1. INT. NIGHTCLUB - NIGHT
EMILY (27) the DJ searches the crowd for inspiration and then raises the microphone, lowers the music, and glares out into the crowd.
This is DJ EZ your be easy DJ, I want to do something special tonight. I want everyone to sit down where you are, we’re going to have a moment of silence for the ones we lost this year.
The crowd is silent for thirty seconds. A girl in the front row closes her eyes.
Now on the count of three I want you all to stand up together. 1, 2, 3.
2. INT. HOSPITAL - MORNING
Emily, in nurse attire, confidently walks into an elderly patient’s room.
How are you, my friend?
I’m good Emily, just luchando por vida.
Can I have you roll for me?
The DOCTOR (40) stops at the doorway.
Hey Emily, you know, you’re maybe the hardest working nurse I’ve seen on this floor. You show up every day ready for work and I’ve never heard you complain. Have you ever thought of becoming a firefighter?
Emily laughs before looking down at the Elderly Man, who awaits Emily’s answer along with the doctor.
3. EXT/INT. FIRE STATION/DRILL TOWER, SM - MORNING
Emily approaches a fire station full of adrenaline when from out of the testing area comes SOLOMONA (30), who yells in frustration as she passes by Emily. Just then, ABRAHAM (25), a firefighting candidate comes out to Emily.
She just failed her test.
SHE just failed?
4. EXT. DRILL TOWER - MORNING/AFTERNOON
Emily, wearing a fire helmet and gloves, runs up to the base of a tall ladder followed by ROSIE (40) the test proctor, who is timing her. Exhausted, Emily pulls down on a rope attached to the ladder which rips through her grip causing the extension portion of the ladder to slam onto the floor.
Are you done?
Sir, no sir!
Emily tries to hoist the ladder, but fails again. Emily looks up at Rosie and then down at her shaking hands as she huffs and puffs.
Sir, yes sir.
5. INT. APARTMENT - DAY
Emily tries to eat Chinese food with her hands wrapped in gauze using chopsticks. Diva, sitting across from Emily, laughs.
Can I get you a fork?
No I got it.
Maybe we shouldn’t have ordered Chinese...
Just enjoy your chicken, it’ll be fine.
Emily focuses on eating her food when suddenly Diva feels contractions and drops her chopsticks and quickly cradles her stomach. Emily quickly puts down her chopsticks and slides over to Dina and kisses Dina’s stomach and starts singing to the baby inside her.
I got the whole world, in my hands, I got the whole world, in my hands… I got whole whole world in my hands, I got the whole world in my hands!
8. EXT. DRILL TOWER/TESTING AREA - DAY
DYLAN (40), a test proctor, loads a fifty-pound vest onto Emily, already wearing her gloves and helmet, calm on the outside but ready to fire.
Why are you here?
I’m having a daughter.
9. INT. DRILL TOWER/TESTING AREA - DAY
Dylan explains how to use the stair climber to Emily, who is fueled with adrenaline as two other TEST PROCTORS load more weights onto Emily’s vest.
The weights are going to simulate the weight of a fire hose. You’ll climb for four minutes. The first minute is a warm up, you will use the wall for balance. Then the test will begin.
Emily steps up onto the stair climber.
Ready, set, go.
Dylan hits the start button and the stair climber starts.
One minute warm up then three minutes!
Emily nods. Fifteen seconds go by.
Most candidates hold onto the sides of the vest.
Emily grabs the sides of the vest. She closes her eyes and prays. Dylan pays close attention to Emily, zeroing in on her breathing.
Emily gasps for air and integrates breathing into her cadence.
90 seconds left. You’re almost there.
The machine hits zero and the two proctors grab the weights off of Emily’s vest as her legs wobble underneath her. Emily gets through the entire course, the last moments being at the ladder raise. With shaking hands she takes a deep breath and pulls down as hard as she can.
10. INT. EMILY’S HOUSE/KITCHEN - NIGHT
10 years later -
A wall charger short circuits and catches fire. The fire catches some notepads on fire first and then makes its way up the wall past a picture of Emily’s family. The fire is on the ceiling now slowly making its way past a disconnected smoke alarm towards the stairwell.
