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Cavalry (Pilot)(Work In Progress 070516)
by John Broyles (john.broyles@sbcglobal.net)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Drama   User Review: **1/2
Firefighter story still working...not even half done yet..as of May 07

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.



SAMUEL BRACZNYCK is laying on the floor in a burning
building that formerly housed an insane asylum. Next to him
lays his air pack with the alert buzzer sounding. TIARA
MITCHELL is calling to him on the radio, sobbing.
      (into radio)
Sam, how much air do you have
                       SAM (OS)
quarter ta...
SKEET ROBERTS and D.D. O'DELL are in the bay putting
equipment back on TRUCK 1. They overhear Tiara's pleadings
over the radio and start sprinting toward the bunkroom
Sam is laying on the floor. He faintly hears HANK STANLEY,
TROY DAVID, and D.D. either shouting or over the radio. The
alarm on his tank is faintly warbling as the battery was
going dead.
                       HANK (OS)
      (on radio)
Dispatch, Fire 1 on scene assuming


Troy and D.D. crawl through a dark, smoky corridor. The
only light visible is from the flashlights attached to their
helmets. D.D. stops when she hears Tiara over Sam's radio
and the faint warbling of Sam's alarm and the vibrating of
Sam's air regulator.
                       D. D.
This way
I hear it too!
                       TIARA (OS)
      (on radio)
Sam! Answer me please!
Troy starts looking around for something to put Sam on. He
finally finds a table and rolls Sam onto it. Then hooks his
air hose to Sam's pack.
                       D. D.
      (into radio)
FC-5 from SAR team two. We have
him and we're bringing him out!
Sam's alive, Tiara!
                                         CUT TO: FIREHOUSE
Sam enters and sits at long table with coffee cup in hand.
He looks around and goes to coffee pot sitting on counter,
making coffee throughout VO
                       SAM (VO)
Being a paramedic has some very
long days attached to it. I just
never knew there'd be so many so
close together. My name's Sam and
I'm a paramedic on one of the most
unusual fire departments ever
imagined. We're a bunch of Army
Reserve medics assigned to a
Combat Support Hospital, with most
of us having no firefighting
experience whatsoever. When we
formed, we had the help of the
Bramburg Fire Department--and we
still have a good working
relationship with them. They know


                       SAM (cont'd)
that when the tones go off, the
cavalry is coming.
Troy closes the hood of the ambulance parked in the bay,
moving to the back of the ambulance
Hey, old man! You coming out here
to help me take care of this bus,
or are you going to make me do all
of the work myself?
                       SAM (OS)
I'm coming! Just hold your pants
on, junior!
Sam comes out of KITCHEN and climbs into the back of the
ambulance. He and Troy start opening boxes and compartments
checking out everything.
Looks like Charlie Shift took care
of us last night. Everything's
the way it's supposed to be. They
even gave us fresh batteries for
the monitor.
Hank comes out of his office and goes over to the ambulance.
      (looking around in
Sam, how does the bus look?
Looks like Charlie Shift restocked
like they were supposed to for a
change. This is the first time in
I don't know how long that we have
been able to stay at the station
instead of rolling out first thing
in the morning for St. Jonah's


They even filled up the O2 bottles
and topped off the fuel tank. They
have a new crew on Charlie shift
or something?
No. I finally got tired of
hearing you two bitch about it.
Sam and Troy climb out of the ambulance and head back to the
kitchen with Hank in tow.
Sam, Troy, Hank, and RALPH BELL sit at the table with Sam in
front of his coffee cup. D.D.enters and sits next to Troy,
kissing him on his cheek. JULIO HERNANDEZ and MIKE BOSTON
are already in the kitchen cooking breakfast.
                       D. D.
Morning, Sweetheart.
Hey there. Missed you last night.
                       D. D.
I know, I'm sorry, baby. St.
Jonah's called me in late. There
were three cases that needed to be
taken care of, and the respiratory
terrorist on call didn't know what
she was doing.
Okay. You could have called.
                       D. D.
You boys want more coffee?
      (Placing hand over
No thanks. I'm good.
I'm still full, believe it or not.


