Councillor Glenn J. Nashen on duty with vCOP

Councillor Glenn J. Nashen on duty last night with vCOP

Cote Saint-Luc public safety and emergency preparedness.  It’s what I love to do for my city and its residents.

Yesterday afternoon I convened our city’s Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC) meeting. This committee is made up of expert staff in emergency preparedness from our local and regional emergency services along with our partners from the CLSC/CSSS, CP Rail, Montreal Civil Protection office along with a resident representative, expert consultants and city administration and elected officials.  I have headed up this committee since 1990 and we oversee the development and updating of the municipal emergency preparedness plan.

Ask anyone in emergency preparedness and they’ll tell you it’s not a question of “if” something will go terribly wrong – it’s just a matter of “when” the disaster will strike. With this in mind, we are always working on our plan which is quite comprehensive and has been updated and tested several times since I was appointed chair, when first elected.

The meeting included a briefing by CSL Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson who recently attended the World Conference on Disaster Management. The information he acquired is invaluable to our residents as we upgrade and test our plan, educate our residents and promote a culture of safety and preparedness.

Councillors Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac enrolled at the Emergency Preparedness College of Canada 1991

Councillors Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac enrolled at the Emergency Preparedness College of Canada 1991

No sooner did this meeting start that I was receiving an urgent message from the Jewish General Hospital, where I serve as a senior director, for an emergency within the facilities that needed immediate attention.  Back to the EPC for more discussion on community engagement and developing a culture of preparedness.  Much of this centred around the excellent initiative known as 72 Hours, produced by the national Minister of Public Safety.

After a quick bite for dinner I donned my orange polo top and out I went for a shift with the city’s volunteer Citizens on Patrol (vCOP).  I launched this group back in 2006, the first of its kind in Quebec.

It is a rewarding and gratifying experience to spend a few hours patrolling our city, on the lookout for anything offbeat that should be reported to police or public security, or to be waved down by a resident asking for information or assistance.

Visiting the Vancouver Emergency Operations Centre

Visiting the Vancouver Emergency Operations Centre

Last night, the severe thundershower left many residents in District 5 without power for about three hours. As we circulated through their neighbourhood in our marked van, crisscrossing with one of two other vCOP vans on patrol at the same time, we felt a sense of relief from the many residents seeking cool comfort on their front balcony as we offered at least some security that someone was around if they needed some help.

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We are fortunate in Cote Saint-Luc to have this culture of safety and security at all levels of our civil administration and indeed throughout the community.  I’m very pleased to have played a major role in instilling this philosophy in our city with the creation of our EMS and vCOP, as well as doing my very particular part by going on patrol when I can to meet with our volunteers and our residents.

We’re indeed fortunate as we live in the safest corner of the Island of Montreal, by design and through years of planning.

Community leaders and Public Security officials meet with Police

Community leaders and Public Security officials meet with Police

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