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!
It was a bright, clear day, exactly the kind of sunny day that leaves no one with the will to go to work. Unfortunately for me, that is exactly where I was headed. It was a couple of weeks after the station get together and already the guys were talking about having another party since the weather had been so great. Our call volume had dropped a bit, so I was spending some of my down time working on new training programs for the probies. I also worked with Spike on my own training as a supervisor. There was a heck of a lot of paperwork involved and I needed her help to wade through it all.
I had no sooner dumped my gear bag in my locker than the station klaxon sounded. I dropped down the pole to the bay and told Tony that he could go home and I’d take the call. Pauly would be my partner, since I was early and Gina wasn’t in yet. He gave me a look of thanks and stepped out of my way as I jumped in the rig.
Pauly guided us rapidly to the scene, a construction site about a mile away from the station. As we arrived on scene, we looked for our “injured person” as the call was dispatched. What we found was a group of kids with skateboards and rollerblades, grouped around two kids lying on the ground.
Pauly and I split up to assess each kid. I took the taller one on the left, while she took the smaller kid on the right. Neither kid had helmets and there was blood on the ground. I started with the basics, Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. Thankfully, all three were present, though I wasn’t thrilled with the pulse rate and quality. It felt a little thready, not consistent, as I would hope. He was unconscious and was not responding to voice stimulus. I moved to start the exam when I heard Pauly call to me.
“Donny, I’m calling for back up. Looks like both need transport.”
I nodded and resumed my examination. As I started my head to toe survey, feeling for evidence of injuries as I palpated the whole body. There was an open head wound, an obvious fracture in his right arm, a possible pelvis fracture, and a probable femur fracture. Police arrived on scene as I finished my exam and started to move the kids away and question them. I grabbed one cop to help me.
“Hey, Joey, can you give me a hand here? I got a kid with multiple fractures and I gotta get a collar on him.”
“Yeah, lemme get some gloves on.”
He pulled a pair of gloves from a pouch on his duty belt, and then knelt down so that the top of the kid’s head was perpendicular to his knees. He put his hands on either side of the kid’s head and applied the most mild of pulls to attain stabilization, allowing me to measure and fit the kid of a collar to keep his neck safer.
“Thanks Joey, can you stay with me till I get his stabilized and boarded? I’m kind of worried about his neck and airway.”
He nodded and watched while I worked. I splinted the right arm before grabbing the long backboard from the rig.
“Okay, on the count of three, we’ll roll him away from his injured right side, ready? Up on his left, on three. One, two, three.”
We rolled him on his left side, Joey holding his head and neck steady, while I did a quick exam of his back and placed the board so that we could roll him onto it.
“You okay Joey? Ready to position him?”
“Affirmative, let’s do it.”
“Slide down towards me and over, on three. One, two, three. Now up and over on three. One, two, three. Great, let me get him strapped on and then we can load him up. I need to start a line on him too.”
After we slid the kid up and down to get him centered on the board, rather than shifting him sideways to protect his spinal alignment, I secured him with straps and head restraints. Joey helped me lift him onto the litter and secure him to that, and then we loaded him in the rig. I put the monitor on him, started him on some oxygen, took vitals, and then looked for a good place to start a line.
Just after I got the IV started and was doing a second exam, Pauly opened the back door of the rig.
“Hey, the other crew is here and has the other patient. Do you need anything from me or should we roll?”
“Roll, and roll quick. I don’t like his pulse and he’s still not responding to pain. His BP is elevated and his pupils are sluggish.”
“Got it-lights and sirens in.”
She hopped out and climbed in the front. I vaguely heard her call County to let them know our status and destination. I kept looking over at the monitor, hoping to find a clue to this kid’s condition. From the looks of the scene, the kids had climbed the fence to practice skateboard tricks at the construction sight. The two kids had probably collided on their boards, and this one had done some serious damage to himself.
All of a sudden, his breathing pattern changed, not a good sign. I checked his pupils and one was blown. I grabbed a BVM and attached it to the oxygen before I started bagging him. I grabbed my airway kit and tubed him, sliding past the vocal chords and into the airway, almost without thought. I hooked the bag up to the tube and bagged him. Before I could contact command, we were at the hospital. Pauly came back and I kept bagging him as we got him inside.
We turned him over to the trauma team. I watched them work for a minute while I caught my breath. Then I grabbed our monitor and litter and moved it out of the room. Pauly followed me into the hallway and started stripping and cleaning the litter with mechanical, jerky motions. I felt slightly dazed by the call, but I started wrapping up the wires for the heart monitor and helping Pauly with the litter.
