“What if I hadn’t woken up? And my heart remained still? And that was the end of me? What if …? What if Thousand Islands Emergency Rescue hadn’t come for me… ? Fred Schmitt, Clayton
At TIERS, your life is our mission.
The TIERS Saving One Life at a Time Campaign seeks $1,300,000 to ensure the continued provision of the highest level of emergency medical care available to the Towns of Clayton and Orleans and their associated islands as well as to the broader Thousand Islands region through mutual aid. The Campaign will provide:
- Enhanced patient care through reduced response times which are essential to emergency medical care and expanded training and community outreach capabilities
- A permanent facility that meets the needs of a modern and model emergency medical services agency while simultaneously lowering operational costs
- An endowment to provide long-term financial support and sustainability.
TIERS AND ITS MISSION
TIERS was formed as a non-profit 501 (c)(3) agency in 2001 by a group of forward-looking community members who recognized that fewer and fewer volunteers were available to respond to medical emergencies and even fewer possessed the advanced professional certifications needed for more critical emergencies. It is governed by a 12-person Board of Directors.
Created to deliver paramedic-level emergency care, the highest level of emergency care available, and to ensure that medical emergencies are addressed promptly and at all times, TIERS is staffed around the clock, 365 days per year using both paid staff and volunteers. (Employee roster: 5 Full Time Employees; 14 Part-Time Paramedics; 7 Part-Time EMT’s; 23 Volunteer Driver/ EMT’s and1 Part-Time Admin. Asst.)
TIERS is unique in the tri-county region, being the only not-for-profit emergency medical services provider that ensures 24/7 paramedic-level care. Since its inception, TIERS has averaged 1,000 calls annually and over 15,000 in total, saved scores of lives, and prevented countless long-term injuries and infirmities. The quality of care delivered and the innovations it has implemented earned TIERS an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency of the Year Award from the NYS Department of Health.
TIERS was first in the region to:
- Be certified to administer narcotics
- Offer a paramedic “fly-car” to enhance the availability and geographic reach of advanced-level emergency care
- Initiate in-home follow-up visits with patients as well as in-home safety assessments and fall prevention classes
- Establish a Community Health Education Program for First Aid/CPR/Automated External Defibrillator use.
- Create, with Jefferson Community College, the first off-site training center for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)
- Establish a Junior EMS program for area youth and a Paramedic Student Bunk-in Program
TIERS is the first line of defense in the health care system for residents of Orleans and Clayton Townships, providing the highest level of professional emergency care available with on-duty paramedic-level responders available 24/7. Specifically, TIERS:
- Operates four fully-equipped ambulances stationed in Clayton and Fishers Landing
- Responds “out-the-door” in less than two minutes with ambulances outfitted for advanced care, serving as “emergency rooms on wheels”
- Responds with paramedics whose training includes over 600 hours of clinical care experience, and represent a level of care typically available only in larger urban areas
- Works in tandem with the Clayton Volunteer Fire Department , Wellesley Island Fire and Rescue and their Fire Boats to respond to emergencies occurring on the islands within the two townships and with Life Net Air Ambulance for patients needing specialty care
- Provides mutual aid to the Towns of Cape Vincent and Alexandria as well as Wellesley Island when their volunteer rescue squads are either unable to respond or encounter more serious emergencies requiring a higher level of critical care
- Offers inter-facility transportation services for hospital patients in the region
- Provides medical education and training opportunities to residents throughout the region
TIERS was established as a not-for-profit charitable organization with its annual $600,000 operating budget derived from three funding sources:
- One third from the Townships of Clayton and Orleans that supports basic readiness
- Patient billing which accounts for about half of the annual income
- Fund-raising, charitable giving and grants which account for the remainder
On the expense side:
- Fully two-thirds of TIERS’ annual expenditures are for paramedic and EMT staff delivering patient care
- Additional significant costs items include ambulance purchases and operations, pharmaceutical and medical supplies, and the building lease
TIERS has modest annual debt obligations associated with the purchase of its Advanced Life Support ambulances, with interest payments being less than two percent of the operating budget. The agency’s finances are reviewed annually by a CPA firm to ensure compliance with reporting requirements for non-for-profit organizations.
