Craig Alan Hartpence, click here
to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.
Adrenaline Junkies 2 1101 Club Murders
6/25/2010 7:48:00 PM
by Craig Alan Hartpence
| New mystery/suspense thriller from the author Craig Alan Hartpence. EMS Chief Jason Holt returns to solve the mystery of the 1101 Club Murders. In his last adventure Jason had accidentally uncovered evidence of 5500 murders committed by someone in his paramedical ranks. He was unable to complete his investigation due to being shot and then retired.
Jason then begins to have nightmares of being shot and not being able to complete his investigation. Join him as he returns to the EMS world and the 1101 Club Murders.
CHAPTER 2- NEED MORE ADRENALINE
Traveling down the highway I started thinking back as to why I quit being a Paramedic but still keep my certification current. I should’ve continued on to another department. With my skills and knowledge at that time it would’ve been simple. But no, I needed to get out completely. I was burnt to a crackley crunch. For some reason though, something in the back of my mind kept haunting me to “Get back in the game!”
But since I’ve retired, I’ve had no direction in my life. My hobbies are boring; most of my friends work full time jobs and can’t come out to play. The people I do hang around with basically don’t do any exciting things to pump up the adrenaline. I guess I need to contact the college to see if there are any teaching jobs available.
At least that way I could still be in the profession I loved and not be in danger. Though I remember the last time I was an instructor. It was during the dark time of my career. Sex, drugs, sex, alcohol, sex, parties; it was the seventies and eighties. Great times, bad on the body and mind. Being a paramedic, during those times, was an asset to my character and being a tall, dark haired, good looking male made it even better.
The thrill of being an alpha male with plenty of women added to the adrenaline high. But that’s not what I was looking for, Cindy kept me busy enough I didn’t need to chase any other women. Becoming a paramedic instructor again may be hazardous to my health. There’s a lot more women in the EMS and Fire Tech class’s today who would try many things to pass the class. I’d heard stories from others who were instructors, they say it is like shooting fish in a barrel.
The last time I taught a class, back in the day, there were several women in the class who sat on the front row. They had been making strange comments during my lectures, which entertained the class. Some of the males in the class would make comments to me as they were leaving. They thought I was banging all the women in the class and they had no chance. I was the WHOREDOG of EMS.
To tell you the truth, I wasn’t interested in the women in the front row. Actually, I was only interested in one of the females in the class. She was about 5’4” weighed about 120lbs, long red hair, bright green eyes, nice figure and very quite. She was about 22 years of age and very smart per her test scores. She worked, over the past three years, for one of the largest fire departments in the state.
She had to battle each day to survive her shift. During this time period females in the fire department were very few and far in between, basically not accepted in the emergency profession. Per many individuals in the FD, this was a man’s job and women didn’t possess the strength or the ability to do the job. Man, were they wrong! These women not only could do the job, but they looked good doing it.
The emergency services “MAN CLUB” was finished and they were unable to change it. A lot of the wives of the firemen were also infuriated. They didn’t like the fact that their men would be subjected to this harassment. No separate sleeping quarters for the females with a separate shower/bathroom. Their husbands would have the opportunity to get in trouble. Divorce rates were high in emergency services; wives attempted to separate the firemen or paramedics away from the other firemen/paramedics for two days, just to keep them on track.
Sometimes it worked most of time it didn’t. If you saw four firemen in a bar you could bet a MOL’s game was being played or they were getting trashed for some other event.
Samantha Greenleaf was her name, Sam for short. The closest I could get to her was during class. She came in on time, didn’t associate with any of the other classmates unless it was project oriented, did answer questions when asked, and then leaves once dismissed. Didn’t see her at the fire department or out on the street. A mystery lady that didn’t appear to be the way she acted.
One day I did get the opportunity to speak with her by herself during a training exercise. I struck up a conversation with her and asked if I could ask her some personal questions.
Sam said, “Do they relate to the class I am taking?”
I looked down kind of cowardly, “No. I’ve wanted to talk to you on a more personal level but never found the opportunity. You come in and you leave. I don’t know what station you run out of. To me you appear to have more to you than meets the eye. Just the way you move you command respect. I’d like to get to know you a little better. Are you married?”