We got outside and started cleaning up the back o the rig. I had discarded bags and wrappers everywhere. We got the trash picked up, sanitized the rig, and loaded the litter back in. The whole time, neither of us said a thing. I looked over at Pauly and was surprised to see how pale she looked.
“Pauly, come sit down with me for a sec, okay?” I motioned to the back step of the rig and we took a seat. “How are you feeling? It was a pretty intense call, huh?”
Pauly didn’t even look at me, she just replied. “Yeah, dumb kids.”
“Dumb kids? Because they didn’t wear helmets and pads, or ‘cause they broke in to a dangerous construction site?” I figured she had to talk about it, but wouldn’t on her own.
“Both I guess. People just don’t friggin’ think Donny! Who the hell did they think they were climbing that fence to take those chances? I don’t understand it, I never understand it.” She got really quiet then.
“I know Pauly. It is a total waste. Just remember, all we can do is respond and patch them up. We get them to definitive care as quickly as possible and hope that we’re fast enough. We try to teach the community but they don’t always listen. We can only control small stuff Pauly. You can’t beat yourself up over it.”
“Yeah, I know. It just sucks. That kid may not make it till morning and earlier he was probably dreaming of winning the X-Games.”
We both stood up, got back in the rig, and then we headed for base. Pauly was due to go off shift and I had another trip report to write. I kept an eye on Pauly as she drove back. She didn’t seem to shake the call off like usual. I was concerned, but I decided that she was just tired and would do better with some sleep.
Gina sat in the crew chief seat, the passenger seat, while I drove for a while. We had just finished a few back-to-back, minor calls. I was really hoping the most intense call of the day had been the one that morning with Pauly. I knew better than to voice it. The call volume gods were cruel masters. If I said it, the opposite of what I desired would happen.
Gina finished the telephone call she was on and turned towards me. “Hey, wanna stop and get something to eat? I could use a snack.”
I shrugged. “Sure, any requests? I could swing by the diner, or we could hit the convenience store for something.”
“What about the new place on Oak? I heard that they are pretty good. Besides, they have a good vegetarian selection.”
“Works for me. I didn’t know you were going veggie. When did that happen?”
“I guess I’ve been thinking about it and working towards it for a while. I’m not happy with the way I feel when I eat meat so I cut out red meat about a year ago. I just started phasing out poultry a month ago. Fish and seafood weren’t a problem, I never liked them anyway.”
After our meal, we headed back to base. As was typical, we were tapped for a call a few blocks from station. Gina answered the call from County.
“Medic Two Two Three from County.”
“County, Two Two Three, go ahead.”
“Medic Two Two Three, we have a report of a pedestrian versus motor vehicle at Fourteenth street and Long Lane. No PD on location at this time. What is your ETA?”
County, ETA one minute. What is PD’s ETA?”
“Two Two Three, PD ETA 4 minutes.”
“County, copy ETA, show us on location and dispatch a BLS unit please.”
“Two Two Three, Copy on location and dispatch BLS.”
“Gina, check the car, I’ll start on the pedestrian.”
I made my way across the street with my primary gear bag and found the victim laying half on and half off of the sidewalk. He was not conscious, had an obvious break in his left humorous, and there was blood from an unknown source under him. Gina came over just as I made an initial assessment.
“Grab C-spine for me, I need to do a full assessment and find the blood source.”
“Okay, I have him, let’s collar.”
I measured and secured the cervical collar before taking a set of vitals.
“Blood pressure is up, pulse is down. We might have internal bleeding and there is crepitus upon palpation of his pelvis. Load and go.”
“Gotcha chief, Larry, grab the board and litter, we need an assist with load and go.” Gina yelled over to one of the three basic EMT’s on the BLS crew.
I pulled out a trauma dressing in case I found the bleeding when I rolled the patient. Once Larry got set up, we rolled the patient, with Gina holding his head and neck, and I did a quick exam of his back. I found the source of the bleeding with the exam. He had a puncture wound under his left clavicle that was bleeding. I applied the trauma pad to it and we rolled him onto the board.
“Ready, shift up on three, one, two, three. Good, get him secured and I’ll start a line.”
I managed to start the line and be ready to move by the time they had him strapped in and our gear collected. We got him up on the litter and moved to the rig.
“Larry, you’re riding with us, I need the hands. Grab some vitals and get him on 15 liters per minute by non-rebreather.” He nodded and I had Gina let his crew chief know that we had taken Larry from his crew. I felt the rig shift as she climbed in the driver’s seat.
“Take it easy but get us there.” I told her. I meant, use lights only, sirens as needed but we weren’t racing either. I got the monitor on the patient and after checking it, I called in to the ER to let them know what we were coming in with this time.
“Medical Command, Medic Two Two Three.”