                       D. D.
      (raising eyebrows)
You need to start drinking up, old
man. That damn pot's not going to
empty itself, you know.
                       JULIO (O.S.)
Who wanted the extra spicy Mexican
That's mine, Julio.
Then you need to get your ass over
here and get it. I don't deliver,
I ain't Domino's, Paco!
Troy goes over to stove and gets plates for Sam and himself.
Troy, you won't believe the shit
they're making me do for my medic
class. I have to sit through two
shifts in L & D. What the hell's
up with that?
Welcome to the Peoria EMS System,
Troy returns to the table, sliding Sam's plate in front of
him before sitting down. He rubs his hands anxiously as
HECTOR ALVAREZ enters and slides into a chair at the table
next to Hank.
      (Looking at watch)
Ten minutes to spare, Probie. You
know shift starts at 0700, you
should be here by 0640.
Yeah, Mijo, if it's one thing we
know about Hank, he's about 150%
by the numbers. With him, you
gotta be here early.
      (to Hank)
I know, Cap. I had to take the
kids to school this morning.
      (To Sam)


                       HECTOR (cont'd)
Oh, Sam, Nikki borrowed two bucks
off me for lunch money. She said
that T didn't give her any and
that she wasn't paid up for the
month. Fork it over.
      (pulling a couple
       of ones out of
       his pocket)
Well, that explains why we didn't
hear any rusty hydraulics coming
from the parking lot.
                       JULIO (O.S.)
Rusty hydraulics? Man, you better
back up...
      (taking ones)
Shit, you know I can't take the
kids to school in the "Heat
Mobile." My wife has it today
while I got the minivan. She
won't even let Julio touch it.
Hey, Probie, where's my paper?
If it was shoved up your ass,
you'd know exactly where it was.
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...some smack talk
from the probie this morning.
      (to Sam)
I've got something for you to
probe, asshole
Hector gets up and grabs a plate from the kitchen counter,
fills his coffee cup, and goes back. Sam lights up a
cigarette and sets it in the ashtray when Hector returns.
You know, you should stop that
shit. I don't think Nikki likes
the smell of smoke in the house,
or your fiancee, for that matter.


Probie, last thing I need is
another wife in the firehouse, all
right? Bad enough we've got
HEY..at least let me know what I'm
being accused of!
Sam inhales and raises a finger to start a reply, but is
interrupted by the station's FIRE TONES and the radio voice
of Tiara.
Saved from another witty reply by
the tones.
                       TIARA (OS)
      (over radio)
Attention all firefighters and
108th Squad 1. Rescue is needed
at 1313 Happy Days Lane for a 39
year old male with chest pain.
Attention all firefighters and
108th Squad 1, Rescue is needed at
1313 Happy Days Lane for a 39 year
old male with chest pain. Time
out 0700
Sam and Troy run out of kitchen into apparatus bay. Sam
enters passenger side of ambulance while Troy climbs into
driver's seat after pushing the button to open the bay door.
Sam reaches over for the radio microphone as Troy starts the
ambulance, puts it in gear, and turns on the lights and
      (into radio)
Squad 1 on the way.
                       TIARA (OS)
      (over radio)
Squad 1 on the way to 1313 Happy
Days Lane for 39 year old male
with chest pain. Your cross is


                       TIARA (cont'd)
100 Division. Time out 0702
Sam looks intently at the map book inside the ambulance,
trying to find the road they need to turn on.
Isn't Division on Peoria's side of
the line? I think this is
Peoria's call.
      (Looking in Map
Nope. It's on our side. Two
blocks from the line. I'd just as
soon Peoria took it anyway.
Troy gives Sam a very inquisitive look
What in the hell are you talking
about, old man?
With a house number of 1313, it
just can't have anything pleasant
about it.
      (Points off to
There it is
1313 Happy Days Lane is a nice looking house in a middle
class neighborhood. Sam and Troy exit the ambulance cab and
open the back getting their cot, jump bag, defibrillator,
and drug box. When they start toward the house, they are
met by FIREFIGHTER 1, who gives them a quick update.
                       FIREFIGHTER 1
Have a 39 year old in the living
room with chest pain, no cardiac
history, and taking no meds. We
have him on O2 right now
Okay, thanks. You get that Troy?


Got it. Oxygen, Nitro, aspirin
and a saline lock just in case.
We've been doing this too long,
Sam and Troy roll the cot up the sidewalk, and lift it up
the stairs to the front porch, taking the cot and their gear
in the house.
Sam and Troy enter to see their patient, MR. MILLINER
sitting on the couch, somewhat positioning himself to
breathe easier. Troy sets down the jump bag, opening it
while Sam gets a report from FIREFIGHTER 2
                       FIREFIGHTER 2
Sam, this is Mr. Milliner. He's
39 and complaining of chest pain
and radiating to his left shoulder
rated 8 out of 10. He didn't
relate any shortness of breath
when we first got here, but it's
gotten harder for him to breathe.
We put him on 15 Liters as soon as
we came.
Sam hooks up the cardiac monitor to Mr. Milliner, watching
      (Looking at
What did you get for vitals?
                       FIREFIGHTER 2
      (Looking at Glove)
Pressure of 140 over 82, pulse
115, respy rate of 23, and an
initial 80% O2 sat on room air.
Sam reaches in the drug box and gets a small, red spray
bottle and a bottle of baby aspirin out.
Mr. Milliner, my name's Sam and
I'm a paramedic here to help you
out today. Over there is my
partner Troy. How long have you


