FireHouse1

FireHouse Episode One

i wrote a summary for a tv show pilot. a summary is broken up by episodes...a two page summary for the first episode, then a one page summary for the next 8 or so episodes (each). i have been told i should turn it into a book...i have decided to enter it here to see if others think it should be a book or a tv series. so i would appreciate comments, thank you.


Firehouse

This is a story of a young man fresh out of firefighting academy. He is being sent to his first assignment, a firehouse located in a poor area of LA. He isn't to upset about the location, because this particular firehouse is said to have a heavy load, with only a small portion of that being false alarms. He got into firefighting to save lives and fight fires, so this was a good location for him. There were times When he first started at the Academy that he wasn't sure he would be able to finish it. The physical demands were almost to much. But the longer he stuck it out the tougher his body got. The sharper his mind got. Now he was on his way to his assigned station. While he was confident in his abilities, he could not help the nervousness he felt at meeting the seasoned firefighters, wondering if they would accept him. Wondering if he would be able to at least not make a fool of himself at his first fire. He just wanted to earn their respect.

They welcomed him warmly enough. He got the teasing he expected. But before they could get around to any real introductions, the alarm went off. The young man, David, rushes into his turnouts and other gear, and heads for the the engine truck, as the captain indicated he should ride in that vehicle with him. On the way to the fire, David experiences both nervousness and a surge of pride that he is on his way to a real fire with real firefighters, he is in fact, a real firefighter to. The fire turns out to be an accident. They are first on scene. A car has rear ended another, shoving it into the intersection, causing it to side swipe a small pick up that was crossing the intersection. The rear ended car has been sandwiched between the car that hit it and the truck. The truck was struck partially hitting the door, but the bed taking most of the impact. This means that damage has been done to the gas tank and it is now leaking. because of damage to the middle car, a small fire has started in the engine compartment. The firefighters must get the woman out of this car, the woman and infant out of the offending car and the man out of the truck while trying to prevent an explosion. The firefighters will need to use the Jaws of Life to extricate the woman from the car. Her legs are pinned between the seat and the dash, under the steering wheel, most likely they are broken. The steering wheel itself has been driven into her abdomen and lower rib cage. If her car had an airbag, it is a blessing in disguise that it malfunctioned, for if it had opened, it most likely would have killed her. [[[NOTE;car has airbag, it malfunctions, and firefighters must work to disable it before it decides to suddenly function while they are trying to rescue her.]]]

In the car that began the mess, the woman is not so badly injured, though because of the speed she was going, the impact caused enough damage to her doors that prevented them from being opened. However, the back seat doors were not damaged. The fire fighters went through these doors to extricate the infant, who, thanks to his car seat, was uninjured. They then lay the mothers seat down, gently lowering her flat. Then slipping a backboard under her and maneuvering her out of the vehicle. While they are working on her, others, including David, are working on the woman in the middle car, and still others are working on the man in the truck. The man in the truck was not wearing a seat belt, and when his truck was struck, he was thrown against the passenger side door, his head hitting the window and shattering it even before the force of the car hitting the truck could cause it to shatter. It was relatively easy for the men to get him out though because the passenger side door was not damaged.

As the men worked with the Jaws of Life to get the drivers side door open, the woman began to come to. As she did, the pain began to flood through her body, and flashes of the accident kept flashing through her mind, and the sounds of the machinery outside of the car overwhelmed her senses. She began to panic. The men tried to tell her to stay calm, but their voices only added to her sensory overload. David had a memory flashback, it was when he was a child, he was with his parents, they had been in a minor accident, no real harm done, but because he had been so young, it had scared him badly, he had panicked, much like this woman was doing. He was a tough and wiry young man, but skinny, and many a time he got laughed at during training, but he was glad for it now. He shucked off his turnout jacket and began to shimmy through the passenger window. He heard his Captain shout at him, and he figured he knew what he would want to be telling him, after all, they hadn't gotten the fire under the hood out and the gas was still leaking. But this was more important. This woman needed help.