“Go ahead Medic Two Two Three, this is Command”
“Command, we are inbound with a male Caucasian in his late teens or early twenties, involved in a pedestrian v.s. Vehicle as the pedestrian. He is unresponsive to voice, pupils equal and reactive, equal lung sounds, puncture wound under left clavicle on his back, obvious fractures of the left humorous, and crepitus of the pelvic region. BP is 186/120, pulse 66 per monitor, respirations 18 on high flow. I have a line started, rhythm looks good, would you like me to push anything? ETA is about 4 minutes.”
There was a pause before Command responded. I knew that meant the Doc was looking over the notes the nurse had given him. The medical radio crackled back to life.
“Medic Two Two Three, negative on medications at this time. Continue to monitor and repeat vitals. Contact us with any changes, otherwise, see you in a few.”
I nodded as I cleared the channel. I hadn’t really expected anything different but it is protocol to ask. Now and then, they surprise us and have us medicate with something we wouldn’t have normally thought to use. I had Larry repeat vitals while I wrote up notes on the patient. I rechecked his level of consciousness but it remained unchanged. As we rolled up to the ER, the Trauma team met us and whisked our patient away. I trotted to keep up, repeating my report and including the new set of vitals. We finished our turnover to the staff and left with our gear.
“Good job guys, Larry, thanks for the help on that one. The extra set of hands came in handy. Let’s find out where your crew is so we can arrange a meet up.”
“I’ll clean up the litter and gear Donny. You get your paperwork handled, and get Larry squared away.”
“Thanks G, it won’t take long.”
I walked over to the admitting area and gave them what little information that I had and the guy’s wallet with ID in it. Larry followed me and we headed for the EMT room to use the telephone. I called into County to get a location and status on Larry’s crew. Larry excused himself to go to the restroom while he had the chance.
“Do you deliver? I’m in need of a sexy dispatcher right now.” I grinned, but I couldn’t help it. Loved hearing her voice when she was all official sounding.
“Honey? What’s wrong? Why are you calling from an ER phone?”
“Everything is fine sweetie, I borrowed an EMT on our last scene, and I need to return him before I incur a late fee. Any idea where BLS two is right now and what their status is?”
“Let me check.”
I heard the background noise of the dispatch center as she checked for Larry’s crew.
“It looks like they are enroute to your location. You can leave him there for them to pick up.”
“Thanks baby! Any chance I can pick you up later? I only have another hour or so left on shift. Want to grab dinner with me?”
“Ah Chloe, you know the way to my heart.” Cait chuckled. “I’d love to do dinner but I have another few hours here. Can you wait for me?”
“Of course. Why don’t you come over when you get done and we can make plans at that point.”
“Sounds like a plan. Be careful out there Ms. Medic, you just promised your time to me and I plan on collecting.”
I grinned as I hung up with her. For some reason, late calls bothered me more now that I had someone to share my downtime. I knew I would be able to have dinner almost ready by the time she got to my place if I could get off shift on time.
I wandered out onto the ramp of the ER to find Gina and Larry perched on the rear step of the rig. “Larry, your crew is on the way here so we’ll just leave you here, okay?”
“Sure thing, thanks for bringing me along for the ride. If you guys ever need a third, let me know. See you!” He gave a cheerful wave and ambled off to wait for his crew.
I settled next to Gina on the step as we saw another rig from our company pull up. I saw Spike behind the wheel, so I walked over to help them unload the patient. One of the new medics jumped out, Brett, and the patient looked stable. Gina gave Brett a hand getting their patient inside and I hung outside with Spike.
“So, how’s it going with Gina? Is she working out?” Spike looked at me over the top of her Oakley sunglasses.
“She’s been doing really well. I like running with her, she seems to fit in well, and she certainly anticipates my needs when I’m running the call.”
“How soon before you think you can cut her loose? Let her work with the rest of the crews?”
“Another week or two maybe. I wouldn’t send her out on the MICU yet but she could run ALS with a different Medic by then. Why? Something coming up?”
“I dunno, maybe. I was getting weird questions from above so I want us to be ready in case something shifts soon.” Spike looked up as she heard the doors open from the ER. “No worries, just keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll let you know when I know something.”
“Hey Spike? When is the last time we grabbed a beer? Do you wanna go hang out sometime soon? Or maybe come over?” I was aware that she looked tired. I also discovered that I couldn’t remember hanging out with her since I got together with Cait.
“Yeah sure, gimme a call or something, we’ll hook up. Now, get back to base so you can check out on time.” Spike tossed a smile over her shoulder as she headed for her rig.
I climbed into our truck, put us available with County, and smiled when I heard my favorite dispatcher acknowledge me.
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