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I was hurrying home from school. I wanted to get to my apartment before John called.
I had just reached the front door; and I could hear the phone ringing. I couldn’t get the door unlocked in time, and by the time I got to the phone, I had missed his call. I checked the machine and found John’s message to call him when I got in.
I put down my books and decided I had better call John him before it got any later, or I might miss him. I picked up the telephone and dialed the station. It ran several times, and I was about ready to hang up when someone answer and said “Station 51, Captain Hank Stanley speaking”. I said “May I speak to John Gage?” Captain Stanley told me I had just missed John, they had just left on a run. I asked the Captain if I could leave a message. “Could you please tell him Donna returned his call?” I left word for John to call me back when he has a chance. I also told the Cap that John has my number and I told the Captain “Thanks!”
The run lasted about two hours, and when the squad returned to the station, The Cap said to Roy “It’s about time you to got back, it must have been a bad one”. Roy told Captain Stanley that it was a really bad call. And that it had ended up as a fatality by the time they could get everyone out of the vehicle. When you get cleaned up, tell Johnny that Donna has called and wanted him to call her back. Roy told Cap that he would tell Johnny. Roy went into the locker room to get cleaned up where he found John getting ready to climb in the shower.
“John, you missed Donnas' call; she left word for you to call her back when we got in.
She called just as we were leaving for the run. Remember to ask her what time is
Dinner Saturday night and please ask her if we can bring anything?” You had better thank the Cap before you turn in. We both need to try to get some sleep it’s been a long day.
After John finished cleaning up, he went to the kitchen to get a glass of milk. He was wondering if it was too late to call Donna. It wasn’t 10:30pm yet, and he decided to pick up the phone and dial the number. The phone rang several times and John was about to a hang up when someone answer phone in a sleepy voice. John said “Oh I woke you didn’t I” Donna replied “that okay I had fallen asleep on the coach; I need to get up and get ready for bed. I’m glad you called or I would have spent the entire night on the couch.
When I hadn’t heard from you by 9:30pm, I started wondering what happened. Did you have a bad run” John replied “Yeah! I don’t want to talk about it if that’s okay with you”. Donna replied “I understand; I’m sure there are times you just need to try to forget what you had just seen”.
John asked “What time are the Desoto’s due at your home for dinner on Saturday?”
I replied “Around 5:00 o’clock would be good. They don’t need to bring anything, unless they would like to bring a bottle of wine to go with the Italian Dinner I am fixing.”
“If your shift is running late, just give me a call, and we can get together when you are through with the evening run. Do you want to meet in the morning for breakfast?
If you want to talk later, just give me a call!”
We talked a few moments longer, and John said “Good Night! I had better turn in. I’m really very tired; this last run is catching up with me!”
I got ready for bed and was about ready to turn in when the phone rang again. I was trying to decide to let the machine catch the call, when I looked at the caller I.D. and say the Station’s phone number. I picked up the phone and was surprised to hear Roy’s voice. “What’s wrong? Is John OK?” Roy replied that he thought I should know that the run had ended badly, and that John had gotten real upset that he hadn’t been able to get one of the victim out in time, and ended up even yelling at Dr. Morton. Amy was there, you can talk to her about it. I know it is really bothering John. I thought you should know so if he does start talking about it, you’d have some idea of what had happened.”
I decided I would call Amy tomorrow, and went on to bed. It was too late tonight and I was sure Amy was already in bed.
The next morning, I called St. Joseph Hospital and asked for Nurse Amy Parrish. I was told that she was with a patient and would need to call me back. I left my name and phone number and a note that it was very important.
It took several minutes before Amy could call me back. I asked Amy “what’s up with patients John and Roy brought in last night. What can you tell me, I only know that the rescue went very badly and that John got really upset?” Amy said that one of the patients was D.O.A. and that the others were in serious condition. But they were lucky to be alive. I think Roy and John did all they could under the circumstances. We will know more in the next 48 hours. Don’t let John and Roy be so hard on themselves, they really did all they could.” We talked for a few more minutes and I asked Amy if she and Mike could come for dinner Saturday night. I know my Italian isn’t as good as Mike, but we would love to have you come for dinner.
I went out to the kitchen and started my breakfast, and dialed the Station. I asked to speak to John or Roy. Captain Stanley called Roy to the phone. I told him that I had just talked to Amy, and that the two patients that were in serious condition, were still hanging in there, and that Amy said it would be 48 hours before they knew much more.
I then asked Roy to put John on the phone.
I told John that I had asked Amy and Mike to join us for dinner Saturday night. I then told him that I had asked Amy about the two patients he had brought in last night, and I told him that they would know more in 48 hours. I told him that Amy had said they were lucky to be alive and that she believed you and Roy had done all you could. She also said that the other victim did not have a chance. Amy said you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. You really did all you could!” We talked a few more minutes more. I told John that I would talk to him later.
I finished my breakfast and got ready for school.
It was another long day at school and at work, and as usual, I got home about 5:00pm. I hadn’t been in the apartment very long when John called. John had talked to Amy at the hospital and so far the two patients were doing okay. I asked if John could take me out to Station 110, where I would go for my E.M.T. training runs. I wanted to make sure I knew where I was going. We talked some more, and confirmed the time for everyone to be at my place for dinner Saturday.
This past week has gone by really fast. I was glad Saturday was here. I wanted to do a few last minutes cleaning touches to the apartment before tonight, and I wanted to get to the store early. I was able to stay pretty much on schedule, and before I could believe it, it was time for everyone to arrive.
Amy and Mike were the first to come. Amy asked “Can I help you with anything yeah cut up the salad; all the fixings are on the cutting board.” The sauce has been simmering for hours now and was just about ready.
Roy and Joanne were next to arriving; they had brought wine and dessert. Joanne asked me if she could help. I asked if she could set the table.
John was the last to arrive, and when he walked in the door, I dropped the pasta in the boiling water. Dinner was almost ready!!
We all started to put dinner on the table and Roy poured the wine. It was nice for all of us to be together. It had been months since we had gone to the lake together. We talked about the good times we had had at the lake. It was nice to remember the good times!
Dinner was good! We cleaned the table and Joanne and I made coffee and Amy cut the cheesecake. We took the dessert and coffee into the living room and joined the guys.
We decided we were all too tired to go to a movie or do anything except relax some. We just enjoyed each other’s company. About 9:30pm, we all decided to call it an evening and everyone said their “Goodbyes”, leaving John and I alone.
I asked John if he wanted to stay awhile and that we would watch the last of the TV movie and the news before he went home.
We made our selves comfortable, and the next thing I knew, John was sound asleep. I knew that he didn’t have to work Sunday, so I lifted his legs onto the couch and covered him with a blanket, turned off the TV and went on to bed. We had talked about getting breakfast the next morning anyway, with John staying the night we could get an early start on Sunday.
It seemed like a really short night; my alarm went off at 7:30am and I got up quickly and got dressed. I knew that when John woke up, we would need to get ready to go to breakfast. We had planned on going out for biscuits and gravy. My favorite breakfast, and as usual, John would have ham and eggs and hash browns. John had promised to take me to Station 110 so I could see where I was going to work this next week.
I have finally gotten to the point in my E.M.T. class to do my ride-alongs. I would ride with E.M.T.’s in a first response ambulance and get first hand training on an actual emergency response unit. The E.M.T.’s who are assigned students, are the best and have the most experience. Handling the training on the job is a tough job, and there are few instructors in the field. I am lucky to be assigned to one of the best stations for training.
We went to breakfast, just as we had planned and then on to Station 110. John introduced me to the Captain and the ambulance crew. We didn’t stay long; and I already felt better about the Monday’s shift at Station 110.
John took me back to my apartment. He told me that he wanted to go to his apartment, rest a little before we went out for dinner. We both had a lot to do this afternoon. I had laundry and I had to go over my notes pertaining to the ambulance runs. It must have been about 5:00pm when John called to tell me he was on the way, and would be here in about thirty minutes
We had made plans to go to a local cafeteria. We usually had fried chicken for Sunday either at lunch or dinner. Sometimes I cook, sometimes John does, and once in awhile we go out to eat. We finished eating and decided to call it an early night. John took me back to my apartment and kissed me “Good night” and told me not to study too late tonight; that I would need to be ready for tomorrow not stressed out.
John got to his apartment went in check his machine. He decided to do laundry, and started picking up his uniforms and started a load. “I can’t believe how many uniforms I go through in a week’s time, not to mention the other cloths that have to be washed too.”
I probably have six loads to wash, and I had better get busy”. John sorted the laundry and started cleaning his apartment. He changed washer loads and started the dryer. It didn’t take long to clean the apartment and it was getting to be almost 10:00pm. John decided he had better call Donna and tell her good night and wish her good luck.
John finished the last load of laundry, fixed himself a sandwich and coke and settled down on the couch; and turned on the TV. He picked up the telephone to call Donna.
“HI!” Did you get a lot of class review done? I hope you can get to bed soon. You need to be rested tomorrow. Remember, you know this stuff. I know you are ready. Why don’t you fix yourself a snack and get ready for bed?”
Donna replied “Yes, I’m getting tired, the only time I have put these books down is to throw a few loads of laundry in the machines. I think you are right! I had better fix myself a snack and turn. When will I see you again? Do you want to go for Mexican tomorrow night after I get home?”
John asked “What time do you have to be at the station” I replied “ I have to be there at 7:00am, so I had better get up and get about 6:00am and get out of my apartment about 6:30am. Unless you want to meet for breakfast?” John replied, “No let’s just meet after work. The less you have to rush around, the better for a first day?’
