CSL EMS announcement anti-climactic

Comments Off on CSL EMS announcement anti-climactic

CSL EMS announcement anti-climactic

By Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban


The battle to preserve the ability of Côte St. Luc’s volunteer Emergency Medical Services to answer extreme emergency calls was one of the more dramatic in the city’s history, as intensive lobbying took place and petitions were organized to prevent the Montreal fire department from taking over that function as planned after the end of 2008.

One of the more dramatic incidents was D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman’s exclusive announcement to The Suburban in early 2007 that the Montreal fire department would be held off for an extra year, even catching Côte St. Luc council members off guard.

The fire department still proceeded to institute a first responder service across the rest of the island. Côte St. Luc boasts that EMS reaches the scenes of emergencies faster than the fire department and much faster than Urgences Santé.

“EMS have shown response times averaging three minutes, which is the fastest average response time for first responder medical calls on the island,” councillor Glenn Nashen said. “Rapid response time by EMS can mean the difference between life and death,

The drama went on even when the Quebec Liberals agreed to pass Bill 22, the law to reform the Montreal agglomeration structure and ensure EMS would remain under Côte St. Luc’s control in perpetuity. The question at that time was whether its passage would be prevented in a minority government situation with the PQ and ADQ protesting.

Then came the announcement that Montreal and the demerged communities came to an agreement on agglomeration reform.

And then, nothing until last week, when Côte St. Luc put out a press statement called “Côte St. Luc saves lifesavers”, announcing that legislation had been adopted to ensure EMS would remain under that city’s control.

“We will continue to safeguard the residents of our community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Mayor Anthony Housefather said in the statement.

The announcement seemed to come out of nowhere, and councillor Glenn Nashen admitted to The Suburban July 1 that Bill 22 had passed June 20, with little media attention.

Councillor Allan Levine approached The Suburban during Côte St. Luc’s Canada Day celebrations to welcome the passage of Bill 22.

“We have to pay for EMS, so we gave up a lot of governance for a few dollars in terms of the agglomeration, but we got governance over EMS,” he said. “I’m so proud we got it, I think it’s worth the money. When somebody is lying on the ground with a broken arm, it’s not Priority 1, so nobody’s coming so fast. But EMS will be there — there’s no price for that. We’re paying good money for this service because it’s worth good money. I just wish Montreal West and Hampstead could avail themselves of that service, too.”


Cote Saint-Luc can keep its first responders

Comments Off on Cote Saint-Luc can keep its first responders

Cote Saint-Luc can keep its first responders
Volunteer-based emergency team.  Only area on island with such an arrangement.

July 3, 2008
The city of Cote St. Luc has secured the right to keep its Emergency
Medical Services team of first responders from being swallowed by the city
of Montreal with the passage of Bill 22 on June 20.

The volunteer-based service responds to emergency calls and stabilizes
people in distress until an ambulance arrives to take them to hospital.
Cote St. Luc is the only area on the island to have complete jurisdiction
over first responders.

Montreal’s agglomeration council initially turned down Cote St. Luc’s
request to keep its EMS in favour of a uniform first- responder service
for the entire island provided by the city’s fire department.

The demerged city took its fight to the National Assembly where it secured
a legal exemption.
“We weren’t interested in a one-size-fits-all solution for the fire
department for the entire island,” Cote St. Luc city councillor Glenn
said. “We were interested in what works best for the city of Cote
St. Luc, which is why a vast majority of (residents) decided to demerge
from Montreal,” Nashen said.

The Cote St. Luc EMS draws from a pool of 70 volunteers who have received
more than double the amount of training legally required in emergency
medical response by the province, Nashen said.

The organization is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is
often able to respond to a call within three minutes, he said.

But Michel Crevier, president of the city of Montreal firefighters union,
disputed the claim Côte St. Luc’s EMS team is available 24/7 and said the
decision by the province is “absurd.”

“Just for a small city like this, were opening up an issue of the
agglomeration of capital importance. We are opening up a door to the
entire group of demerged municipalities,” he said.

