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TIERS celebrates 10 years of emergency response

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CLAYTON — The Thousand Islands Emergency Rescue Service, which just celebrated a milestone anniversary, has a lot to look forward to in 2013.

Officially, TIERS was incorporated in November 2002, but the ambulance service launched Jan. 1, 2003.

Director Roland G. “Rolly” Churchill said he is “extremely proud” of TIERS’s accomplishments over the past decade and hopes to continue to improve the agency’s coverage.

“It took a lot of meetings to get to the point where the whole concept of TIERS as we know it today finally jelled,” said Larry Girard, Depauville fire chief and a founding member of TIERS.

TIERS, which also provides health education and emergency training for Orleans and Clayton citizens, was named by the state Department of Health as the Emergency Medical Services Agency of 2008.

This year, the rescue service hopes to finalize plans for its new headquarters, which most likely will be built on a Graves Street property in Clayton adjacent to the fire department.

When it launched, TIERS had housed its ambulances in a small home and a local car dealer’s garage. In the following year, it moved into the former Wingerath Bros. lumber company building, 100 Union St., and has rented the aging building for the past nine years.

It also will improve coverage in areas including Fishers Landing and LaFargeville, Mr. Churchill said.

The rescue service also is using new, high-tech tools, such as a King Vision video laryngoscope, for more effective and prompt emergency treatment.

Mr. Churchill said the “state-of-the-art piece of equipment” allows paramedics to see tracheal, or windpipe, openings using a small camera and a live video screen.

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