Donna replied “Well guess we should say good night and we both had better turn in. We have had a really long day”. John replied, “Yes, I had a good time, I’ll see you tomorrow night after work. I’ll call you before I leave my apartment, and pick you up for dinner”
I had just about fallen asleep when the telephone rang. I wondered who could be calling this late; I checked the caller id and saw that it was Amy. Amy said “I hope I didn’t wake you, I wanted to call and wish you good luck on your first day at 110 and to tell you that the last victim of that accident just got out of surgery, and it went very well. Tell John that all indications show that he will be OK”. I thanked Amy for calling me and told her good night.
The night went by very fast, the alarm clock went off way too soon, it seemed like I just got to bed. I checked the alarm and went to the phone to call John and tell him about Amy’s call. He wished me good luck again, we couldn’t talk long. I finished getting ready and was out of my apartment right on time.
I got to Station 110 just fine. I was a little early. I walked into the station and asked where the Captain was, that my name is Donna Dodson and I’m here to do my training with the paramedic. The fireman took me into the kitchen and offered me a cup of coffee. Captain Ross came in and introduced himself, and welcomed me to the Station. He told me he had a locker assigned to me and that my uniform was in the locker. I could go and change and get ready for the shift change.
I got changed in time, and Captain Ross called roll call. I lined up with rest of the guys. Captain Ross introduced me as Donna Dodson, the new trainee. He added that I would be here for a week ride along with the paramedics. We were dismissed, and Captain Ross told me “You have some forms to fill out, could we go to my office”. I replied “Yes, let’s get the paper work done while things done before we got a call.” I followed him to his office and started to fill out the forms.
I finished filling out the forms, it took me about thirty minutes. I went into the kitchen to join the rest of the squad. Captain Ross and a few of the other firemen were having coffee. Captain Ross asked “I want you guys to show Donna around and make her feel welcome. She is a friend of John Gage, plus she comes highly recommended by her student advisor.
Please let me know when you notice that she needs extra help. We want to do our very best to make this week a good training session for her. If she has any problems, help her as much as you can”.
I fixed myself a coke and sat down with the guys. One of the men, Joe, asked how I know John Gage. I replied that my Girlfriend, Amy Parrish at St. Joseph Hospital, knew John from his runs to the hospital, and she had introduced us. Amy’s husband Mike and Roy and Joanne, and John and I have been seeing a lot of each other, whenever we can, and John has been helping me study and we have been seeing each other when we can. I hope my knowing John doesn’t affect the way you guys treat me. I want to learn, and I don’t want any special favors. I hope I can keep my personal life just that, personal.
Jason started talk, telling me what happens the first of any run and he wanted to show me what each sift especially the morning shift; they try to finish the housekeeping chores
Before they get a run. They also inventory all the drug boxes and make a list for the hospital supply department. If they are short on any supplies, they make a run to the hospital for supplies. They have a “Check List” and they do their inventory from that list and especially on the IV bags and other medications.
Jason and I went through each drug box with the check list, and made a list of supplies we needed. Jason told me to “Tell the Captain, that Bobby, you and I are going to go to the hospital for supplies”. I went to find Captain Ross, and joined Jason in the squad. He and Bobby had already started the squad and had the overhead doors raised by the time I got back to the bay.
Rampart was closer to the Station, and it didn’t take long to make the trip. We pulled up to Rampart to find Roy and John just leaving the hospital and heading for their ambulance. Jason and Bobby visited a few minutes with Roy and John. Jason told John “I’m glad we can be Donnas’ training instructors. Her grades are very good and she comes very highly recommended. We’re lucky to have her. She has told us how you two met; I think that’s nice, she seems like a really nice young lady”.
We went into Rampart to get our supplies, unbeknown to me; I found out later, that John had been talking to Dixie about my Christmas present. He had asked her if she thought that we had been dating long enough to give me an engagement ring or if he should wait longer?”
Dixie told John that he had a whole month to think about it. That should be enough time to make the decision.
The day went very fast, we had a few ambulance runs, but nothing major happened. It was good to have an easy first day. I was more nervous than I had thought I would be. Jason and Bobby were great. I was able to help with all the runs, and I was surprised that everything just seemed to fall into place. But I was glad when the shift was over. I used my cell phone to call John to see when he would be done.
He was just getting off his shift too and we made plans to meet at his apartment as soon as I could get changed and drive over to his place.
We decided to get a quick bite, nothing very expensive. I was hungry, and we decided to go to Suzi’s and get dinner. Suzi’s is a nice family style restaurant, with good food and fast service. We ordered and as we were eating, I told John about my shift. I told him I was surprised that everything went as well as it did. I told John that “I didn’t have any problems, which surprised not only Jason and Bobby but me as well. Everything I had learned just seemed to fall in place. All the training films and practice we have been doing for months seem to have made everything go so well.”
We finished dinner and went back to John’s apartment. We decided to have coffee and watch just one TV program. I was still going over the day’s events in my mind and I don’t even remember what was on the TV. When the show was over, John kissed me good night and walked me to my car. We made plans to meet at Joanne and Roy’s for the week end. I got into my car, drove home, and got ready for bed. I am surprised how tired I am. The shower felt good and it was good to get my hair washed. The shower started to relax me and I got ready for bed. I turned on the TV 10:00pm news on the small TV in my bedroom, set the timer on the TV and alarm, and got into bed. I didn’t see the end of the news; I was asleep before the news was over.
It was a very short night, the alarm went off and I jumped out of bed. Got ready for work, and fixed myself a bowl of cereal, toast and a coke. I finished breakfast, and went to work.
I got to the Station in time to start the “Check List” and inventory of the drug box. Jason and Bobby were just getting there. I told them I was just about thru with the check list, and so far, we didn’t need much in the way of supplies. The night shift must have had a light night too. Bobby came over to help me finish the inventory and to double check me on a few of the critical supplies. We finished the inventory and took the lists to the kitchen area to go over the supplies with Jason. We decided that we didn’t need to make a run to the hospital just yet, we had plenty of supplies to start with, and when we made our first run, we would stock up then.
We were a little ahead of schedule, and I took a short minute to call John to see if he and Roy had finished making plans for the week end. Roy got on the phone, and told me that Joanne and he were looking forward to cooking breakfast for us on Saturday morning. We have never met for breakfast on a week end. Usually it’s dinner. Roy gave the phone to John and we said a “quick good morning – I love you!!” Then I said goodbye and went back to the kitchen.
Jason and Bobby were cleaning the kitchen; I got out the mop and bucket and started moving the furniture in the living room area so I could mop under the furniture. I finished moping under the couch and chairs, and started working toward the kitchen area, hoping that Jason and Bobby would finish the kitchen before I needed to mop it.
We were just finishing the kitchen, I had made my last pass with the mop when the alarm went off, and I pulled the mop and bucket into the cleaning closet, emptied the water and went into the bay, grabbing my jacket and hat as I went.
It was a minor car accident, but we had been called, and would respond. It didn’t take us long to get to the accident site, check on the patient and load him in the ambulance for a trip. We were closer to St. Joseph Hospital, so we arranged transport to St. Joseph. Jason rode in the ambulance and Bobby and I went in the squad. As soon as we got to the hospital, I went to the supply desk to get the supplies from the inventory list and also to replace what we had used at the accident. I had just finished putting away the supplies in the squad, when Jason and Bobby came back.
They had been paged; we have another run across town. A baby had fallen out of his chair and the mother had dialed 911. It didn’t take long to get to the home; the baby was fine, we checked him out, but could find no reason to transport to transport the baby, we stayed at several minutes more so we could do several more checks. The baby was no longer crying, and was up and playing again.
We headed back to the Station. It was just past lunch time, and we had missed lunch with the crew. We always have sandwich makings in the refrigerator and the coffee and ice tea are always ready. We made ourselves a sandwich, helped ourselves to salad, and got something to drink, sat down and started eating. We never know when we will get another run and don’t have the pleasure of a leisure lunch. We had gotten about half way thru our lunch; I had been able to get most of my sandwich down, when the alarm sounded. We jumped up and went out to the bay; the Captain gave us the address, and briefed us. The run was to a bar, two patrons had gotten into a fist fight and one had pulled a knife on the other.
The bar wasn’t too far from the station, and it didn’t take long to get on the scene. Jason and Bobby separated the men, the police had already defused their attack, and they seemed to be mellowing out. Bobby and Jason took the stab victim, and asked if I could check the other man. I had started to take his blood pressure and was asking if he was hurt, did he get any stab wounds. He seemed calm enough and was talking to me. His vitals were good and I was just about ready to tell Jason and Bobby that he seemed fine, except for some bad bruises he had gotten from the fight, that I was going to apply the ice packs to the bruises and try to keep his eye from swelling shut. Just as I turned to talk to Bobby and Jason, their victim started bad mouthing my patient, and before I could get out of the way, my patient got up, grabbed me and threw me into the wall. I didn’t see it coming, and that was the last thing I remember.
I woke up in the ambulance, I hurt like crazy, my ribs and side were on fire, and my arm felt like it had been dislocated. My head hurt so bad, I couldn’t stand it. Jason and Bobby were standing over me. My mind went kind of blank; I don’t really know what they were trying to say to me. I just knew that I felt safe, that they were taking care of me. I fainted, and didn’t wake up again until I was looking up into the faces of Dr. Brackett and Dixie. Dr. Brackett checked my vitals again, and left the room. Dixie was putting on a hospital gown.
I asked “What happened?” Dixie said “Don’t you remember anything? You were on a rescue with Jason and Bobby!” I replied “Yes, I remember the rescue, but what happened to me? The last thing I remember is telling Jason and Bobby that I was going to put an ice pack on my victim’s black eye.”
