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.

Tweet in English, too: Nashen to Montreal fire department

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The Suburban, Joel Goldenberg, January 14th, 2015

Côte St. Luc councillor Glenn Nashen is continuing his efforts to have government institutions dealing with safety and security provide content to the population in English as well as French.

Last year, Nashen called attention to the fact that the Montreal fire department’s website was in French only. Recently, much English content was added to the site.

Nashen and lawyer Harold Staviss have also been calling for English as well as French on safety messages on Quebec highways.

This past Friday, the Montreal fire department posted an advisory, in French only, cautioning the population to be careful if they are in the presence of sources of carbon monoxide “since this gas can be fatal.”

Nashen responded, in French, on the Twitter site that Article 22 of the Charter of the French Language allows for the use of another language in matters regarding health and public security.
“Please also tweet in English,” Nashen wrote.

A couple of hours later, the fire department responded with a tweet of the same safety message regarding carbon monoxide, in English.

Nashen copied his original request to The Suburban, as well as Staviss and Côte St. Luc councillor Ruth Kovac, who have been asking for linguistic respect from companies serving significant anglophone populations.

Staviss was pleased with Nashen’s request for English.

Kovac was happy to see the English tweet from the fire department. “Small victories all around,” she said. “A great way to start 2015.”

We checked out the fire department’s Twitter postings for the last several days. Most were in French only, except for some very general messages. “Your fire department wishes you a marvellous New Year,” says a Jan. 1 posting. “We’ll be keeping an eye on your safety at all times. Be aware.”
“The Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal encourages you to keep safety in mind during your festivities,” says a Dec. 22 posting.

The few other English postings in recent weeks highlight positive activities, some of  which emanate from English media coverage. There was also a Dec. 18 posting linking to Christmas tree decoration safety tips in English.

In contrast, there were more frequent English Twitter postings by the Montreal police department regarding safety and security, including one Friday alerting the population to the closing of Papineau south at Ontario East because of a fire, and advising motorists to access the Jacques Cartier Bridge via Ste. Catherine or René Lévesque.

Other postings included an alert that traffic was reopened downtown after a gas leak (Jan. 4), an advisory of inoperative traffic lights at Lacordaire and the Metropolitan (Dec. 22) and updates on a Nov. 29 downtown demonstration. However, some postings were in French only.

We also checked numerous Transports Quebec Twitter highway traffic alerts, all of which were in French. Some were short enough to be easily understood, such as references to accidents, but there were also less common French terms like “capotage.”

Painting fire trucks black endangers the public

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Montreal firefighters painted trucks black to protest government claw back on pension

Montreal firefighters painted trucks black to protest government claw back on pensions (Photo: La Presse)

Most of Montreal Agglomeration’s fire trucks turned black last week in a nasty battle between the provincial government and municipal employees, with cities and residents getting caught in the middle of this labour strife.

Police officers wearing pink camouflage pants and red caps is bad enough, causing the public to lose confidence and respect in them. But painting fire trucks black is plain stupid.

Montreal firefighters have painted 150 of the city's 200 trucks in black watercolour paint. (Photo: CBC News)

Montreal firefighters have painted 150 of the city’s 200 trucks in black watercolour paint. (Photo: CBC News)

Those firefighters who have participated in this irresponsible vandalism of public property are risking their own safety and that of the public. Lawful protest is permitted and appropriate. This display has crossed the line.

One resident contacted me this week:

Glenn, I saw something on Sunday which was absolutely frightening. I was stopped at the lights in front of the fire station on Cote St. Luc Road. The two fire trucks came out with lights on and they were painted dull black. I could not believe that an emergency vehicle would be dark as the day was at 3:30 pm. How DANGEROUS is this?

I was so shocked. I had to voice my concern.

A concerned citizen.

Anything that risks public safety should be deemed completely unacceptable by the Montreal Agglomeration and the Essential Services Council. Anything that shakes public confidence in their firefighters and police officers should be viewed as very poor public relations strategy by their own unions.

Montreal fire department website now has English content


By Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban, October 29th, 2014

The Montreal fire department website ( now has a significant amount of English content, The Suburban has discovered.

Earlier this year, Côte St. Luc Councillor Glenn Nashen complained that the new website lacked English.

“This is completely unacceptable and I’d even say goes contrary to their mission of providing public safety, thereby placing the residents of the Montreal agglomeration at risk,” Nashen said at the time.
Suzie Simard, spokesperson with the Montreal fire department, told us at the time that the English content was being worked on and would soon be on the site.

