GEMS Appoints New Executive Director
Greenwich Emergency Medical Service, Inc. (GEMS) announced that Tracy Schietinger has been appointed to the position of Executive Director, effective March 1. Schietinger will succeed Charlee Tufts who has been GEMS’ only Executive Director since its inception in 1986. Tufts will provide guidance during the transition through March 31.
“I am honored to have been chosen by the Board of Directors as the Executive Director of Greenwich EMS,” Schietinger said. “30 years ago, Charlee Tufts started GEMS and now it is my turn to move the organization into the future and sustain its well-earned reputation as the premier ambulance service in the region. I look forward to working with the amazing, talented and dedicated GEMS staff to help make this a smooth transition for all.”
Schietinger has over 17 years of EMS management experience in increasing senior roles. She joined GEMS as an Operations Manager in 2006 and was promoted to GEMS’ Director of Operations in 2016. In that role, she managed over 40 GEMS field personnel.
During her career at GEMS, Schietinger has: implemented a safety ambulance concept which has redesigned ambulances with employee and patient safety as its primary objective; introduced a more efficient payroll system; revised the local EMS plan to comply with State statutes; and, established an enhanced volunteer program in order to assist GEMS’ volunteers in using their experience as a career path, thus increasing GEMS’ retention of its volunteers.
Schietinger earned a degree in business administration from Albertus Magnus College in 2003. She has various EMS-related certifications, as well as industry-wide professional affiliations.
Schietinger was chosen following an extensive search over several months conducted by National Executive Service Corps. In conducting the search, NESC reached out to more than 100 health care/EMS professionals, throughout Connecticut and neighboring states, at municipal EMS units, hospitals and medical centers, ambulance services and State/Municipal governments. NESC interviewed 21 qualified and interested candidates in depth and presented 11 candidates for consideration to the GEMS Board’s Executive Committee (which acted as GEMS’ Search Committee during this process) and its Executive Director. Five candidates were interviewed on Jan. 9 by a sub-committee of the Search Committee, representatives of NESC, Charlee Tufts and Caroline Baisley (Greenwich Director of Health ). Three finalists from the initial interviews were invited back for a second round of interviews on Jan. 17.
Speaking of Schietinger’s appointment, John Raben, Chairman of GEMS’ Board of Directors said: “Although all the finalists were extremely qualified for the position, Tracy’s broad EMS experience, her in-depth knowledge of GEMS’ operations and her stated vision for GEMS in the near future make her an ideal person to succeed Charlee Tufts. Critically, Tracy has already earned the trust and respect of GEMS’ staff; this will be essential in assuring a smooth transfer in the Executive Director’s office.”
GEMS is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It is the sole provider of emergency services to the Town of Greenwich, per a contract with the Town. GEMS’ mission is to provide the highest level of pre-hospital and emergency medical care to reduce the risk of death and disability due to trauma and sudden illness. Operating out of four stations on a 24/7 basis, GEMS responded to over 6,000 emergency calls last year. GEMS’ cardiac save rate is significantly higher than the EMS industry norm. GEMS receives a portion of its operating revenues from the Town as fees for services provided under the contract. Since its inception, GEMS has raised through private fundraising all of the funds needed to pay for its capital expenditures, including ambulances, other vehicles and equipment.