Dixie replied “You hit a brick wall? Do you remember your victim picking you up like you was a rag doll and he threw you into the wall?”
Jason and Bobby came in to check on me, they had gotten the two victims in other treatment rooms and were getting ready to go back to the station. Bobby said “We wanted to come in and see how you were, and to tell you that we’re going back to the station.” Jason asked “Do you need anything?” I replied “Can you call John and let him know that I’m OK! Also, please tell him that I’ll be at my apartment in a little while, and ask if he can come over tonight?”
Dixie interrupted and said “What do you mean you are going to your apartment?” You are spending the night in the hospital. You have a slight concussion and you should not go home.
I replied “Dixie, I can’t sleep in a hospital. I hear everything that goes on! I’ll be good, and if you don’t see a big improvement in the next two hours, I’ll reconsider staying in the hospital. But I really want to go home. Maybe John could spend the night!!”
Dixie said “I’m not making any promises; you know how strict Dr. Brackett’s! You’ll have to convince him?” Dixie told me to try and get some rest, covered me with a light blanket, turned off the bright lights and left me alone.
My head was still hurting. I don’t know what they had given me, but it wasn’t even starting to cut the pain. I tried to relax and decided that when Dixie came back in, I’d ask for something more for the pain.
Jason and Bobby went back to the station and told Captain Ross what happened to me. Captain Ross told Jason and Bobby to go to his office and to set down and write an incident report on what happened at the bar. Captain Ross told the rest of the crew that I wouldn’t be back today, and probably not tomorrow. He also told Jason and Bobby that it would take a signed doctors release to get me back on duty.
Captain Ross dialed station 51 number. He let it ring for several rings, and was about to hang up when Marco answered “Station 51, Marco Lopez speaking”. Captain Ross asked to speak to Captain Hank Stanley. Captain Stanley got on the phone and Captain Ross told him what happened to me and asked him to tell John Gage. Captain Ross also told Captain Stanley that Donna wanted to go home from the hospital and was wondering if John could spend the night. That she cannot go home unless someone stays with her, and she might not be released at all. It depended on the next two or three hours.
Captain Stanley decided to page John and Roy. If they were on a run to Rampart, John could check on Donna and find out if she was going to be held overnight or if she would get to go home.
Roy answered the page, and told Captain Stanley that he would tell John. He also advised Captain Stanley, that they would be back to the station. The call they were on did not require them to transport to a hospital. The patient wanted to go to his own doctor, and since it was not a serious problem, that would probably be best for the patient.
Roy and John finished their call, went back to the squad and started back to the Station. Roy said “John, I have some bad news! Donna got hurt on her last run. She is at Rampart and they won’t know anything for the next two hours or so.” He also, added that “She wanted to come home for the night, if you would stay with her.” John replied, “I’ll call Dix when we get back to the Station; maybe she will know more then”.
John also said “I had planned on picking up the engagement ring tonight. I wanted to give it to Donna. I had hoped to give it to her at your place this week end. I wanted a witness! And besides, she won’t say no in front of you and Joanne.”
The rest of the day went rather fast, John and Roy had a lot of runs, just minor things, only two required transport to Rampart. Both times they checked on me. Dr Brackett still was not interested in me spending the night at my apartment, even if John was going to be there.
Bobby and Jason also had several runs, and stopped in to check on me. It seems like everyone was feeling sorry for me. I really should not have turned my back on my patient. I knew their fight had just gotten broken up and I should have figured that just because the police were there, that it wasn’t over – not by a long shot! I sure will not make that mistake a second time.
Dr. Brackett decided that he would not release me. I was not surprised, my head still felt like it would explode, and with a concussion, they couldn’t give me anything strong enough. I decided I really did not feel like going home. I just hurt too badly. If I stayed very still and if the room was darker, my head did not hurt as much. I decided to just call it a day and give in.
John got off work about 5:00pm and came to the hospital. I told him that Dr Brackett really didn’t want me to go home tonight, and that I was not in the mood to argue with him. John stayed with me a little while, told me to get a good night sleep, he said “good night” and left the hospital.
The night went by so slowly; Dixie and my nurse kept coming in to check on me. I just about got to sleep a few times, when they woke me up again to take my vitals and to check my eyes. I guess I got more sleep than I thought I did, because by dawn, I had finally gotten to sleep, and did not wake up until the nursing staff was changing shifts. So evidentially, sometime during the night, the nurses had checked with Dr Brackett
And he had finally decided my head would be okay.
Dr Brackett made rounds about ten a.m. He told me I could go home after I had lunch, and that I would be off work the remainder of the week. He also said “I have already called Captain Ross and you can report for duty on Monday morning. Captain Ross has decided to give you all next week as a training week. He feels really sorry that you got hurt, and wanted to give you every opportunity to have a full week of training runs. He also advised me that he would send Jason and Bobby to take you home in the squad; that they were going to see you in and make sure that you go directly to bed”.
Right on schedule, Jason and Bobby came by the hospital at 1:00pm. I had gotten dressed and was ready. They took me right home, helped me inside, made sure I had my prescription for pain pills on my night stand, and a glass of water. They moved the phone closer to my bed and made me promise I would get right into bed. They left me their home phone numbers, in the event I needed anything after hours, and made sure that I also had the Station’s phone number written down as well, and they reminded me that there was always 911 for a really fast response and dispatch. They said their good byes, and were out the door. I got undressed and into my knit lounge set, settled down in bed and took my pain pill. I settled down for a nap. I knew that John would be over by 5:30 or 6:00 pm. He had promised to bring me something light for supper. I hope he had picked up some soup. I don’t know if it was the pain pills or my head ache, but I was starting to bet an upset stomach.
I guess I had taken a long nap, I woke up about 5:30pm, and got up, and I went into the living room, turned on the TV and layed down on the couch. John got to my apartment about 6:00 pm. He had stopped by the Soup and Salad place we like to go to and had picked up three kinds of soup. One for tonight and two for the refrigerator. “You stay on the couch; I’ll be right back with your supper. I’ll leave the other two kinds of soup in the refrigerator, that way, you won’t have to do anything put them in the microwave and warm up your lunch.” John fixed us both bowls of soup and salad, and brought the tray into the living room.
We ate our supper, and John turned on a movie, and we settled down to watch a real old movie. I had started to feel better, and John surprised me, and brought his bag into the living room. He said he was going to do a quick check before he went home, that Dr. Bracken had wanted him to check me this evening. John also reminded me that he would be by between runs to take me to Rampart for Dr. Brackett to check me again. He reminded me I wasn’t to drive, and if I needed anything, or started to feel ill, to call either station, and he and Roy or Jason and Bobby would come immediately, or another unit would be dispatched ASAP. “If you feel it is an emergency, Dial 911”. John said good night, gave me a quick kiss, made sure I got to the bedroom and took my pain pills, gave me another quick kiss and left.
I am surprised that I am as tired as I am. I usually am not this tired after a full day of work and school. I took my pill, and got into bed. I turned on the TV with the remote, and turned to the news channel. I wanted to check on the weather and local news before I went to sleep.
I hadn’t set my alarm, and it was almost ten o’clock am. The phone was ringing and it was John, “I’ll be by in about an hour, don’t get dressed up, just put on something simple. I’ll call you again before I leave the station.”
John picked me up about 11:00 am and took me to Rampart Hospital. Dr. Brackett
Checked me and said “You’ll be fine, your head ache should be gone by tomorrow. But don’t try to do anything until at least the week end. I want you to get a lot of rest.”
I told Dr. Brackett that “Roy and Joanne have asked John and me to come out to their home for an “all day” at the ranch. We would start with breakfast and finish up with renting movies for after dinner. Will I be able to go to the Ranch this week end?” Dr. Brackett replied “I want to check you again Friday, but if nothing else shows up, you should be fine to keep your Saturday date.”
John took me home, fixed me a cup of soup, and helped me get settled on the couch with the TV on. He said “try to take a nap; I’ll be by tonight with supper! What are you in the mood for?” I said “I’d like a Sonic Hamburger and Onion Rings and a tall fountain diet coke.” John said “OK – See you tonight, get some rest!” and he left to go back to work. I am sorry the department felt so sorry for me, even if I did get hurt on the job, they were sure going out of their way to make sure I was OK. I guess that is what they mean that all firemen and EMT’s are brothers and sisters; in fact, it would seem that we are closer than some blood relative brothers and sisters.
Friday went by uneventfully. I got a lot of rest and was a “good girl” I did not want to mess up my chance of spending Saturday at Roy and Joanne’s Ranch. John came by about 3:30pm to take me to Rampart for what I hoped would be my last check up. Dr. Brackett gave me his okay to go back to work on Monday told me it would be okay to go to “The Ranch” this week end. John took me home, and went right back to work.
I felt better, and started making plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I did not have a clue on what I would get John for Christmas, and I had my family and a number of close friends that I wanted to get something for. I started making a list of my family and friends, and wrote down some ideas of gifts that I could get. Not any of my hard thinking would give a clue of anything to get John.
I knew I would have to put my Christmas buying on a budget, and if I started right away, maybe I could get one or two gifts a week. That way, I could have most of them purchased before Christmas. The biggest would be my Mom and my family, but I want to get John something very special. I don’t have a clue what to get him! I think he is getting serious, but I am probably reading more into our dates than I should. I know he likes me, but I may be wrong, it may not be getting that serious after all. I decided to take a nap before John came over. He had promised to bring Supper. We had a quiet evening, and watched a little TV before John called it a night, kissed me Good Bye and left about 9:00pm. I turned in shortly after John left. John was supposed to pick me up first thing in the morning, and I set the alarm for 7:00am. I wanted to have time to take a shower and fix my hair before John picked me up.
