The Author reserves all copyright privileges. This work my not be reproduced, except for personal use, without permission of the author, and may not be linked to pay sites.
Dedication: This story is dedicated to my special friend, Ry, who provided the inspiration for the my first effort at writing fiction, and to Don Hanratty, the author of Working It Out, a beautiful piece of work (Nifty/college section), who encouraged and helped me post it here.
If you would like to comment or have suggestions, you may E-mail
me @ JETjt@aol.com.
Thanks for the comments and encouragement..
RON AND BRYAN
Ron was stunned, but leapt into action. Scoping out quickly the vertical drop off, and ordering his guests to remain there, he turned and raced toward the chopper. Shouting the names of his pilots as he neared the craft, he approached the still machine. Realizing that the machine was locked, he looked about in frustration, only to see the two young men appearing out on the woods, on the run.
"Rich, has fallen over the edge of the canyon, and appears to be unconscious. Bring the rescue gear and the medical kit!"
The pilot, David, quickly unlocked the sizable storage area behind the passenger area, and handed Ron a coil of rope and two climbing harnesses. Ron snatched the equipment from his pilot and took off running for the accident site. David pulled the canvas bag containing the collapsible stretcher and began to assemble it on the ground beside the aircraft. Butch, grabbed the medical bag and the bag containing splints and braces used to immobilize the injured, and headed swiftly in the direction that Ron had taken toward the canyon. By the time he joined the the passengers at the edge, Ron had secured the climbing rope to a nearby tree, not trusting the rusting iron railing which had failed. Rons was pulling on the the climbing harness, and securing the fasteners, as the co-pilot set his burden near the edge of the precipice, and looked down to check out the conditions they would face. Picking up the coiled line attached to the tree, he expertly heaved the bundle over the railing, watching it unwind as it descended into the chasm. Turning, after assuring himself that the line had not fouled, he picked up the other harness and began to attach it to his muscular frame.
Ron had noticed in returning, that Bryan was not in sight. Preparing for the rescue, Ron had thrown the breathless question at Alan, who was leaning over the rail looking down at his son, about the location of his partner.
"Bryan thought he might be able to get to Rich, from the side and below. He took off to find a slope that would allow him to climb down."
"Damn," Ron thought, "I hope we don't have to rescue him too!"
Ron attached the metal clip from the climbing harness to the rope, then moving down to where the metal railing at the edge was not damaged, he used the horizontal metal pipes of the rail as a ladder to the other side. Starting with his feet on stone wall, he leaned back, using the rope as an anchor, and began stepping backward down the shear rock face. Two minutes later he was kneeling on the stone ledge onto which Rich had fallen, and began to examine the prostrate form of his young friend. The fingerless climbing gloves allowed him to check for a pulse. He was relieved that Rich had a strong signal and shouted his finding, to the boy's anxious father.
Looking up he saw the medical and splint bags being lowered on another rope by David, who had arrived at the edge with the stretcher. Nearby, Butch was descending down the same rope that Ron had used. Reaching up to receive the bags, Ron grasped the bulky splint bag, untied it from the line and set it aside against the cliff. Unfastening next the medical bag, he opened it and placed it, next to Rich. By the time he had finished the preparations for a more complete examination, Butch had landed on the shelf and was crouching at the side of the young man. Ron knew that Butch had far more experience than he and he was grateful for the luck of his being here. Butch had not only civilian EMT training, he also had served as a marine corpsman during the Gulf War. Applying his skills and training, Butch quickly examined the injured youth.
"His vital signs are good," Butch reported, "but he may have broken bones or internal injuries, which will be hard to verify here, we need to get him out of here, and transport him to a hospital as quickly as possible!" Looking up at his partner who was looking down from the canyon edge, he shouted. "Lower the stretcher, then get the chopper ready to lift!"
Within seconds, the portable stretcher was being lowered. Ron caught the metal cradle and placed it flat on the ledge next to Rich's outstretched body. Butch had completed his examination, and had determined that Rich's right wrist was broken and an ugly swelling was evident on the youth's right temple. Taking no chances, the two men attached leg and arm splints to all of Rich's limbs, and attached a neck brace in the event that the fall had resulted in a neck injury. Tucking the arms and legs close to the torso, Butch placed a rigid backboard, which had arrived with the stretcher, parallel to Rich's body, and carefully, with Roan's help rolled the unconscious form over, onto the board. After attaching straps around the body to secure the boy to the board, the two men lifted the light fiberglass reinforced appliance supporting the limp frame, into the stretcher basket. Straps were soon draped over the body, and were being fastened by the co-pilot, as he requested that Ron climb back up to the canyon rim. Ron quickly attached himself onto the climbing rope, and was soon scaling the rock face. As his head cleared the rock wall he saw the RET helicopter rising well above the towering trees, with a long line dangling far below the fuselage.
