Disclaimers: All characters referenced in this story are mine and mine alone. Any similarities between them and anyone else living, dead, or fictional, is purely accidental/coincidental. Basically, hands off without my permission-pretty please.
If you like them, feel free to let me know about it at Jeaninehemailfirstname.lastname@example.org if you don’t, please don’t be mean.
Warnings: This story will depict relationships between women. If that bothers you, I’m sorry for your narrow-minded approach but please leave now and come back when you come out. If it is illegal for you to view this type of story due to age or location then please come back when you age or move. There will at times be somewhat graphic descriptions of medical events, nothing too graphic but not for those who faint at the mention of an IV. With that said, I hope you enjoy!
I’d like to thank Vic and Trish, the two people that encouraged me to put this out to let others decide its fate.
Also, for Sue, the reason I want to do my best is to be the woman you deserve-I’m always on call for you!
“What the hell do you mean? How can you fucking suspend me for doing my goddamn job?” The voice was loud, male, and undoubtedly Tony’s. I really didn’t want to be around for the talk that was obviously going on in the Captain’s office so I changed direction, heading upstairs from the truck bay instead of from the lounge. I spent a little more time than I needed grabbing gear from my locker, rearranging it, and packing a bag of stuff to bring downstairs for the washer. I wanted to give Tony plenty of time to finish his meeting and get out of the house with minimum embarrassment. Having everyone know that you were suspended was bad enough, having them watch you leave and looking at you with sympathy would be worse. Apparently, his private debriefing hadn’t been as smooth as the crew meeting.
The general debrief had gone well and I spent a wonderful two days off splitting my time between Caty and my house doing some chores. It had been amazing to spend the time with Caty now that we had crossed from friends to lovers. Suddenly, the awkwardness I had felt about getting physically close with her was gone. I had no problem cuddling, holding hands, or anything else. Maybe it was just me being nervous about getting physical with someone I love so much, I mused.
I felt my knees get weak as I replayed that in my head. I was in love with my best friend. I mean, I knew I was in love with my best friend, but it just hit me what that could really mean. Before I could contemplate it too much I heard steps on the stairs, slow and steady, heading towards the woman’s area. The door pushed open and there was Spike, looking worn out, and for the first time in a while, I remembered the five-year age difference between us. Never had it been more apparent than at that moment. We looked at each other for a minute before she moved towards her bunk and crashed down onto it. She flipped onto her back and laced her fingers behind her head before staring up at the ceiling.
“Kristy?” That was Spike’s real name and I didn’t feel inclined to use it much, but it felt right this time. “Hey, Kris? Do you wanna talk about it? I heard Tony giving you guys a hard time when I came in. Are you okay?”
She gave a sigh, shifted around a bit so that she could look over at me, and nodded. “I’m fine I guess. It just isn’t easy having to dress someone down for being human. Any of us would have run into that building given the right circumstances. If it was our family in there. He saw it that way, you know? Like his big brother was trapped and he should get his ass in there and save him.”
Once again, I was glad not to be in her position. I do check rides, teach some classes for continuing education, and I mentor some of the rookies, but I don’t have to do the administrative stuff she does. This wasn’t going to get me excited to take it on anytime soon either. I just nodded my head and waited for her to continue, I knew she had more to vent.
“The poor guy, he really just wants to make a difference here. I think he could be a good medic given the time and seasoning. Now? We might lose him. He only has a week suspension but he may not come back. The suspension is more for ignoring orders on a scene and shoving you down, but he sees it as punishment for having feelings. Were we ever that young Donny?”
I grinned at her, knowing full well I was that young when I started here. “Don’t you remember your first shift with me? I drove you crazy asking questions, trying to get you to tell me stories about your saves. I’m surprised you didn’t toss me out of the rig on the way to a call.” I chuckled at the thought of that probie version of me.
She joined me in laughter and then grinned over at me. “You were so eager, fresh from school, and ready to save the world! I knew that you would turn into a great medic, Donny, even then I knew it. You really have become one of the best we have, you know that right?”
I shifted and started fidgeting with my spare boots, examining the laces even though they were new. I felt myself turn red as the fire rose to my face. I have never taken compliments well, but especially when they come from people I admire so much. Spike is a Medic’s Medic-the one we all strive to emulate. Here she was complimenting me?