Dina (37) is asleep in her bed while JORDAN (10), Diva and Emily’s daughter, is asleep in her bedroom. Dina with tired eyes pokes her head out of her door. She passes through the hallway and then sees the blaze downstairs. Without even thinking, Dina grabs the fire extinguisher from her room and fights the blaze, but its too big. She is able to fight the blaze off of her stairs but the kitchen is a lost cause. Diva runs outside and turns off her gas. When she runs back in, she finds that the blaze is now blocking the stairwell, so she can’t get up to Jordan. Meanwhile, Jordan wakes up and follows the same steps as her mother, even looking for the fire extinguisher, ultimately realizing that the best place to hide is in her room with a shirt covering her face.
11. EXT/INT. EMILY’S HOUSE - NIGHT
PAUL (60), the neighborhood stops in front of Emily’s house and notices a column of smoke escaping from both the front door and the second story window. He runs inside his house, presumably to dial 911.
INT. PAUL’S HOUSE
Yeah, hi I live on Navy street. I notice smoke coming from the second story window of my neighbor’s house. The address is 1320 NAVY St.
That’s when Diva comes running out of the house and grabs the garden hose. She runs back into the burning house coughing all the while and fights the stairwell fire, but can’t put it out. Paul sees this all from his house.
Oh, one of them just came out. I believe it was the wife, well one of the wives… it’s a gay couple that lives there.
Alright, thank you sir, we’re sending someone now.
13. INT. FIREHOUSE/FIRE ENGINE - NIGHT
All of a sudden the fire alarm sounds off and Emily wakes up like she was in a nightmare. She grabs a water cup from off of her nightstand to clear her throat. DISPATCH sounds over the intercom.
Engine 5, reports of a structure fire in a residential all units respond code three to address 1320 NAVY ST. Santa Monica CA 90402.
In shock, Emily falls to her knees as dispatch finishes reading off the address.
INT. FIRE STATION HALLWAY
Emily runs up to one of the firefighters, who is still barely out of his room, ROGER (40), the engineer.
Roger go through every fucking light I don’t give a fuck what the chief says. I will meet you there. It’s my house.
You got it, cap. We got this one.
Emily runs up to the slide pole and disappears down the hatch.
14. EXT. FIRE STATION PARKING LOT- NIGHT
Emily runs out to her personal car with all of her gear.
14. 5 EXT. STREET LIGHT - NIGHT
Emily speeds through a red light.
15. EXT/INT. EMILY’S BURNING HOME - NIGHT
Emily pulls up to her house, which is on fire, already surrounded by two police units. Emily gets out of her car and sprints towards her home, when suddenly, she spots Dina wrapped in a blanket, being taken care of by a POLICE OFFICER.
Emily goes to Dina.
She’s in her room!
Emily doesn’t even make it all the way to Dina before she is in a full sprint towards her house.
15.5 INT. BURNING HOUSE - NIGHT
The first thing Emily sees is that the stairwell is blocked by flames which are running up the wall and across the ceiling. Emily tries to run up the stairs but is pushed back by flames. An explosion knocks her on her back. As Emily lays on her back she looks up and sees her team charge in through the front door. FIREMAN #1 picks up Emily.
Capt. what do we do?
Where’s my goddamn waterline?!
Just then, another firefighter, FIREMAN #2, rushes into the house carrying the waterline being tailed by another firefighter, FIREMAN #3, who pulls on the line dragging it through the doorway. FIREMAN #2 almost immediately opens a straight stream onto the base of the fire over the stairs, but it isn’t working
(to Firefighter #2, the “nozzleman”)
Give me that!
Emily pushes Firefighter #2 and takes the nozzle.
Emily pushes forward up the stairs despite being closer than what is safe to the flames.
Cap, I can’t go any further.
Are you kidding me?! Fucking go!
Cap, I got kids too. It’s too dangerous. There’s gotta be another way in!
Emily pushes Firefighter #3 against the wall.
Emily dives onto her elbows and crawls up the stairs attacking the fire with an umbrella-pattern stream that lets her sneak under the flames until she is at the top of the stairs and in a better position to extinguish the fire over the stairwell with a straight stream. After she extinguishes the flames threatening the stairs she extinguishes the flames over Jordan’s door and then breaks in, finding her daughter in the corner holding a shirt over her face coughing in the smoke filled room.
