See you in the big fire engine in the sky

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“See you in the big fire engine in the sky,” was an expression that Cote Saint-Luc firefighter (ret.) Michael Mosca used to share with Captain William Green, when they both served in the CSL Fire Department. “RIP Cap. You will surely be missed,” Mosca posted online.

Captain Green (1933-2017) passed away peacefully on May 27, 2017 at St. Anne’s Veterans Hospital. Born in Verdun, Bill Green, a larger than life character and a Korean War veteran, served as a Captain in the Cote St-Luc Fire Department as well as being a Fireman in the Westmount Fire Department in earlier years. Bill’s love for music, especially country-western, was well known as well as his wit and humour.

Bill started in the CSL FD back in 1968. Before that he served in the Westmount FD.

Howie Berry posted, “We served in the fire service together for over 30 years. Bill was my training officer who helped me reach the rank of captain,” Berry wrote. “Captain, you have rung your last alarm. RIP.”

Brian Vawer wrote, “I worked with Bill for 30 years and you couldn’t find a more fair man. A great Captain and a such a fun guy. We had so many laughs together.”

Donald Pelletier shared his memories: “Bill était aimé de tous et son côté farceur et joyeux sera assurément nous manquer à tous. Bon voyage Bill et bon courage aux proches.”

Former CSL Fire Chief Frank Albert posted the sad news on his Facebook page. Captain Green had started in the CSL FD months before Albert in ’68.

“When Bill Green started in Cote Saint-Luc (1968) he was only the 2nd “true” fire fighter on staff (besides Fire Director Ken Ryan and Deputy Jean-Marie Babeu. The other fire fighter was Paul Hudon, who was an ex-Montreal Fire Fighter. Ryan, who had worked with Bill in Westmount, hired him. Since, in those days, fire fighting duties were performed by Police officers, it was the practice, to assigned one specially trained officer to the fire duties at the station. This officer would be charged with not only the readiness of the fire truck, but also driving the truck to the fire and operating the truck at the fire. Bill brought a wealth of talent with him,” said Albert. 
“In 1970, when the MUC was formed, police stopped fire fighting, and the CSL FD was formed. Through a series of promotional exams, Bill was promoted to the rank Captain,” Frank Albert added. 

“Captain Green served the citizens of the City of Cote Saint-Luc for many years as both a Police officer and Fire Fighter. He was a decorated veteran of the Korean War as well as recipient of the Governor General’s Exemplary Service Medal, which was presented to him by Mayor Bernard Lang, and the members of Council,” Former Chief Albert concluded. 
Deepest condolences to the family of Captain Green. Thank you for sharing him with us in Cote Saint-Luc, his other family. His dedication and service will always be remembered.

How does Cote Saint-Luc handle emergency situations?

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In my opinion:

Montrealers were rightly miffed knowing that hundreds of fellow urbanites were stranded overnight on a snowbound Autoroute 13 a few months ago. How could this happen in 2017, we asked? I ask, could such a fiasco, on a very local scale happen in Cote Saint-Luc?

On Autoroute 13 all signs point to a major breakdown in frontline coordination, in communications between agencies, in preparation (see Gazette article link below).

I have dedicated my civic life to public safety, in Cote Saint-Luc (and across Quebec), with a  goal of making our municipality the safest place around. I began early, back in high school and CEGEP, at training in matters of safety, joining St. John Ambulance, the Canadian Ski Patrol, CSL Emergency Measures Organization and the local ambulance system. Eventually I worked my way up to overseeing public safety and emergency preparedness at the local political level.

Since that time, Cote Saint-Luc has taken matters of safety very seriously, investing in training, leadership, volunteers and citizens, in equipment and services. This deliberate and systematic nurturing of a communal culture of safety has proven effective time and again.

I was active and on duty during the major flood in the late 80s, fire evacuation in the early 90s, Ice Storm of the Century in the late 90s, Y2K, more floods, heat waves, snow emergencies, barricaded shooter, downed trees and wires, gas leaks, car crashes, missing persons, bottled water distribution… And time and again Cote Saint-Luc has proven to be a model municipality, able to effectively and quickly organize, coordinate, alleviate, sustain, recuperate…

This is no accident. We have built a corps of dedicated, life-saving volunteers in EMS over the last 50 years. We have trained over 90 volunteers as our volunteer Citizens on Patrol over the last decade. We have built a professional Public Security Department to watch over our city 24/7. We have an emergency dispatch centre and a first-class Emergency Preparedness Plan. We keep it up to date and we test it.  We’ve saved our local police station more than once to ensure close proximity to, and coordination with the authorities in crime prevention and emergency response. We built a leading firefighting and prevention department (that was taken over by Montreal in 2002). We coordinate with all levels of government. We meet regularly. We practice. We keep our citizenry informed, trained, engaged.