The next morning came the earlier than expected. I had gotten used to sleeping in and I was jolted awake when the alarm went off. I got into the shower and washed my hair; blow dried it and got ready in plenty of time for John. John was right on time and picked me up just before 8 o’clock a.m. We drive to Roy and Joanne “Ranch” and when we got to the door, we could hear the kids and smell the coffee and bacon. We rang the door bell, and Joanne answered the door, told us “GOOD MORNING!! Isn’t it a gorgeous day? We have breakfast about ready. Donna, how are you feeling? Do feel like setting the table, John, you help Donna please! I have breakfast just about ready.”
Breakfast was really good, I had not felt like eating since I got hurt, and had not been eating like usual, when my head was hurting, either the pain or the pain medication kept me from having an appetite.
We finished breakfast. Joanne is an excellent cook. The children were full of energy and they were glad to be included in our visit. Usually the children were at their grandparents. We had plans to take the kids to the zoo and to stop at the mall to do a little shopping. The Chris and Jennifer needed some winter clothes. We left the “Ranch” by 9:15am. The zoo was just a half hour drive. We spent the morning at the zoo. It was just cool enough for a sweater jacket; we did not need coats yet. The first of November in Missouri is always hard to predict. But, we were lucky today. It was really warm and the sun was out. Just a perfect day for the zoo. We walked around, and took the train tram to the different areas, got off and walked awhile and got back on to ride to the next area. A couple of times, John and I just sat in the sun. He was concerned that I might try to over do it and that I may not be feeling up to par just yet.
We left the zoo about noon and drive to the mall. We had had such a big breakfast, and had gotten something to drink and popcorn and cotton candy at the zoo, we were not hungry. We girls took the children to Sears and J C Penny’s to look at school cloths. We lucked into a good sale, and were able to get several outfits for Chris and Jennifer. We had arranged to meet the guys at the van at 2:00pm. We kept looking at our watches, and between trying to find the children’s cloths and a few Christmas gifts for me, time went really fast.
Unknown by Joanne and me, the guys had gone to a jewelry store. Roy had asked the saleslady to help John pick out a ring. John told her that it was to be an engagement ring, but needed to be on the small size, and one that did not set up high. John explained that his “lady” was training to be an E.M.T. and the rings could not be large because they could not get in the way. John explained, that “Donna may not even want to wear them at work, but if she does, they will have to be small and set down close to the finger.
The saleslady brought out a tray of rings, and John and Roy looked at all of them. John said “I don’t see anything I really like”. Roy replied “There are other jewelry stores, let’s try the other two on this side of the mall!” Roy asked “When are you going to give Donna the ring?” John replied “I’m thinking at Christmas, if I can wait that long? I wish I could ask Donna now, but I want to give her time to get through with her training before I distract you with the “Big Question!”
Roy and John went to both of the other jewelry stores, but were not able to find anything that they liked and when they looked at their watches, they say that it was time to meet Joanne, Donna, Chris and Jennifer at the van.
We put our purchases in the cargo area of the van and climbed in. I was tired, and it felt good to set down and relax. Joanne’s parents had asked Chris and Jennifer to spend the week end with them so we were going to take them to their grandparents before we went back to the “ranch”.
We had two hours to relax before dinner. We had made plans to have a simple supper. Steaks on the grill, salad and baked potatoes and cheesecake for dessert. We put the steaks on at 6 o’clock pm, and by 6:30 pm we were starting our dessert and cheesecake and had put a movie in the VCR. We had decided to watch an old western and the “Duke” is about as good as it gets. The movie lasted two hours. Joanne and I had done the dishes while the movie was going. The guys were really into the movie. They did not miss Joanne and I making plans for next week end. We were going to have our Thanksgiving Dinner early, that way, we could each have Thanksgiving with our own family. Joanne and I were splitting the menu in half; that way, no one would have to cook the entire dinner. We decided a traditional dinner. When the movie was over, John and I told Roy and Joanne that we would take the movie back. It didn’t take us long to get back to town; go by Blockbusters, and on back to my apartment.
John said “You must be exhausted!! You have had a really big day; and I am not sure Dr. Brackett would have Okayed this long of a day, on your first day out of the apartment. I am going to give you a long good night kiss. You are going to go to bed and I am going to go home. I want you to sleep in tomorrow, and I will be over for Sunday dinner. We can go to Luby’s Cafeteria for Sunday dinner, and then I help you study. You have to be back to work tomorrow”. I told John “As usual, you are right. I am really tired! And bed sounds good right now”.
I got ready for bed, and decided to take a pain pill. My head had started to ache. I didn’t want to tell John. I was sure I was just over doing my first day out. I didn’t set the alarm; I just turned out the lights and got into bed. I tried to remember when we’d had such a good day. I don’t remember any since we went to the lake this summer. I made a mental note to call Amy tomorrow. I wanted to make sure that she and Mike had a place for Thanksgiving; usually they both have to work. If that’s the case, maybe they’d like to spend the week end before Thanksgiving with the four of us. But before I talked to Joanne, I wanted to see if Amy and Mike had to work Thanksgiving. Having two more for dinner was never a problem. I don’t think any of us can ever cook without having left over’s.
I was getting sleepy, and the pain pill had started working, I knew I would be asleep soon.
The alarm went off at 10:00 o’clock am. I got up and made myself a cold coke. It sounded better to me than a pot of coffee. I knew John would want coffee so I made a pot so it would be ready for John when he got here. I took my danish and coke into the living room and turned on the TV. I sat down and started flipping channels. I finished my danish and went in to take a shower and get ready for lunch.
I finished getting dressed and decided to finish blow drying my hair. I usually let it air dry, but I didn’t have enough time today. I had just gotten ready and my hair done when the door bell rang.
It was John. He had brought over a newspaper and asked “Do you have any coffee”. We sat down on the couch with our coffee and divided the paper. I usually read the ads first. I have been on such a tight budget for three years now. I have been working full time, and going to school nights for my EMT degree, and I have had to make every dime stretch as far as I possibly can. I try not to pay full price for anything, and I had already promised myself to start Christmas shopping this next week. John already reads the Metro Section first and then the front page; then the sports page. Then he starts looking at the ads. I asked John when he wanted to leave to go to the restaurant. He said, let’s go now, maybe we can miss the church crowd.
We left for Lucy’s and we were just early enough to not have to wait. There was almost no line. We got our fried chicken dinners, salad, and desserts and went to set down. We finished eating just as the cafeteria got really busy, we left and headed home. John said “Let’s study in the Kitchen. We can put the books on the table; they are too heavy to hold for even a short time”. John started going over the practice exam. It was a test exam furnished to study with. The National Exam would be similar, but would not be exactly the same. I had to study twice as many questions, hoping that the actual exam had 100 of the 200 questions. Not to mention my life exam. Where I had to assess an actual person, do the history, and explain verbally what I thought the problem was, and what I would do as a treatment. The patients are medical students that have been told what to say and how to answer my questions, just enough off bases that I really would have to use my thinking hat. I was more concerned with my “real life exam” than I was on the written exam. John and I went over each question, and I answered them. If John thought I was wrong, then we went to the text book and looked up that chapter and reread the material. We studied for quite a while, and when we looked out the window, it was surprising to see that the sun was going down. We decided that we were at a good stopping point, so we put away the books and made ourselves a sandwich.
We went into the living room, turned on the TV and sat down with our sandwiches. John asked me if I had been able to bring my daily log up to date. He asked if I had been able to get Monday and Tuesday runs in the log book, that the log book would be reviewed while I was taking the written exam. If the instructor wanted to discuss any of the cases, he would be asking me questions after my written exam. I could only hope that I had been able to keep a very good log book. John also reminded me that I would need finish my log books on Monday for last Tuesday’s run “ and don’t forget to write in Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as ordered bed rest following an on the job injury/incident”. We finished our sandwiches, and I brought out my surprise, I had bought some of John’s favorite bakery cookies, and we had cookies and ice cream for dessert along with a cup of coffee. We finished eating, and John helped me clean up the kitchen, to me to get to bed as soon as I could; kissed me good night and left.
I did not realize that I so tired. Between my big day yesterday and studying so hard today, I was ready for bed. I took a quick shower, set the alarm and turned in.
Monday AM was a beautiful day. I woke up before the alarm, got out of bed, turned off the alarm and got dressed for work. I went to the kitchen to fix myself a diet coke and I grabbed the last Danish. I was able to leave for the Station a few minutes early and traffic was very light.
I went in and put my things away in my locker and picked up my log book. Jason and Bobby had put my things from the squad in my locker last Tuesday when they got back to the station. I got my bag ready for my shift and took my log book out to the kitchen. I made a fresh pot of coffee and made sure there was a jug of ice tea in the refrigerator.
Captain Ross came into the kitchen and asked me how my day was going so far. He asked me “Do you feel okay, do you think you can work all day? If you get to feeling really tired, you may want to go home early? It would be okay, if you need to.”
I told Captain Ross “I feel really good, I’d just have to wait and see if I could make it all day. If we don’t get any hard runs, I should be okay all day”. I want to put what happened behind me and move on, if that’s okay with you?”
Bobby and Jason came in, grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down with Captain Ross and myself. Bobby asked “Have you had a chance to do the inventory yet?” I replied, “No, I was bringing my log book up to date on Tuesday run. But I’d about through and I’ll help you.
We had completed the check list and inventory. We had everything on the check list. The last run last night must have ended with a trip to the hospital; the last crew had stocked everything.