A few weeks ago, we saw a limited amount of English content on the site, but now there is much more content, in relation to prevention tips, what to do after a fire, awareness campaigns, a children’s section, information on first responders, specialized teams, maps of fire stations, information on vehicles and equipment, how to obtain a fire report, tours and related bylaws.
Nashen was pleased.

“This is a very good start at communicating with the English-speaking community, since the new department was created in 2002,” he wrote us in an e-mail. “There is still much work to be done in ensuring that other French-only informational, educational and promotional material and content gets translated as well. All forms, hand-outs and videos should be accessible by all Montreal agglomeration residents in English alongside French.”

And Nashen added that if the an impact is to be made in fire safety and prevention in cultural and linguistic communities, “this agglo department, as well as the police and emergency measures divisions, will have to work hard to communicate in several languages as is the norm in other major North American centres.

“The Montreal Agglo Fire Department has finally started to do what is crucial in their mission to prevent fires and safeguard residents. It must show the same efforts in social media and all other publicity to be sure their important messages are being understood and followed.”


Police and firefighters should wear their own 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 (Credit: Sun Media)

They had me on their side till they stepped out of their pants! These professionals put their lives on the line to serve and to protect. For this we should be grateful and we should reward them accordingly. This reward, in the matter of pensions, was negotiated by the government and I believed that it wasn’t right to go back and change the conditions of these contracts after the fact. If bad decisions were made and the pension payout was too generous, perhaps don’t claw back on current ones, change all future ones.  Alternatively, renegotiate conditions and salaries at the next round of negotiations. But retroactively change what was promised to these professionals who risk their lives for us? I’m not so sure. At least that’s how I began thinking when this latest labour crisis began.

But then came the stickers on cars and trucks, camouflage pants and armed protesters in front of city hall, sirens blaring, blocking traffic at city halls, both downtown and here in the suburbs, and that’s where I lost it, and them.

Montreal police car covered in union protest stickers

Montreal police car covered in union protest stickers (Credit: Montreal City Weblog)

I grew up being taught to have great respect for the uniform. The photos of my dad in his neatly pressed RCAF uniform, of the iconic RCMP officer in his crisp red serge, of movies about heroes in decorated uniform are burned into my psyche as an image of great respect, of enormous civic pride. I have passed this notion on to my children too, especially my son who reveres anyone in uniform, from the police officer and firefighter to the security agent and ambulance crews. How do I explain the “soldier” pants?

RCMP maintain

If I showed up wearing camouflage pants to work I’d be sent home to get changed. If I plastered stickers on a police car, fire truck, or city bus I would be arrested and charged with vandalizing public property. The police and other civil servants are equal to me, and you, under the law. We must follow the same rules of law and order. And when they break with the public trust they have lost the public trust.

I am deeply disturbed by images of Montreal police officers in militia gear. I am angry as hell when I see a million dollar Montreal fire truck whiz by that is plastered in stickers. Making a mockery of the uniform is diminishing the respect for their uniform, and their authority. Defacing their vehicles, which we, the taxpayers have paid for, is flipping us the middle finger to say they don’t care about the property we entrust them with. Demonstrating in front of city hall, in uniform, carrying weapons, is so very far from acceptable.

This is stepping over the fine line that ought never be crossed by those we hold to a higher standard. These actions make us lose focus on why they’re doing this in the first place. They’ve gone too far and are losing the PR battle and our respect.


Montreal Gazette editorial (June 12, 2015)

CSL councillor frustrated with language-sparked info delays

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This Suburban article looks at my recent blog posting about bureaucratic delays in posting urgent public safety messages because of translation issues. It also mentions my ongoing complaint with the lack of English content on the Montreal Fire Department website and the very limited English tweeting by Hydro Quebec.

You should be outraged by the lack of respect offered to English-speaking Montrealers and Quebecers that actually place us at risk by not providing timely, or any, safety information. Call Montreal City Hall and the Montreal Fire Department to complain, as well as Hydro Quebec.

2014-07-09 Suburban, CSL councillor frustrated

Environment Canada tornado tweets stalled by language laws

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Ottawa developing software to tweet warnings in French and English simultaneously

Meteorologists in the United States use Twitter to push weather warnings to the public, but that doesn’t happen in Canada — official bilingualism has proved a barrier to weather warning tweets. (CBC News) More


In my opinion: This is beyond ridiculous. Rather than alert some, if not most, of imminent danger right away, officialdom requires the government to notify no one, for a while.

