“It’s natural to have a hard-on at times, usually when you don’t want them, like now. You can be at ease with us, you may see us with them at times as well,” explained Liam.
Both the units hit their lights and sirens, Jared in the lead with the Supervisor’s unit. Liam called on the radio and requested another unit as back up as it was a multiple casualty event. Dispatch advised them there was already a backup unit on the way with an ETA of a couple of minutes behind Jared’s unit.
Jared and Liam both arrived at the scene. The police had kept an area open for the ambulances and Jared parked furthest away from the doors to allow the two patient carrier units to be close. He grabbed the trauma management packs from the SUV and ran towards the bank’s front doors. Liam and Marci had their gear piled onto their stretcher and were heading for the bank doors as well. Josh met them at the doors and said, “They’re on the floor in the middle of the lobby. The shooter’s dead and it was Conner’s dad who did the shooting.”
“Who’s been shot?” asked Jared running through the door which Josh held open.
“Jared, its Sgt. Meyers and a new recruit Dave; his first week on the job.” he replied.
They got inside the bank and saw large pools of blood under all of the men. Jared knew he didn’t have to be a Shaman to know it was bad. Liam and Marcie went to Dave and Jared started on Frank.
Frank opened his eyes and looked at Jared. “I’ve been praying that you were working Jared. I don’t think I’ll walk away from this one; I’m having these feelings of floating. It’s like… like I’m separating my spirit from my physical body. My entire body is tingling and warm, and… no pain anymore. Like too many Scotches after work. Jared, it’s such a feeling of tranquility, peace and I can’t describe it.” He took a deep breath and continued, “Please, keep an eye on my son Jared because he’s all I had. Look after him Jared, he needs someone. Make sure my daughter gets Fluff Ball the cat.”
Jared had tears in his eyes and said to Frank, “You’re not going to die on my fucking watch Frank.”
Frank was watching tears escape from Jared’s eyes when they began to glow a bright white. Frank watched as Jared placed his hands on his chest. He thought he saw Jared’s hands glow briefly, and it looked like the glow was moving from his hands to the inside of his chest. He heard Jared praying, “Creator, guide my hands to do your work on this humble but more than worthy and deserving man.” Frank was watching him and didn’t understand what he was seeing or hearing, but he felt very relaxing warmth inside his chest begin, and grow within him.
Many times he had heard his men talk about how good Jared and Liam were at their jobs. Jared especially had earned the belief in his being an angel sent by God as an explanation of the unusual rate of successes he had as a paramedic. Many times the men had commented how they didn’t think a victim of a shooting or accident had a chance of survival but when they saw Jared arrive to a scene, the officers were usually wrong about the outcome to the benefit of the casualty.
Jared had never placed himself in a position for his patient to see his gifts being used before, but he had quickly sensed the importance of the immediately intervening on Frank. He could easily correct the situation once Frank is stable by altering his memories.
Frank thought to himself that he must be dreaming. “So this is what it feels like to die. Feelings of warmth, relaxation feeling like I’m a little drunk and laying on a beach in the sun,” were the last thoughts as he went unconscious.
In his mind, Jared saw the bullet had caused a fair amount of damage. The actual bullet caused damage as it passed through a person’s body, but the temporary cavity which forms from the force of travel through soft tissue creates challenges as well. The energy of the bullet creates a large gap inside a person, pushing organs and tissue outward. The gap doesn’t last long as the tissue slaps back into its natural position rapidly. The energy which caused the gap continues through the body as a wave with the potential of causing more damage as it progresses.