As a ringleader in public safety I take great pride in what we’ve accomplished and look forward to continuing to make our city the safest it can be. I’ve worked alongside many fine people along the way and they all share in this great achievement. Thank you to my council-partner-in-safety Ruth Kovac and to Bryan Payne and the late Norm Adler of EMO, to Frank Albert and the late Doug Lion of the CSL Fire Department, to Hal Newman, Rick Liebman, Stephan Kallos and Jordy Reichson of EMS, to the immeasurable dedication of our EMS volunteers including Patti-Beth Lietman, Neil Michaels, Erwin Luden, Brian Goldberg, Michael Glazer, the Sager boys (and so many more wonderful people I wish I could name all here) and vCOP volunteers including Mitchell Herf, Lewis Cohen, Susie Schwartz, Elaine Meunier, Bert Rabinovitch, Phil Mayman, Morris Stelcner, David Goldsmith, Murray Genis (and again the list of marvelous dedicated volunteers, past and present goes on and on and I thank you all immensely). And finally, thanks to our City Council for its support for my vision and all we have accomplished together. (I know I inadvertently missed some important names who’ve contributed to making CSL a safer place. Please add them in comments).

We are well prepared, trained and ready. And we are always striving to learn more, to be better. We’re all in this together.

Next week is EMS Week across Canada. I take this opportunity to salute all of our dedicated volunteers in Cote Saint-Luc along with all the paramedic professionals who serve our community.

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Probe of Highway 13 fiasco blames frontline authorities

SQ officers and safety crews try to clear up Highway 13 near Côte-de-Liesse Rd. March 15, 2017, following massive snow storm that left many motorists stranded overnight.
SQ officers and safety crews try to clear up Highway 13 near Côte-de-Liesse Rd. March 15, 2017, following massive snow storm that left many motorists stranded overnight. PIERRE OBENDRAUF / MONTREAL GAZETTE

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Côte Saint-Luc calls residents in advance of vCOP smoke detector brigade visit

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smoke_detector
Côte Saint-Luc volunteer Citizens on Patrol (vCOP) smoke detector brigade will be ringing door bells and offering to check smoke detectors, replacing dead batteries and installing new smoke detectors where needed for the fifth consecutive year. And City Hall will be sending out hundreds of phone messages in advance to alert residents to these visits.
“The smoke detector brigade has begun ringing doorbells and will continue all summer,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “Please welcome these uniformed volunteers into your house as they are there to help you.”
Last week 432 phone lines in the area from Smart to Westminster received an automated phone call from City Hall to advise of the visit:

               Members from our volunteer Citizens on Patrol, or vCOP, will be ringing doorbells on Smart, Wolseley, Hudson and Westminster from April                    28 until the end of May. 

“These vCOP members are part of our smoke detector brigade service. They will be offering to test the smoke detectors in your home. They’ll also replace batteries where needed, for free.
Our vCOP members always work in teams of two. They will be wearing their orange vCOP shirt or jacket. They will also have a photo ID. 
Remember, you should always be cautious before opening the door and letting anyone into your home. If you aren’t sure, don’t open the door.
Du 28 avril à la fin mai, les membres de notre patrouille bénévole, les vCOP, visiteront les résidences de des rues  Smart, Wolseley, Hudson et Westminster.  
Ces membres font partie de notre brigade de détecteurs de fumée. Ils vous proposeront de vérifier les  détecteurs de votre résidence et, au besoin, changeront la pile. Ceci est un service gratuit. 
Nos vCOP travaillent toujours en équipe de deux. Ils portent une veste ou un chandail de vCOP orange. Ils ont aussi une carte d’identité avec leur photo. 
Nous vous rappelons de toujours exercer de la prudence lorsque vous ouvrez votre porte et laissez entrer quelqu’un chez vous. Si vous n’êtes pas certain, n’ouvrez pas la porte. 
This initiative is done in partnership with the Montreal fire department. If you are not home when they visit, they will leave a notice with information on how to schedule a visit. This is a free service.
“Smoke detectors save lives by warning people of possible fires in a home, but they can only do the job if they are working,” said Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, responsible for vCOP and emergency measures. “Too many deaths occur across Canada that could have been prevented if the house was equipped with a working smoke detector,” Nashen said.
Since 1977, the City of Cote Saint-Luc has required smoke detectors in all homes and buildings. The owner or tenant is responsible for its upkeep, including changing the battery twice a year and replacing smoke detectors that are more than 10 years old. A carbon monoxide detector is also recommended near garages and fuel-burning devices.