Like most EMS providers nationwide, TIERS’ finances are pressured continually by added mandates and certification requirements, rising costs for drugs and medicines, declining volunteerism, and flat revenues.
THE FACILITY PLAN
In its on-going effort to enhance emergency medical services while also reducing operating costs, the TIERS Board of Directors undertook a rigorous planning process to create the 2014-2017 Strategic Plan. One of the four overarching goals of this plan is to “Secure a Permanent Facility”. Currently, TIERS is housed in a makeshift, leased space ill-suited to the needs of a modern, professional EMS organization. The proposed new facility will:
- Reduce response times, a critical requirement for the delivery of emergency medical services and quality patient care
- Improve training capabilities and community outreach and, in turn, improve patient care
- Enhance the work environment and the recruitment and retention of staff essential to the mission of TIERS
- Improve pharmaceutical security and the lifespan of drugs through better climate control
- Lower operational expenses by eliminating lease and leasehold improvement costs and strengthen the agency’s sustainability
A modest yet efficient facility is currently in the architectural planning phase, one that meets TIERS’ basic needs. By locating the facility on a site adjacent to the Clayton Volunteer Fire Department, a “public safety campus” will be created in a location that reduces response times to residents of the two townships and the larger Thousand Islands region. The facility will include:
- An ambulance bay for three ambulances (the fourth is stationed at Fishers Landing), a paramedic emergency-intercept vehicle (fly car), an off-road recue trailer, drug and medication storage, and areas for decontamination and oxygen storage
- An administration section that includes an EMS training classroom, offices, and a communications center
- A living quarters area with bunkrooms, kitchen and lounge
THE CAPITAL CAMPAIGN
THE CAMPAIGN GOAL
The TIERS Board has established an aggressive timeline for the $1.3 million Campaign and the building construction. In spring and early summer of 2015, individual and family leadership and major gifts will be sought. Grants and major gifts from foundations, corporations and governmental agencies will also be solicited in this same timeframe. The community-wide public phase of the Campaign will take place in fall 2015.
The goal is to begin construction in early fall 2015 and to move into the new facility in spring 2016.
The timetable for the new facility is facilitated by the use of pre-engineered construction which will both lower costs and shorten construction time. Once gifts and commitments exceed $700,000, bids will be sought so construction can be started and the building under roof before the onset of inclement weather.
Of the $1.3 million goal, just under $1 million is for construction and the associated architectural, engineering and financing fees. Additional funding is for furniture and fixed equipment needed to outfit the facility, for on-going support and for the creation of an endowment fund. Three percent of the funds raised will be used to cover Campaign expenses.
We have rolled our Annual Lifesaver request for support for TIERS into the Campaign so this will be our only request for financial support over a three-year period.
- Construction..$ 844,000
- Contingency..$ 50,000
- Professional Fees..$ 95,000
- Furniture and Fixtures..$ 32,000
- Campaign Fund Raising Expense..$ 39,000
- Endowment..$ 75,000
- Life Saver Program..$ 165,000
The TIERS Saving One Life at a Time Campaign is co-chaired by Dan Throop and George Kittle with Fred Schmitt serving as honorary chair. Other members from the communities include Donna Cantwell, Bobby Cantwell, Marv Hart, Ann Potter, Fred Schmitt, Jim Schnauber, Richard “Doc” Withington, and Jack Woodward. Representatives from the TIERS Board include the Chair, Bud Baril, Debbie Hunter and Treasurer John Timmerman. Representatives from the TIERS staff include Roland Churchill and Michael Bennett
TIERS is your first-responder emergency medical services provider and has been recognized by its statewide peers for the exceptional level of care it provides. The Saving One Life at a Time Campaign creates a special opportunity to secure a permanent home for TIERS that will in turn enhance the emergency medical care available to you and your loved ones as well as ensure the sustainability of this life-saving service, one that is unique in the Thousand Islands region.
TIERS needs your generous help so it can continue to provide you with on-site 24/7 availability and with the highest level of emergency care available. With your generous support, the question “What if TIERS hadn’t come for me?” will continue to be answered: “They will always come, and quickly, and prepared for any level of emergency.”