*Beep! Beep! Beep!*
All avalible fire and ems. 1070 structure, Old Oak Ridge Road, warehouse. Flames shooting through the roof and a possible gas leak.
I jumped from the top bunk, landing on my feet and then rushing to my truck sitting in the drive way. The dogs bark as I sling the back door open without even putting my tennis shoes on. I open the truck door and slam it, placing the key in the ignition. A few coughs and sputters later the truck roars to life and so does the CB in it as well.
Chief 7 en route to scene.
Medic 7 en route to scene
Deputy en route to scene.
I pick up my CB mike, but I set it back down. The drive is pretty short to the firehouse. The alarm is blaring as my barefeet hit the asphalt of the parking lot, the bay doors opening quickly and a few trucks going ahead and leaving for the scene. I rush to the cubby hole with the number 209 on a plaque in white lettering.
"Harris, how bad is it? Which truck am I on," I shout over the alarm, easily slipping into my boots and turnout pants.
"Bystanders called it in a few minutes ago, like the pager said, structure fire. You're on Rescue Engine 7.".
As I'm putting on my turnout coat and grabbing my helmet and oxygen mask I nod. I zip up the jacket and place the helmet on my head. With the oxygen mask in it's bag, which is in my right hand, I run to Rescue Engine 7, barely making it as my identical twin brother, Zac begins shutting the door.
"Zac," I shout, the adrenaline pounding through my veins, hoping he hears me.
"Jason, hurry, " he shouts backs.
I jump up on the step, then I take my seat across from Zac, letting him shut the door behind me. The other two in the back with us are Mikey Rivers and Ameilia Snow. The ones up front are Scott Harris and Daniel Hale. I nod to Scott and we head towards the structure fire, Daniel relaying information through the CB/radio.
The lights and sirens are shining and blaring as we speed like a bat from hell. Cars that are on the main road move to the shoulder, letting us pass them, some giving us a thumbs up or snapping pictures of the truck as it goes by for their Instagram wall.
We arrive five minutes later. The six of us step from the truck, air packs and oxygen masks on. I can hear the faint woofing of a dog. I don't think, I just act. I grab an axe from the open equipment compartment, then I begin pounding the pavement, because where there's a dog, there's possibly people.
"JASON, WAIT," Zac shouts, concern in his voice.
I ignore him and continue running, knowing that the Chief will berate me later, but he won't care right now. A few beams fall around the door I just came through. I shake my head or at least try to with the helmet and the oxygen mask and other gear on my face.
I continue to hear the woofing and barking and whining of a dog, followed by the faint shouting of a girl. I drop to the ground and begin crawling, trying to keep below the smoke. I crawl into the next room and a beam collapses on me. I grunt, barely feeling the flames on my back.
"Are you okay," a shaky voice asks.
All I can do is grunt in return, hoping the person can hear me. I twist and turn, trying to get the beam off of me. All of a sudden I hear the ripping of cloth. Damn it, my turnout coat ripped. I fool with the clasps and other button like things on it. Once the turnout coat is off I kick the beam that's weakened a bit, then I replace the air tank on my back, taking the full weight on my shoulders.
"Over hear," the same voice that asked me if I was okay, shouts.
I run/walk, following the voice and the dog noises. I reach a corner and find a girl about my age and a pitbull german shepherd mix hiding. She has blonde hair that has been dirtied by the soot and ash, grey-green eyes and she's wearing a tattered hoodie and jeans ripped at the knees and worn combat books. Her heart shaped face is covered in soot and ash as well, she also has a scar on the bridge of her nose.
I hold out my hand for her to take, which she graciously does. As she begins standing, the dog begins whimpering.
"Max, what's wrong," the girl asks.
The ground starts shaking, causing more debris to come down. I pull the girl and the dog that she called Max into a hug, shielding them from debris that begins coming down faster. The girl helps me shield Max. It doesn't matter though, the building slowly begins collapsing around us.
"What's your name," I ask the girl.
"Aileah," the girl says, fear evident in her eyes.
"Aileah, take my oxygen mask and air tank, can you carry an air tank?".
"I trained as a firefighter before, so yes on being able to carry an air tank," she says, the fear that was in her eyes is replaced with bravery.
"Good, take it and the axe. Go and get to a safer place, I'll make it out on my own.".
Aileah nods, so I help her put the oxygen mask and air tank on. I even pull a small respirator out for Max.
"Go," I cough/shout.
She runs, Max right behind her. I cough again, the smoke irritating my lungs. I begin searching for an alternative route out. My radio crackles, Scott's voice coming from it.
"Jason, come in. Jason, come in.".
" *cough*, Jason here, *cough*. Did Aileah and her dog get out *cough*".
The radio goes silent, signaling that either it died or Scott is talking to someone else. I keep coughing, so I cover my mouth, trying to block out the smoke. The building shakes again, more debris falling around me.
Damn it, I am going to die, I think as a section of roof and beams come down on top of me.
I cut through the last beam blocking the wall, or well a broken window. Once out I run towards the nearest fire truck, which has on the side Rescue Engine 7. Some people run over to me, Max growling at them, telling them to back off.
"I think there's still one of your guys in there," I shout to the nearest person, holding my hand level to Max, a mixture of fear, bravery, adrenaline, confusion and every other emotion coursing through my veins.. A guy identical to the one that's in the warehouse runs over to me.
"What did they guy say his name was?".
The guy curses under his breath and then begins relaying instructions to others like him. I kneel next to Max. I can sense a mixture of fear within this group, so I'm guessing that this doesn't happen often, or at least if it does their just more worried and fearful.
"Can you find the guy that saved us, boy?".
"Good boy. Go, go and find him.".
Max takes off faster than a race horse, barreling back into the ragin inferno.
~Max's POV (in Italics because in the mind of a dog)~
I ran back the way Aileah and I came. She asked me to do an important request. I had to save the person who saved us. I easily fit through a hole in the Southeast wall, near where I think the guy should be. Once through I can hear the faint moaning of someone. I run towards it, hoping that it's the guy.
As I get closer I can smell human blood. It's definitely the guy that saved us! I run as fast as my pitbull/german shepherd legs will carry me. When I reach him, he's barely moving, but he's breathing. I begin licking his face, hoping he wakes up.
I felt something licking my face. I barely open my eyes to find, Max, Aileah's dog, which both excites me and worries me.
"Hey, Max," I croak, the smoke affecting my breathing.
He just barks and begins pulling me by one of the suspenders on the turnout pants. I gently swat at him. I try moving my right foot, which causes a sharp pain to shoot up and down my right left. Max barks when I curse out loud, which scares me more than I think I scared him.
I hear a fainy voice shout, "Jason.".
"Zac," I barely shout back, thinking I'm delusional from smoke inhalation.
I can hear footsteps rushing towards me. Oh, God, my mind is defintely playing tricks on me. I keep hearing what or rather who, I think is my brother shouting and hollering at the others that were with us. As I begin to fight for consciousness, I see six figures running towards me and I can feel the water from one of the hoses falling down on me.
This is it, I think, ten years of this and I am going to finally die. Ten years of saving other people's lives.
"Your ass ain't dying on me, yet, Jason.".