Good job baby.
Emily puts her breathing mask on Jordan for a moment and then grabs her up and runs out of the house with her. When she gets out of her burning home she immediately takes Jordan to her wife Diana.
I’m going back in now.
Diva nods. Emily runs back in.
16. EXT. SANTA MONICA PIER - MORNING
Emily sits tranquilly in regular civilian clothes on a bench on the Santa Monica pier sitting under the roller coaster staring out into the distance, lost in thought, something heavy on her mind; the night before perhaps. Jordan who is riding on the roller coaster calls out to Emily.
Emily waves and laughs at Amanda who rides on the roller coaster. Amanda disappears out of site and then suddenly Emily feels a painful itch in her groin area and flinches before scratching her groin. CIVILIAN #1 notices Emily scratching and is appalled, thinking the worst as she pulls out her phone. Emily then pulls out a small bottle of lubricated lip ointment and rubs it onto her groin to prevent the itching. Emily, not thinking about who is watching pulls up her shorts a bit and begins applying the lubricant as the civilian is still on the phone, reporting a play by play to the police. Then, two police officers, POLICE OFFICER #1 and POLICE OFFICER #2 go up to the civilian, who points at Emily.
There she is. Here is a video of her masturbating.
Meanwhile, Jordan is getting off the roller coaster. The police officers can’t deny that it looks like Emily is masturbating. They approach Emily, their friend.
POLICE OFFICER #1
Emily, what did you do?
POLICE OFFICER #2
Emily, we need you to put your hands behind your back for us.
Hold on, you guys are kidding right? I’m Emily Cortez captain with the Santa Monica Fire Department. My brother is a lieutenant with the police department.
We know who you are Em. They got a video of you masturbating.
Who got a video of me?
We suggest you stay quiet and don’t say anything for a little while until we can figure this thing out.
My daughter’s on the roller coaster! She coming down right now… let me go this is ridiculous! You’re going to let my daughter see me like this? Call my brother Alex!
Jordan walks up to the scene and sees her mom, Emily.
Call the mayor! I can’t believe this is happening.
18. EXTERIOR - BACKYARD - NIGHT
(20 years later)
JORDAN (27), tired and lethargic, sets down her iphone camera as its rolling, behind a green succulent on their porch table. EMILY (60) sits with her hands folded wearing a gold watch, a wedding band, and a white t-shirt. On the table in front of Emily is a motorcycle learner’s pamphlet and his cell phone, which is in a black case.
Not if I’m having a drink…
Yeah just like that...
So you’re just videotaping….
So you’re videotaping me then.
Do I look okay? Is my hair combed? I don’t want to be looking like an idiot if you’re going to show it to anybody.
The camera cuts off.
The camera turns back on.
So you can replay it and see it and stuff but I don’t want to be shown on like Youtube or something, you know?
I guess so…
What do you mean no you guess so?
Now I gotta worry about my camera. What if someone gets it?
Well if that happens it’s out of your control. They’re not gonna know to put me on blast.
So do you understand what I’m saying.
So long as we’re clear. Ok, go ahead. Ask away...
Alright what are your three favorite fires?
Um, shoot. That’s a very good question Amanda. Let’s see. When I was um... a.... rookie. I have several favorite fires awesome, but…
I don’t want to know. I just want to know the names.
Oh, well then why don’t you tell me what you want?
Well I want the name, of the house, I want where the house is, and I want what happened in the house. Or where the fire was. Where was… I don’t want to know like the whole story. I just want to know where they were.
I don’t know the address. And I don’t know where the house is.
Inglewood. House fire?
K… Who lived in it?
I don’t know.
Ok. You didn’t see the people.
No we don’t get involved with people like that.
So you just run in their house, save the house, and then you never see the people.
Unless, we... they’re in… in a dangerous situation and we happen to rescue them. But, otherwise, no we don’t.
EMILY sits back in her chair comfortably.
Ok, what are your three favorite rescues?
Emily blinks several times as if caught off guard by the question as his hands are folded and he is slouched back in his chair.