“What’s the matter Donny? Can’t take a compliment yet? Don’t you know that the probies coming through here all love riding with you? You treat them with respect, you don’t pull stupid probie jokes on them, and you are willing to let them learn by doing things. Hands on with supervision is one of the best ways to learn, but the hardest way to teach. You have a gift for it, be proud of that, will ya?”
I was in full blush mode now, even my ears burned red. Spike chuckled and tossed a letter sized envelope towards me. It landed on my cot but I grabbed it up and looked at it.
“What is it? It isn’t addressed to me.” I stated the obvious as I tried to figure out what she had thrown.
“Go ahead, open it up, I think you’ll like it.” She pulled her body up into a sitting position and tucked her legs under her so that she sat cross-legged on her cot. She just kept gazing over at me, waiting patiently to open the envelope.
I opened it and pulled out the folded piece of paper. As I unfolded it, insignia dropped out and onto my cot. I looked up, puzzled, at Spike, then back down at the rank. It was the crossed bugles representing field supervisor status in our department. I read the letter that congratulated me on my new promotion and assignment as a training officer/field supervisor with the department. Shock doesn’t begin to cover what I was feeling. I had no idea I was up for promotion, never mind actually getting promoted! I looked to Spike for answers.
Spike just laughed at my expression for a while before speaking again. “I guess we surprised you! It has been in the works for a little while now but I couldn’t say anything until it was official. This is why you were doing rides with so many probies this year. Cap wanted to see how you’d handle it if we moved you up. I just made Senior Field Officer and we need a new Field Officer, so you won’t leave the house, just change duties a bit.”
I offered her congratulations on her promotion. I was genuinely happy for her but unsure how I felt about my own promotion. I was still trying to absorb it. Just then, the klaxon sounded and the dispatcher’s voice echoed through the station. I tossed my gear in the locker, shoved my letter and insignia in one of my pockets, and headed down the pole to the bay. Spike was right behind me and we both stepped into our turnout gear as we listened to the dispatch. Neither one of us was actually on shift yet, nor did we have partners yet, but why let details like that stop us? We decided to grab the extra rig and go out since it was a big car accident on the highway, less than three miles from the station, and extra hands might be needed. We went responding as a supervisor truck enroute, that way we wouldn’t cancel out any other rigs going in on the call.
We arrived on scene just after the other two crews pulled up. The Rescue truck was right behind us, and as we got out of our rig, Spike yelled over to me.
“Why don’t you take command? I’ll go triage and see if the Rescue crew needs an extra hand.
I agreed and called the dispatch center, “County, this is Supervisor Two Two One ,assuming Medical Command.”
Usually, it falls to the senior officer, which would still be Spike, but I knew she viewed this as training exercise. I grabbed my radio and sat in the truck, taking copious notes as to who was dispatched, who arrived, how many were injured, and to what degree. Spike did her triage and reported the numbers back to me so that I could notify County Dispatch if we needed additional personnel or equipment.
Thankfully for all, this wreck looked worse than it was, and most of the involved victims were able to walk away without a scratch. “County, Medical Command Two Two One.”
“Go ahead Two Two One.”
“County, we’re gonna need a van or bus out here to transport a group of fifteen green tags to an ER.” Green tags meant they were basically uninjured or walking wounded.
“Two Two One, Affirmative, we’ll send something out ASAP to your location.”
It looked like a mess. Somehow seven cars managed to skid into one another in a domino effect after the lead car blew a tire out and spun out on the highway. There was debris scattered across all four lanes, bringing traffic to a complete standstill. We had arrived on the scene by driving down the nearest exit ramp the wrong way, and heading into the flow of traffic, had there been any flowing. The rescue crew set up the hydraulic tools to cut apart one of the cars with a trapped victim. It was a quick, but loud, process and they quickly freed one, and then another patient from separate cars. Other members of the crew checked the cars and disabled the batteries in each car to avoid any risk of sparks starting a fire, before starting the cleanup of debris and vehicular fluids that had spread across the roadway.
The two crews assigned to the call transported the remaining two injured parties, once they were cut free from their cars. We remained on scene, though we terminated Medical Command, until the fire crew was ready to depart the scene, just in case anyone managed to get hurt during clean up. Finally, we headed back to the station to start our shifts, officially.