As soon as he was in and in a solid position, he placed a hand on either side of the woman's neck and head, bracing it against further movement. She immediately began to fight the restriction, but David eased up on the brace long enough for her to relax, then he called out to the men outside. "Guys, I need just a second of quiet". The Captain, who had leaned into the car behind David, thrusting a neck collar at him, telling him to put that on her while he was in there, was the only one who heard him over the machinery. Understanding why David needed it, he leaned back out and yelled over the noise for the men to stop everything. David was then able to talk with the woman. He just kept telling her everything would be all right, until she mumbled ok. Then he asked her her name. It took her a few moments, but then she said Karen. Ok, Karen, I am going to be right here with you. You are not alone, do you understand me? Yes, she replies. I hurt so bad, she says. I know, Karen, We are getting you out of here, so we can take care of you. We need you to try to stay calm, Ok? Ok. And so David sits in there, his body cramping, but he doesn't care, because it is more important that Karen stays calm. The Captain gives the go ahead and work resumes.

Finally, the door is removed, and none to soon, because David has begun to smell a heavy acrid smell, the smell of electrical wires burning, and when the door is pulled off a small bright flash down by his feet pulls his eyes there. At first he sees nothing, then he makes out smoke getting thicker, then another small flash. The flames are beginning to break through into the car. He wants badly to warn the firemen to hurry, but he knows if he says anything, Karen's thinly controlled calm will break. The Captain leans in the window to see how things are going, and David uses this moment to whisper to him that the flames have broken into the interior of the car. The firemen are now working on cutting off the steering wheel. They have to be very cautious about this because any jerking could cause more damage to Karen. The Captain brings Davids turnout coat and suggests he covers Karens and his legs with it. The Captain gets a fire extinguisher used for chemical fires and crawls under the front end of the car and sprays until he can't see anymore fire. He has David put oxygen on Karen and himself in case any fumes enter the car. Finally they are able to extract Karen from the car. Thanks to David, she has not passed out or panicked again. She is taken to the hospital along with the others. The area is cleaned up and secured.

The firefighters return to the firehouse. They prepare their trucks and equipment for the next alarm, then finally get some well deserved rest. Finally, they have a chance to introduce each other. David is a little disappointed because he was not able to prove himself to his new mates, yet at the same time, he felt good inside because he knew that he had been a comfort to that woman. He knew that his time would come soon enough to prove himself...What he didn't know was that he had already begun to show what he was made of. His companions, his Captain wasn't just looking to see how he handled himself in the heat of a fire battle, they were looking to see how he handled himself in any given situation. They wanted to know if he was going to be cocky and a know it all that was going to be getting himself and them in trouble. They wanted to know if he could keep his calm when others might panic. They wanted to know if they could trust him to watch their back. And so far, the thing he showed was that he had compassion and empathy for victims, giving him an ability to communicate with them and keep them calm. That was a needed quality that not every firefighter possessed. He showed he was able to think on his feet. David still had a lot to learn, and he would, from experience, the best teacher out there, but the guys had a good feeling about him.

There is a lot to do around the firehouse during downtime. Things needing cleaned, which duty always went to the new recruit. Exercises, it was very important to stay in the best possible shape you could keep your body in. Studies, it was just as important to keep your mind trained in up to date methods of fighting fires and rescue methods and equipment used. When not staying busy doing those things, it was a good time to interact with your new partners, co-workers, friends. David also noticed a small group of kids that liked to hang out around the firehouse. The first time he saw them, he wondered if he should run them off before someone saw them and they got into trouble, but before he could, the Captain came out and saw them...and warmly greeted them all. Davids respect just kept growing for Captain Roger Chamberlain. He treated all the men under him like sons, and it seems, even these young kids from the community.

The crew was halfway through a meeting concerning the need of new equipment and some of the the things they could do about it when the alarm went off. They all took off for the trucks and gear. The address was only three blocks away from the firehouse. They were first on scene, and for once wished they were not. It seems they showed up in the middle of a gang war. They didn't realize it at first, because of their sirens, when they showed up nobody was shooting, but moments after they had gotten out of their trucks and began helping the victim, a man who had been shot in the abdomen, the shooting began again as the gangs realized these were not cops. So now the firefighters were caught in the crossfire. The Captain got on the radio and told dispatch the cops better get here real quick or they might just find a bunch of dead firefighters, not just gang members. David and Brian pulled the wounded victim behind one of the trucks where the rest of the crew also took cover. This is where they all intended to stay until the cops showed up. Until they heard a woman scream. She screamed again, and they all saw she was pointing at a toddler who had wandered out into the open, right out into the middle of the gunfight.