We had just finished putting everything back in the squad and had completely wiped the squad down when we got our first call. Bobby triggered the door and Jason and I got into the squad. Captain Ross handed us the assignment. It was a traffic accident in rush hour on a busy intersection. It did not take long to get to the scene. Both vehicles were badly damaged, and the driver of one vehicle was trapped in the vehicle, we would have to wait until the firemen separated the vehicles and cut out the driver. We started to care for the other driver, and the wife of the driver in the other vehicle. We called for ambulances, and had Driver #1 ready for transport in very little time. He had bumped his head on the steering wheel. He had had his seat belt on, but not correctly, it kept him from hitting the windshield, but he did hit the steering week very hard. We had called Dr. Brackett for orders and had stabilized his neck with a collar and had him on a back board, ready for transport when the ambulance arrived. Because the ambulance had a paramedic along with the driver and we helped them load the patient and sent them off to the hospital. The firemen were still trying to cut Driver #2 out of his vehicle. We started to treat his wife. She was complaining of a head ache and stiff neck. We had already put a collar on her and had her resting in the squad. The second ambulance arrived and we were wanted her to go with them. She refused, she wanted to wait until her husband was out of the car, and she wanted to ride to the hospital with him. She was afraid that they would get separated and each would go to a different hospital. We assured her that that would not happen, but she stood her ground and would not budge. I called Dr. Brackett to advise that she would not come without her husband. Dr Brackett asked us how many times we had checked her vitals, and for us to check her now and let him know what the readings were each time we had checked her. I told Bobby what Dr Brackett had said, and Bobby and I took her vitals again and compared them with the other two sets of vitals we had taken on her. Bobby talked to Dr. Brackett and we were advised that she could wait for her husband, but we needed to do another full set of vitals in fifteen minutes.
Jason called Bobby; the firemen had finished cutting Driver #2 from the vehicle. He was conscious but in a lot of pain. Jason was already on the phone to Dr. Brackett and had already started an IV and ready to start getting him out. Bobby told me to stay with the wife, and the firemen would help get him on a back board and onto the stretcher. It took a few minutes to get a back board in place and to keep his head and neck straight while they turned him sideways and slid the back board under him, stabilize him and put the back board on the stretcher. Jason called Dr. Brackett to give him the vitals one more time and to advise we were ready for transport. Bobby asked me if there were any changes in the wife’s vitals, and had I called Dr. Brackett. I reassured him, that there were no changes in the vitals, and that I had called Dr. Brackett and that I had just taken another set of vitals and because there were no changes, Dr. Brackett had told me that I didn’t need to call him.
We loaded both patients in the squad. Jason climbed in back of the ambulance. I got in the squad with Bobby and we headed for Rampart. We followed the ambulance into the bay, and Jason and I helped get both patients out of the ambulance. The wife was not on a stretcher, and I helped her to walk into the emergency room. I told Dixie “They want to stay together, can you put them both in the same treatment room?” Dixie said; let’s go to #2, its big enough for two stretchers. Jason and Bobby followed us into #2. I had the wife set on the stretcher that was in the room, and Dr Brackett started treating the husband on the stretcher from the hospital. Dixie came over to get my chart on the wife, and take her vitals. Dr Brackett and Nurse Anne were taking vitals on the husband; Bobby and Jason were filling them in on his earlier vitals and the accident scene.
Dr. Brackett ordered a C.T. scan for the husband; he was concerned with the bump to the head. It seemed to be the worst of the injuries. The fact that the husband had not been unconscious for very long was encouraging, but the head injury was the biggest concern. Dr. Brackett was sure of the broken leg and bruised ribs (which Dr. Brackett did not think were broken) but the x-rays would show just how badly the leg was.
We left both patients, went to supply and replaced the meds we had use in the accident. We went back to the squad, loaded our supplies and headed back to the Station.
Bobby said “I hope lunch will be ready by the time we get back and get the squad cleaned up. Jason replied “Yeah I’m hungry. We got back to the station, backed the squad into the bay and went into the kitchen. It was Joe’s turn to cook, I asked if I could help, and he asked me to make a fresh pot of coffee and to set the pitcher of milk on the table, along with a pitcher of ice water. He had everything about ready to put on the table. He had fixed a casserole of Scalloped Potatoes and Ham and he had a tossed salad ready.
We ate, and the others helped clean up. Captain Ross asked me to come to his office, and I picked up my log book and went with him to his office. He asked “How are you really feeling, are you tired after that run, it was quite a bad one from what Jason and Bobby said. It probably kept you three hopping.” I told the Cap. “I feel really good, it was a good rescue. Everything just fell into place. I’m surprised that I am not tired. We were really busy at the scene and for a few minutes when we got both patients into the E.R.
Captain Ross dismissed me and told me to keep in touch for the next couple of days; he wanted to make sure I wasn’t doing too much.
We didn’t get a call at all after lunch, so the guys and I work on our log books so we won’t have a lot of catch up to do at the end of the shift. We each have to keep our logs, even if we are on the same run. However, it is okay if we work on them together. It was good to set in the living room; I don’t remember ever having this much time between runs. It was almost two hours before we got another run.
The tones went off, and we raced to the squad, hitting the overhead door switch on the way. We climbed in and Captain Ross gave us the assignment. It was an Asthma Attack and we headed for the home. We arrived to find the husband on the curb waiting for us. He said “Hurry, my wife can’t breathe”. We went into the kitchen to find Mrs. Smith setting at the kitchen table, holding herself up. We could hear the wheezing as soon as we walked into the kitchen. Jason called Rampart, and ordered an ambulance. Bobby and I went to the patient, started with some oxygen thru a mask and took her vitals. It was clear that she was in respiratory distress. She said “My….. inhaler….. doesn’t….work. It….dispense….any…..medicine.” Bobby checked the inhaler, and sure enough, no medicine was coming from the canister. Jason told Dr. Brackett what we had found, gave Dr. Brackett the vitals, and was told to use our inhaler to give her one dosage of medicine start an IV and transport as soon as possible. We could hear the ambulance and asked the husband to go out front and show them in. We took another set of vitals, and checked her breathing. She was still wheezing, but she seemed to be in less distress. We loaded her ready to transport; we asked the husband to get us all his wife’s medications and Bobby walked out with the stretcher and got into the back of the ambulance. I crawled in the squad and Jason drove; following the ambulance to the hospital. We both arrived at the hospital and Jason helped Bobby take Mrs. Smith into the E.R. I handed the bag full of medications to Dixie, and we started for Treatment #3. Dr. Brackett came in and we gave him Mrs. Smith’s chart and Bobby’s recent vitals. Mr. Smith had arrived and I took him to Room #3. I went to supply to get another inhaler and IV supplies to replace the ones we had used for Mrs. Smith. I was done about the same time Bobby and Jason had completed their review of the patients file with Dr. Brackett. We went to the squad and headed back to the Station.
The rest of the day went by rather quickly, and the end of the shift came as we were in the break area catching up with our paper work and log books.
The new shift came on duty and we briefed them on our runs, adding that we had restocked all the supplies. We said our good nights and left the station to go home. I told Bobby & Jason “Good Night – See you in the morning”. I waited until I got home to call John. He did not answer, and I left a message on the machine. I changed my cloths, threw my uniform in the wash, grabbed my books and headed for the kitchen. I made myself a nice cold diet coke and opened my review book.
John called in about a half hour, said they had a really long run, he was taking a short water break, and that he would be on the scene of the fire until it was under control.
He said that Roy and he had to go into the burning building to rescue two residences in the apartment next to the one fire; then they provided medical assistance to the three companies called to the fire. There were a number of minor injuries to the firefighters, but for the most part, after treatment, they went back to work. He told me “Don’t wait up, this will go for at least a couple more hours, they we have to go back to the Station for debriefing and to clean up the squad. He also said “When we have a fire like this, by the time I get back to my apartment, I am ready for bed. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
I studied until 9:30 pm and took my shower and turned in. I set the alarm for 6:30, I wanted to have time to stop and get Donuts and Rolls for the Station for Breakfast. With changing the shifts at 8:00 o’clock am, some of the personnel usually ate at home with their wife’s.
I got to the station; made coffee and set out the rolls and donuts. I picked up a sweet roll and took my diet coke to the kitchen table, sat down and mentally put myself thru the sample exam I have been studying. Bobby and Jason came in, got a cup of coffee and a donut and sat down for a moment. We finished our breakfast, put the cups in the dishwasher, and went out to the bay to inventory the squad. We were very low on a lot of supplies; our crew must have been on the same fire. The squad had been cleaned, but needed to be washed one more time, in day light, you could see the water spots and smoke damage. We decided we should make a quick run to the hospital for supplies and that we would wash the squad between runs.
The day had no unusual runs; everything was starting to fall into place. It was quite a normal day; minor traffic accidents and minor medical aid to three homes. Before I realized it, it was time to go home. We had a few minutes left of our shift and we went to the kitchen to bring our log books up to date.
I went home, threw my uniform in the wash machine, climbed into the shower and got dressed. I went to the kitchen to fix myself a diet coke and sat down to study the sample exam. John called in about an hour, he was at his apartment, and was on his way to my house. We talked for a few minutes, and John volunteered to pick up a pizza. He said that if we stayed home, he could help me study this evening.
