As fire chief, I take exception to the editorial, “A Curious Incident,” in last week’s Enterprise. The article has the ability to misdirect your readers and undermine my department’s response.
In addressing the life-threatening injuries, I am happy to educate you with the process for emergency responses of ambulances within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Paramedics are not physicians and must treat patients based on the signs and symptoms found, applying statewide treatment protocols. In this case, the patient’s primary medical complaint was deemed to be a priority 2, which necessitated an emergency response to the hospital. Fortunately, no life-threatening, traumatic injuries occurred as a result of the head-on crash.
You reference “strict protocols” for ambulance drivers but I believe you are unfamiliar with these protocols as well, and a review of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 89, Section 7 would be prudent.
The police report makes no reference to the speed of my ambulance and based on a review of preliminary information, my personnel acted well within the laws and regulations of the commonwealth. I would be happy to sit down with the author of this article and review some of the key points which have been inaccurately portrayed.
In closing, my two firefighters and those who stopped to help will be recognized for their post-crash actions, which may have prevented further damage or injury. Despite the chaos of the event, they responded in the highest caliber and tradition of the fire service and should be commended, not lashed at by an uninformed article.
Thomas C. Rullo
Mr. Rullo is chief of the Mashpee Fire Department.