Can CSL EMS save more lives, respond faster?

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United Hatzalah ambucycle in Jerusalem

Jerusalem’s United Hatzalah (Rescue Squad) founder Eli Beer spoke to a crowd in Montreal yesterday and was invited to visit Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Medical Services. The United Hatzalah is an incredible program, all volunteer driven, with a singular focus on rapid, first-response to anyone in need. Its mission and purpose is very similar to that of Cote Saint-Luc. Despite difference in size and sophistication, Beer will undoubtedly find many similarities between his group and the outstanding, all-volunteer CSL EMS. Indeed, we have much that we can learn from Beer. Here are 4 key points we should explore.

EMS volunteers (Class of 2013)

#1 Volunteers

Despite CSL’s speed in responding to its 3000 medical emergencies each year, a three-minute average response time is excellent but we should always look for ways to cut seconds when lives are at stake. I have proposed that local, off-duty-EMS volunteers be alerted of life-threatening calls, and equipped, to respond when in close proximity.

What’s more, with an auxiliary force of 80 additional members of the volunteer Citizens on Patrol, some of them (say 20) could be trained at a basic first-responder level. They too are already available, on and off duty, and nearby.

And greater adoption of citizen CPR is crucial.

#2 Transportation

CSL EMS is not an ambulance service. It is a first-responder service. As such, it must rapidly access those calling 911. It should have a fleet of smaller, faster vehicles – not heavy and very expensive ambulances. To complement its lighter, quicker vehicles, a single ambulance would suffice for full protection from the outside elements during severe weather or at large events.

Hatzalah has a fleet of scooters to get around its congested urban centres. CSL already has a fleet of electric scooters for vCOP. Why not integrate these resources, with qualified members, for quicker response when they’re already on the road or when EMS is unavailable?

vCOP patrols the park on electric scooter (Canada Day 2017)

#3 Technology

Hatzalah has uses Israeli technology pushed out via an app for its members. Such technology is now widely accessible to anyone on their mobile devices. CSL should embrace this technology by outfitting all of its EMS and qualified vCOP members so that the closest crews can respond even faster to life-threatening emergencies while EMS and Urgences Santé ambulance are en route. Again, these extra responders are even more critical when EMS first-responders are tied up on other calls and unable to respond to a life-threatening emergency.

#4 Policy

CSL operates under rules and regulations established by higher levels of authority. These rules need to be updated to take into account the local realities of CSL EMS volunteers. Medical responders ought to be granted tax credits toward their training and equipment expenses. Also, the SAAQ has developed regulations in the last few years that allow volunteer firefighters unique privileges in responding to (medical) emergencies in their own vehicles. Despite numerous evidence-based presentations by CSL, the Quebec automobile insurance board refuses to recognize the unique nature of CSL EMS volunteers, who are better trained to deal with medical calls than firefighters. Updating policies and removing bureaucratic obstacles will help save even more lives.


There is no doubt that Cote Saint-Luc is a leader in community-based emergency medical services. Its program is one-of-a-kind in Quebec and it is a proven, life-saving organization. Adopting new ways of expanding its resources, exploring new rapid-response vehicles , embracing mobile technology and updating policies will bring this organization to a whole new level.



Source: Eli Beer: founder of Israel rescue organization shares his story in Montreal talk


Watch: CSL EMS – It takes leadership to save lives | SMU de CSL Un leadership assuré et fiable

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Watch and share: CSL Emergency Medical Services has always been my passion. I’ve responded to many hundreds of calls through the years, performed CPR 125 times and I take enormous pride in this life-saving service. I was awarded the Governor General’s Award for more than 20 years in EMS. In my next mandate as City Councillor I plan to continue to grow this unique volunteer organization to help save lives and come to your assistance rapidly.




Regardez et partagez: CSL Services médicaux d’urgences a toujours été ma passion. J’ai répondu à plusieurs centaines d’appels au cours des années, j’ai fait la RCR 125 fois et je suis très fier de ce service qui sauve des vies. J’ai reçu le Prix du Gouverneur général pour mes plus de 20 ans dans le SMU. Au cours de mon prochain mandat, à titre de conseiller municipal, je prévois continuer de faire croître cette organisation bénévole unique pour aider à sauver des vies et à venir rapidement à votre aide.

Public Safety initiatives keep our city safest all around


2016 was a great year for the Public Safety Department and each of its divisions.