How will we recognize police without clown pants?

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Montreal police dressed in militia gear blocking city hall doors (Source: Sun Media)

Montreal police dressed in militia gear blocking city hall doors (Source: Sun Media)

Police who continue to sport camouflage pants on duty could face fines of $500 to $3,000 for each day they wear them under new legislation proposed by the Liberal government, reports the Montreal Gazette.

After three useless, sad years of vandalism of police cars (and fire trucks and ambulances with union stickers) and wearing camouflage and clown pants, the government has finally awoken to put an end to this lawless fashion flap.

I said early on that it was not fair to claw back on pensions that were already agreed to and that any changes ought to affect new officers or else be renegotiated within their collective agreements.

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Montreal Police in camouflage pants (Photo: McGill Daily)

 

Forget that there are so many police officers earning in excess of $100,000 per year and the time-and-a-half pay for standing at intersections pushing traffic buttons, three times the going rate for trained civilians. These folks put their lives on the line, after-all, to protect us and deserve to be reasonably well paid for doing so. And they normally deserve our respect and appreciation.

But, their protest have gone much too far. Three years were three years too long.

They also should have no right to deface their patrol cars. Same for the firefighters and Urgences Santé ambulance technicians. This is public property and no one has the right to cause such damage without penalty. If you did it you’d be held accountable. Why not them?
These public safety professionals have caused immeasurable harm to their own brand. They have lost respect from the public they serve. People laughed at first the they ignored the outlandish uniforms altogether. How sad.
What kind of a message was that for our children? Shameful, I say.
And the proposed legislation doesn’t go far enough. What about the cars and trucks and ambulances?  What about our firefighters and ambulance techs? And what about our local public security forces? Hopefully these folks will finally understand it’s time to pull up their pants – their uniform pants – and start off their next shift while putting their best foot forward. It’s time to earn back the respect they lost.
police_clown_pants

Montreal Police officers in “clown” pants. (Photo: Canoe.com)

 

Read my previous posts:

Police and firefighters should wear their own pants

Painting fire trucks black endangers the public

Fire hydrants to be flushed over next three Fridays in southern CSL

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CSL will be flushing the fire hydrants in your area in the next few weeks in areas south of the Baily tracks. We do this twice a year to make that sure our fire hydrants work properly and also to help clear sediments from the underground pipes. After we’re done, you may notice that your water is slightly coloured. This is normal. It’s not dangerous. All you have to do is run the water until it’s clear again.
Nous allons procéder à une inspection des bornes d’incendie dans votre coin, au sud de la rue Baily. Nous faisons ceci deux fois par année afin de nous assurer que les bornes fonctionnent correctement et aussi afin de déloger tout sédiment des conduites souterraines. Lorsque nous aurons terminé, il se peut que votre eau soit légèrement colorée. Ce n’est pas dangereux. Il vous suffit de laisser couler l’eau jusqu’à ce qu’elle soit claire.

Fire destroys one apartment, home daycare next door escapes unscathed

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Fire destroyed an apartment on Kingsley Road last month (Photo courtesy CSL Public Safety)

With reporting by Jordy Reichson, Director, CSL Public Safety

At this week’s Public Council meeting we reviewed notable incidents and events occurring in the previous month. One such incident involved the Montreal Fire Department, with the support of CSL Public Safety and the Police who were on scene on Feburary 8 as a fire destroyed a two floor apartment on Kingsley.

Thankfully, no one was home at the time that the fire started, apparently in the kitchen.

Residents should remember to exercise extreme caution when cooking, especially with oil, and ensure that all cooking elements are closed, cool and clean before
leaving the kitchen.

The home daycare in the apartment next door was not damaged, nor were any other units as the fire was in the corner apartment.

Special thanks to our emergency responders, professional and volunteers alike, for their care in dealing with our residents and their property in such urgent situations.