Sam began, “Mr. Holt. You appear to be a well-polished gentleman who knows how to approach a woman. Breaking the ice, you might say. But I’m a person who isn’t easily charmed. I have a job to do and I must concentrate on that. I don’t have time to socialize or be distracted. Besides, your reputation precedes you. You’re a well-known paramedic in these parts with bad habits. You wanting to socialize with me is a joke. Your M.O. (method of operation) is this. You swoon and charm your victim. Inebriate them, then you become attached for a brief period of time to seduce them, and then you move on. Doesn’t sound like a real bright future, does it? The lines you use are revealing in that you are attempting to charm me, your first strike. You need better bait, my man. I’m not one of your princesses sitting on the front line, just wanting to hear stories of you risking your life to save someone else while getting trashed on Jack Daniel’s, Slim-Jacks as you refer to them. I don’t think you have the nuts to conquer me. I think I’ll pass on the offer. I would rather talk about the car we’re tearing apart, gaining access, things like that.”
Boy, I didn’t think I would get a response like that. But like rule #72 “Never challenge a paramedic to accomplish a task, they will adapt and overcome.”
As I walked away I realized she was right. I was an Instructor for two- reasons, teaching EMS and finding women. My hormones got the best of me.
Upon returning to class I noticed that the girls on the front row had changed out of their jeans and were now wearing skirts. As they sat down I began to conclude the class and give out assignments for the next class.
While I was speaking I began to notice the girls on the front row with their dresses pulled up and no underwear. I then couldn’t concentrate on what I was saying. As I stuttered till the end of class I thought to myself, it would be easy to tag all of them, all I had to do was ask.
At the end of class the girls got up and dropped notes on my desk as they passed by. This was unreal, didn’t quite know how to handle that.
The class was about to graduate; some individuals still had ride time to complete. This was the time when you had to ride a rescue or ambulance for practical experience. Since most of the EMT’s in the class had some rescue experience they were now going to learn first hand how to put their skills to practical use.
The next day I had to work a 24-hour shift. When I arrived at the station some of the guys were waiting for me.
Skull, my partner, said, “How do you do it? You get the most gorgeous women to ride your truck because you’re a “Preceptor”. We all know you’re screwing all of them. Don’t deny it, we see how they act when they’re around you. This one though seems special.”
“First guys, I shouldn’t have a student today. Second, I don’t have any idea what you are talking about. Third, why is it you think I am screwing all of the students that ride with me? If that was the case I would be worn out or worn down to a frazzle by how many women you think I’m seducing. That rumor mill needs to stop. Y’all are the ones promoting it.
Snake said, “Well, look at the vehicle she’s driving, need money for that.”
I looked over to see this brand new, powder puff blue, 2-door, ragtop; BMW parked on the other side of the ambulance. I had no idea as to who drove it, but I guess I needed to find out.
As I entered the station, I noticed this female seated in a chair facing away from me. I knew who it was but didn’t understand why she was here. She had no ride time scheduled with me. She was talking to the paramedic I was relieving. As I came around her chair, “Miss Greenleaf, I’m surprised to see you here. I didn’t have you scheduled and I have other scheduled activities for today. Do you have a schedule with you?”
Sam said, “Mr. Holt, Darla scheduled me for this day at my request. I know about your skills and wish to ride with you on an extra ride day. She contacted your superior and arranged it. Can this be accomplished or not?”
“No problem, I’ll have one of the other crews pick you up to complete your ride time. I feel uncomfortable riding as your preceptor. I’ll go talk to my boss and rectify this. As I stated, I have prior commitments for today and need to complete them. Stay right here for a second.”
I went to Langerfinger’s office, “Hey boss, can I speak with you for a minute? I have kind of a small problem.”
Langerfinger’s said, “Come on in and close the door behind you. How can I help you?”
“Pete, this trainee I have today is going to interfere with other commitments I have to do today. I also feel uncomfortable around her.”
Pete said, “What! I cannot believe you would turn down this request, unless you’ve been turned down already. Have you been turned down Jason?”
All I could do was shake my head yes.