Jared followed the trail the first bullet had left. He found a fractured a rib and some damage to the lung as it passed through before blowing a hole in his back as it left. The second bullet had traveled through the liver and kidney barely missing the major renal arteries. Both of the bullets had travelled through layers of muscle and connective tissue, but none of that would be fatal. He concentrated on the tissue in the liver, watching it regenerate and blend together. As Jared relocated his thoughts to the kidney which had been damaged, he noted bruising on both the liver and kidneys which most likely caused by the force wave passing through them. After repairing the kidney damage, he took a quick look of the organs and decided he would leave the bruising for the doctors to monitor. It wouldn’t be fatal to Frank. Jared could see no damage to the spine so he moved on to the lung. He concentrated on the hole and closed it up, except for a minor tear to account for some of the blood. There were so many things which could go wrong still such as infection but the current life threatening problems have been solved. He definitely needs fluid replacement Jared thought to himself as he lifted his hand off Frank’s body. Jared pulled his drug kit out of the jump kit, quickly establishing two IV lines.
Jared turned to Marci and looked at her, “We’re going to tube him and follow protocol. Use the bag valve to saturate him with oxygen.”
Jared moved quickly and prepared for airway control. He also prepared a syringe of drugs and connected it to the IV line. He was ready, and Marci had pumped his body as full of oxygen as possible. Jared gave her a nod from his head and she squeezed the drug into the line and he watched as Frank’s body relaxed. A few seconds later, Jared inserted an ET tube, secured it and hooked it up to a bag valve. Marcie took control of the bag as Jared listened with his stethoscope.
“Good air movement,” said Jared and corrected Marcie on the rate, increasing her air delivery to one breath every 2 seconds. He listened longer and said, “Decreased air sounds bottom left lobe with sounds of fluid. The rest is clear. Marci, Let’s suction through the tube.” They did so and Jared removed about 30 mls of blood.
Liam was concentrating on his patient now that Marci was with Jared. Shoulder shot, bleeding but it looks like it missed bones and vital organs. It did some damage to the muscle and tendons which potentially could end his career by screwing up his shoulder. He needs fluids and some minor surgery, but nothing extra. Suddenly Liam noticed a small trail off the main trajectory. Shrapnel he thought to himself. In his mind, he followed the path until it stopped at the pericardial sac, and the object was trapped inside against the heart muscle. This is the priority Liam thought to himself. He concentrated on the object, and it dissolved. He then repaired the pericardial sac.
Jared looked over and saw Liam’s eye’s glowing white and smiled as he returned to working with Frank.
Liam was watching in his mind as the major muscles were healing as well as the tendons. He left some damage which wouldn’t cause any long term problems for the man. He then concentrated in the entry and exit wounds, causing them to stop bleeding.
Liam pulled his hand out from under the patient as the extra crew arrived. He gave them a verbal report on Dave and Liam told them to take over care. Liam then jumped over to Frank.
“Hook up the monitor and bolus the fluids for the first 500 mls. Marcie get the vitals,” said Jared.
Jared got up and went to check the shooter. It was Conner’s dad and he was obviously dead from at least 3 shots to the center of his chest. Jared checked the pulse out of routine and determined he would not commence treatment, obviously beyond help.
They got Frank bundled up and were pushing him out to ambulance when a couple of police officers came running up and asked, “How are they, Jared.”
“They are doing very well; both are strong men,” replied Jared. “Can one of you drive my SUV to the hospital? I’m staying with Frank.”
“No problem. I’ll tell the Sgt on the scene,” one police officer said.
The other crew was loading Dave up at the same time they were. Liam closed the doors, leaving Marcie and Jared in the back with Frank. Liam went to the front of the ambulance to get in when he noticed two police cars indicating they were going to escort the ambulances to the hospital. There had been a large crowd gathering to watch the activities at the bank. There were enough police cars and ambulances to keep even the most particular rubber necker interested. The police had been keeping the crowds back as far as they could, but it wasn’t far enough for what happened next. Emergency vehicles generally use a 40-80 watts of power for their sirens. When all the vehicles turned their sirens on at the same, it not only deafened the crowd, it created a vibration in the ground as well.
The ambulances and SUV took off down the street. It turned out there were three police cars on escort duty for the ambulances and they took turns sliding into intersections as a physical block to cross traffic. This allowed the ambulances to proceed without stopping each time they came to another intersection. After the ambulances had passed through an intersection blocked by a police car, they would catch up quickly and pass the intersection to the next in a leap frog movement.