The chopper moved into position 100 feet above the canyon edge. Butch had connected the basket's lift lines to the four corners of the stretcher and held the lifting ring end of the splayed device in his left hand as he signaled the chopper to descend with his right. Guiding the pilot , the large white machine dropped slowly, with the weighted line directed by hand signals, toward the ledge where the copilot now stood.
Ron moved next to Alan and watched the rescue unfold. Seeing a movement below and to the west of the ledge, Ron saw Bryan's lithe body clambering over the loose rock, which had fallen from above by erosion.
The swinging cable from the helicopter had reached the copilot, who caught the weighted end and, as the line developed a little slack, he clipped the hook to the lifting ring of the stretcher. Once secure, he signaled the pilot it begin the lift. The stretcher litter rose from the ledge, and Butch signaled the pilot to tilt away from the cliff face so that the stretcher would not crash into the rock in its assent.
Ron watched the basket clear the canyon edge and began a small swing as the chopper tipped its rotors toward high ground. Catching the eye of the copilot still on the lower ledge, he pointed downward and to the west where Bryan was attempting to scale the loose rock toward the rock outcropping where Rich had fallen. When he made sure that Butch had seen Bryan, Ron turned and saw that the helicopter was hovering above a vacant area of the nearby parking lot with the basket suspended thirty feet above the surface. Ron ran quickly toward the lot and began to signal the pilot to lower it's precious cargo to the ground. Watching Ron from the side window of the craft, the pilot slowly let gravity exceed lift, and the machine settled toward the blacktop. Alan stood below the basket and catching it when it was 7 feet above the surface, guided it to the pavement. Ron ran to the tether and disconnecting the hook, then again running to the spot where the pilot could see him, he signaled him to ascend. The pilot moved the craft up and away from the litter, and then landed the helicopter nearby on the parking lot.
Ron again ran to the edge and looked over the side of the canyon wall. He saw Bryan with the rope in hand, and Butch pulling on his arm as he clambered onto the ledge. Quickly taking his climbing harness off and attaching it to the equipment line, Ron called to Butch and quickly lowered it over the side. Butch untied the light bundle and attaching the medical and nearly empty splint bag to the line, signaled Ron to haul on the light rope. Butch helped Bryan into the harness that Ron had worn, and with a few minutes of explanation in rock climbing techniques, clipped him to the climbing line and Bryan started toward the top. Butch reattached his own harness to the same line, following closely the much less powerful youth, ready to help if Bryan had problems. Struggling, yet determined, Brian's hands finally appeared above the rock wall, where Ron assisted in completing his climb. Butch was close behind, and Ron pulled in the ropes and quickly coiled them. Bryan ran over to where Rich lay and Butch headed for the helicopter, to help David dismantle the lifting boom and cable apparatus, then prepared the passenger area for receiving the basket holding the accident victim.
In ten minutes, the chopper was ready for loading. Two thirds of the rear aseat backnd a insulated panel behind had been removed and stowed into the the far side of the baggage storage area. Alan and Bryan were directed to climb into the passenger compartment and to sit on the far seats facing each other. After Butch and David had carried the stretcher to the aircraft then lowering it to the tarmac, Butch, medical bag in hand, climbed in between the two passengers. Turning around to face the wide doorway, he knelt on the floor. Ron and David picked up the stretcher, and passed the foot end to Butch's outstretched hands.
Butch guided the entering end through the opening where the seat back had been removed then swung in and lifted the trailing end, onto the opposite seat. After securing the stretcher to the seat anchors, David slid the doorway closed, and Butch latched it and locked it from inside.
While David locked the baggage door, and did a quick walk around of the aircraft, Ron climbed into the copilots seat, and fastened himself in, and locked and latched his door. When David completed his exterior walk around, he climbed through his own door and before he had fastened his own seat harness, handed Ron a clip-board, and said, "Read this aloud." As Ron began reading the pre-start up check list, David clicked the latch closed to his seat harness and began pushing buttons, turning knobs and checking gauges. Upon Ron reaching the bottom of the list, David started the ignition sequence of the engines, and contacted the South Rim Airport by radio. Butch, still kneeling in the rear, handed Alan and Bryan, headseats to wear. Because of the removal of the baggage bulkhead, the trip to Las Vegas was going to be noisy!