John was at the door in less than thirty minutes, I fixed him a coke to go with his pizza. We ate supper, put our dishes in the dish washer and sat down at the table to study. We studies for a couple of hours took a break and went into the living room. Turned on the TV and watched one TV program and then the news. I asked John if he would talk to Roy tomorrow, and ask him if we could include Amy and Mike if they had to work Thanksgiving. I said “I think it would be nice to include them in our Thanksgiving Dinner. I know Mike will have to work Thanksgiving at the restaurant, and since Mike has to work, Amy usually volunteers to work Thanksgiving at the hospital to give one of the other couples a chance to be together. John gave me a good night kiss and left. I was tired, and went right to bed.
Wednesday and Thursday went by as quite normal days. There were only the normal number of traffic accidents, medical emergencies, and other calls. Work was really getting to feel like it was under control, that I really did not what to do, and I was proud that I have been able to help the patients. That was why I wanted to be an E.M.T. I wanted to find something that would contribute to the community.
John and I continued to meet at my apartment, and John continued to help me cram for my finals. Wednesday, he did tell me that Roy and Joanne would like to include Amy and Mike, and if they asked to bring anything, “Tell them that they are in charge of the Pumpkin Pies and Whipped Cream and any other dessert they might thing would be good”. I called Amy Thursday morning and she was so excited to get together, just the six of us. Her mom had already asked for the kids for this week end so it was just going to be her and Mike; and that they were both going to work Thanksgiving. She said the pies would be no problem, and they both were looking forward to the week end.
Friday came so soon; this had been an incredible week. I have felt more secure at each run. The nervousness had disappeared. I felt a level of confidence that I had not expected this soon. I thoroughly enjoyed each run; I didn’t enjoy seeing the patients hurt or in pain; but I was glad to be a part of the process that was helping the patients. I could watch them get to the hospital in time and into capable hands; and in following up with Nurse Dixie, I had followed their prognosis’s and their outcome. In almost 99% of the cases, they returned home and were none the worse for their trauma.
I was first into the Station on Friday; I started a fresh pot of coffee and went out to the squad to do the inventory of supplies. I made a list of the few supplies we needed. Jason and Bobby came in to the bay. I showed them the inventory sheet, and asked if we should make a trip to Rampart to get supplies? I went to my locker, got out my bag and put it in the squad so I would be ready. I grabbed a cup of hot chocolate. For some reason, that just sounded good to me. Jason and Bobby grabbed a cup of coffee. We never know if we will finish a cup of coffee or glass of tea or soda before the bell rings, so setting down and leisurely enjoying a cup or glass of anything just does happen.
Of course, the tones sounded, and we raced to the squad. It must be a big one; the dispatcher was sending three complete companies and three squads to the scene. Jason said “Your luck has run out, or you have just gotten lucky. I believe you are going to get your first fire run, and it must be a big one to have three entire companies dispatched. When we get to the scene I want you to understand, you have not had your fire fighter training, nor do you have your equipment. Do not under any circumstances, enter the building. I want you to set up triage at a safe distance. Set out all the supplies, and if I tell you its bad you call Rampart and have them dispatch extra ambulances and medical personnel and extra oxygen, burn kits and ask for two nurses. You wait by the rig, and as soon as I can talk to the Captain in charge, I will come back to you and let you know what stage we are in. “Remember, if I tell you IT’S BAD, you call Rampart immediately.
We could see the smoke rising in the distance; we were about three blocks from the scene. Jason and Bobby looked at each other and “said – it looks like an apartment house from the area, and it looks fully involved by the amount of the smoke.
We turned the corner and I will never forget the scene. There were fire truck everywhere, ladder trucks were putting ladders up to the windows and some of the apartment residences were already being led out of the building. Jason pulled next to one of the other squads, and said “IT’S BAD – Call Rampart!!” Set up here and lay out as many back boards as you can fine in both squads and get ready for the injured.
As soon as we came to a stop, Jason and Bobby were already putting on their protective gear; I stepped out of the squad and started setting up a treatment area. A trainee from the other squad was standing by Station 51’s squad. I asked her name. She told me she was Nancy. I could see she was scared; this must be one of her first runs. I said “Why don’t we work together?” Help me set up the treatment area, and get all your supplies out and get them ready. We’ll lay out the back boards so we will have a place to put any patient. Put a blanket and a plastic sheet on each board. But we want to have everything as ready as possible. I’m glad you’re going to be helping me (I wanted her to stop being so scared), this is the last day of my training shift and I have never been on a bad fire before.” Nancy replied “I’m sure glad you’re here. I was totally unprepared for this trauma; just let me know what you want me to do”.
It didn’t take us put a few moments to get as ready as we could be for any patients we might get, and I looked up to see Jason and Bobby bringing two patients over to the squad. They had the patients set down and told us “They need oxygen; their only problem is a little smoke inhalation”. We took a patient and started the oxygen tank and put the masks in position; took their vitals and started a record sheet and we put a blanket over their shoulders, they had come out of the building with only their clothes on, no coat, and the weather was really crisp.
I could hear more ambulances in the distance and knew that Dr. Brackett had sent reinforcements. They arrived and started to set up the stretchers in our area. Dr. Brackett had sent two interns and two nurses and Dixie. Dixie said “Donna you did a real good job getting ready, do you know if we have any serious injuries yet?” I replied “No, Bobby and Jason brought these two and I have them on O2. Dixie checked the two patients, and I said “Here comes Roy, John, Bobby and Jason, they have some burn victims this time. Dixie took over and we helped the interns with the treatments, and I was really glad that Dixie was in charge. The Red Cross unit arrived and started passing out coffee to the residence that had made it out uninjured. They also had blankets for any one that did not have a coat, and they started making arrangements for their housing.
It seemed that Dixie, Nancy, the two interns and I just got four patients treated, then the four guys came back with four more. Dixie was sending some patients on to the hospital and the ambulances kept making round trips and came back.
We had arrived at the fire by 9:00am; it was almost 10:30am and the stream of patients had had just now started to trickle down. Nurse Dixie had sent the serious patients on to Rampart and St. Joseph Hospital. She did not want to overwhelm one hospital, and we did not know how many patients total we would have. The firemen who had gotten some smoke had come over to get some O2 and we had a few minor injuries to the fire fighters. For the most part, all they wanted was a bandage and they went back to the fire. Things started to quiet down, and we could see the end of any new patients.
The Salvation Army brought us all a cup of coffee, even the firemen we were treating.
About 11:00am, Bobby and Jason came over to check on us. They advised that it looked as if we had all the patients we would be getting unless we have a fireman injured in the fire. Nurse Dixie asked Bobby and Jason if she and the interns should go back with one ambulance, leaving us one ambulance, driver and EMT as standby. Bobby and Jason advised her that Nancy and I would be okay.
It was well after 2:00pm before the fire was fully contained and clean up of the scene was underway. Because Captain Ross was not in charge of the scene, our squad and engines were allowed to go back to the station. All that was left to be done on the scene was a final last recheck for any fire remaining and for the Chief to the scene secure and arrange security for the remainder of the day and tonight. Someone would be on hand for the first twenty four hours in same the fire restarts, and to give the owner time to secure the building. Also, security would prevent any person from entering the building. It was not safe, and the concern that a resident of the building would try get inside and to try to recover any of their personal property.
We went to the hospital to restock the squad. We had used a lot of supplies at the fire, and we needed to restock before we could go back to the station. After we stocked the rig, we went back to the station and started cleaning the rig. We first hosed it down in back; the engine company was cleaning the hoses and washing the rig down. It is always a big job to recheck all the equipment; make any repairs necessary; clean and polish the rig; and put everything back where it belongs. After a bad fire, it can take over an hour with everyone working together to clean both the engine and squad.
We finished cleaning the squad and started to help the engine company clean the engine. I could wipe down the interior, they had already hosed it down, and it was just a matter of making it look shiny and wiping off the water spots.
We were about thru with the engine, when we got a call. It was a minor beginning of the rush hour traffic accident. We treated the victim at the scene, but she refused transport, and she told us she would go to her own doctor. All her vitals were normal, and we called Rampart to give them the details and vitals, we advised that she was refusing transport and wanted to sign a release. Dr. Brackett agreed that the injuries appeared to be minor, and that if she would go to her own doctor, he could follow her treatment.
We had just gotten back to the Station and got another traffic accident, another minor accident, and a repeat of the earlier one. The driver refused transport.
We went back to the Station, completed our paper work and caught our logs up to date. I always keep preliminary notes on a small lined tablet, that way I only have to rewrite them in my log. It was the end of my training week. I felt both a relief that it was over and that I had not had any problems, and remorse to see the “end” of this part of my schooling.
Captain Ross came into the kitchen where we were setting around the table and asked if I could come in tomorrow morning. The crew had something for me, and they all wanted to be there when the Captain gave it to me. I said “You guys didn’t need to do anything special for me, but I do appreciate it. I’ll be here a few minutes early tomorrow.”
I left the station to go back to my apartment. I could hardly wait to get into the shower. I had not been really close to the fire, but it seemed that I could smell the smoke on my uniform and in my hair. I took a nice long shower, washed my hair and had just finished drying my hair when John called me. He told me that he would be over in about forth five minutes, but he was bringing dinner. I fixed myself a coke and opened my study exam and started my review. I studied until John got there. When I heard the door bell, I closed my books and put them on the counter.
I opened the door, John had brought Chinese food. I fixed John a coke and we started eating dinner. I did not realize I was this hungry. John asked “Are you ready for Sunday’s Thanksgiving Dinner? What do I need to buy?” I told John, that I was going to go to the grocery store after I left the station tomorrow. I also told John that the crew at the Station had wanted to get me something and that they had asked me to come early before the shift started. “I told them that they didn’t need to get me something, but Captain Ross asked me to come in”. John replied “I think that’s nice. They wouldn’t have done anything and they don’t normally do. You must have made a big impression.
