This month marks my 30th anniversary since first joining the Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Measures Organization (Emergency Medical Services or EMS since the mid 80s).

In 1979, fresh out of Bialik High School, I attended Vanier College during the day to complete my regular CEGEP program.  During the evening,  Ruth Kovac and I studied in Dawson College’s Emergency Medical Technician program under master instructor Gary McHugh.

8100 Cote Saint-Luc Road through the years: Home of CSL's first mayor, Luc Prud'homme, Police Station, Fire Station, Recreation Department, Senior Men's Club, Emergency Measures Organization, Emergency Medical Services, Public Security Department, Public Safety headquarters

8100 Cote Saint-Luc Road through the years: Home of CSL's first mayor, Luc Prud'homme, Police Station, Fire Station, Recreation Department, Senior Men's Club, Emergency Measures Organization, Emergency Medical Services, Public Security Department, Public Safety headquarters

EMO ran out of 8100 Cote Saint-Luc Road.  This heritage building was the home of the first mayor of Cote Saint-Luc, Luc Prud’homme.  Later it became the police station and fire station.  A holding cell is still in the basement and the stable out back, torn down in the 80s, housed the horses that raced to fires with water containers in tow.

Glenn J. Nashen on duty with Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Measures Organization, 1981

Glenn J. Nashen on duty with Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Measures Organization, 1983

Back then, EMO was lead by Brian Payne along with Norm Adler.  Jack Dym served as Chief of Operations.  Erwin Luden was involved in Auxilairy Security.  Several hundred, perhaps over 1000 young adults have passed through these doors and have gone on to many different professions. Several went on to become doctors, nurses, and medical technicians. 

EMO sparked my interest in local politics with an eye toward improving and expanding this service as well as other local emergency services.

EMO's RMF-11 (for Rescue, Medical, Fire) was a copy of the vehicles from the 80s TV series "Emergency"

1983 photo of EMO's RMF-11 (for Rescue, Medical, Fire) was a copy of the vehicle from the 70s TV series "Emergency"

 

In 1979 EMO received its calls directly from residents or from private ambulance companies that were stationed in Lasalle, NDG or elsewhere in Montreal.  Our response vehicle, RMF-11 (for Rescue-Medical-Fire) was a copy of the one used on the 1970s hit-TV series “Emergency”.  We wore brown coveralls with a yellow stripe, carried an official Cote Saint-Luc “Rescue” badge and wore either police type cap or a fire helmet.  At night, we would sleep on army cots waiting for the phone to ring.

Our training was excellent back then, as it is today.  In addition to the medical education we also learned light rescue techniques: how to repel off the side of a building and how to lower a victim in a stokes basket.  We practiced off the roof at 8100 and at the tennis court building on Guelph near Wentworth, when it used to be a pump house.

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

 We learned how to march in unison and paraded each year in the Remembrance Day Parade from the CSL Shopping Centre to the cenotaph (now Father Martin Foley Park) between the Fire Station and the Post Office.

Much has changed in 30 years and I am fortunate to have been involved in just about every major decision concerning first responders and emergency preparedness ever since. 

We fell under the Urgences Santé system back in 1982 when the ambulance companies were brought under a single communications and operational command.  This was before 9-1-1 was launched in Montreal.

Glenn J. Nashen on duty with Urgences Santé and Jeff Silver (in brown coveralls) with EMO

Glenn J. Nashen on duty with Urgences Santé and Jeff Silver (in brown coveralls) with EMO

My wonderful memories and experiences will last a lifetime, thanks to the CSL EMO and EMS.  It shaped my interest in community, influenced my professional career path and launched my political life.  My story has repeated hundreds of times for so many other young people who went through this program, and our community has been strengthened because of it.  And residents have been comforted and lives have been saved for more than 30 years.

Cote Saint-Luc EMO launched my side-career as an Urgences-Santé ambulance technician in 1980

Cote Saint-Luc EMO launched my side-career as an Urgences-Santé ambulance technician in 1980

  

My EMO involvement also led to 5 years of volunteer service on the Canadian Ski Patrol.  I rose to the level of Assistant Patrol Leader at Mont Alta in Ste-Agathe.

My EMO involvement also led to 5 years of volunteer service on the Canadian Ski Patrol. I rose to the level of Assistant Patrol Leader at Mont Alta in Ste-Agathe. This is a picture of me bringing an injured skier down the hill on toboggan.