Um… So what exactly are you looking for here? I don’t want to start off and…
Where you had to physically grab someone?
You don’t want to hear the whole story right.
No… I want to know the top three times where you physically saved somebody.
Emily smacks her lips like she has a strange taste in her mouth, as she stares off into space.
I’d say one of the times was before I… when I was a… a rookie on the inglewood fire department. Um, I was actually off duty playing basketball to stay in shape over at Joslyn Park. Pick up basketball games on my day off.
Then I looked up and saw a cloud of smoke. It was by Joslyn Park…
And I said, there’s a fire, so i started running over there and I only had my shorts on, and my tennis shoes. And i started climbing over the walls to get there. I just wanted to go straight to the fire. So then I got there and i couldn’t believe I was the first one there. You know? So the back porch is on fire its blazing, the back porch its blazing, like this size of this patio, its blazing, and there’s a basement right there. And I go oh shoot and then uh I looked in there and there’s two kids in there like two to three years old and they have soot all over their faces and they’re like just sitting there crying. And so then I go oh shit, so, I only had my shorts on so I ran back, and got a running start and jumped over the flames like that and then I picked up the two kids and I got a running start cuz i had to do it quick cuz I didn’t want the fire to get bigger or I’d never get them out you know? So I picked them up in my arms and then ran and jumped back over the fire and then I handed them to the housekeeper...
Emily laughs. Jordan laughs.
And then I said, is there a hose here?! And she goes, yeah, it’s in the front yard so I started running through the house, through to the front yard and the fire department still hasn’t gotten there in Santa Monica but I was there quick you know and then I run, and get the hose, so I’m running through the house with the hose, I turned it on and I get there and I have just enough and start putting the fire out and i put the fire out and then the fire department showed up and I go alright see you guys later. And they’re going like… what the… who is this guy (laughs)… damn… you know… he just got here turned the fire out saved these kids and left and so then…
Good job Burns!
Yeah and I’m just acting like no big deal. So I go back and play basketball right? So the next morning at work at the coffee table I’m telling the story and then the captain overhears it and he goes are you shitting me right now, are you bullshitting me, are you making this shit up, and I’m going, I go no no sir it just happened and he’s going really, and I’m going like yeah and he goes, you’re going to get a medal of valor for that you know that right? And I’m going like, no. He goes… I said, I didn’t do it for that reason, you know. I had no knowledge of what a medal of valor was. So then the chief calls me into his office and he says, he hears the story, and he asks me if it was true, and I said yes sir. He goes, what do you think? Do you think you deserve the medal of valor for it. And I said, no sir. And he goes why? Because I was just doing my job, what I do anytime. You know, anybody would have done the same thing. You know and he goes, hm… you know because firefighters don’t, aren’t the ones that try to grab a medal of valor all the time because I could have had some. You know, yeah let me wrap, but you know that’s my job to save lives, I don’t expect to get rewarded for it… so we’re all kinda like, we don’t want the medal, that’s the way firefighters are. Police officers on the other hand, they all want that medal. They try to beat us to fires and try to be the hero and stuff, so, that’s cool and stuff but you know it’s like, we’re not into that so… it’s just historically traditionally that’s the way it is.
But anyways, so I didn’t get a medal of valor but I did get a letter of special commendation or something like that, I think mom has it somewhere, you know, it’s a special commendation, they thanked me I got three of them I think. A few of them you know, just because of that one incident. That was, I was just pretty awesome but you know I just had fun doing it. I was like, yes, I’m the first one here you know.
Emily picks up his drink from the table - a rum and coke.
What about another one...
Emily puts it down quickly before she can even take a drink.