John and I cleaned up the kitchen, and brought the books back out. We studied until about 9:00 pm. John was asking me the questions from the sample test and I was answering them. We stopped turned on the TV. We wanted to watch the news. Sure enough, we were all on TV. The three alarm fire had made headlines. The exact cause of the fire was still not known, but there were no indications that the fire was not an accidental fire. We finished the news; I went to the kitchen to get us fresh cokes and John’s favorite cookies (I always try to keep some on hand). We finished dessert, John kissed me good night. I walked him to the door and he gave me another kiss, but this time a really long one. “Have I told you that I Love You!! I am so proud of you today, every time I brought in a victim; you were “business as usual”. You probably don’t realize that your calm attitude helped to reassure the patients, and they reacted positively to you.” I saw Dixie watching you when she could, and she even noticed that you have a special way with the patients. Not everyone does; you know!” I kissed John back and said “THANK YOU!! that means a lot coming from you” High praise just isn’t your style.”
John kissed me again, and said good night. I got ready for bed, and suddenly, I realized that I was very tired. I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.
The alarm went off, I got dressed in jeans and a sweat shirt, got into my car and drove to the station. I was early, just like Captain Ross had asked. The men were already there. They had made coffee and had donuts set out; and they had fixed me a big Diet Coke.
I sat down at the table and ate my last meal with them. I said to Captain Ross “It’s kind of sad to eat my last meal with you guys. I have really enjoyed working with each and every one of you. I will sure miss you. I hope my actual assignment, if I pass my boards, will be with people as top notch as you all are.
Captain Ross gave me a small box and told me to open it. It was an engraved pen and pencil set with my name and degree on it. I told the Captain “This is kind of premature, I haven’t passed my board yet.” The guys all piped up and said “YOU WILL!!”
I thanked Captain Ross and the entire crew. I brushed a tear from my eye and thanked them again. Captain Ross said “Can you stand another surprise. We have an opening next month here at the station. One of the paramedics from the night shift is moving out of town, and Bobby wants the night shift. Do you want the day shift with Jason?”
All I could say was “YES YES YES” and of course more tears. The guys had to get back to work; there was still the normal shift change work and inventories. I went to each of the men and told them a personal “Thank you and told them that I would see them next month.”
I left the station, went to my car and called Station 51. Captain Stanley answered the phone. I said “This is Donna. Is John was available?” Captain Stanley replied “What answer did you give Captain Ross???” I laughed “So you all knew too!” John got on the phone and said “Congratulations!” We talked for a minute, not much more because John was at work. I told him I was going to the store and would call Joanne when I got home to double check the menu with her.
I went to the store, got the groceries, two bottles of wine, and Diet Coke. Then it’s back to the apartment, put away the groceries and do all the advance preparation that I could do. I washed and cut up the vegetables and put them in plastic bags; they were ready to go on the stove. I fixed the celery, tomatoes, peppers, and carrots for the salad and relish tray and put them in plastic bags. I fixed the two casseroles and baked the. All we would have to heat them tomorrow. I finished by 1:00pm and took a break. I fixed myself a sandwich and chips and went to the living room. I turned on the TV and before I realized it, I had fallen asleep. The phone ringing woke me up. It was John. He was getting off work. He told me he was taking me out for dinner. Could I be ready in an hour? We headed for Suzi’s, and order steaks and baked potatoes. We talked shop for a while and then started talking about Dinner tomorrow. We decided to call Amy and Mike when we got back to the apartment. The rest of the evening went by very fast. We said good night. John told me he would pick me up tomorrow about 8:00am. I turned in about 9:30. I was tired and asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Sunday was a beautiful day! We loaded the food in the cooler and headed for Joanne and Roy’s. Joanne had the turkey in the oven and it sure smelled good. We had just gotten the food we brought put away, when Amy and Mike arrived. They had brought two pumpkin pies, chocolate cake and cheesecake. Amy said “the Cheese Cake was for Donna – I know she loves Cheesecake and we really have something to celebrate. It isn’t often that a rookie gets an assignment given to her before she even graduates”. I laughed and said “Just who knows that Captain Ross offered me the assignment” Amy replied “Just the entire ER staff at Rampart and St. Joseph Hospital”.
The day was absolutely perfect. Dinner couldn’t be better and we had rented a movie for the afternoon. The guys had given up the TV and football for us ladies.
About 5:30pm, we put out makings for turkey sandwiches and a few of the left overs for supper. We ate, again, and cleaned up the kitchen again. Amy fixed the left over Cheesecake so I could take it home. We said our Good Byes! Amy and Mike were also saying Good Bye. We got home about 7:00pm. John turned on the TV and I asked he would like a Coke. I fixed us both a cold soda and we watched a TV for a little while.
John said good night, kissed me and left to go home. I decided that I wouldn’t study any tonight. I watched the news before I got ready for bed. I had to go to school Monday, so I turned on the alarm before I turned in.
The next three days were each one the same. I got up early, ate breakfast, went to school, turned in my homework and studied for my finals. John would come over in the evening, and we would get a quick bite to eat; either fast food carry out or quick casserole dinners I could put in the oven when I got home from school; then I would study, waiting for John to come over, then he would help me with the sample exam.
Thursday was Thanksgiving. I did not have school Thursday or Friday. I went to my folks for dinner and John came over in the evening for supper and dessert. He had spent the day with his parents.
Friday, I studied at home; took a break in the middle of the day to just get in a nice nap. I have been stressed out getting ready for the National Registry and State Exam. I decided I needed a nap, John had to work and I had the entire day off to do any thing I wanted. After I woke up from my nap, I got ready to go out, and went to Wal-Mart to do a little Christmas shopping. I had promised that I would buy one or two gifts a week and have Christmas shopping done before the middle of December. I still was not sure what I would get John for Christmas.
John had to pull shifts Friday, Saturday and Sunday. He had volunteered to take Bobby’s shift at Station 110 so Bobby could go out of town for Thanksgiving and a long week end. Bobby had not seen his family in over six months; they live over 300 miles away and that was more than he wanted to drive on his normal two days off. But with a long weekend, he would have four days with his family.
John came over after work every night. A few times I surprised him and had really good dinners ready for him. I haven’t found anything that he doesn’t like; and I do like to cook. I usually do not cook just for myself, and with working and going to school, I haven’t had a lot of time to really cook. After we would eat, we would study for awhile, and then finish with a little TV and dessert before John would go home.
My final National Registry and State Exam were scheduled for Monday after Thanksgiving. John felt confident that I would pass both the exams. I had gotten my **preliminary score from school and had passed with a 95% which is an A-. John has tried so hard to reassure me that I decided that if everyone was so sure that I would do well, I decided maybe they knew me better than I knew myself.
We spent Sunday together, we went out to eat Breakfast and then we went back to my apartment to review my text books and go over my homework that I had gotten back with my grades posted on them. We studied those questions, and reviewed the ones especially that I had answered wrong. John called a stop to the study about 3:30pm. He said “We ate a later than normal breakfast, lets have an early Dinner and go out and see an early movie. There are several ones that look really good and you need to relax”. Then I’ll have you back by 9:00pm and you are going straight to bed”.
I set the alarm a full hour earlier than usual. I wanted to have a good breakfast and not be rushed getting to school. I had even laid my cloths out so that I could get out of the house as fast as I could. I went to bed and was asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Monday morning, the alarm went off and jarred me awake. I jumped out of bed and headed for the bathroom to get ready. I got dressed and was out of the house even earlier than I had to be. I went to my favorite restaurant and order Bacon, Eggs and a pancake. I ordered my coke in a to go cup; ate my breakfast; ordered a second Diet Coke to go; paid my bill and had left.
I drove to Blue Rivers Police and EMT Campus. I entered the class room and signed in. There were a few minutes remaining, and I decided to look through the sample test. Nine O’clock am finally was here. I had been studying for three years while working full time to get this degree. I wasn’t really nervous, and I did feel like I was ready for this Final Test.
The first step was an actual patient assessment. We individually had to assess a patient, take a patient history and tell the instructor what treatment you believe was necessary, based on what the patient had presented to us as his symptoms. We had to start by taking the patients vital signs and taking a brief history to find out what was wrong. We are graded on our quick assessment and the correct diagnosis and treatment. We then took seats and the Instructor passed out the tests, gave us final instructions and took a seat at his desk. He told us we could start and I opened the test. I started answering the questions that I was certain of the answers. If I had any doubt, I left the question and went on. My plan was to answer all the questions I was certain of first and go back thru a second time and if necessary even a third time. I was surprised it seems like I knew most of the questions the first time through. I then started going back over the questions I had skipped. I finally finished the exam and had answered all the questions.
It was now 12:30pm. It had taken three and a half hours from start to finish. I was tired and relieved all at the same time. I was afraid that I had failed; most of the questions seemed too easy. I had expected the test to be harder, or else I was better prepared than I had thought I would be. I turned in the last of my home work and a copy of my log book I had kept on my training run. I was finally through. For better or worse, it would take the rest of the week for the tests to be graded. I would not know the results until Friday.
I left campus and drove home. I had taken the entire day off at work; I did not know how long it would take me.
Monday evening, John came over after he got off work. He asked me “How did it go?” I replied “I really don’t know. I guess I am afraid to hope!”
John took me out for dinner to celebrate. We got home, watch the last program on TV and watched the news. John and Roy were on TV. They had been on a big rescue at a fire scene. A family had gotten trapped in a house fire, and John and Roy had to go in after them. It was a good rescue. Except for some smoke inhalation, everyone was okay. The house wasn’t, but everyone got out alive. That was the main thing. If I want to be able to go into a fire or fight fire, I will have to go back to school for the fire fighters course. John and Roy had been firefighters and had gone through the academy first; then they added the EMT/Paramedic degree to their fire fighters degree. I could not decide. I was going to stick to being an EMT and decide later if I want to go further.
