own spiral as an example, he outlined his methods.

"This will make recording the runs easier at the least," Rice nodded. "Given Leah's tendency to toss the notes out when she cleans up a scene."

"Hey! Left to you we'd be written up for excessive littering!" she retorted.

"Yeah, Roy did that too, at first. We came up with a notebook pretty quick, then decided personal pocket spirals were the best," Johnny explained. "Although some teams carry a spiral in the drug kit or bio-phone 'cause they prefer one source."

"These ever get used as evidence?" Dan asked.

"Yeah, a couple times either the doctors or police wanted to see what had been recorded," Gage shrugged. "We developed our own shorthand to make 'em as complete as possible."

Before another question could be asked the tones sounded.

"Station 32, structure fire, Boomerang Cafe, 1339 Nuuanu Ave. Cross street North Vineyard Blvd. Time out 09:50."

Gage followed Hawthorne to the squad; Rice quickly scanned the large street map on the wall with Walsh. He jumped into the cab, pulled on his helmet and locked his seat belt.

A quick ride on the freeway, then onto surface streets, brought the crew to a strip mall. Smoke was pouring out one storefront.

Lines were run and very quickly water was moving. There were several people huddled together.

"Everyone out?" Captain Roberts asked them.

"Think so, but Gary and Kino are hurt," an older man replied. "At least from the cafe."

"Hawthorne, Rice, victims," Roberts called. "Need to check surrounding businesses.

"Ok, Gage, stay with Dan and I'll do a quick run through the other businesses," Leah determined. An area was set up and soon the two injured men were on oxygen and having burns and cuts treated.

Johnny could see Rice was competent enough with vitals and starting IVs. He needed a little help with initial assessment; Kino looked to be less injured but he was having trouble breathing and was rubbing in arm.

"Hand me the heart monitor," Gage asked and soon had leads on the sweating man. A strip was sent to Castle and soon Choi was ordering meds to stabilize a racing heart. Then a little morphine for the second patient who had second degree burns on his right upper arm and shoulder.

Everything was duly recorded on both Gage's and Rice's spirals. When Hawthorne rejoined them she took over the bio-phone and acted as relay for the two other men. Soon an ambulance arrived and both patients were transported with Rice.


Roy stretched as he contemplated the beach before him. There were the requisite beautiful women wearing very little as well as the clusters of children building sand castles and playing in the surf. Several people had surf boards and were experiencing various levels of success riding them.

All in all a normal day in paradise.

Except Roy was not used to being alone! He always seemed to have either Johnny next to him or his family nearby. It was only nine in the morning and he was bored! He wanted to do something interesting that didn't involve a museum or cultural center (heaven knows the wives had found enough of those!)

Hmmm, Johnny had gone snorkling with the kids; he'd seen the pictures they'd taken underwater. Looking up he noticed an attendant from the hotel.

"Uh, excuse me?" he called out. A few questions later and he was headed indoors to the concierge desk.

Which is why, two hours later, he was in a van with three other people, driven by a smiling tour guide, sack lunch provided by the hotel, wearing swim trunks, a t-shirt (LAFD, thank you very much) and a smile.

Hmm, he needed to remember to reapply sunscreen…


A very tired trio of paramedics stumbled back into the dorm to sleep.


Second call out since eleven. It was 0200.

Did someone mention tired?

"It's a damned herd of boars tromping through," a groggy voice complained. Another voice blew a raspberry. Then the sound of dropping turnouts and creak of bunks accepting bodies. A third, softer, sound of someone laying down in a back room.


"Stations 32, 14, mva involving 18 wheeler, north Nimitz Hwy overpass at H1. Suggest entering at Valkenburg Street and North road. Time out, 0235."

"Enter at Valkenburg and North?" Walsh questioned.

"Dispatch, where is the site of the accident?" Roberts asked.

"Observer reports on North overpass and H1 underneath," came the reply.

"This sounds bad," Talis muttered as he climbed into the squad.

It was.

The cab of the 18 wheeler was hanging over the side of the overpass. Below was a car that had definitely fallen from the overpass. Several other cars were smashed together on H1 and there appeared to be a couple of rear-enders on the overpass itself.

"Dispatch, request addition station with snorkel," Roberts spoke into the mike. "A fourth station may be required."

Since they were first on the scene, Roberts took over the co-ordination. He sent his team to secure the 18 wheeler and see to the injuries on the overpass. Station 14 and 16 were sent to work with the mess on H1.

Johnny found himself in charge of the entire paramedic triage. He started up on the overpass and quickly roped down to H1. The worst of the injuries were below. A treatment area was quickly set-up and the first wounded were brought over. These were the mobile wounded and were settled on tarps near the squads.

Gage lost track of how many people had to be pulled out of cars. The jaws had to be used on three different vehicles. He'd had to tarp several dead, helping the paramedics focus on the living.

It was a forgone conclusion that the freeway would take hours to clear. All of H1 had to be cleared and cleaned before they removed the 18 wheeler from the over pass. That was quite an experience. The team finally decided to lower the cab to H1 and right the trailer on the overpass. Shifts ran over for the 32s; the 14s then the 16s left as the mess was cleared.

As the 32s finally, finally, returned to the barn, Johnny remembered he was suppose to be at the training facility. An hour ago.

Oh well, he hoped someone let Roy know he'd be late!