Matthew swore and raced out towards the toddler, getting to her just as a bullet did, but Matthew took the bullet. It hit him in the thigh and he went down. Before anyone else could move, David raced out and grabbed up the toddler in one arm, and Matthew he helped up with his free arm. Then the Captain was there. Together they ran back for the cover of the truck. Once there, The twins, Ben and Abe, having the medikit, field dressed Matthews wound, until he could get to the hospital. Soon after, they could here more sirens, then the police screeched to a stop and those gang members began to shoot it out with the cops. Before it was over, one cop was dead, one injured, and three boys dead and five boys injured. The firefighters were kept busy for several hours even with several ambulances on scene. Matthew had been one of the first to be taken to the hospital.

As the crew were getting ready to head back to the firehouse, They got a call asking if they could come help another firehouse on a three alarm fire. As tired as they were, they could not refuse, so they went. This would be David's first fire, so Captain Chamberlain told him to stay with him. The Captain puts David on the nozzle, and positions himself behind him, so that he can guide him should he need it. This fire is in a two story apartment building. The building is pretty much involved by the time they have arrived, and any rescue operation has already taken place. The building is a lost cause by this time, so the main goal now is to get the fire out and to keep it from spreading to the other buildings that are so close to it. Being on the Engine truck means that he will be going in and fighting the fire from the inside of the building. Being on the nozzle means that he controls the amount of water and direction of the spray. It is an important position to be in for a rookie. With the Captain holding the hose behind him, David takes control of the nozzle and goes up the steps and into the door, or what is left of it. There are already three crews upstairs fighting the fire from that angle, and only one other crew on this, the main floor. David hesitates a second, waiting for the Captain to give him orders. The Captain waits just a second longer to see if David will know what to do on his own. When David does not get any orders, He decides it is a test and chooses to stay downstairs and help the single crew there, and so he turns on his nozzle and points it at the brightest and hottest area he can see. He knows he has done right when he feels the Captain clap a hand on his shoulder and gives a gentle squeeze.

The area where their water is jetting issues a huge plume of steam that backwashes towards them, and despite the protective clothing and gear, David begins to feel like a cooked lobster. He forces himself to breathe slower, and he hears the Captain tell him he is doing good. The Captains voice is calm, and it helps to calm him to. Finally, that whole corner is black, and they turn to the next hot, bright area, and when that spot is black, to the next. It seems like hours and hours before the fire is out. But they have finally defeated it. When they get outside, David finds his hands are practically glued to the nozzle from holding it so long. He finds humor in that. He doesn't find humor in the fact that the steam blast had lifted the flaps that were supposed to protect his ears, and now they were so blistered, he looked like Dumbo.

If the men thought they were tired before they got to this fire, they hadn't known what tired was. But they did know what trust was, and they knew that David was one of their own. He had more than proven himself, in every way that mattered to them. And as for David, He knew he had found friends for life, friends he cared deeply for and respected, and would die for. And he had no doubt they felt the same for him. He had found more than a job he loved, more than new friends...he had found a new family.

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Comments 2 comments

2patricias profile image

2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Hi, You asked for my comments, so here is my first effort:

I don't know how a summary for a TV Pilot is supposed to look, but this does describe the action.

While the action is quite detailed, you could tell the reader more about what David is thinking/feeling. For example, what emotion does he experience the minute he sees the first accident?

If this were to be turned into a book, it needs more dialogue, so that the reader can experience the interaction between David and his new colleagues. In my opinion, dialogue pulls in the reader far more effectively than description.

I suggest that you have a very detailed review of spelling. For example, in more than one sentence you have typed "to" when the correct word is "too". This is the sort of error that is not picked up by Spell Check.

Good luck.


tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 5 years ago from south dakota, usa Author

thank you for giving me some positive direction here. when i first wrote this, it was intended solely as a summary for a tv series. since i also dont know how a summary for a pilot should be formatted, i did my best. what i did know about it was that in tv, they want more action than dialogue. and anyway the more detailed dialogue would come when the actual script was written. also, in tv, it does no good to write in what a person is thinking or feeling, only things that can be translated into visual...thoughts and feelings cant be seen. so that is why they appear rather empty of those details you say would improve it. i didnt want to make a book out of it as i had my hopes in it actually becoming a tv series, as hard to reach a goal as it was.

And thank you for pointing out the issue with the "to and too". it has been to many years since i was in school and i no longer remember what to to use in some cases.

i will go over my summary again as soon as my guest goes home and i have time, and see what improvements i can make to it using your great suggestions. thank you for taking the time to read and critique it for me.

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