SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - On Wednesday, a new medic engine began working out of the Intermountain Station along Highway 78, and it will be serving San Diegan County's back-country, 24-hours a day, seven-days a week.
The engine at Intermountain Fire will be like having an ambulance with no transport, but it will be equipped with a paramedic, life saving equipment and medication.
Help that used to be 20 to 40 minutes away, will now be ten-minutes away.
San Diego County Fire Authority Engine 7815 has been responding to medical calls from the Intermountain Fire Station on Highway 78 outside Ramona for a year, with firefighters giving basic life support.
The engine is now equipped with Cal-Fire paramedics, including Brandon Boysel, one of the first assigned to the new shift providing around-the-clock paramedic service.
"Medication is the biggest thing we do have now," said Cal Fire paramedic Brandon Boysel.
The closest ambulance used to be in Ramona and Julian.
"Every second counts for that patient and if you are the person having the heart attack you want to be treated as soon as possible," said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Burke Kremensky.
Rather than waiting 20 to 40 minutes for an ambulance, now this upgrade will help save lives.
"Time is muscle and we can start giving medications, and hopefully we can help them with a better recovery when they get to the hospital," said Boysel.
Time is crucial with 125-square-miles of back country and 14,000 drivers passing the station each day.
"This is one more way the community doesn't see it, or recognize, but at the end of the day they get better care, quicker and it's proven," said Chief Kremensky.
The EKG on the engine connects paramedics in the field to doctors in the hospital to better prepare and diagnose a cardiac condition.
Five other new paramedic engines have been stationed in the back country including Otay, Jamul, Lake Morena, Pine Valley, and Descanso.
Some of the footage in this video story was shot using a GoPro camera.