The aircraft smoothly lifted above the Canyon rim, and tilting forward , the nose dipped and the aircraft quickly shot forward toward maximum cruising speed enroute to Las Vegas. Once they were at the desired elevation and forward speed, David radioed ahead on the emergency channel, informing the hospital of their pending arrival. He also contacted the air traffic controller and informed him about his position and emergency status. Receiving instructions, from the Las Vegas tower, David made slight alterations of his headings to comply. Meantime, Butch, whose head set had be activated by Ron, had talked to the Trauma Center doctor, and had given Rich's vital sign readings and description of his condition. Receiving then, instructions on medications to be given to keep the patient stable, Butch began the task.
The aircraft shot through the sky at nearly 200 knots. When, compared to high speed winged aircraft, the speed was slow, but for a rotary winged civilian helicopter, it was uncommonly fast. Ron knew that the company's purchase of the best was now proving it's worth. He was also thankful that they had volunteered the craft for emergency search and rescue, and had trained pilots for the work, or they would not have been equipped for the rapid response.
* * * *
The white chopper descended toward the steel deck of the heliport above the UMC Trauma Center. Nearby the pilot saw the doorway cracked open, leading to the roof elevator lobby. David knew that a Trauma Center team was huddled inside, protected from the down wash blast created by the rotors of his craft.
Rich's vital signs had been stable, throughout the flight, but he had shown no signs of recovering consciousness. An IV had been place in his arm as the mechanism of admitting the medications the doctor had ordered into his system.
His father, Rich's best buddy Alan, looked helplessly at the injured youth. Alan had continually touched his son's exposed hand during the flight, as if to assure his son, that he was there with him. He was more than thankful for Ron's quick action and for the skill of his crew. At first he had been so surprised and stunned that he could not react. In spite of his experience with the violence of the street, this accident tore him to the core. He had not been so emotionally distressed in years, in fact , since he had found Bryan's beaten and helpless body in the alley, more than 4 years before.
After the retractable landing gear touched down on the landing pad, and the ignition and fuel to the engines shut off, the rotors slowly began their wind down to a stationary state. The trauma team did not wait. They rushed toward the helicopter, whose blades still rapidly circled, but which had been horizontally 'feathered" to avoid biting into the air. The door of the craft slid open as Butch released the latch and pushed. The emergency team did not delay, the doctor heading the team quickly checked the patient to make sure that he was ready to move and conferred quickly with Butch on his vital sign readings. He stepped back and strong hands unfastened the stretcher from it's moorings, and strong arms lifted the basket onto the surface of a wheeled gurney, which had been rolled into place to transport the injured patient inside where all the modern equipment and a skilled medical staff were available.
* * * *
20 minutes had passed since the helicopter had landed and the injured youth had been moved to the emergency room.. Ron, Bryan and Alan sat in the waiting room and waited for the doctor to appear. The E.R. had been a madhouse when the gurney had arrive. Patients were arriving seemingly from everywhere and the staff was going crazy trying to handle the load. Since the gurney had arrived with the team that received it on the roof, the attending physician had made a cursory examination of the patient, an IV needle had been inserted into the lad's arm and the gurney had unceremoniously been 'parked' unattended in a corner of the E.R as the staff rushed around helping patients, whose condition they considered "more critical."
Ron normally had the patience of Job, but he was getting increasingly irritated. He had called his personal physician at home and he was due to arrive in in 45 minutes. Ron rose and walked to the admitting clerk's desk.
"I'd like to see the doctor in charge if this ER shift," he asked politely. Explaining his need, he indicated the gurney parked against the far wall and spoke, "We flew in the injured boy on the gurney, sitting over there. In the last 15 minutes he has been marooned over there, unconscious and ignored, I'd like to get that remedied."
The clerk replied, "I'm sorry sir, but the shift supervising physician is busy and can't be disturbed. I'm sure that the patient is O.K. or he wouldn't have been left."
"Well, I'm not so sure, who else can I talk too?"
"I'm sorry sir, but there is no one available"
"How about the Chief of Staff or the Head Administrator?"
"I'm sorry sir, but they are not in the hospital."
"Would you please call either one, at home?"