Crevier said it would take less than five minutes to get a response team
in to Cote St. Luc and added that it’s “completely ridiculous” for
volunteers to replace professionals, whom he said are better equipped for
the job.

Thirty-nine of the island’s 66 fire stations have employees trained in
emergency response, said Claude Dauphin, mayor of Lachine, president of
Montreal’s executive committee and the member responsible for public
safety. All the stations should have a unit by the end of next year, he

Cote St. Luc’s emergency service has the support of Urgences Santé,
which transports residents to hospital after being stabilized by the EMS

“In general, it’s going very well,” said Urgences Santé spokesperson
André Champagne.

Melanie Fortier, a spokesperson for the office of Nathalie Normandeau,
minister for regional and municipal affairs, said it was a “historical
decision,” to allow Cote St. Luc to keep it EMS service.

“It’s a service that works well. It always did,” she said.


© The Gazette (Montreal) 2008

Pas de premiers répondants à Côte-Saint-Luc, Journal de Montreal

Comments Off on Pas de premiers répondants à Côte-Saint-Luc, Journal de Montreal

Monday, June 30, 2008.

Pas de premiers répondants à Côte-Saint-Luc

Par Noée Murchison, Le Journal de Montréal

Les résidants de Côte-Saint-Luc continueront d’être les seuls citoyens de
l’île de Montréal à ne pas être servis par des premiers répondants

Tandis que toute l’île de Montréal profitera du service de premier
répondant offert par les pompiers d’ici la fin 2009, le projet de loi 22,
adopté le 20 juin dernier à l’Assemblée nationale, prévoit une exception
permanente pour la ville défusionnée de Côte-Saint-Luc.

«C’est complètement aberrant de la part du gouvernement Charest de
permettre à des bénévoles de remplacer des premiers répondants
professionnels», s’exclame Michel Crevier, président de l’Association des
pompiers de Montréal.


Des bénévoles vont continuer d’agir à titre de premiers répondants sur ce
territoire, même si toutes les caser nes de pompiers de l’île seront
formées pour donner le service.

«Notre équipe de bénévoles a plus d’heures d’entraînement que les
pompiers», clame le maire de Côte-Saint-Luc, Anthony Housefather, qui tient
à maintenir le service communautaire en place depuis 1980.

Le porte-parole de la ministre des Affaires municipales, Nathalie
Normandeau, indique que le maire a convaincu les parlementaires que le
service de bénévoles est suffisamment performant.


Mais l’exception permanente accordée à Côte-Saint-Luc fait bondir le
porte-parole du Parti québécois en matière de métropole.

«C’est la sécurité des gens qui est en jeu. En tout respect pour les
bénévoles, ça ne se compare pas à des pompiers professionnels», s’insurge
Martin Lemay, député de Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques.

Le Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal préfère attendre d’avoir
analysé toutes les implications de la loi avant d’émettre des commentaires.

EMS saved in Cote Saint-Luc, Montreal Express

Comments Off on EMS saved in Cote Saint-Luc, Montreal Express

Monday, June 30, 2008

EMS saved in Cote Saint-Luc

Montreal Express

After several years of painstaking lobbying, letter writing, conference calls, visits to Minister’s offices and petitions signed by thousands in support of CSL EMS legislation was finally adopted by the Quebec National Assembly (Bill 22) securing the future for CSL EMS as the sole First Response authority in the City of Cote Saint-Luc.
“This is an amazing and pivotal moment in the history of CSL EMS”, said Glenn J. Nashen, City Councillor responsible for Public Safety, and himself a nearly 30 year member of EMS. “This also comes with great responsibility, as we continue to safeguard the residents of our community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

Nashen said that the City will continue to invest in upgrading its fleet, equipment, uniforms and facilities. “Our newest emergency vehicle will be arriving in a few weeks – perfect timing to allow us to show the community that we are modernizing to continue to serve them proudly and professionally,” he said.

Nashen also thanked MNA Lawrence Bergman for his support of CSL EMS in steering this issue through the decision making corridors of the National Assembly.