In Quebec, so many government agencies and municipalities don’t bother with a single word in English in any social media or online messaging, not even for public safety purposes.

At least the Canadian government uses both languages. But don’t delay emergency alerts when one language is ready and the other takes a few more minutes. A little common sense, in either language, would go a long way to protect Canadians!

Once the new simultaneous software is up and running perhaps they could share it with the Quebec government and cities. Hydro Quebec can’t be bothered to show respect to its English language clients on Twitter and the Montreal Fire Department has been promising for 10 years to find a translator for its online communications. C’mon folks. Where’s the outrage? Your life may depend on it?

It’s a matter of respect

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The Suburban Newspaper’s Joel Goldenberg began a series this week dealing with the efforts of Cote Saint-Luc Councillor Ruth Kovac and Hampstead lawyer Harold Staviss along with others who continue the struggle for language rights and respect in Quebec. For too many years retailers, companies and government offices have either refused to serve clients in English or have displayed French only signs even though the restrictive language laws allow for other languages on commercial signs.

I have singled out the Montreal Fire Department for their abysmal lack of English on their website and in social media, particularly their almost exclusive French tweets.

As well, I have criticized Hydro Quebec for not communicating nearly enough on their Twitter account.

The Quebec Transport Department is faulty at their lack of English on the massive public safety messaging electronic billboards they have erected on major highways around the city.

These are but a few examples of institutionalized discrimination against English-speaking Quebecers and tourists.

I encourage Kovac and Staviss, and anyone willing to get involved, to continue calling and writing to these companies, stores, agencies and offices and demanding the respect and rights that have eroded over the last four decades.

Read the article here: It’s a matter of respect_bilingualism_Suburban_2014-06-25

CSL councillor protests lack of English on Montreal fire department site


2014-05-14 CSL Cllr protests lack of English Mtl Fire Dept, Suburban

Suburban May 14, 2014. Click to enlarge.


We’ve heard for 10 years that the English side of the Montreal Fire Department website is coming. It doesn’t take 10 years. It takes a commitment to get it done and obviously they have very little interest. I hope Mayor Coderre will take note and will order the FD to properly communicate with all residents.


What’s more, the FD continues to post Tweets pretty much in French only. Most of their publicity is in French only. Have a look at their Youtube channel. Excellent material, very professional and informative. Hardly anything in English.

But,  the Charter of the French Language says in section 22, “The civil administration shall use only French in signs and posters, except where reasons of health or public safety require the use of another language as well”. It would seem logical the information emanating from the Montreal Fire Department is for reasons of public safety!


vLove vCOP

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Thanking vCOP: Cllr. Ruth Kovac, Cmdr. Marc Cournoyer, Cllr. GJ Nashen, Dir. Jordy Reichson, Lt. JP Theoret

Thanking vCOP: Cllr. Ruth Kovac, Cmdr. Marc Cournoyer, Cllr. GJ Nashen, Dir. Jordy Reichson, Lt. JP Theoret

The Cote Saint-Luc Council Chamber was the safest venue in the city last evening as over 70 members of the Citizens on Patrol group turned out for the annual year-end Chanukah-Christmas Holiday celebration. I was the lucky emcee for the evening and did my best to solicit a little laughter, poke a little fun and toss a lot of accolades to these amazing volunteers.

Supervisors Mitchell Herf, Lewis Cohen, Susie Schwartz with Mayor Anthony Housefather, Team Leader Elaine Meunier, Cllr. GJ Nashen

Supervisors Mitchell Herf, Lewis Cohen, Susie Schwartz with Mayor Anthony Housefather, Team Leader Elaine Meunier, Cllr. GJ Nashen

“We are so fortunate to live in a city with such an outpouring of volunteerism,” Mayor Anthony Housefather told the group in offering the appreciation of city council. “You folks are always there when we need you. In the afternoon, the evening, even overnight. You’re fantastic,” the mayor added.


The evening was highlighted by words of praise by Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson, Station 9 Police Commander Marc Cournoyer and his Lieutenant Jean-Pierre Theoret, City Manager Tanya Abramovitch and a special appearance by Dr. Joe Schwartz, a Cote Saint-Luc resident whose wife is a vCOP.



Cllr GJ Nashen and EMS veteran volunteer Joy Rodgers

Cllr GJ Nashen and EMS veteran volunteer Joy Rodgers

Commander Cournoyer praised the work of the volunteers indicating their thousands of hours of patrols helped the city realize a reduction in crime by over 30%. “You are all helping to keep this city safe,” the top cop said in appreciation. Cournoyer praised the close relationship developed between the city’s volunteer services and the local police.