Fire Department to the rescue at CSL vCOP meeting, Volunteers recognized for quick action

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The recent bi-monthly Patrol Meeting of Cote Saint-Luc’s volunteer Citizens on Patrol group was both educational and interesting. We welcomed guest speakers
Richard Liebman, Assistant Director of the Montreal Fire Department for Strategic and Operational Planning, as well as Louise Desrosiers, Division Chief, serving the territory including Cote Saint-Luc and surrounding areas.
Rick Liebman, Assistant Director, Montreal Fire Department (vCOP, Oct. 5, 2016)

Rick Liebman, Assistant Director, Montreal Fire Department (vCOP, Oct. 5, 2016)

Rick is no stranger to CSL. He is a longtime volunteer at the Emergency Measures Organization (which became EMS) going back to the 1980s and eventually rose to serve as Director of the CSL EMS first responder service.
Rick also became a firefighter in CSL and in 2002 moved to the Montreal Fire Department as part of the forced mega-merger. Impressively, he rose in the ranks to the position of Assistant Director.
Rick and Louise described how the FD responds to 128,000 calls each year. 80,000 of these calls are first response medical calls. The FD covers first response across the Island of Montreal with the single exception of Cote Saint-Luc where the highly skilled volunteer EMS is the authorized responder.
Louise Desrosiers, Division Chief, Montreal Fire Department (vCOP, Oct. 5, 2016)

Louise Desrosiers, Division Chief, Montreal Fire Department (vCOP, Oct. 5, 2016)

What’s more, those needing assistance during an evacuation may register online on the Montreal Fire Department website. The firefighters will be advised en route to a building of such residents requiring assistance.
Liebman reminded the vCOP members, “When you change the clocks change your batteries in your smoke detectors”. Of course, with the vCOP Smoke Detector Brigade as a major community initiative the volunteer needed little reminding in this area.
Liebman congratulated our city for our sprinkler bylaw. “CSL an early leader in fire sprinklers,” the Assistant Director said. As the councillor responsible for the adoption of this bylaw, along with Councillor Ruth Kovac and supported by the late Chief of Prevention of the CSL FD, Doug Lions, in the early 90s I took great pride in this compliment.
I would be remiss in not saluting the Montreal Fire Department, Service Incendie de Montreal, for recently translating much of its website into English to benefit a great number of residents of the Agglomeration of Montreal.
With the formal presentations done the supervisors distributed 10 years pins to several members.
vCOP members receive their 10 year recognition pins, October 2016

vCOP members receive their 10 year recognition pins, October 2016

The next Recruiting Evening was announced for October 25 at 7pm at City Hall. Any one interested in joining vCOP is encouraged to attend.
With some members getting on in years it was decided to launch an Associate Member classification for vCOP. Those who have given at least a few years of service would be welcomed into the Associate program where they would no longer be required to do at least two patrol shifts each month but could offer their time in other ways as well. In this way they could continue to be active, although less often, in ensuring that vCOP remains a strong visible deterrent to criminal activity in and around CSL.
Congratulations to the most recent Patroller of the Month: David Goldsmith.
CSL Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson, Bernie and Cokkie Band and vCOP Supervisor Mitchell Herf

CSL Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson, Bernie and Cokkie Band and vCOP Supervisor Mitchell Herf

Bernie and Cookie Band were recognized for putting together the statistics for the group for the last 10 years.
Volunteers Robert McDuff and Jeff Smith were recognized with a certificate of appreciation for their quick thinking and sharp eye in spotting a young woman in distress in Rabin Park. The vCOP duo kept her as alert as possible while awaiting the arrival of Public Security and EMS. Their intervention was most important in getting this woman to needed medical care and ensuring her personal safety.
The recognition certificate read:
We wish to recognize your professionalism and exemplary contributions to the vCOP program during the event last September. While on patrol, you and your partner came to the aid of a woman in need of medical assistance. Through your rapid intervention, you have made the City of Côte Saint-Luc proud and have highlighted the value that the vCOP program brings to the people of Côte Saint-Luc.
Your contributions radiate across the membership and help to portray a positive and professional image of our organization. With a core mission of helping our citizens and ensuring their safety, your actions contributed directly to the mission and for this reason, we want to demonstrate our appreciation.
McDuff and Smith represent the best that vCOP offers in delivering sharp observation and summoning the necessary emergency resources when most needed.
“Being part of helping the girl was the highlight  of my approximate 1000 hours of patrol.  I only wish I knew how she was doing,” said Smith. “Having watched people just walking by this young lady, it was our actions that helped her and it was one of the proudest moments of my life. How the city acknowledged us was more then I could have asked for.”
Congratulations to you both.
Jeff Smith and Robert McDuff are presented with a special recognition by Public Safety Chief Philip Chateauvert and Supervisor Mitchell Herf on Oct. 5, 2016

Jeff Smith and Robert McDuff are presented with a special recognition by Public Safety Chief Philip Chateauvert and Supervisor Mitchell Herf on Oct. 5, 2016

If you would like to help contribute like those dedicated volunteers mentioned above please join us on October 25.

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