Pete continued “Just to let you know, this girl requested you directly through your boss at the college. She felt that she needed to ride with you to see first hand your experience and felt it necessary to complete her ride time with you. She doesn’t want to ride with anyone else. It’s your turn in the barrel. Sorry man, the answer’s no. Have a good day today. Oh by the way, here is a present for your birthday. I know it’s in two days, but I won’t see you then. I heard you were staying home for the night.”
He handed me a little box. Inside there were two tickets.
Pete said, “It is two tickets to the Outlaws concert in a couple of weeks. One of your partners told me you wanted to go to that concert.”
Pete barked, “O.K. now get out of here and do some work. You’re burning daylight. Go train the rookie.”
I went back out to the recreation area and saw Sam looking at our library of medical books.
“Sam, I need to talk to you for a minute.”
Sam said, “Sure, what’s on your mind?”
“Look, there are rules when you ride with me. One, don’t do any advanced care without my permission or knowledge. You can provide basic care at will. Two, you are a student in my care, anything that offends you or is out of place, let me know first, before going to the upper crust. Rule #17 “Things are not always the way they appear to be.” So don’t detour around me. Three, any particular subject you wish to discuss, speak up. Four, you will notice I have personal rules when treating someone. I try to follow them when doing this job. I’ll let you know when one pops up…strike that…is about to be used. Five, if you have a question, ask it. I’m always open for suggestions. Sometimes an advance technical look may be clouding things. A strictly basic look at the situation may give you the answer to your question. Is there anything you wish to ask now?
Sam spoke up, “Is your reputation true? Are you as good as they say you are? I’ve heard tales of certain actions you’ve taken as a risk to save someone’s life.”
“Sam, one thing you’ll learn is that the 800-gossip line in EMS blows a lot of things out of proportion just to make news. I’m just a paramedic who will do anything to save someone’s life. In this job you’ll always be taking a risk and playing outside of the box.”
All of a sudden the radio starts barking, "Cardiac 102, emergency response, auto vs. ped at the intersection of John Young and S.R 42. Engine 12 and Rescue 42 responding, time out 0900 hrs."
“Well Sam it’s time to get your feet wet for today. Remember you are the transport paramedic and not a FD medic. Skull is our driver for today and he is your resource person for whatever you need. I’ll be your shadow, if you need advice, just ask.”
She appeared to be calm and ready for the call. As we were responding I began asking her questions about the way the call was received.
You then hear, "Cardiac 102. Update on your patient, multi-system trauma patient with ETOH (alcohol) on board. Rescue 42 is disabled and can't respond. Engine 42 is responding for manpower. No ALS unit available."
Skull answered, “Cardiac 102 copy, ETA 3 minutes.”
As we arrived on the scene there were several sheriff vehicles and one FD Engine on the scene. Sam and I jumped out of the truck grabbing the drug box and O2, proceeding to the injured victim. Skull grabbed the airway and trauma kit. As we walked up you could see this male patient up on the hood of one vehicle. Windshield was broken with hair embedded in it. Both of the lower extremities of the victim were folded behind him with his heals touching his head. Both appeared to be broke mid-femur area. He has a partial scalp avulsion with bleeding controlled by bandages and direct pressure. It appeared that he was struck while riding a bicycle toward oncoming traffic.
I turn to Sam, “What are your instructions?”
As she began to try to figure out her plan of action, I looked at her again, “Meter’s running girl, need to get something going now.” She appeared to be like a deer in headlights. She then began to give orders to the EMT's on scene, setting up different equipment and setting up two IV's with large bore needles.
She turned to me and asked for advice on the two broken legs, “How would I handle this?”
I told her that I would immediately reduce the legs and place the patient on a long backboard, tying both ankles to the board and elevating the foot end. This would act as bilateral traction splint. Start your IV's enroute. This was a load and go patient with an ETA to the hospital of seven minutes. Due to his injuries he needs a surgeon, now. He really needs a chopper too, but I know we were advised this morning that the chopper would be out of service most of the day.
She decided that the suggestion was good and began acting on it. The patient was in extreme pain. Sam asked me to set up the IV's and get orders for pain medication. After reducing the fractures, which relieved his pain somewhat, he was placed on the long backboard. As the firemen loaded the patient in the ambulance, I started the first IV, which was flowing like a river. I’d obtained orders for four milligrams of Morphine Sulfate to reduce his pain. His pressure was above 100 and his pulse rate was fast. He did appear to be going into shock, so we needed to be careful.