Sitting safe with Joseph, David, Mark and Aldo

Director Reichson also noted that vCOP has been singled out as unique among cities and boroughs throughout the region with calls coming in from across Quebec seeking to understand our winning formula.


I salute Senior Supervisor Lewis Cohen for his endless hours of dedication to the vCOP program. Lewis remains available to command the troops 24×7, nearly 365 days a year, ensuring the fleet of minivans is ready, bikes and scooters are in proper shape during warmer months, that the office is stocked with equipment and supplies and that all elements are running smoothly for our volunteers.


Patrol pals: Allan, Mark and Irving

Standing by Lewis’ side (actually sitting beside him in the patrol vehicle) is his weekly patrol partner Susie Schwartz, also a supervisor, who handles all special events throughout the year. Susie meticulously calls and emails volunteers to ensure a good turnout when troops are needed to man events, large and small.


A proverbial shoulder to lean on

Mitchell Herf, the third supervisor, oversees training and logistics. Together they manage in their free time to steer another half dozen officers, all of whom work to keep the 80 volunteers well trained, outfitted, motivated and covering as many shifts as possible at all times of days and night.


Issie is vCOP Proud

The team leaders handle day to day operations and logistics including training and continuing education, member issues, new program development, smoke detector brigade, vehicle and two-wheel upkeep, uniform inventory, office supply, radio communications, online support, PR and communications, special events, scheduling and more. Many, many thanks to all these fine officers. And of course thanks a million to each and every member of vCOP for their time, effort and dedication to our city and our neighbours.

vCOP Selfie: Peter, Jordy and Gerry share a laugh

vCOP Selfie: Peter, Jordy and Gerry share a laugh

Volunteers patrol the city in marked vans, on bikes and electric scooters as well as on foot. Many offer availability at all hours in case of a significant emergency where several members are required to be deployed at a moment’s notice.  Emergency Call Outs, as the procedure is known, happen several times throughout the year for weather emergencies, major fires or missing persons, to cite a few examples.


Team Schwartz: vCOP Alice and Dr. Joe

Patrollers receive ongoing training throughout the year, by other volunteers, police officers, public security agents, EMS volunteers and firefighters.

The commander's bodyguards: Elaine Meunier and Jill Saperstein

The commander’s bodyguards: Elaine Meunier and Jill Saperstein

A new program in collaboration with the Montreal Fire Department saw several vCOP members get trained in order to inspect smoke detectors.  These additional volunteer resources ensured that several hundred homes were inspected this year, far more than the Fire Department could possibly do on its own, and contributed substantially to the safety of our residents.

Team Kovac

Team Kovac

The annual holiday party is a chance to meet almost all members at the same time and to thank them immensely for their valuable services.


Woman, 87, dies in CSL condo fire

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The 87-year-old died in a blaze at the Shalom Tower on Norwalk Thursday afternoon (Image: Google Street View)

The 87-year-old died in a blaze at the Shalom Tower on Norwalk Thursday afternoon (Image: Google Street View)

CTV Montreal
November 28, 2013 10:52PM EST

Police are investigating a blaze that claimed the life of an 87-year-old woman in Cote St. Luc Thursday afternoon.

Firefighters rushed into the woman’s condo unit at 6875 Norwalk Rd. just before 5 p.m. Thursday only to find her slumped unconscious on the floor.

Attempts to revive her failed and she was declared dead at the scene.

The fire appears to have started as a result of a defect in the mechanical system of the women’s hot tub.

She was found with burns to her back and neck and may have suffered smoke inhalation as well.

The Montreal police arson squad is investigating the incident, as they do all fires that result in death.

Read more:

6865 Norwalk    Agence QMI

6875 Norwalk Agence QMI

CÔTE-SAINT-LUC – Une femme de 87 ans est morte jeudi en fin d’après-midi en tentant d’éteindre un début d’incendie à l’intérieur de son condo de Côte-Saint-Luc, dans l’ouest de l’île de Montréal.


Le drame est survenu vers 16 h 20, dans une tour à condominiums située sur le chemin Norwalk, près de l’intersection du chemin Kildare.


Selon nos informations, un appareil électrique se serait soudainement enflammé à l’intérieur du condo. L’octogénaire se serait alors approchée du foyer d’incendie pour essayer de l’éteindre.


Durant sa tentative, la résidente des lieux s’est effondrée au sol, sans doute incommodée par la fumée.


