Reece had been co-piloting the rescue helicopter for about six years now. He loved the adrenalin rush that it gave and the quick starts once they were paged. It was certainly a world away from the bus route that he had previously, flying suits from rooftop to rooftop all day across New York City.
He wiped the bit of soapy residue that he missed off the side of the front window and looked satisfactorily at the now clean helicopter. It was a beast.
“Nice one, junior,” Brian called out as he crossed over the helipad.
Before he could get another word out, both their pagers, as well as Joey’s and Sam’s, started their familiar bleeping.
“Time to roll, folks. Grab your lunch boxes.”
Brian reached into the cockpit and radioed into the emergency services team to pick up the details for their call-out.
“God damn,” said Joey, as he packed away his and Sam’s deck chairs. It was the beginning of a hot summer and he had hoped to catch a few rays before their next call.
“Exactly how much of a tan were you expecting us to get through these things?” Sam laughed, gesturing to her own white jumpsuit.
Despite the jokes, they both moved swiftly over to the helicopter near Reece and waited for the update from Brian.
“We’ve got one burnt-out vehicle, one overturned vehicle and an estimate of five people injured up at Smithfield’s Forest,” his usual serious tone took on increased severity.
“The call came in from trampers who stumbled upon the scene and the police are now on their way. We’re not sure what has happened or what’s currently in play, but you know the drill;” Brian looked at each of the team.
“The scene will get a safety clearance before we land.”
No one needed to say a word; the looks between them spoke volumes.
Smithfield’s was a known area for marijuana growers who would not give up. The team had only landed there once for a forestry related incident, but that was a good five years ago now.
“Exactly where are we landing?” A chill ran along Reece’s spine, knowing from Brian’s tone that he wouldn’t like the answer.
“Where we don’t really want to be landing,” Brian said without looking up, reaching for the manual to record their flight details.
At least the cops will have it sorted by the time that we get there, thought Reece. But he couldn’t shake the bad feeling that was washing over him.
Joey and Sam put the last load of medical equipment into the back of the helicopter and climbed in. Brian checked his watch and began the sequence to engage the helicopter’s engine and rotors.
“That’s us at six minutes since the page.”
Reece updated the manual and looked back at the two paramedics. He caught Sam’s eye and could see that she too felt uncomfortable about this call.
Angela Shaw NZ
Writers: Ken Burns, Tamal Dutta, Ray Stone, roseyn, cocobaby, Donna McT, Iliena Bosu, Elle, Suraya, jlabrum