College was over for me for the time being. I had asked to be put on work full time at the country club for the remainder of this week. By Friday, I would know if I passed my test, and if everything went as schedule, next Monday, I will be working at Station 110 with Jason. It was a very long week. We had a few big night parties at the club, so there were a couple of nights that I didn’t get to see John. I would come home from work after working double shifts, jump in the shower and fall into bed.
Friday was a long time coming. In fact there were days that I did not think Friday would get here at all. I had put so much time and energy into the classes, the exercises, and the week of EMT training in a rescue response squad. I wanted my grades now, not days from. Friday finally got here. I drove to the Blue River Campus. I wanted to be able to pick up my grades as soon as they were open this morning. The office opens at 8:00am and I was standing in the waiting room when the office was open. I was first in line, and I gave my name to the secretary. She came back with an envelope with my name on it.
I was shaking as I opened it. I could not believe my eyes. I had passed. I had gotten an 85%. A- Grade. I went out to my car and called John to give him the good news and then I dialed Captain Ross to tell him that I had passed and had my certification. I asked if he had the schedule ready for next week, or when did he want me to start. I also advised Captain Ross that I should have my certified letter from the State giving me my certification letter.
Captain Ross said “Report Monday morning at 8:00am. I’ll be good to have you on board and Bobby will be glad that his night shift can go as scheduled.” I thanked Captain Ross and hung up the phone. I drove to the Club. I went to the General Manager’s office to give him my good news.
I had talked to Mr. Smith several times while I was going to school, and had advised him that I wanted to go to part time after I got my certification. I told Mr. Smith that I could work most week ends and two nights a week. I made arrangements to give him my schedule prior to Monday of each week, so he could work out the schedule. I wanted to continue to work both jobs; being single and because EMT’s only make $10.00 an hour, I would need both jobs to make ends meet. I did not want to live at home with my parents. I liked my independence and my own space.
I went upstairs to my locker and changed. It was almost time for me to start the lunch shift. We had a Ladies Group who meets every month for cards and lunch and today was the day for the card ladies. I went down stairs and started to set up for their lunch. I had the waters almost all on the tables when the rest of the shift arrived. They helped me finish getting set up. As always, we have to fix the butter dishes, the dinner roll baskets, fill the creamers and make tea and coffee. We were ready for the ladies, and they took a break from their cards to come into the dinning room for lunch.
After we had finished feeding the ladies, and while they had their brief business meeting, we took our lunch break. I wanted to tell my co-workers that I had passed my exam, but I wanted to celebrate with John first. After we ate our lunch, we cleaned and reset the dinning room and got it ready for the next party.
I drove home. It was hard to remember much of today; the excitement was taking its toll. I was beginning to get really tired. My emotions had been high all day, and now that I was driving home, I started to relax. I decided to go home and take a short nap before John picked me up for dinner. He had promised me dinner at my favorite restaurant.
I set the alarm before I laid down for my nap. I wanted to have plenty of time to get dressed for dinner. John arrived at 6:30 pm. He brought me flowers and a new waterproof watch with a sweep second hand. We went out for dinner and had a really nice time. We know the owner and a lot of the employees at the restaurant and they were thrilled to hear that I had passed my exam.
Saturday and Sunday I worked at the Club. Sunday is always brunch, and the day is over at 2:30pm. I knew I had to tell my co-workers at the club that I wouldn’t be seeing them every day next week. They were happy for me and told me that they weren’t surprised. They were sure that I would pass my State Boards.
Monday came slowly. I wanted to get started on my new job. I was excited and felt like I had waited sooo long to see my dream come true. I got to the station early, made fresh coffee for the crew and set our fresh donuts that I had picked up on the way in. It was good to see everyone. It felt like I hadn’t really been gone. Captain Ross and Jason had a surprise for me. They had gotten my EMT pin and they pined it on my uniform. Bobby had worked on the night shift and he and Jason both gave me a hug and a short kiss on the cheek. Everyone told me how glad they were to have me on board. We finished our cup of coffee and donuts then we started our shift. I knew I had to do the inventory of the rib first, but Bobby had told me it had been an easy shift for him, and I knew that I would not need much if any supplies.
I finished the squad’s inventory and Bobby was right, we only needed to replace a few bandages and only one IV kit. We decided to wait until we had a run to stock the squad. If we didn’t make a run to the hospital, we would go by on the way back to the station and replenish out stock. We had finished cleaning the squad; I do believe our squad is the cleanest in town. We polish and clean our squad after each run. We are always completely ready unless we get runs back to back.
As usual, Monday mornings start with minor traffic accidents. I have decided that when the accidents are called in to the police, that it is reported as an injury accident so the police will respond, and of course that means an EMT Squad as well. Our state allows walk in accident reports if there are no injuries and only minor damage. Of course, there is no guarantee that the information each party gives at the scene is the truth, and if it is not, and the other party does not make an accident report, sometimes, the at fault person can not be located and is really hard to track down. For example, if the plates are stolen, or the vehicle plates numbers are not written down, any number of missing information can make it a nightmare for the insurance companies, and in a lot of cases, the innocent party’s insurance pays a claim that the other party’s insurance really should have paid.
It has happened to me. The guy that hit me gave me his Dad’s information, and it wasn’t until the Dad’s driver’s license was suspended that the son’s information finally surfaced, and the correct insurance company finally paid the claim.
The bottom line is that we go on a lot of minor accidents and sometimes don’t even need a bandage or ambulance.
Monday was really calm. Just a few minor accidents in the morning; a few minor calls from residences; then in the evening rush hour the traffic accidents start again. We go off work at five pm, so we try to have the squad completely stocked before we go back to the station.
Monday after we finished our last run, we stocked the squad and went back to the station. We gave Bobby a quick run down of our calls. We told him that we had one response that we did not feel right with. The wife had called when her elderly husband had complained of being dizzy. The vitals did check out and the patient had refused transport, so our hands were tied. They had agreed to call their own Doctor and go by this office today, but we both felt that he would not let his wife call their Doctor. We told Bobby that it would not surprise us if he got another call to that residence tonight.
Jason and I told the Bobby and his new partner; Jim good night. I drove home and took a quick shower before John came over. I had planned to fix dinner at my apartment, just a simple casserole, salad, and a wonderful fresh baked apple pie I had gotten at the bakery on the way home.
I had supper ready when John got here. We ate, cleaned up the dishes and went into the living room to watch TV. John asked me “Well how did your first day go?” I told him that “Captain Ross, Jason and Bobby had purchased my EMT Pin and had pinned me the first thing this morning. They seem really happy to have me working at Station 110. I hope I don’t disappoint them!” John said “You won’t, your grades were top notch and your training week went very well! You follow instruction and you don’t assume you know it all! That kind of attitudes can cause a problem and that won’t be your problem.”
We watched TV until about 9:30pm. It was nice to relax. We were both tired; the day had not been too hard for either of us. Just the “same old thing”!
John kissed me good night and left about 10:00. It was nice to spend a quiet evening with John. It seems so peaceful and calm when we’re together. We don’t need to go anywhere, we don’t need to spend money to go out, and we just seem to enjoy each other’s company. We just seem to be able to set next to each other and not feel that we have to talk or make idol conversation. I love him so much; I know that I can’t let him know how much. It may wreck our relationship. John isn’t ready to settle down. I know that I’m not his first date, and probably won’t be his last. I have decided to just take one day at a time with John and wait to see what happens.
The daily routine fell into place. Each day of the week seemed to just fall into place. We had a lot of variety of calls and there was never a boring day. I love my job. I understand now how John feels about being an EMT. It’s knowing that everyday someone is better off because you were there with the help of the hospital staff and the rest of the Station’s crew. I am glad that with the start of the winter season, the weather had been fair and we had not had a lot of bad, icy roads because usually with bad weather auto accidents, they usually are bad and could end with a fatality. The other problem cold weather brings is house fires. Over loaded electrical outlets, portable heaters, open blazes in fireplaces cause some bad fires and bad burn injuries. I have seen the training films, and the bad burn cases require a lot of immediate, correct, emergency care. I hope that the weather holds thru December.
The weeks fell in place. John and I spent almost every night together. There were a few times that he worked late or had a week end shift; and so did I. Every crew has week ends every third week. The week ends that I did not have to work at the Station, I worked at the Club. The week ends that I did not have a double at the Club, John and I tried to do a little Christmas shopping. John wanted to buy for Roy, Joanne and the children and so did I. And we decided to go in together to get something for Amy and her family. We wanted to get something they could all use. I wanted to buy something for John, but I could not decide exactly what to get him. We neither one had a lot of money so we had to shop carefully and watch what we bought. We spent hours reading the sale ads and trying to decide what we could afford. I bought my folks an electric grill to use inside; I had been seeing them advertised and I thought my folks would like one.
Before I knew it, the weeks had gone by as fast and Christmas was a week away. I had been able to buy all my gifts except for John. I still could not decide what to get him. We made plans on how we would spend Christmas. John decided that we would spend Christmas Eve with our parents and that we would spend Christmas night at my folks. We knew we would have both nights off, as we would be working days at the Station. I helped Mom plan our Christmas Supper. I wanted to have a special home cooked dinner for John. I wanted to have an old fashion meal with all the trimmings. My entire family would be home for Christmas and it would be the first time John has met my oldest sister and my brother. I had told them a lot about John, but they had not met him. My family is very close.
To be continued.
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