Skull yelled, “Hang on! Mr. Toad's wild ride is about to begin.”
Sam appeared to be sweating and very nervous. I asked her if she was O.K.
Sam said, "We need to have a talk after this. I didn’t expect to be in charge of patient care, I thought, I was to assist you in care, but we’ll talk about it later." She attempted to start the second I.V. but couldn’t position herself to start it in the right arm. I asked her if she needed a suggestion.
Sam barked, "No, I’ll do this", and then she fell on the floor as Skull turned left.
“Sam, this is like riding an 8-second bull. Go with the flow of the unit movement.”
Sam then said, "O.K. smart ass...show me your stuff!"
I immediately straddled the patient anchoring my leg between the stretcher and the wall. Grabbed the I.V. needle and stuck it in his right arm. It was a beautiful stick and flowing well. Sam looked at me and didn’t say a word. We arrived at OM ER where the patient was immediately taken to the trauma room. Sam gave a great report to the ER staff and walked out. She appeared to be unhappy.
After talking to some of the staff in the trauma room, I went out to the truck. Skull had already cleaned the back of the truck and placed us back in service. As we headed back to station one, Sam didn't say a word and I didn’t press it.
Once again, the radio began barking, "Cardiac 102 Code III emergency response to 214 Easter Lane c/s of Lancing Blvd., possible near drowning of a 3 year old female. Rescue 10 and Engine 10 enroute, Time out 1237 hours."
I asked Sam if she was ready for a pediatric code 90? Did she know her protocols and pediatric doses? We’re responding with a BLS group with no paramedics.
Sam said, "This will be my first pediatric code. Can you please take this one and let me assist?"
Look Sam, you are a good paramedic from what I’ve seen in class. This ride time is like having a safety net, except you’ll call the shots and make the decisions. It's your time in the barrel. I’ll make sure you don’t kill the patient.
You hear the radio again, "Cardiac 102, be advised FD is working a pedi code, what’s your ETA?"
Dispatch, we’re arriving on the scene now. As I looked up through the front of the ambulance you could see one of the firemen running towards us with a child in his arms. He was doing CPR on the child at the same time he was walking; he had that rescue look in his eyes.
I yelled to Sam to open the back doors one of the firemen was headed that way with the child. As he began to climb into the unit he stated that the child was down in the bathtub, underwater, for an unknown amount of time. The mother pulled the child out and immediately began CPR. She ran to the phone to call 911 with the baby in her arms..
I jumped out of the front of the unit and went to the back to assist Sam. As I looked in the back Sam had prepared everything to begin working on the child. Monitor showed flat-line; Sam immediately tried to intubate the patient and was successful on the first try. She then started bagging the patient. I told the firemen to stay with us and continue CPR. Skull was to begin transporting us to the closest hospital. Artificial breathing continued and an IV had been established with drugs administered. Sam gave report to DPH, a hospital for children. As we were arriving at the hospital, I noticed that the pt. began having a few heartbeats on the cardiac monitor, becoming more frequent. I reached to see if there was a pulse with those beats, to my surprise there was. I looked at Sam and told her she was doing a good job, we have a pulse. The pt. though was still not breathing.
We continued to artificially breathe for the child, his color looked good. It appeared that his heartbeat was holding.
The back doors opened and there stood a team of pediatric docs and nurses waiting for the patient. As we unloaded the patient Sam began to give report to one of the doctors.
This was a life saved, a feeling that keeps emergency responders in this profession. The only thing left was praying for the full recovery of this child. Only time would tell.
Sam appeared to be upset, tears welling up in her eyes. I told her we needed to step out for some air. The whole time we were walking, I didn’t say a word. The minute we got back to the unit, Sam started crying. I just let her cry. Sometimes that’s the best medicine to control your emotions and the adrenaline surge.
Sam then said, "We need to have that mother arrested for child neglect. That should’ve never happened. That child almost died because of her stupidity. Are they going to do something to her?"
