Marathon ambulance immediately puts its resources to use: Increase staff size, faster response ability

(Photo provided by Marathon Area Volunteer Ambulance Corps (MAVAC)).

The Marathon Area Volunteer Ambulance Corps (MAVAC) has recently received a variety of funding to help with the growth of the organization, and to cover costs for its ambulance station project.

The project represents a “significant enhancement” in MAVAC’s emergency service infrastructure for the six rural communities it services in the Cortland and Broome Counties, according to a release.

According to the release, MAVAC’s new ambulance station will cost about $1.5 million. Roughly $975,000 has been secured through a grant by Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Marc Molinaro, and a $25,000 grant has been locked in through Farm Credit East’s Lipinski Award Program for rural community development projects. MAVAC also raised $168,000 over the past two years through a community fundraising campaign that was coupled with a capital project savings effort.

The new ambulance station will be located within the village of Marathon at 15 Broome St, with access to Interstate-81 and Route 11. The facility will be located above an existing FEMA floodplain, making it a “critical emergency operations center” in the event of potential flooding, the release noted.

The release continued by saying, “This includes the costs associated with the building’s design and construction, connecting to the existing water, sewer and utility services in the village (which entails boring underneath Route 11 for the water connection), and furnishing the building. We are continuing to pursue additional funding for the ambulance construction project through state grant programs including the NY Forward funding initiative in partnership with the village, as well as other private foundation grants. MAVAC intends to pursue a commercial construction loan to supplement the significant grant provided by Schumer and Molinaro.”

Also noted in the release, “MAVAC has experienced rapid growth as an EMS organization over the past 24 years with our annual emergency call volume increasing by more than 200% during this time period. As MAVAC has expanded its coverage area, EMS staffing levels and fleet of ambulance vehicles in recent years, we have outgrown the space we currently rent from within the Marathon Fire Station. 

“The new MAVAC ambulance station will feature much-needed sleeping quarters for our overnight EMS staff, truck bays for each of our current three ambulance vehicles with room for adding an additional ambulance in the future and a multipurpose classroom large enough to host EMS training courses for our MAVAC members as well as EMS providers throughout the region.”

MAVAC EMS chief John Tillotson stated in the release that the almost $1 million funding “championed by Senator Schumer and Congressman Molinaro,” will ensure that MAVAC has “the resources necessary to continue providing the residents of this rural region with the highest quality emergency medical care possible.”

“We offer our sincere appreciation to both of these dedicated publicant servants for their steadfast support of the people and communities they faithfully serve,” Tillotson said.

Senator Schumer said, in a statement, “I am proud to deliver this nearly $1 million in federal funding that will allow the much-needed Marathon Ambulance Station and Community Project to become a reality, helping to increase access to emergency and pharmacy services in rural communities and making sure our first responders and pharmacists are equipped with the resources and facilities they need. Thanks to these federal dollars for (MAVAC), our local EMS personnel will have a new top-of-the-line facility to call home and can continue to keep local residents and families across our community safe in times of crisis.”

Tillotson noted in the release that the goal is for MAVAC to have a “formal groundbreaking” for the project either this year or early spring 2025.

Tillotson provided further information on the ambulance station project and the services provided by MAVAC:


“The new ambulance station construction project is a major part of MAVAC's continued growth and development as a thriving rural EMS organization. With the vital grant support for our new ambulance station secured by Senator Schumer and Congressman Molinaro, MAVAC has recently added a third full-time paramedic to our ALS staff to meet the current and projected future demand for our EMS services. The new ambulance station will provide the space needed for our fleet of EMS vehicles and living quarters for our expanding roster of EMS providers. A prime example of MAVAC's positive impact on the community occurred (recently) when our rapid-response ALS fly car was requested for ALS mutual aid to Broome County for a man in cardiac arrest. The ambulance agency responding to the call was going to be delayed coming from Binghamton and requested MAVAC's on-duty paramedic respond with the fly car to provide ALS assistance until they arrived. Our MAVAC paramedic was on the scene in minutes and was able to successfully defibrillate the patient while rescuers from Whitney Point (Fire Department) assisted with CPR.”