                       SAM (cont'd)
felt like this?
About 2 hours now. Feels
like...like a fat chick is sitting
square on my chest...real hard to
      (holding bottle up)
We're going to do what we can to
try to fix that. The doc's going
to want to see you at the
hospital. Before we do that, I
need you to touch your tongue to
the back of your top teeth so I
can give you this medicine. Let
me know if you get a headache
after I spray it under your
tongue, all right?
Sam sprays the medicine under Mr. Milliner's tongue as Troy
and Firefighter 2 get the cot ready. Sam gives Mr. Milliner
four baby aspirin tablets before putting him on the cot.
      (putting tablets
       in Milliner's
Mr. Milliner, I want you to chew
these up and swish them around for
a little bit before swallowing.
How's your head?
      (laboring slightly)
I call for a heart attack and you
give me a banger of a headache.
What the hell?
That's a side effect of the
Nitroglycerin I gave you. It'll
pass. How's your chest pain rate
now on a scale of 1 to 10?
      (being helped to
About a 5 now.


Sam, Troy, and Firefighter 2 strap Mr. Milliner down to the
cot and leave the house going to the ambulance.
Troy and Firefighter 2 guide the ambulance into place while
Sam climbs in the side door and gets everything ready to
start an IV in Mr. Milliner's arm.
St. Jonah's code 2 partner
As usual.
Sam starts the IV in Mr. Milliner's left arm then climbs
into the "captain's seat" to grab the radio.
      (into radio)
St. Jonah ED, this is 108th Squad
      (a beat)
St. Jonah ED, 108th Squad 1's en
route to your facility with a 39
year old male patient complaining
of chest pain with noticeable
shortness of breath. Patient is
CAOx3 resting comfortably on our
cot with a sinus rhythm on the
monitor at this time. Patient
initially rated pain as an 8 on a
10 scale. We administered one
spray of nitro and patient now
rates the pain as a 5. We
currently have the patient on 15
liters of oxygen by nonrebreather,
with a pulse of 100, respiration
rate of 18 and slightly labored,
and a blood pressure of 112 over
80. We do have a saline lock
established in his left arm. We
are about 9 minutes away, go with
your questions or instructions.
      (a beat)
Copy room upon arrival. 108th
Squad 1 is clear.


Sam and Troy wheel their patient into a treatment room and
give their report to the nurse throughout Sam's VO while
transferring Mr. Milliner from their cot to the bed in the
Emergency Room.
                       SAM (V.O.)
Here's one of my least favorite
places, St. Jonah Hospital. It's
where we bring all of our patients
unless they actually request that
we take them to one of Peoria's
other 2 hospitals; Mercy or
PrimeCare. We bring them here
because it's where the majority of
the nurses and the one doctor in
my platoon work at in the real
world. I've seen the working side
of this place. I came here when I
got hurt in the fire. The folks
fixed up my leg good--it didn't
take long before I was walking
Sam and Troy enter the EMT lounge at the hospital. Troy
goes for the round table in the center, while Sam gets a cup
of coffee and a run report from the desk. He sets his
coffee down and separates the halves, giving the bubble
sheet half to his partner while taking the narrative for
You know, it'd be nice if we had
the computerized run reports like
AMR. These damn bubble sheets
make me feel like Fred Flintstone.
      (checks pen to see
       if it works)
Did you get a face sheet for this
guy? I kind of need it for the
bubble half...and a pen.
      (tossing pen to
You want a hammer and chisel?
      (dials cell phone)
Least I can do is get the times
for you.


Bock on your bladder
                       TIARA (on phone)
Bramburg Police
Hey, sweetheart. It's me. Can I
get some times, please?
                       TIARA (on phone)
I really wish you wouldn't call me
      (evilly grinning)
Compared to some of the things I
could call you right now, this one
seems much better, all right, sex
                       TIARA (on phone)
Here you go jackass, your time of
call was 0700
                       TIARA (on phone)
You rolled at 0702
                       TIARA (on phone)
On scene at 0705
05...got it...go on
                       TIARA (on phone)
Rolled for St. Jonah's at 0712.
      (writing and
       passing slip to
Got it. We haven't called in


                       SAM (cont'd)
available yet. So...
                       TIARA (on phone)
I know that, dumb ass!
Damn, woman, take some
'bitchbegone' pills. Talk to you
later. I love you.
                       TIARA (on phone)
I love you too. Bye.
Sam closes his cell phone and looks at Troy with a wide
grin, kicking back with his hands behind his head.
You know, partner, life is good
sometimes. Although lately, she's
had three moods: bitch, horny,
and normal.
That's usually what happens when a
you knock someone up. Sometimes,
you make me wonder why Tina kept
you as long as she did. I know it
isn't because of your cooking or
housekeeping skills.
                       SAM (NOS)
Sam and Troy finish their report and leave the EMT Lounge to
go back to the ambulance. Sam inadvertently makes a wrong
turn, then does a "rear march" to correct himself as he sees
the double doors to the ER open
Sam and Troy climb back into the ambulance in their same
      (into microphone)
Squad 1 available
                       TIARA (OS)
      (over radio)
Squad 1