Ensure CSL EMS continues, Suburban

Comments Off on Ensure CSL EMS continues, Suburban

‘Ensure CSL EMS continues’
By Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban
November 21, 2007

Côte St. Luc’s political representatives travelled to Quebec City last Thursday, to ensure new provincial legislation will allow the city’s 27-year-old volunteer Emergency Medical Services department to continue in perpetuity.

Montreal is enabling its firefighters to become first responders throughout the island. For Côte St. Luc, this would have meant firefighters answering Priority 1, extreme emergency, calls in Côte St. Luc instead of EMS. The changeover was to take place Jan, 1, 2009, and D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman announced last year that there would be a further extension to 2010.

However, the new Bill 22, which mostly concerns the agglomeration councils of various Quebec cities, also ensures EMS will operate to its full capacity under Côte St. Luc’s control. EMS gets to the scenes of local emergencies before Urgences Santé, and helps stabilize patients until they can be transported to hospital.

Côte St. Luc submitted a brief to the National Assembly, urging that Bill 22 be passed with the EMS provision intact.

“Without immediate legislative action, our EMS service would soon cease to exist as we know it, due to the collective agreement signed by the City of Montreal with the firefighters union in 2003,” the brief says. “If [the provision] is not adopted, the Montreal fire department will have the right to supplant EMS against the will of our council and residents.”

The Côte St. Luc representatives, which included Mayor Anthony Housefather and councillors Glenn Nashen and Dida Berku as well as EMS personnel, presented letters of support from directors of emergency medicine at the Jewish General, Montreal General and Royal Victoria hospitals; petitions from residents and editorials of support from newspapers.

“The council of Côte St. Luc has no more important job in this mandate than to protect EMS, which the city has spent approximately $20 million over the last 27 years to build,” the brief says.

The brief also laid out Côte St. Luc’s case for maintaining EMS.

• EMS personnel are better trained and will respond to more calls than the fire department, which has not started its first responder service yet. The brief adds that the fire department will provide an “invaluable” service to the rest of the island.

• EMS concentrates on first response, while the fire department also responds to fire calls. Those calls could make firefighters unavailable for local Priority 1 calls.

• Labour unrest and the movement of equipment from one fire station to another could undermine the firefighters’ first responder service.

• EMS has better response time — three minutes and 30 seconds compared to the fire department’s goal of eight minutes.

“We plead with the legislature to adopt [the EMS provision] and assure you the residents will always appreciate and remember the decision made by the legislature in this matter,” the brief concludes.

But the firefighters union claims Housefather is trying to “hoodwink” the government regarding response times and availability of firefighters.

“The mayor of Côte St. Luc should know that volunteers are not and will never be able to offer a service for first responders as good as that offered by the firefighters of Montreal,” said Montreal Firefighters Association president Michel Crevier.

Crevier added, in a prepared statement, that his association will provide Quebec Municipal Affairs Minister Nathalie Normandeau with the “real portrait” of the firefighters’ response times.

CSL not letting up on EMS

Leave a comment

CSL not letting up on EMS
By Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban
Côte St. Luc will not stop lobbying for its volunteer Emergency Medical Services to continue handling extreme emergency calls, even as the Quebec government introduced a bill last week allowing the service to do just that in perpetuity, says councillor Glenn Nashen.

The bill is part of a larger one involving the responsibilities of the Montreal island-wide agglomeration council.

“It’s still a bill, not a law,” he said Thursday. “We’ll have to keep the promotion and the pressure up to make sure the parties vote to turn this into legislation. I don’t know what issue could come up, but certainly there could be some issues on the part of some people and it’s my goal to make sure this gets legislated as it’s drafted. But the context is quite positive.” Nashen added that he does not expect opposition from the Action Démocratique du Québec and the Parti Québécois.

Mayor Anthony Housefather and Nashen were very happy with the bill. Recent lobbying by Côte St. Luc along with Hampstead and Montreal West succeeded in the preservation of police station 9 despite a recommendation to merge it with Station 11 in N.D.G.

“It’s exactly what we looked for,” Housefather said in a BlackBerry interview from Barcelona, Spain. “It’s great news. We spent 30 years building up a fantastic service and we don’t hurt anybody else by keeping it. There’s no reason we can’t have a different service from everyone else on the island. The fact we demerged gave the government the latitude to grant us this exemption and treat us differently.”