Oh another one… another one was like um I would have to say um, another one could be the sea castle. Let me backup in Inglewood again. There was this one where a two story motel right. And the flames were shooting out of the second story window and they’re shooting out, out right over the stairway, the access to get up there and get in there and put the fire out, so, I, normally we know as firefighters we’re not supposed to squirt water in through a window to put the fire out. It’s just a strategy and tactic we stick to because if there’s somebody inside what happens when you put water on a fire it PSHH it creates steam and will make them look like lobsters will cook people if they’re in there stuck will steam them. And it will kill them. It’ll make them like, BURN’EM.. With just the steam. You know, pressure wash, kinda thing you know. So you gotta use tactics and strategy… and stuff so… but in this particular case on this fire I had no other choice, and but, to put it in through the window in order to get access so I could get up there and save somebody, otherwise it’s gonna keep burning. I gotta do it. Even though if I hurt somebody, you know? So I’m doing it and the chief is going, he sees me doing it, it just so happens he’s right there, the fire chief and he goes GET IN THERE, like that, he goes GET IN THERE, and I’m looking at him going like, dude, if you only knew what I knew. You know what I mean? It’s like you have no idea what’s going on up here you but I said to myself, I knew what I was doing and I was gonna get in there, that was my goal to get in there. That’s why I did what I did and so then I knocked the fire down enough to get in up through the stairs to the stairway to the second floor. And I’m crawling under the flames actually, they’re going SHEW, SHEW, I’m crawling UNDERneath them to get up there but I got up there and it was just too hot to take the hose in there. It was super hot and I couldn’t get in there and then I remembered what my instructor taught me as a rookie in the fire academy. We fought these kinds of fire. And he said, when you do it just open up the nozzle and its gonna create a water curtain like that. Put it on a fog spray. Then you can just walk right through the steam and the smoke and the heat, and it’ll just absorb the heat as you walk with the water curtain like that. And it worked, I did it! Amanda. I remembered it and it worked and I’m pushing it in so I’m getting to the door over here, an apartment and i kicked the door in. boom! Put the fire out. SWSHHH, looking for people. That’s one’s done. Ok keep going up the hall. Next one. Boom! Kick the door in. and keep doing the same thing. Finally, I reach the door and I kick it in and there’s this guy. Uh, on the bed lying down like this, with just his underwear on this black guy like 6 foot tall, this 240 pounder just kicking back. I go what are you DOING. And I got my breathing apparatus on and everything you know? I kicked in his door and there he is lying on his bed and I go WHAT are you doing, he goes I DIDN’T KNOW what to do so I’m just lying here, and I said come on let’s go. So I put him on my back and so I crawled out of the apartment back out to the exit and I handed him out the door to someone and those guys after the fire they, these guys, that I handed him to said Fernando man. Man you’re always the first one in on these fires that awesome how do you do it? And I go luck of the draw it’s like you know so then go man if you have just carried him all the way out you would have got the medal of valor, and I’m going like well I wish I would have thought of that but you know no not really. That wasn’t my goal, my goal was to give him the guy and go back and get somebody else you know what I mean I had to keep going back to work you know and so that was a good fire I used some stuff that I learned in the academy and it worked you know and I did some stuff that just common sense stuff that anybody would have done, against the rules, I had to bend the rules knowing what I was doing taking calculated risks you know I wasn’t just doing it stupidly because I didn’t read the book or listen to the lesson plan that day no there was a reason that I did it I had to, in order, I had to maybe lose somebody to gain the whole thing. To gain the rest of it, or I wouldn’t never have gotten in there like I did and stuff so and I was able to help somebody. It worked you know, and I put the fire out, all of it out by myself Jordan can you believe that? It was awesome. So, that’s why and um another one that kinda like scared me a little bit, but really, it was uh something uh on my mind you know because we get to the Sea Castle in Santa Monica by the pier, big apartment buildings, historical, and, we knew it was going to catch fire one day and we had always… prepared for it, because um, it was um, it had been remodeled several times and when we, when we, take what’s called pre-incident plan, we would go over there and pre-incident plan it, that means before the incident we would go walk through it, try to make sure we memorize where the basement is, where the stairways, the elevators, where the fire hose is, connections, and stuff like that, pre-incident plan in our head how we’re going to attack a fire should one occur in this building cuz its very dangerous and we want to be ready for it, in particular with this building what scared me the most was that in the basement there were stairways that lead up to nowhere so, you, in a fire situation if you were with smoke and you trying to walk up the stairway you hit your head on, on the freakin’ ceiling, which we did in there it’s like OH SHIT where am I? Right? Freakin’ toast! Done! You only got 20 minutes of air on your back to get IN and OUT. If you get lost like that, if you don’t take, stay calm and know your tactics and strategy what you been taught, how to get OUT when you’re lost if you don’t stay calm and do all the techniques that they show us like following the walls, and trying to remember what it looked like, you know, follow the hose line and stuff like that you’re going to die so that’s a very dangerous building. It was one that you know, I never wanted to go fight, I was always fearing for that one, I said man but it’s going to happen because they abandoned it after the 1994 Northridge earthquake it became a it was red-tagged so nobody else was allowed to go in it so they boarded it all up right but guess who goes in and lives there, The Transients, so they were building camps inside of there and we knew it so they were but what we didn’t know was that they were, you know, hooking up the electricity to the poles and doing it all these illegal ways and stuff DANGEROUS ways, and they caught fire. So when we get there that morning in the building it was a raging inferno raging inferno just like on TV you know coming out the windows and the whole 9 yards we get there and my fire engine pulls up we’re like the first ones there and I thought to myself HOLY SHIT. Here we go. The one that I always dreaded, is on fire. And I thought to myself, I might not make it out of this one. It crossed my mind… so what I did, I was going to go tell ARIA, you know, my, our, Aria Alex’s wife pulls up to block traffic as a community service officer in a car just to block traffic, she has no clue what’s going on or what’s going through my mind, you know as a firefighter I was about to go back and tell her Aria if anything happens to me tell my family I loved them okay and then I started walking over there Jordan and I thought to myself no that would just scare her so I says here we go and I turn around and start walking into the building right??? Hahahaha. So we’re getting to the building and the chief says, WE’RE GOING INTO A DEFENSIVE OPERATION, you know on the PA system, on the speakers and stuff, and what a defensive operation is get out of the building it’s collapsing, we’re now going to surround it and we’re gonna drown it we’re gonna put it out you know from the outside you know it’s not worth losing any lives over, so, it was awesome. That relieved me, I’m going thank GOD right. And so we start pulling off all the plywood that was on the walls that they had boarded up the building with, and the homeless were coming out of there like roaches. They’re coming out yawning going “what, what”, they have no clue that the building is on fire and it’s a raging inferno and they’re all just coming out, but we don’t care we’re not gonna try to arrest them we’re just trying to get them out, you know, and nobody died luckily.
Emily goes to pick up her drink.
But that was good… another one was at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica when they were building it…
Emily takes a drink of her beverage.
When I was a rookie in the Inglewood Fire Department… So, I’m on the nozzle and its a house fire and it’s like raging right. I’m the first one on the nozzle because I like to just grab the nozzle off the truck and be the first one in, and there is a doorway like that just a standard doorway and it starts to get too hot, so hot, I couldn’t advance the line anymore. It was just so hot… and in those days we didn’t have all the protection that we do now, those nomex hoods made out of special fire retardant that protects you from feeling any burn at all really, but that could be really dangerous you think you can go way into the fire because you don’t feel anything. So there’s pros and cons, in the old days the way we used to feel how hot it was because we didn’t have protection on our neck and ears and our ears would be steamed up because of that. It would get red right here and it burned you get like a first and second degree burns on your neck because you know you were in there too close you know. So anyways on this fire I wanted to back out, and I was trying to back out, because there was a firefighter behind me he froze. He was a 6 foot 2 380 pounder dude and he froze so I was so mad he was blocking my exit and he froze I’m trying to back out of it and he wouldn’t budge. I was elbowing him as hard as I could right in his chest I was trying to break his sternum I’m just trying to survive BACK OUT GOD DAMMIT BACK OUT and its bout to get to me and I say god damn it so i shut off the nozzle threw it down and then dove out backwards, superhuman strength. After the fire I started kicking everything. Dammit I could have died. He tried to apologize but I said no, not cool man, I could have died. I didn’t tell on him I didn’t tell anyone what happened I kept it to myself for years. He tried to apologize but it was too big a deal I couldn’t let it go.
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
[NGHTMRE - Save Yourself NGHTMRE VIP REMIX)]
Emily lies in bed on her back engulfed in flames.
INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT
Emily walks to through the hallway on fire. She gets milk from the the fridge.