Call after call, it was the same thing from Pauly. She pestered me the whole shift about Tony.
“Is he coming back? Do you think it was right to suspend him?”
These and other variants of the same theme peppered me in between two cardiac arrests, a near drowning, a broken clavicle, three medical emergency runs, and a routine transport to get someone’s shunt replaced. The last thing I needed was Pauly on my case about something I hadn’t been involved in to begin with.
“Thank goodness, we made it to the end of the shift,” I sighed as we backed the rig into the bay. All I wanted was to grab my gear and get home to bed. Sadly, the fates had other plans for me.
“Donny, get in here!” bellowed the Captain as soon as I opened the door to the rig.
“What did you do wrong Donny? You’ve only been a supervisor for a week and you’re already getting summoned?”
Pauly was teasing me but I was wondering the same thing myself.
I grabbed my gear, tossed the checkout list to Pauly, and headed to the Cap’s office. Knocking on the open door, I waiting for him to motion me inside.
“Yeah Cap? You bellowed?” I grinned as I said it, hoping to lighten the tension I felt.
He grinned at me, and then he motioned to a seat in front of his desk. “Siddown Donny, it is time for a little chat.”
I really didn’t like the sound of that but I knew that this man was infamous for making people sweat and then giving god news as often as bad news. I waited for him to say something while trying to figure out what I could have messed up already.
“How are you liking the new rank? Settling in alright?”
That wasn’t what I expected, so I just nodded and said, “It’s going okay Cap. I’m getting over the shock at least. Is something wrong?” I figured I might as well just ask now and save myself the ulcer that I could feel eating through my stomach lining.
He sighed and leaned back in his creaky leather desk chair. “I wasn’t gonna bring this up to you yet but with the timing of some other stuff I have no choice. I know you’re new to the rank but part of your job will be doing medic evaluations. I’m gonna need to have you do a couple to help Spike out. She’s running behind in them right now and we have a couple due soon. If you have any questions, Spike’ll help ya out, or you can come see me.”
He handed me a short list of three evals to write up, but there was a problem. Pauly’s name was on the list. He must have seen me looking uneasy and he called me on it right away.
“Problem Donovan? Don’t like your list?”
“Actually Cap, can I swap one name out for another one? It would really help me out.”
I prayed I wouldn’t have to come clean about why but luck was not in my favor. I should have known that from the kind of day I’d already dealt with though.
“Why should I do that? First set of evaluations and you already want to switch them up? You gotta gimme a reason for it first. And Donny, it better be a doozy!”
Shit! I really didn’t want to tell him but what choice did I have in the end? Besides, if I had my way, Caty would be my date to station events and everyone would know about us anyway.
“Cap, I’m kind of in a personal relationship that…” I didn’t know how to explain it and my brain was to tired to help me out.
The Captain’s face grew serious and he leaned forward in his chair. “You aren’t involved with one of the other medics, are you? You know what kind of problems that can bring. We’ll have to transfer one of you.”
I hurried to clear up his concern, “No, it isn’t anything like that Cap, but I am seeing someone, pretty seriously. The problem is, one of my list is related to my girlfriend.”
While I waited to get chewed out he just stared at me. I swear, he must have sat there staring for at least a full minute before he said anything to me. All of a sudden, I heard this rumble. I looked around and realized it was coming from the Captain! He busted up, laughing his ass off! He laughed until tears were coming out of his eyes, and then he laughed some more. I thought I was gonna have to go get an oxygen tank for him!
“Damn Donny, I never thought I’d see the day! You of all people involved with a crewmate’s relative? She who preaches against firehouse romance? Who is it? Who do I have to swap out for you?”
I filled him in on me and Cait, then he agreed to move Pauly to Spike’s list and he gave me someone else instead. I thanked him and got up to leave. Before I could reach the door, he called out to me quietly.
“Donny, it really is good to see you involved and happy again. I knew something was different lately but you were so quiet I was afraid to ask. You deserve this, don’t forget that, okay? You’re one of my best medics but you have to have a life outside of the house too. Now, get outta here and let me do some work!”
The Cap winked at me and grinned as I headed out the door. I grabbed my gear from the lounge where I had left it and headed for the parking lot. I drove home whistling, happy that my day had ended decently after all.