Even the fire department had left their base and pulled their trucks across a couple of intersections. The firemen were standing at attention and saluting as the parade of emergency vehicles went by.
The people along the streets and the intersections were trying to figure out what had happened. They were upset the road was blocked until the sirens of the approaching ambulances almost deafened them. What they saw was police cars leading, chasing and passing two ambulances and an emergency SUV in a real hurry.
It took about 15 minutes to get to the hospital. The last intersection was already blocked by a police car and the officer saluted as they drove by.
The emergency bay door was open and it looked like the entire upper brass of the police department was waiting along with two full trauma teams.
They pulled in and Jared kicked the back doors open. The ambulances were mobbed and the stretchers pulled into separate trauma rooms. Jared went with Frank and Liam went with Dave. They were immediately transferred to the examination tables and verbal reports given as the doctors and nurse started to unhook the paramedic’s equipment and get theirs into place.
They got their stretchers and equipment and retreated to the bay to clean up. The press was trying to get in but some of the police officers were holding them back.
Marcie looked at Liam and Jared. She said, “You guys are incredible. I’ve never seen anything run so smooth before and you guys didn’t panic or hesitate in your treatments. You guys worked in such harmony it was as if you just had to look at each other to communicate. I learned so much today and thank you for not kicking me to the side.”
“Marcie, you were part of the team today. We needed you and you came through. You can work with us anytime,” said Liam.
They got the unit cleaned and stocked up. Jared phoned Rob to let him know what happened and how it went.
“Marcie worked well with us Rob and she knows her shit. Cool, calm and did a damn good job. Hire her to fill one of those spots,” said Jared.
“I talked to Melanie after your earlier call and she said to do it as well. I’ll call her back and fill her in on this call and how well she did,” replied Rob. “Good job guys. Pass that on to Liam and Marcie for me please. I will phone the other crew personally to tell them the same thing. On second thought, you might as well tell her Jared, she starts your next schedule days.”
Jared passed on Rob’s comments to Marcie and Liam. “I also filled him in on the call and how well you did. You are now full time starting on our first day shift. You’ll be working on our shift, Marcie.”
Marcie hugged them both, and had watery eyes while doing it.
“Liam, did you hear what Frank said to me when we first got there?” asked Jared.
“Yeah I did. I almost lost it when I heard him say that,” he replied.
“I’m going to try and find his son. I remember what he looks like from our mental contact. Once I find him, I’ll see how he is. I guess we also have to tell Conner he should have no fear now that his dad is dead,” said Jared.
Jared left the two to finish the restocking. Liam also restocked the bag from the SUV and locked it in the vehicle. He went to the ER Desk and asked if Frank’s son was here. They pointed at a young man standing near the Police Chief. Jared walked over to the Chief and shook his hand. The Chief thanked him for everything he did.
The Chief said, “The Doctors told me your teams of medics are top notch, and saved both of my men’s lives out there.”
“We only do our jobs Chief, but I will pass it onto the crews on your behalf,” replied Jared. Jared turned to the young man, “Are you Frank’s son?”
“Yes, I am,” he said quietly. “My name is Mark. Thank you for everything you did for dad.”
“Mark, your dad and I are friends and he asked me to take care of you for him. He told me you are all he has and wanted to be sure you were ok,” said Jared.
The young man looked at Jared, and then tears started to roll down his cheeks. Jared reached out and pulled him into a hug. Mark was soon sobbing loudly.
“Chief, Frank is divorced but on good terms with his wife. There is a daughter with her mom and there is a cat Frank got for his daughter as a pet at his place. Could you take care of notifications and make sure she takes the cat home as no one is going to be there to look after it,” asked Jared.
The Chief was watching and smiled, happy to see someone with Mark’s interest on their mind. A few moments later Mark settled down and let go of Jared. The Chief handed him his handkerchief to wipe his nose and face.