Les services d’urgence n’ont rien pu faire pour lui sauver la vie.


Le feu a été rapidement maîtrisé et a causé très peu de dommages matériels.


Comme c’est toujours le cas lorsqu’une personne meurt lors d’un feu, l’enquête visant à établir la cause et les circonstances du drame a été transférée à la division des incendies criminels de la police de Montréal. (Journal de Montreal).



Montréal fire prevention month – Mois de la prévention des incendies


Français : Pumper 229

Pumper 229 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the fourth straight year, the Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal (SIM) is launching Montréal fire prevention and emergency management month. SIM personnel have put together an array of awareness-building activities, intended to increase its visibility with Montrealers, from September 16 to October 13, 2013. 
New this year: The SIM and the Centre de la sécurité civile de Montréal (CSC) are joining forces to highlight two topics: smoke detectors and the 72-hour kit, which contains a few items that would be essential in emergency situations (e.g., water, a blanket, non-perishable food). 
Montréal fire prevention and emergency management month is a unique and tangible initiative demonstrating that the safety of residents in Greater Montréal ranks as a priority. The awareness-building efforts implemented by the SIM help to reduce the risks of fire and major losses, and to save human lives. 
Throughout this one-month period, the SIM will deploy teams in public spaces, conduct inspections of several elementary schools – both public and private – as well as day-care centres, invite the general public to try its two fire safety and emergency management simulators, participate in The Big Evacuation(web page French only) on October 9, 2013 and visit thousands of homes to ensure they are equipped with properly functioning smoke detectors.

Cote Saint-Luc volunteer Citizens on Patrol assist the Fire Department in smoke detector verifications and may be knocking on your door. soon.  Please let them in to give you the thumbs up on your detector.

2012-07-20 CSL Fire Stn 004

Pour une quatrième année, le Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal (SIM) lance le Mois de la prévention des incendies et de la sécurité civile de Montréal. En effet, du 16 septembre au 13 octobre 2013, le personnel du SIM a concocté une panoplie d’activités de sensibilisation dans le but d’être encore plus présent auprès des citoyens.

Une nouveauté cette année, le SIM et le Centre de la sécurité civile de Montréal (CSC) unissent leurs efforts autour de deux thèmes qui seront mis en valeur : l’avertisseur de fumée et la trousse 72 heures. Cette trousse réunit quelques items indispensables lors de situations d’urgence (ex. : eau, couverture, nourriture non périssable, etc.)

Le Mois de la prévention des incendies et de la sécurité civile de Montréal est une initiative concrète et unique qui démontre toute l’importance attribuée à la sécurité de la population de l’agglomération montréalaise. Les efforts de sensibilisation mis en œuvre par le SIM contribuent à réduire les risques d’incendie et de sinistre majeur et à préserver des vies humaines.

Tout au cours du mois, le SIM déploiera des équipes dans des lieux publics, inspectera plusieurs écoles primaires publiques et privées ainsi que des garderies, fera vivre l’expérience de ses deux simulateurs en sécurité incendie et civile à la population, participera à La Grande Évacuation le 9 octobre 2013, en plus de visiter des milliers de domiciles afin de s’assurer qu’ils sont munis d’un avertisseur de fumée fonctionnel.

Les membres du Citoyens en patrouille de Côte Saint-Luc aident les pompiers aux vérifications de détecteurs de fumée et peuvent frapper à votre porte bientôt. S’il vous plaît laissez-les entrer pour vous donner le feu vert concernant votre détecteur.

Spectacular house fire on Holland Road

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Fire broke out in a home on Holland Road at the corner of Redwood Avenue on an otherwise quiet Friday night in Cote Saint-Luc just after 8:00 p.m. Flames shot high in the air and smoke billowed across parts of southern Cote Saint-Luc toward NDG.

Flames light up Holland Road as firefighters arrive

Flames light up Holland Road as firefighters arrive (Photo: Bernie Band)

Firefighters arrived from across the West End and side streets quickly filled up with other emergency crews from Urgences Santé, Gaz Met, the Montreal Fire Department Auxiliary Brigade, Police, Red Cross aid to disaster victims and Cote Saint-Luc Public Security, EMS and vCOP.

Residents and onlookers were ushered behind police lines at a safe distance as thick smoke blanketed the immediate vicinity.

One firefighter was injured and transported to hospital.

Photo: Bernie Band

Photo: Bernie Band


Auxiliary Fire Officer Mark Bindman, a Cote Saint-Luc resident and member of the municipal emergency preparedness committee was at his Friday night training session at Auxiliary Headquarters on Rachel Street. Bindman and his fellow “Buffalos” sprang into service and were rapidly on scene to support more than two dozen firefighters with cold beverages and refreshments.