A couple of days after my meeting with the Captain, I was sitting at the desk in the medic office, working on the evaluations. I had been given Gina, a newcomer to the station, she had only been transferred in a week before I was promoted. She did have a good background; three years as an EMT for a neighboring county’s 911 system, she aced her Firefighter training, and was in the top five percent in her Paramedic training. So far, she had good reports from Spike, the only other Medic she had ride time with other than myself. We were on duty today on a twenty-four hour rotation.
As I looked over her file and made some notes, my cell rang. I grabbed it from the desk and looked at the number before answering it.
“Hey baby, how’s your shift going?” asked Caty when I greeted her.
“Well, we had a couple of minor fender benders, nothing too serious. One good chest pain call for Gina to work on. How about you?” I put down my pen and notepad, totally focused on listening to Caty’s voice and picturing her at home, on the patio.
“I’m good, just missing you. I just wanted to hear your voice for a few minutes. How much longer before you get off shift?”
I checked my watch and sighed, “Another five hours to go. At least I’m off the next three days. What are we doing tonight?”
I was planning on going to her place after my shift ended. I would be off work around eighteen hundred hours and I couldn’t wait to shed my uniform and be a civilian for a few days.
“I figured you would be tired and want an early night so I picked up some groceries. We can just have dinner here and a quiet night, if you don’t mind.”
“Mind? It sounds heavenly! I’m sick of this uniform, I’m sick of klaxons, bunks, and feeling like I live in a dorm!” I admit it, I went a bit overboard, but I don’t normally work twenty fours anymore. As a senior medic, I had rotated to mostly day shifts a couple of years ago, and I liked it that way.
Caty chuckled, the sound warming my soul, “Goofball! You know you live for that stuff! Well, maybe not the dorm living, that does suck. Are you sure you won’t mind sharing space with me tonight?”
“Mind? It is the thing keeping me sane right now. All I really need is—“
The Klaxon sounded and we our tones rang out as we were dispatched on another call.
“I hear it, go do some good, sweetie, I’ll be here when you get off shift. Love you!”
“Love you too, bye!”
I quickly put my phone in my holster and retied my unlaced boots, before heading to the rig. The call was a possible pediatric drowning victim, no adult on scene. I met with Gina as we both got to the rig and I climbed in to crew chief the call. I hate going out on pediatric calls, most EMS responders do, but I really hate it when I’m with a probie. The dilemma is, do you let them drive while wound too tightly or do you trust them in the back with a delicate call?
Thankfully, Gina grew up about a mile from the station so I felt safe having her drive us. At least, she wouldn’t get us lost and she had more EMS experience than most probies.
“Medic Two Two Three from County.” The radio crackled to life and I grabbed the microphone.
“County, Medic Two Two Three, go ahead.”
“Medic Two Two Three, you have an eight year old with a shallow pulse, and no breathing. Two adults on scene, no parents, one adult performing rescue breathing. ETA to scene?”
“County, Medic Two Two Three copies, eight year old not breathing, aid being given. ETA two minutes.”
At least I could get a game plan now that we had an idea of what we were dealing with on scene.
“Gina, grab a board, the litter, and O2. I’ll get the peds bag and drop a tube after assessment. I’ll also have the monitor but we’ll have to see what the scene is like before we use it.”
“Affirmative. Children’s Hospital or the Trauma center?”
“I’ll make the call once I assess, but I’m leaning towards a Trauma center depending on down time and mechanism.”
What I meant was, I don’t have a fucking clue, stop talking, and let me think! I absolutely did not want this kind of call right now, but the call volume gods are tricksters, and they tinker with things we wished they would leave alone. If the kid had been pushed or injured before he or she went under water, then the Trauma center was the best place. Same if the patient had been down, without oxygen for any length of time. However, if the patient was generally healthy and had simply been submerged without other trauma, I might decide on Children’s as they would have the best pediatricians around to deal with kid emergencies.
“County, Medic Two Two Three, arriving on scene.”
“Two Two Three, copy 1106.” County gives us the time to record on our reports, but I wasn’t even paying attention, I’d call up later and get the time records.
I grabbed my gear and headed for the back yard, a small boy in swim trunks was waving me over, still holding the telephone. I jogged over and went past him to the pool deck. I saw a woman herding three other kids away, towards the sliding glass doors of the house, a man giving rescue breathing to the patient, who was positioned about two yards from the in-ground pool. The area around the child was dry, so I would be able to use the monitor.