After listening to the way you two
argue sometimes, I still think you
need to take some lessons from me,
old man. You've forgotten too
much since Tina died. Hell, look
at me and D.D. We have yet to
fight or argue.
Junior, you've only been together
a few months. That'll change
Hippie, look at your track record
and look at mine. Who's had the
better end of the shake, eh?
Who's engaged and who is still
playing the field?
      (into microphone)
Squad 1 in Quarters.
                       TIARA (OS)
      (over radio)
Squad 1 in quarters
Sam goes over to the coffee pot on the counter then to his
usual spot at the table. Hector is sitting at the table
already going through a firefighting textbook. Julio is
standing at the stove, cooking lunch.
Probie, you know the difference
between textbook and real
Real firefighting is not listening
to any of your advice.
And the running score, folks,
Probie 2 Sam nothing
What I want to know. How in the
hell are you still alive after all
the shit you've done over the


                       HECTOR (cont'd)
It's like this, Probie. If you
learn NOTHING ELSE while you're
here, learn this. Behind every
good firefighter, is another, and
another. We work together to get
the job done.
Like the asylum fire?
Like the asylum fire. Remind me
to tell you about that sometime.
No better time than now.
      (yelling into
       living room)
Firefighters start filing into the kitchen to hear Sam tell
the story. As D.D. walks the phone starts ringing.
                       D. D.
      (into phone)
108th Station 1, Firefighter
Sure, T, hang on a second.
      (to Sam)
Sam, T's on the phone for you.
What kind of mood she in?
                       TIARA (OS)
      (yelling through
Lovely, pure bitch.
      (into phone)
yes, dear.
No, I didn't put the laundry in


                       SAM (cont'd)
the dryer. I never knew there was
a load in the washer.
If you HAD told me...
      (putting phone in
she hung up.
Troy nudges his way to his normal seat at the table.
What's better than how I got his
old grumpy ass out of there, is
how I ended up with D.D.
                       D. D.
Oh, Christ! Not this again!
Alot of it started while we were
waiting for some kind of sign at
St. Jonah on Sam...


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From C Date 3/2/2006 **1/2
Things flowed very well. There weren't any weird & inexplicable jumps in dialog, setting, or character intros. Also, having been in the Army, I can attest your characters are based in realism & you know what you're talking about in how the characters talk, jibe, the jargon and the setting. Having said that: (THE FOLLOWING IS MEANT IN EARNEST, AND I HOPE YOU READ IT THAT WAY) This is just another boring day in the Army (or any job for that matter). I say that in hopes that you will reevaluate your characters. As it is now, the script is dying for CONFLICT. All the characters (although believable, as I can witness) are all getting along like it's a Lifetime movie, and I'm just waiting for the predictable moment one of these shiny happy people are exposed as a pedophile, rapist, or other cliched flaw in contrast to how they stand now. Also, the two women so far are defined IN RELATION to the men. These are professional women with civilian lives. This is not active duty, there is no excuse for having them all hook up like this. (Why not start the story with SAM/TIERA tension?) Seriously, as a PILOT for what I'm assuming would be a 1-hour drama, you've lost half your audience. Personally, there's nothing challenging about watching a bunch of swell Army guys dating swell Army coworkers. Also, this has been done: EMS/Emergency personnel in "ER", "Third Watch", "Sirens", etc. Your Army element is a nice twist, but there's nothing really new or fresh so far. Dig deep and try to distinguish your CAVALRY from the rest of the firehouse-pack in the last decade. Lastly, just a few notes on the mechanics of writing. There are too many VOICE OVERS. I'll bet you can whittle that down to just 10% of what it is. Stop telling us, show us. For example, you VO that Troy had once saved SAM's life. Why not NOT tell us that and make that a future episode that explains a more than normal bond these two have? Better yet, why don't we open the whole pilot with this long-ago event that was so pivotal? Show, don't tell. And one last thing about the verbose VOs: Can you realistically expect all these exceptionally talkative people to stay quiet long enough for SAM to VO? Example: Page 6 VO in the middle of the "probe" jokes. (Also, don't tell us Hector is DD's partner, we'll find that out.) Also, leave out the directions (GRINS, LOOKING AROUND, BREATHING HEAVILY, etc) & promises of "more on that later". Unless it's absolutely integral with the story, that's up to the director & actors, not the writer.

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