Montreal Auxiliary Fire Services (The Buffalos)

Montreal Auxiliary Fire Services – The Buffalos (Photo: City of Montreal)

Cote Saint-Luc’s volunteer Citizens on Patrol was called in to provided perimeter control for the safety of residents and emergency crews. I joined vCOP on scene until we wrapped up as most fire crews departed shortly after midnight.

Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson was in charge of local resources as he took up position at the Fire Department command post.

Fortunately, there were no other injuries.

Fire department officials told media they believe the fire was set off by a candle in the bedroom.

Firefighters battle the blaze from the roof on Holland Road (Photo: Alice Pinchuk via CJAD)

Firefighters battle the blaze from the roof on Holland Road (Photo: Alice Pinchuk via CJAD)

“I was called to attention by fire trucks, looked out my window, went out on my balcony. I’m on the 15th floor of an apartment building and I saw flames shooting out, I think, at a minimum, 10, 15 fire trucks, ambulances, all careened down that area”, Francis Doft told CJAD News.

Many thanks to the many emergency crews that responded quickly to suppress the fire and ensure maximum safety to the neighbours. Our wishes for a speedy recovery go out to the injured firefighter. Thank you especially to our Cote Saint-Luc volunteers at EMS (Jacques, Carmel and Caitlin) and vCOP (Lewis, Peter and Helen) for stepping in to serve our residents.

Were you there? Please comment on what you saw.

Photo: Bernie Band

Photo: Bernie Band

A visit to the Montreal Emergency Preparedness Centre

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L-R: CSL Public Security Chief Jerome Pontbriand, Montreal Fire Department Section Chief Gordon Routly, CSL Cllrs. Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac, FD Assistant Director Rick Liebman, CSL PS Director Jordy Reichson

L-R: CSL Public Security Chief Jerome Pontbriand, Montreal Fire Department Section Chief Gordon Routley, CSL Cllrs. Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac, FD Assistant Director Rick Liebman, CSL PS Director Jordy Reichson

As Emergency Preparedness Week is marked across Canada I took part in a site tour of the Montreal Agglomeration Emergency Preparedness Centre located at the Fire Department’s headquarters on Mount Royal.  Housed in a stately, mansion-like structure on sprawling grounds rolling down to Park Ave, the centre is ready, 24/7 in case of a large scale crisis anywhere on the Island of Montreal.

The mission of the Emergency Preparedness Centre (Centre de sécurité Civile) is to ensure the prevention of major accidents and to prepare boroughs, suburban cities  and central city services related to major risks and provide strategic support to the coordination of stakeholders in civil safety during disasters and disaster recovery.

While the website of the Emergency Preparedness Centre is full of information and resources, it is quite absurd that none of this information is available in English.  I was sure to point this out to fire officials on the tour, as I have done in the past.


Another excellent feature launched some months ago by the centre is an emergency notification service, also known as Reverse 911. This service will make outbound calls to thousands of agglomeration residents’ landline phones to signal a large scale emergency, such as warnings to stay indoors in case of chemical explosion, or to evacuate, or to boil water.  You can also manually register your cell phone for SMS and voice notifications.

Inexcusably, the registration page is not available in English however emergency centre officials assured me that the outbound calls are in French as well as in English.

I find it amazing that millions of dollars are well invested in emergency preparedness to save lives and property unless of course you cannot speak or read French, in which case does the city of Montreal really care about you at all?

I attended this otherwise excellent tour and information meeting with Cote Saint-Luc Councillor Ruth Kovac, Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson and Chief Jerome Pontbriand. Hats off to the personnel of the centre in doing fine work to try to keep us all safe.

Emergency evacuation assistance program


The Montreal Fire Department offers persons living with a handicap or reduced mobility the possibility to be registered into a computerized data base that assists firefighters in locating and evacuating them in case of emergency. The information collected is reserved for fire department use only and is kept confidential. This is a free and efficient service offered by your fire department.


Le Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal (SIM) offre aux personnes en situation de handicap ou de mobilité réduite la possibilité de s’inscrire à une base de données informatisée qui permet aux pompiers de les repérer et de les aider à évacuer en cas d’urgence. L’information recueillie est à l’usage exclusif du SIM et est tenue confidentielle. C’est un service efficace et gratuit!


Click here for all the details.  

Cliquez ici pour toutes les informations.


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