I announced my presence and dropped to my knees on the other side of the patient. I took in the pale skin, not quite blue nail beds and lips, and I saw no obvious sings of trauma. I pulled gear out as I spoke to the man, “Sir, do you know what happened here?”
“I live next door, but I heard the kids yelling and playing. Then, I heard a difference in the yelling. Something sounded wrong so I came over to check. That’s when I saw him. He was floating face down in the water. I got him out and started CPR and got one of the kids to call 911.”
“Sir, please stop CPR for a moment.” After a quick pulse and breathing check, I slid an endotracheal tube down his airway, secured it in place, and tested the tube for positive placement. I had good inflation on both sides, so I passed the bag valve mask to Gina, who had arrived with her gear while I tubed the patient. I hooked up the oxygen and started bagging the patient with one hand, while I slapped the AED Pads on the child. The larger pads allowed me to monitor the heart rhythm and allow me to shock the heart if needed, without having to charge paddles and risk poor placement.
“Everyone stand clear. V-Fib, I’m shocking.”
The small child’s body jumped slightly with the electrical shock and we all watched the monitor, praying it would change.
“There! We have a rhythm!” Gina almost shouted as she resumed ventilations.
His color was getting better with the additional oxygen supply and his heart rhythm was a bit bradycardiac. That meant he had been under for a little while and we had to get him into the Trauma ER fast.
“Yeah, but it’s a bit slow. Let’s roll.” I said as I started to move the board closer to the patient.
She nodded and used one hand to stuff gear into the bag next to her, while using the other to ventilate the patient. I had gotten all the information from the man that I could. He agreed to stay to deal with the police, who had just arrived on scene. Gina and I moved the boy onto the board, and onto the litter. We didn’t bother strapping him to the board, but I wanted it there in case he arrested and I needed to do compressions.
We loaded him in and Gina took off for the hospital running lights and sirens the whole way. I started a line and drew bloods for the ER, pushed some Atropine in, and then contacted Medical Command. The boy’s heart rate started increased slowly, but I had to keep bagging him as I worked. We got to the ER and we went racing in with him. The ER staff directed us to Trauma Bay one, where they staff was standing by, waiting.
They kicked into action as we arrived, one nurse grabbed the bloods I had drawn and sent them for stat results with a transport person, another and the doctor helped us move the boy onto the gurney, and a resident grabbed the Ambu Bag and started breathing for the boy. Gina and I stepped back and rolled our litter out into the hall. We stood by and watched the ballet of the trauma team as they worked on our small patient.
“C’mon, c’mon, breathe. Breathe!”
As if responding to the doctor’s order, the resident reported increased effort in bagging. The meant the kid was trying to get some air on his own. We waited, wanting to see the outcome of this one. Kid calls seem to matter more than most. I did make a show of stripping and cleaning the litter in the hallway, but I don’t think we fooled anyone. We heard a whoop of joy and a nurse came over and told us the patient’s heart rate had picked up and he was breathing on his own. They were giving him a good chance of recovery, depending on the next twenty-four hours and how much water might have gotten into his lungs. Further tests would be done, but at least, for now, this went down as a save.
I gave Gina a high-five and grinned at her. She grinned back and we must have looked like fools, standing there, next to our partially remade litter. We tossed our gear back on the litter and went outside to the ambulance entrance to finish cleaning up the rig. I called in to the station to let them know our status and that we would be out of service for a few more minutes while we cleaned up.
Finally, a bit weary from the adrenalin rush and fade, we climbed in the rig and headed back to base. I called in to County to get our times for the call and was dumbfounded at the results.
“Gina, did you realize we were on scene for three minutes? We did all that in three minutes?” I was in shock, I knew we had moved fast, but that was damn fast considering he was monitored, tubed, bagged, and shocked before we moved him.
Gina looked over, slightly in awe, “Are you sure? That seemed longer to me.”
“I guess it was one of those moments where time slows down while we work. You did a great job out there, Gina. Keep up the good work probie!”
I grinned at her again and she laughed.
“I’m still a probie after all of that? Fine, I guess I can deal, but if I make three more saves this month, I’m off probie status, right?” She grinned right back, taking the teasing and giving it to me as well. She might do okay here.