Our EMS volunteers responded to 2,812 medical calls – providing lifesaving assistance to those in need –
and the volunteers provided more than 20,000 hours of service to the community. That is not counting
the additional hours that were spent in training and on administration.

Public Security answered 2,687 calls, not counting their regular patrol routine such as illegally parked cars,
patrols of local parks, visits to municipal buildings and more. In total, our agents wrote more than 8,500
parking tickets. I regularly mention that all of these tickets are completely avoidable. Don’t park in no parking zones!

2010-04-02 First vCOP Scooter Patrol 004

Our vCOP corp of volunteers were out in force as well, clocking in more than 7,000 hours of community service and an immeasurable number of open garage doors!

Our dispatch centre held it all together, answering 36,497 phone calls, on top of dispatching our EMS,
Public Security and vCOP resources all over town.

Glenn J. Nashen consults with the dispatcher in the CSL Emergency Communications Centre

Glenn J. Nashen consults with the dispatcher in the CSL Emergency Communications Centre

The Public Safety Department faced a number of emergency situations, including a number of fires, inclement weather storms, power outages and gas leaks.

Former Cote Saint-Luc Public Security officer Jean-Noel Champagne

Former Cote Saint-Luc Public Security officer Jean-Noel Champagne

There are a number of exciting projects in the works for 2017, including the return of Emergency Services
/ Public Safety Day after a six year absence.

Have you had any positive and memorable experiences with our Public Safety crews? Please share your comment.


Three cheers for CSL Public Safety teams


The Public safety Team: Mayor and Council join the volunters from EMS and the Public Security Agents and Dispatchers for a festive gathering (Photo CSL Comms)

The Public safety Team: Mayor and Council join the volunteers from EMS and the Public Security Agents and Dispatchers for a festive gathering (Photo CSL Comms)

The Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Medical Services volunteers threw an impressive home-made dinner celebration for their volunteer corps along with the Public Security Agents and Emergency Dispatchers. The banquet hall at the Aquatic and Community Centre was the venue for a tasty buffet dinner, all of it cooked up by a volunteer team of amateur chefs that could have doubled for professional caterers.

The Public Safety Kitchen Crew: Mark Metivier (EMS Captain of Education), Robert Rousseau (Captain of Operations), Brandon Luden (Captain of Logistics), Christiane Poirier (Lieutenant of Education), Marvin Zwikler (Lieutenant of Operations), Eddy Afram (EMS member).

The Public Safety Kitchen Crew: Mark Metivier (EMS Captain of Education), Robert Rousseau (Captain of Operations), Brandon Luden (Captain of Logistics), Christiane Poirier (Lieutenant of Education), Marvin Zwikler (Lieutenant of Operations), Eddy Afram (EMS member).

The Luden family stands out as unique among our Public Safety family. Erwin Luden and I go way back to the days of the CSL Emergency Measure Organization. While I volunteered all my free time (and then some) to cover first responder shifts on our Rescue-Medical-Fire vehicle, Erwin gave freely of his time patrolling the streets in a green pickup truck as part of our Auxiliary Security Patrol. Dressed in brown uniforms with yellow stripes we were well-known and appreciated by the residents back then.

Now, fast forward 36 years and Luden is still surveying the city but now as a professional Public Security Agent with the power to enforce municipal bylaws and to issue contraventions for infractions (write tickets!).

Meanwhile, his two sons, Brandon and Jordan, are active volunteers at CSL EMS. Brandon has been around for several years holding officer positions. I’m sure Jordan will follow suit in this noble cause.

Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen with the Luden Men: Proud Public Security Agent Irwin Luden and EMS sons Brandon and Jordan.

Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen with the Luden Men: Proud Public Security Agent Erwin Luden and EMS sons Brandon and Jordan.

And, not to be outdone by her brothers, Gillian Luden has been serving in the IDF for the past year. Hopefully she’ll be back one day and choose between joining CSL Public Security or EMS! Clearly, Bernice, the Luden mom, has done some very good work in raising these kids (with Erwin doing the enforcement I’m sure!).


EMS volunteer Shelson Goldberg will soon celebrate his 29th anniversary of service. Pictured here with longtime medic and friend Hershey.

EMS volunteer Sheldon Goldberg will soon celebrate his 29th anniversary of service. Pictured here with longtime medic and friend Hershey Shaffer.