"Oh, I couldn't do that, Sir! You'll just have to wait!"
Ron pulled out his cell phone and began to dial. In doing so he asked the clerk, "Are you familiar with the Turner wing of this hospital?"
"Oh yes sir, it is the finest medical facility in Las Vegas!" She said proudly.
"My name is Ron Turner," Ron said. "I built it, and I donated it to the community!"
The lady's face started to pale, and Ron thought she would faint, when he spoke the next words.
"Paul McInerny, please, Ron Turner calling," he said speaking into the phone. The hospital chief administrator came to the phone
"Paul," he began, "I have a serious problem......"
Ron explained his concerns, then listening for a moment, then obviously "on hold" for a minute or two, then listening again, then saying "Thank you, good-bye," Ron disconnected the call.
Turning to the clerk he smiled. "I guess he wasn't too busy. He's on the way here now for a visit.. And strangely enough, the Chief of Staff is also free. Must be my lucky day!"
Ron returned to his seat in the waiting room and the clerk rushed from her station to find a seat in the ladies" room.
One minute later, two orderlies appeared and looking around nervously, wheeled the gurney rapidly from the room. Two minutes later, the shift supervising physician approached, introduced himself and apologized to the men for the delay. He indicated that he would personally look into the condition of the patient, and report back as quickly as humanly possible. He excused himself and hurried through the doors that had swallowed the gurney.
"What happened?" Alan asked.
"Oh, I just pulled their string." Ron answered simply. "I hate bad service, especially a service as vital as this one. I especially hated to cause a rumpus, because there are other patients that need help, and who have no string to pull, but Rich is important to me, and all important to two guys I love and admire. I hope you'll forgive my selfishness. I can promise you this, though, in a month even the financially unfortunate won't be ignored here.
25 minutes later, the concerned trio, were escorted into a nearby office, where they were greeted by the shift physician who reported on Rich's condition.
"The patient has received all the appropriate tests, including x-rays, an MRI and a Cat scan. He appears to have a serious concussion and is being prepped for surgery to relieve the pressure in his scull, that we believe is the cause of his unconsciousness. Here are the necessary paper to sign. The hospital's leading neurosurgeon Dr. Michaels, is on his way and will perform the operation, which is not normally considered a very difficult or risky procedure. We have been directed however to take every precaution. The scans and urine tests indicate the unlikely hood of other internal injuries. The bones in his right wrist are fractured and have been set, he has four cracked ribs, and a sprained left wrist. With luck, he should regain consciousness within three of four hours after the surgery, however, his condition may convert into ordinary sleep and he can use the rest! With the best luck he might even regain consciousness in the recovery room right after surgery. At any rate you can count on his being here in the hospital for two or three days, at a minimum."
"Thank you doctor," Alex offered, " We appreciate the attention you are providing."
As the doctor started to reply, the office door opened. The Hospital Administrator and the Chief of Staff quickly entered.
They stepped up and greeted Ron apologetically, then were introduced to Alan and Bryan.
Concluding the courtesies, the men turned to the Shift Chief.
Ron interrupted the anticipated exchange, by stating, "The doctor here, has been explaining the patients condition. We are satisfied that he is receiving appropriate care. My own personal physician , Dr. Hazeltoff will be here momentarily. I would appreciated your consulting with him regarding the patient's care. I trust his knowledge, skill and judgment implicitly. We would like to remain in the hospital until Rich, Alan's son regains consciousness." Speaking to the shift supervisor, he continued, "that is all for the moment, thank you doctor! I'd like to speak to these gentlemen alone, if you will excuse yourself.
Please keep us well informed of what is occurring with the patient."
Nodding in agreement, the doctor acquiesced to the dismissal, picked up the papers Alan had signed, and exited the office.
Addressing both remaining doctors Ron continued, "Paul, ... Davis... I think you have a fine mess here in the E.R. I've never seen such chaos! I'm not here to negatively criticize, but rather here too help you lick this monster. You know it can be done. The Turner wing has proven that! With the application of good planning and the proper facilities and staff, I know that your per patient costs have dropped by 25% and services improved. I'd like to meet with you and and the chief of the E.R. in my office on Monday morning at 10:00 A.M. to discuss the matter. I will invite also, a couple of my consulting staffers, who before they are done, will impress the hell out of you. I can look for you then?"