“It’s a watershed moment for us,” Nashen said. “Nothing changes in terms of what we’re actually doing now. It has to go to second and third reading in the fall. It gives a new realm of excitement to the volunteers and to the whole organization, and gives us a greater opportunity to promote the service and recruit new volunteers.”

Housefather and Nashen have been intensely lobbying the Liberal government and opposition parties in recent months to not hand over responsibility for Priority 1 calls to the Montreal fire department. Original plans, the result of a collective agreement with the firefighters union, called for Priority 1 to be transferred to the fire department Jan. 1, 2009. But earlier this year, D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman announced to The Suburban that there would be a year’s extension to Jan. 1, 2010. The fire department will be assuming first responder responsibility for the rest of the island.

Côte St. Luc has been arguing that EMS volunteers, who stabilize patients who live in Côte St. Luc before Urgences Santé ambulances arrive, can reach emergencies faster, that its volunteers receive more training time than fire department first responders, are extra sensitive to the local senior population, speak many languages and have been trained to deal with cultural sensitivities.

The city also launched an intense local campaign, setting up a saveems.com website and circulating a petition.

La police de quartier, un service «dysfonctionnel»

Leave a comment

Sara Champagne
La Presse
Le samedi 05 mai 2007

Les policiers de Montréal ont besoin de renforts. La Fraternité des policiers de Montréal, qui a présenté un mémoire cette semaine à des audiences sur une réforme des services, estime que le modèle de police de quartier est «dysfonctionnel» parce qu’il manque d’effectifs.

Le président du syndicat des 4400 policiers, Yves Francoeur, explique que les policiers de quartier ont «la langue à terre». Selon lui, il faudrait 500 policiers de plus à Montréal, avec un budget additionnel de 50 millions, pour vraiment bien servir la population.

Le projet de réforme des services de police présenté par la Ville de Montréal, jeudi soir, prévoit réduire de 39 à 32 le nombre de postes de quartier, et transférer 200 policiers sur le terrain. Un projet qui devrait être soumis au vote des élus de l’agglomération de Montréal d’ici l’automne.

M. Francoeur salue le projet de réforme même s’il n’est pas parfait. Mais il prévient que l’élastique a été tiré au maximum, et qu’il faudra aller plus loin dans la transformation des services policiers.

«Les gangs de rue et la montée de la menace terroriste ont changé les besoins en matière d’intervention au cours des dernières années, dit M. Francoeur. Nos patrouilleurs ne sont souvent que six par quart de travail dans les postes de quartier. C’est suffisant pour un accident mortel avec un périmètre de sécurité, mais ça devient problématique quand une autre urgence survient en même temps.»

Fermeture dénoncée

Plusieurs citoyens ont par ailleurs lancé un cri du coeur au Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), lors des audiences, pour que le poste de quartier 9 soit sauvé de la réforme. Ce poste, qui emploie 45 policiers, dessert Côte-Saint-Luc, Hampstead et Montréal-Ouest. Il est prévu de le fermer et de jumeler ses effectifs avec ceux d’un autre poste.

Le responsable de la sécurité publique au comité exécutif de la Ville de Montréal, Claude Dauphin, est d’accord pour trouver une solution. Mais il prévient que les policiers ne poussent pas dans les arbres. «Dans un monde idéal, c’est certain qu’on aurait plus d’effectifs, explique M. Dauphin. Sauf que dans le contexte budgétaire actuel, il serait irresponsable de la part de la Ville de Montréal d’augmenter le budget ou les effectifs. Je peux quand même assurer qu’on va s’asseoir et trouver une solution pour répondre aux demandes des gens concernés par la fermeture du poste de quartier 9.»

Selon un sondage effectué par la Fraternité, l’an dernier, trois policiers sur quatre estimaient que «le modèle de police actuel ne leur permet pas d’effectuer leur travail le mieux possible». Seulement un agent sur deux se disait satisfait de la qualité des services rendus aux Montréalais.

Older Entries