Sheldon Goldberg is no ordinary volunteer. Despite a family business to run, children to watch over and leadership responsibilities at Montreal’s Hatzolah rescue squad, Sheldon has been donning his CSL EMS uniform every week for an incredible 29 years.  way to go Shloime! Biz a hundred und tzvantzik!

Seasoned EMS volunteer Yvan Martinbault with Cllr. Ruth Kovac

Seasoned EMS volunteer Yvan Martinbault with Cllr. Ruth Kovac

Yvan Martinbault is a bailiff by day and a long serving CSL EMS medic by night. I worked for over a year with Yvan covering EMS shifts about eight years ago. He is a polished, skilled and calm medic who is dedicated to his pastime and to our residents. In his free time, Yvan has served on the Canadian Ski Patrol (my alma mater, where I served for five years as Assistant Patrol leader in Laurentian Division at Mont Alta). For the past many years Yvan has served on the local patrols at La Reserve and Mont-Graceau in St. Donat. Bravo Yvan.

These are just a few profiles of an otherwise great group of man and woman, each with an equally interesting story. I congratulate them all.

Cllr. Sam Goldbloom is responsible for EMS and Public Security along with Director Jordy Reichson and Chief Philippe Chateauvert.

Cllr. Sam Goldbloom is responsible for EMS and Public Security along with Director Jordy Reichson and Chief Philippe Chateauvert.

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein addressed the party-goers and said that we are all here as a large family, taking care of one another and supporting each other. “We cannot change the past, we cannot predict the future, but we can enjoy this moment, together, like one big family,” Brownstein said.

Cllr. Sam Goldbloom currently handles the Public Safety dossier on council overseeing EMS, Public Security and Emergency Communications, a position I have held almost uninterrupted (save for a brief Montreal merger) since 1990. I continue to oversee volunteer Citizens on Patrol and Emergency Preparedness. Cllr. Ruth Kovac has been involved in this area as well throughout the years.

Sam and I work closely with the dynamic duo of  Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson and Chief Philippe Chateauvert. Jordy and Philippe oversee 150 volunteers and a professional staff of about 20.

At this time of year it is a good opportunity to say thank you to all of these fine folk for doing their part in keeping Cote Saint-Lucers safe and secure. They’re patrolling our streets, watching over our property, helping us when needed most and ensuring that we continue to live in the best city around. Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Happy New Year to each of you. Un gros merci!


EMS annual general meeting highlights city’s dedicated volunteers, Marking EMS Week in CSL

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WHEREAS the City of Côte Saint-Luc Emergency Medical Services have been providing a vital public service for more than 30 years;

WHEREAS EMS members provide lifesaving care to those in need 24 hours a day, seven days a week;

WHEREAS access to quality first responder service dramatically improves the chances of survival from a sudden injury or illness;

WHEREAS the members of EMS contribute thousands of hours of community service annually;

It was resolved

THAT the City Council proclaims May 22 to 28, 2016 as “Emergency Medical Services Week” in Côte Saint-Luc;

THAT a copy of the present resolution be sent to all members of EMS as recognition of the City’s appreciation for their on-going effort to assist those in need with compassion, dignity and care.



May 12, 2016 | Free Press | Click to enlarge

May 12, 2016 | Free Press | Click to enlarge


Brownstein draws lots of support; EMS busy in January

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Free Press | Feb. 23, 2016 | Click to enlarge

Free Press | Feb. 23, 2016 | Click to enlarge


A salute to Lawrence Bergman

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Lawrence Bergman, MNA for D'Arcy McGee

Lawrence Bergman, MNA for D’Arcy McGee

It’s unusual to praise someone who gets you fired from a job. But that’s what this post is about. Praising a man who, notwithstanding my abrupt departure from the office of the MNA for D’Arcy McGee, has contributed enormously to the constituents of this West End riding.

Back in 1994, after I served two years in the Cavendish Mall offices of then Member of the National Assembly Robert Libman, a little-known Lawrence Bergman swept to power in the general elections as the new liberal MNA. Such is life in politics and despite loving my full time job as Chief of Staff it was time to vacate the office and make way for Lawrence to move in to the locale that had once housed former MNA Herbert Marx.

Lawrence quickly learned his constituency by attending community events, meeting one-on-one with community leaders and dealing with important dossiers representing us in Quebec City. So devoted was he to his community that he often transcended his immediate borders of the riding to take up matters of importance to the greater Jewish community as well as advocating for the Jewish General Hospital where I’ve worked as Director of Public Affairs and Communications for the past 13 years.