“Sam, sometimes things are not the way they appear. There are no rulebooks for certain incidents that parent’s experience. The mother didn’t appear to do this intentionally. Sometimes costly mistakes are made because we don’t think ahead of what dangers may happen because of our actions. As the mother stated she had just left the room for a moment to grab a towel downstairs, downstairs being the key word. When she came back she found the child under the water. She did everything in the right sequence. Removed the child from the water, began CPR, notified 911, and continued till help arrived. She will be beating herself up for a long time just because she is a mother that almost lost her child. If there is any foul play involved the law enforcement officers and courts will decide. Remember that our job is to attempt to correct the fatal or costly mistakes made by others. Not to make judgments of who is at fault. If no one made such mistakes we wouldn’t have a job.”
Sam said," I guess you’re right about that. It just makes you feel rotten inside though when you see children involved. They really can't protect themselves. You’re right; I do feel a little better about the call.
“That mother is living in her own hell at the moment and will be feeling that way for a long time.”
Throughout the rest of the shift Sam asked questions and did well. I still felt off balance, kept stuttering and saying the wrong thing. I felt like I was in a pickle for a sexual harassment case. Again she was a professional though at all times. When her ride time was up she left. She did wish me a happy birthday and told me to enjoy my party.
I though to myself: “What party?”
My new partner Stub had switched out with Skull. We then waited for Dick and JF to return to quarters so we could switch back to our regular positions on our units.
Stub asked, “How far did you get?”
I smiled and told him she was one tough cookie. Shut me down before the starting gate opened.
Stub then said, “I’ll get her all wrapped up as your birthday present with a big red bow in her hair and everything.”
“Any other impossible feats of magic you want to do for me? This one is wise to the ways of charm, not quite sure how to approach her.”
We finished the shift and I spent the next 24 hrs sleeping. It was a ruff shift.
Stub and I were roommates in a three bedroom two-bath home with a pool. Duda was the owner of the home and the third roommate; he always stayed at his girlfriend’s house. Good system till we changed shifts. Now we work on the same shift.
Stub was in the living room when I finally got up.
Stub said, “Hey, I left you an unexpected present on the counter in the kitchen. It’s next to the empty towel roll. Say thanks and Happy Birthday.”
As I went into the kitchen I looked on the counter in amazement. Here was a line of cocaine two inches high, three inches wide and about three feet long.
I yelled to Stub. Hey man! What in the hell is this? Is this real cocaine?
Stub yelled back, “Happy Birthday, be careful it’s strong! Take a tiny taste before you snort some just to see how strong it is. No OD’s”
To tell you the truth, I wasn’t really interested but I guess it would be a different present than normal. I guess I’ll start early. I took a taste expecting it to be bitter, numbing taste. IT WAS ARTIFICIAL SWEETNER.
“Stub, what the hell, are you trying to kill me? What do you think would have happen if I had just snorted it first?”
Stub said, “Your 5 LB box of artificial sweetener fell out of the cabinet and apparently was open, shooting all over the counter. I used a credit card to at least contain it until you got up, didn’t know if you would still want it. Sorry man, I couldn’t resist it. I then thought it looked exactly like cocaine. So I scraped it in a long line and use the center of the paper towel roll as a tooter. What a concept!”
Stub then said, “Hey, that chick blew my cover about the party. Don’t worry, it’s going to be a small one. I really need you to do me a favor before the party. I really hate to do this to you, but you have the transpo to pick it up and it’s your birthday gift. I was going to use Ron’s truck but he backed out. I had no options left.”
At four thirty this afternoon you need to be at the information booth in the mall. Just ask if a delivery had been made for Mr. Holt. I made arrangements with the delivery person to do this with your name on it. Just make sure you are there at four thirty, the delivery guy won’t wait to long for you to get there. Again, sorry man, but you’ll enjoy it when you get back home and drink.”
“O.K. but I’m planning on going to sleep before midnight. I took tomorrow off to go play golf. I wanted an easy birthday but figured you wouldn’t let that happen.
Stub said, “Hey, the 1101 club watches your back.”
Didn’t quite know what that meant, but ok. If it is anything like what goes on while we’re on shift, It’s an all night party.
The day went pretty fast lounging around watching the tube. I decided to get ready for tonight. If I needed to be at the mall at exactly four thirty I needed to get ready now.
Craig Alan Hartpence