Last Sunday's teasing continued today, but it was different this time. It would seem my big brother has been learning from my younger brothers how to not only take a ribbing out but how to seek revenge in creative and amusing ways.
It started when someone thought a joy buzzer was a good way to tease me. What they didn't think about was the fact that Jonathan is, among other things, his own personal, portable joy buzzer.
Couple that with the fact that he's been talking to the hearth spirit since he was 12… and it was easy for him to identify the culprit and make sure that justice was served.
I never would have pegged my darling daughter as the guilty party. I could see where Case would be her accessory but still… She's eight. Then again, I didn't put Puck past her.
We're really going to have to watch that child.
It snowed. It's March and it snowed… It's late March… and it snowed… in Seattle!
The big problem is that if there was ever a day where we needed quick response it was today, and the weather meant our two fastest vehicles were grounded: bikes and choppers.
Snow is rare enough that it's a problem under the best of circumstances but add to it the fact that people were expecting rain and well… it's almost April… No one was prepared or thinking. Let's face it, if it's cold enough to snow, the wet stuff on the ground may be wet pavement… it may also be glare ice and you aren't going to know until you hit it.
Accidents abounded, and the busses were running almost non-stop. By 11:00 all the ambulances had chains on them and I was starting to look for snowmobiles…
The weather men were scrambling to come up with an explanation but ultimately it came down to admitting that forecasting is just an educated guess. I don't think anyone is capable of admitting it. One day I would love to see a weather man look at the camera and just say… "We must have slept right through this one… sorry folks…"
Not that it would have helped us, but I think it would have made the next 19 hours bearable. The warning to stay where you were was late in coming. On the bright side, by the time the warnings were issued, those who were out had either hit something or had been stopped by something that had hit something…
It was also a great source of entertaining trids, I expect to be seeing on the news for the next three weeks.
I love the weather. Then again I love a mystery which can pretty much explain my fascination with the weather. Let's face it we get a lot of it here, mystery and weather.
Yesterday was freezing and dangerous, today is… well rainy and dangerous.
I ended up visiting Ray in the hospital, but not the way I wanted to: I was checking up on Hugh who'd literally had a run in with an SUV.
You'd think the flashing red lights and the "Paramedic" on the front of the bike and the back of his jacket would have clued in the nice suburban soccer mom that she wasn't dealing with some crazed biker… but all she saw was Tusks and a Harley and he was 'bearing down on her.'
Actually, he was bearing down on an accident about a mile ahead of them, but she didn't know that. To hear her side of it as she explained to the officers what had happened, you'd think that Hugh had lobbed a grenade at the poor dear.
Fortunately Hugh had a few things going for him. One, his boss is paranoid and has made sure all her medic's vehicles are rigged for recording and the motor medics have an additional camera built into their helmets. Two, said recordings include sound. Three, by now there isn't a cop in Seattle who hasn't heard of or met Dwight and Hugh. Four, Ms. Flirty picked the most married men on the force to try and wrap around her little finger. Fifth, and finally-said officers knew darn well that they had to get the poor dear out of there before Hugh's boss got there and explained items 1-4 to her.
I over heard one of the training officers explain to the rookies, "never get between a momma bear and her cubs held true for Citywide's Chief and her team."
By the time I got to the hospital, Hugh had been moved to an all too familiar semi private room. The doctor explained that it was best Hugh have a familiar face to wake up to, so they'd put him in Ray's room.
The nurses said something about quote 'keeping the whining know-it-all medics in one manageable place. end quote.
I was still a bit… tense when I left the hospital. I was ready to track down Ms. Flirty and give her a piece of my mind, but as I headed for my car I saw a familiar figure leaning my new vehicle. He never turned as I walked out, he just merely shook his head.
"Jess, you know-I could hear you all the way in Takoma… you've really need to learn to channel this aggression.
I have a feeling him teaching me to channel said aggression is going to be like… the immovable object meeting the unstoppable one. I'm just not sure which is which.
I think April Fool's came early this year.
I'm used to people doing stupid things it's part of why I have a job. To be fair, we all do our fair share of stupid things. Thankfully most of the time when we have those momentary lapses in judgment or focus, someone else is paying attention and makes up for it.
When they don't… well, that's where I and my buddies in EMS come in. And believe me we came in a lot today.
We started off two medics down and it went downhill from there.
It got so bad that by the time I arrived on scene on my last call and saw a clown car, complete with clown in big shoes, dangling from a tree I just looked at the officer in charge and held up my hands up in surrender. "I don't want to know."
Sometimes… it's just easier that way.
You know those stupid things we all do from time to time… well, today it seemed to be our turn and let me tell you… too many days like today and we'll pretty much take ourselves out.
As it is, I have three more medics on the injured list, Four medics on administrative leave pending investigations and five medics on 'sick leave' due to a failed 'prank'.