“That is so dad, to make sure I was going to be ok while he was lying there bleeding to death. He has always put me ahead of himself,” said Mark.
The Chief spoke up, “I will go and see if there is any news of the two men.” He left leaving Mark and Jared alone in the hallway.
“Mark is your boyfriend here or coming?” asked Jared.
Mark looked surprised. “You know about me?”
“Yes, your father and I talked about it,” Jared replied. “It’s not a problem with me.”
“I appreciate that Jared. No we broke up,” he replied.
“You can stay at my place with us tonight. You don’t need to be alone at home,” said Jared.
“I don’t want to bother you and your girlfriend, Jared,” he replied.
“That man over there is my boyfriend,” Jared said as he pointed to Liam.
“Really? Jared, I would love to stay with you guys. Can we sit and talk tonight a bit if we are not too tired,” asked Mark with a new air of confidence.
“Absolutely,” replied Jared.
The Chief came back and told them Dave is going in for some surgery, fairly minor and expected to make a full recovery. Frank is going in for some surgery as well. They inflated the lung from the bullet hole but they have to do some surgery to fix it as well as couple of minor bleeders they called them.”
“It means a couple of blood vessels are still bleeding, so they are going in to do some work on them, Chief,” explained Jared.
“Thanks. I was counting on you to translate it for me,” said the Chief.
The Chief spoke, “Mark, where are you staying tonight. There is no sense in you being here as your dad will be in surgery and sleeping until at least morning. I’ll be here until he comes out of surgery and then one of the deputy chiefs will be with him until morning. We can call you if we need you here but I don’t expect anything to surprise us the way the doctors were talking.”
“He’s coming home with me and I’ll bring him back down in the morning. I start days off at the end of this shift, Chief,” said Jared.
“Good plan. Are you heading home now?” asked the Chief.
“No. I have to check upstairs with a young man who will be moving into our spare room as he lost all of his family recently. He’s in here because of the vicious assault he suffered from his father,” said Jared.
“That’s terrible. I hope they punish his dad,” said Mark.
“Conner felt the same way. His dad was on the run and avoiding the police,” said Jared.
The Chief’s eyes opened wide and looked at Jared as recognition of who the young man was.
Jared said, “I’ll tell them. I sense there will be no trouble, and they may even become friends.”
“I will leave it in your hands Jared. If Frank trusts you, I will too,” he said.
They got to the room and saw the policeman was no longer posted at the door. They stepped in and Jared introduced Mark to Conner. They looked at each other.
Jared had closed the door as he came in and sat on the edge of the bed. He pointed at a chair for Mark to sit in. “Conner, your father was located, and was shot dead by the police in a bank on the other side of town. I have no clue what he was trying to do, but he is dead Conner.”
Mark’s eyes opened wide and looked at Jared, and then Conner.
“I should be sad, but I’m not. He beat me for so many years that I feel happy and safe now that I know he is gone. Thank you for telling me Jared. I sincerely hope and pray he didn’t hurt anyone other than me,” said Conner.
“Conner, he shot two police officers and they are both in surgery but expected to make a full recovery,” replied Jared.
“That son of a bitch. Why would he do that? Those guys just do their jobs and they have families at home,” said Conner.
“Conner, one of those police officers shot was Mark’s dad,” said Jared.
Conner looked horrified and glanced at Mark. He was still sitting there with a look of shock on his face when Jared spoke, “You both have something in common. You both were hurt by the same man, by different means but hurt just as deep. I’m going to help both of you through it so the pain caused by this man will be behind you so that you may continue down your pathways of life.”
“Please don’t hold me responsible for my father’s action, Mark. I had no control over him,” pleaded Conner.
“An hour ago I might have,” said Mark. “But after listening to you and Jared, I realize your dad was responsible for himself and I won’t blame you. No matter how much it bothers us to think it; I believe we both think he got what he deserved.”
Mark stood and offered his hand to Conner. Conner got out of the hospital bed and instead of shaking his hand, pulled him into a hug. They both started to sob, holding onto each other for support.