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Updated on August 29, 2011

episode 4

The crew were just mopping up a small kitchen fire in the local nursing home and getting ready to leave when they got an unexpected surprise...all the nursing home residents had lined up out front to thank them and give them a cheering farewell. So the men made a special effort to stop at each man and woman and say something special to them since they were making such a to do for them. All in all, when they left, even though it had been such a small fire, really only needed a fire extinguisher, they ended up feeling like heroes more than when they fought truly huge fires, thanks to the send off those elderly folks gave them. They began to think of ways they might interact with them on a more regular basis, as they did the neighborhood kids.

Once back at the firehouse, they went through the process of preparing the trucks, gear and equipment for the next call. It was as they were doing this that their new recruit walked in. His name was Chris Nelson. He was twenty three and looked like he could handle his own in a championship boxing or wrestling match. As it turns out, his preferred sport was Kenpo. He was friendly and supremely self confident without an ounce of cockiness. The guys attempted the usual prank on him, but he did not fall for it, in fact he turned it around on them, which in its own way made it even funnier. It was easy to see he would fit in well. Soon after he arrived they got an alarm. As the Captain wished it, Chris went on the Engine truck with him, so David only heard how things went with him for most of the fire, and from what he heard, he seemed to be doing real well for his first fire. As for David, he, Ben and Abe were on a rescue mission, as there were supposed to be at least two people trapped in the house. They could not see a thing through the thick black smoke. They kept calling out, but it was nearly impossible to hear anything with the roar of the flames. Then a section of the roof caved in sending them sprawling out of its way. When David started to get up, he realized he had landed on something odd. As he investigated, it turned out to be legs. He called the twins to him and together they grabbed the man and began carrying him outside. As soon as they were outside, the twins began doing CPR, but David raced back inside to look for the second victim.

He went from room to room, then again, slower this time, feeling every inch of the floor and furniture. He was becoming desperate because he knew his air would run out any second and he would be trapped in there. He never knew when his radio melted. He was so intent on finding the second victim he wasn't even aware that his turnouts were actually beginning to melt. He knew he was in pain, but his focus was so intense that the pain was pushed to the back of his brain for the moment. He was only forced to acknowledge his situation when he went to breathe...and there was no air to breathe. He could not help gasping for a second breath, tearing the mask off and gasping again, inhaling the inferno's air, the thick black smoke. He collapsed to the floor, unable to breathe at all. Faintly he felt cold water cascading over him. When next he awoke, he was once again in the burn unit of the hospital. The Captain is there waiting for him to wake up. He doesn't speak because he feels so much guilt for not finding the second victim. The Captain understands this. It is why he is here. He knows what drives his "sons". He tells David there is no reason to feel guilty. He had been so long in there searching that the heat of the fire had melted his radio. There was no way for them to tell him that there was no second victim. No second victim? No. David does not really know how to feel about this. He almost lost his life searching for someone who wasn't there. He wonders if he should be angry, but he is not. No, rather he feels as if a great load has been lifted from him. And he is glad no lives were lost in that fire. The Captain tells him that when he gets out of the hospital he will be getting an award. He tells the Captain he isn't in this job for awards. The Captain tells him to accept it as it is intended, because it is as much for those who give it, for the dept. as a whole, and for the public who we serve, as it is for you. David tells him that when he puts it in that light, yeah, he can accept it. Captain tells him he is a good man, and he is proud of him, he'll see him back at the house.

Back at the house he is pleased to find out that it was the rookie who had doused him and with the Captains help, had hauled him out of the burning house. He thanked Chris and told him he was glad to have him on the team. Told him he hoped he never had to repay the favor. Chris understood and thanked him. At that moment the most beautiful woman David ever saw (note; this is beauty from his POV...not societies standards...David looks for inner beauty) walks in through the open big bay door. She approaches Chris and David. "Excuse me, my grandmother is a resident at the Safe Hands Nursing Home, and she told me what happened there. I wanted to thank you guys, that was probably the nicest thing anyone has done for them, in a long time. I don't mean fighting the fire... I mean taking time to interact with them afterwords and saying such nice things to them. You simply have no idea how much that meant to them." Well, Ma'am, to tell you the truth, they made us feel pretty special to. In fact, when we left, we were wondering what kind of things we could do to maybe interact with them more often." David tells her. This news makes her so happy that quite impulsively she hugs David. Realizing what she has just done, she apologizes. David, suddenly shy assures her no harm is done. Suddenly her phone rings, and she says she must go, she then asks David if she can call him, maybe they can work on some ways the fire dept and the nursing home can interact with one another. He agrees without hesitation. When she is gone Chris asks David if he just got asked out on a date. David is a bit bemused, as he is not usually a ladies man, and has never had what one can call success with women. Yet here is a truly beautiful woman, and it is her idea to call him. He tells Chris there must be certain side benefits to being a Firefighter.
At the award ceremony David, Ben and Abe all three receive an award from the hand of the man they saved from the fire.

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