Of the four medics on administrative leave two of them will most likely be told to look into another field of specialization like... shower curtain installation. The other two are going to require some basic, remedial classes like "How to Tell if Your Patient is Dead 101" and "Why You Don't Leave Your Keys in Your Unlocked Ambulance 102"
A few additional classes will be offered to the pranksters and the prankees - like… 'if the coffee smells bad… don't drink it' and 'I will not mess with peoples' beverages of choice as a joke…'
I swear, the hospital is threatening to give us our own wing at this point and Dr. Shapiro is looking at me like it's my fault. I tried to explain I wasn't even supposed to be working but according to his nurses that's no excuse and one thing you can say about the good doctor, he stands behind his staff.
On the bright side, Ray and Hugh are doing better and chomping at the bit to get out and April Fool's day only comes once a year… I hope.
Do you have your scorecard ready, 'cause this is about to get really interesting
Okay, five medics in the hospital, four on administrative leave and another five still under the weather… That's a bad start to the day anyway you look at it.
All right… it wasn't too horrific… I managed to juggle a few schedules. With me and Charlie on duty, that meant we were only down twelve medics. We keep about 5 in reserve and with them activated, that left us down seven.
With a little rescheduling we managed to work it so each shift was only two men short. At least that's how it looked on paper on the streets it was a bit different
A lot of what we do would make the OCD think we've gone overboard, but trust me, when you need certain pieces of equipment within easy reach, you really don't want to have to look for them. It's part of why we tend to pack our own kits. Motor medics have to be even more particular since we only have a limited amount of space on the bike.
That's the first difficulty we faced. While the medics were juggled and working on setting up things according to the plan… the first alarm hit: a high-rise fire, midtown.
That took Charlie off the rig and back into a command position running the command center. I have no problem with Charlie running the scene, but if I'd known what was coming I would have taken the high rise call.
As it was we ended up with another sniper incident in Tacoma, really close to Ares' Campus. It's funny if you think about it: Ares scares me more than a sniper trying to kill me. I guess if I'm dead I don't have to worry about anybody picking through my brain and opening doors that really should be locked and bolted.
If Ray had been on duty I would have sent him, but as it was I got a pleasant surprise from KE. They told us to stage outside the cordoned off area and they would bring the injured to us. Normally I wouldn't go for that, but they were actually doing a decent job of containing the situation, and they did bring us the injured to triage and treat… and it was in an area outside their jurisdiction.
I did see Marcus and Evans briefly as they helped us offload a batch of injured from the back of an armored van. One of them had a snide "I bet you're loving this."
I looked at them, looked at the injured and just shook my head. They weren't worth the bother and there were other people who needed me. I saw them once or twice more over the next four hours, but Dwight became my self appointed body guard.
I heard him tell them once "we got a job to do and you two are the ones trying to make it into something it's not. Look to the injured and the dying-and keep your comments to yourself."
Something I would have said if I'd been there. As it was I just smiled and got back to work. By the time Ares and KE had dealt with the situation, I was ready for a nap, and the day wasn't even half over.
By the time we were back in service Charlie and I had been not only running our scenes but directing a third remotely.
And yes, by the end we needed a program to figure out where everyone was.
This morning KE wanted to debrief me and my people on the sniper incident.
Now that sentence alone was enough to put me on the defensive. I've experienced something KE called a 'debriefing' and well… I have some other names for it. No way I was going to willingly step into one of their stations for a 'debriefing' let alone put my people through one.
I set it up so they could talk to people at Citywide, with supervision, one at a time. We can't tie people up for long blocks of time, not when where running pretty much at capacity
They weren't happy, but let's face it they're used to getting what they want and getting the respect they feel they deserve. Sure they have a reputation for getting their man, but let's face it I've seen their methods up close and personal.
Before they could accuse me of either favoritism or worse obstruction I turned over the video feeds. "With these," I told them, "You can see everything we did. If you find you need further details, then we'll make arrangements."
Now I know the cameras don't see everything and there are things that the human brain may notice that there's no way the film could… People can recognize patterns in victimology or types of injuries. The film will just see reflections of light.
While they were viewing the feeds, I started tabulating the injures we'd treated. By the time they'd finished reviewing our tapes, I'd cross checked the tallies.
The shots were all clean, no graze wounds… the sniper was looking for targets in the open, not ones who were hiding. Most of the injuries were serious-he was trying to kill, but kill slowly. There were no head shots… almost all were to the torso, a few shoulder injuries but one of them was on the way out, and the other had gone into the armpit and lodged in the torso.
It was particularly nasty, but it didn't match the recent sniper incidents. The others were more random… taking the trick shots, this one, like I said they were going for a clean shot.
I'm not sure what the investigators were expecting but they seemed more understanding after I'd given them more than what they'd hoped to find.
I guess the efficient Chief is a far cry from the seriously mucked with sister. Hopefully it will make them think, but I doubt it.
It wasn't until the end of the day I noticed them… an array of friends and family who were watching over me and watching to make sure the boys in blue kept things civil.
Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker