Why that engine rolls

Reader Input
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I would like to answer Mary (Ann) Frank’s question in her letter about why a fire engine responds on emergency calls with an ambulance (“Check out who backs issues, candidates,” Reader Input, June 14).
I retired from the Palo Alto Fire Department after a 31-year career. All counties in California have protocols where the closest fire engine responds in addition to an ambulance on all medical calls.
In most cases, the fire engine is closer to the call than the ambulance. In this way trained medical help can start basic life support until paramedics arrive on scene.
Most fire engines today have at least one paramedic assigned to it and carries all the paramedic equipment so they can start IV’s and administer drugs. On medical calls, time is of the essence. The sooner a patient starts getting help, the better.
This is important for heart attacks, strokes, diabetic issues, etc.
James Nohel, Palo Alto Fire Department, retired, Auburn