Crucial to the progress of the JGH’s new critical care wing, Pavilion K, was the contribution of Lawrence Bergman who provided valuable insight for years into ways in which the hospital’s many strengths could benefit Quebec’s healthcare system. Mr. Bergman has helped the JGH better understand how to work more closely and efficiently with the civil service to bring Pavilion K to life.

For his accomplishments Mr. Bergman merited the hospital’s highest recognition, the Distinguished Service Award, an honour he accepted “with deep humility” in 2012, adding that he is just “a little link in the chain of success,” compared to healthcare professionals who save lives every day.

We are fortunate to have a dedicated and compassionate Member of the National Assembly such as Lawrence Bergman. I am fortunate to have an excellent working relationship with Lawrence.  He is a friend to all Cote Saint-Lucers. - Nous sommes chanceux d'avoir un membre dévoué et compatissant de l'Assemblée nationale comme Lawrence Bergman. Je suis hereux d'avoir une excellente relation de travail avec Lawrence. Il est un ami à tous les Cote Saint-Lucois.

We are fortunate to have had a dedicated and compassionate Member of the National Assembly such as Lawrence Bergman. – Nous sommes chanceux d’avoir eu un membre dévoué et compatissant de l’Assemblée nationale comme Lawrence Bergman.

Born and raised in Montreal, Mr. Bergman earned his law degree from the University of Montreal in 1964.  He became a Member of the Board of Notaries in 1965 and after being elected to the National Assembly in 1994 he continued to practice as a notary until 2003. He served in government in various senior capacities, notably as Minister of Revenue from 2003 to 2007, and as Chair of the Government Caucus from 2008 to 2012.

Once elected, Mr. Bergman became fully aware of what he calls “the culture of excellence” at the JGH. Ironically, the hospital is not in his riding, but since it serves most of his constituents, he quickly became involved as an advocate on its behalf. I recall at an event marking the launch of the paediatric psychology building on Cote Saint-Catherine Road that Mount-Royal MNA Pierre Arcand, the actual representative of the hospital neighbourhood declared tongue in cheek, that Bergman was so adept at representing the hospital’s needs that the area should be ceded to D’Arcy McGee.

On the Cote Saint-Luc scene my most memorable work together with Lawrence was saving our remarkable, all-volunteer Emergency Medical Services. With the mega-municipal mergers in 2002 Montreal planned to shutter our life-saving organization, known throughout the region as a model volunteer first responder service. Having joined as a young recruit out of high school back in 1980, EMS became a passion of mine. 20 years later, having devoted a significant part of my life to this organization any suggestion of closing it down and handing over the service to the Montreal Fire Department was unimaginable, perhaps even worse than the idiotic mergers themselves.

I worked tirelessly with Ruth Kovac, Anthony Housefather and Lawrence Bergman to consolidate community support and draft the necessary resolutions. Lawrence worked feverishly at the National Assembly and eventually presented a special law for Cote Saint-Luc that received consent and paved the way for EMS to be saved. Countless lives have been touched profoundly over the last decade because of Lawrence’s critical intervention.


So too was his interest in working with City Council to ensure the necessary funding for the Aquatic and Community Centre. This project could not have happened if it were not for the vision and political leadership of Lawrence Bergman and Anthony Housefather.

Councillors Sam Goldbloom, Mike Cohen, Dida Berku, Glenn J. Nashen and Allan J. Levine with MNA Lawrence Bergman

Councillors Sam Goldbloom, Mike Cohen, Dida Berku, Glenn J. Nashen and Allan J. Levine with MNA Lawrence Bergman at his nomination last autumn

He is also noted for, and proud of, convincing the National Assembly to adopt a day, each and every year, marking Yom Hashoah, a day of remembrance for the Holocaust.

Lawrence’s lists of accomplishments for D’Arcy McGee, the Jewish community and all Quebecers is significant and will become political lore and be remembered for generations.

I take this opportunity to thank Mr. Bergman for all this on behalf of my family and my constituents. Indeed, thanks to his success in 1994 and my new career orientations, I too was pushed to new heights and accomplishments. I wish him much happiness and good health as he enters this new stage. And I know, given his love for his community, we will be seeing him around and involved in new capacities for a very long time.  

May Lawrence continue to be an inspiration to the community and as he so often cited the words of the sages, may he too go from strength to strength.

Read more on Mike Cohen’s blog


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