Knowing that the attendance at the meeting was not a request, but a command, no matter how nicely put. The doctors quickly agreed. They knew that the young executive's influence had long tentacles and that he wouldn't be crossed. They also knew that he could be the blessing in disguise that the E.R. so badly needed. Concurrence with this young man's request could seriously enhance their careers, or that conversely, prideful opposition could destroy their professional standings.
Everyone smiled knowingly. Paul offered the courtesy of a private lounge in the executive office area for their wait, but Ron declined, explaining that they would want to be near the scene of the action, even if it was less comfortable. Paul the offered the office they were meeting in, for their use, and the physicians lounge, nearby for their refreshments. Ron graciously accepted.
The two doctors excused themselves, stating that they wanted to get a first hand assessment of the young patient's condition. Paul stated, in leaving, that he would be sure that Dr. Hazeltoff was informed of their whereabouts and that Ron's doctor would received every professional courtesy.
As the door closed, Bryan , sensitive to all that had just occurred, exclaimed in awe, " Wow, what a power trip!"
Ron picked up the desk phone, and punched in his home number, and asked for Dorothy. He quickly brought her up to date, gave instructions, and left the phone extension, which he read from the phone cradle, to the office they now occupied.
Punching in a new set of numbers, he called Margaret, his secretary, at home. He told her of the day's occurrences, and asked her to call Will Nugent and Jan Bounett to attend an early meeting at 8 A.M. on Monday in his office, to discuss his plans for the hospital. He also requested that she call Charlie Parker, the President of Turner Consulting. He wanted Ted Thornton, and Jack Smith, the whiz kids from Turner, to attend the meeting with the two executives from the hospital at 10 o'clock on Monday, along with Will and Jan. He concluded the conversation by leaving the number of the office they now occupied, and thanking her for her help, returned the phone to its base.
Ron leaned back in the chair. He looked at his friends Alan and Bryan, who were holding hands, and softly talking to each other on the sofa they shared.
He thought about the young whiz kid Ted and Jack. He knew that they were gay and in love. They were also a great business team. They had been given a management consulting contract for a large company in New York. The company had many offices around the country which handled there business of leasing construction equipment to mining operations and heavy construction companies that built roads and bridges. Their specialty was leasing drilling and boring equipment. They were burdened by debt, secured by the equipment they leased and their earnings were flat. Ted and Jack examined the operations and finances of the company, and came up with a program of changing operations, restructuring debt and broadening their playing field, that would catapult the company to the top of the heap. Ron himself, was so impressed with the plan, that he purchased 400,000 shares of its stock at the depressed price of 3 1/2 dollars a share. He purchased another million shares four dollars, when the stock started to skyrocket upwards. Within a year of putting the plan into effect the stock plateaued at around $40, earning him nearly $47 million in profits! His purchase of the stock had to be registered with the SEC as required by law and had made him the largest single stockholder. He had been offered a seat on the Board of Directors, and had accepted. In thinking of that company, he was reminded that his first meeting on that Board was soon. He made a mental note to check his calendar.
An hour had passed. Doctor Hazeltoff had come and gone a few minutes prior, reporting that the surgery had gone well, and that Rich was in the recovery room. No further update had yet been received from the medical staff. A knock was heard from the door. Opening it, he saw Dorothy at the door, laden with a sizable cardboard box. Offering a greeting, Ron looked into the open top of the container and saw various size of containers, containing mouth watering items for their dinner, complete with disposable tableware and drinks. She handed Ron the keys to his Mercedes sedan and announced where it could be found in the parking lot. She asked about the condition of his guests, especially the youngest one, for whom she had found a motherly attraction. Ron told her as much as he knew, and knowing that she was very religious, asked her to pray for them all. Assuring them that she had done so already, and would continue, she asked if there was anything else you might do to help.
Receiving a negative answer she smiled, kissed the three men on the cheeks, and left to return home.
The men had barely finished the meal and thrown away the disposable items, when the door burst open and a smiling face worn by a nurse appeared. " The patient is well and is conscious!" The three men rose and hugged each other in joy, and hugged the surprised nurse in their display of exuberance. "He is doing so well, in fact that the doctor has ordered that he be moved to a private suite in the Turner wing. Now, if you will please follow this orderly," she offered, indicating a young man in hospital garb standing behind her, "he will show you to the young man's room."
The friends gathered up a few items, that they had accumulated, and followed the cute butt of the orderly to Rich's room.
* * * * *
Sorry, no sex in this one. But the guys haven't forgotten how! Thanks for reading my story. John Tucker