Business offers free helmets for Bixi users cycling in Old Montreal and the Old Port

Leave a comment

Business offers free helmets for Bixi users cycling in Old Montreal and the Old Port (Montreal Gazette)

Jack Kowalski has been pitching an odd idea for several years.  He’d like helmets to be worn inside cars.  While his idea has yet to gain much traction I share his enthusiasm for increased awareness, promotion and use of helmets for cycling, skiing and other sports that can easily result in traumatic brain injury.  TBI is preventable in 80% of cases by wearing an approved helmet.

Kowalski is upset that Montreal’s bike sharing system, BIXI, does not offer or require helmets. I agree with him on this point.  So he has done something about it.  He has purchased 50 helmets that he will loan for free to BIXI users at his store in Old Montreal.  Great initiative. Bravo Jack Kowalski.

Quebecers short-changed in pre-hospital emergency medical care

Leave a comment

FR

April 3, 2009

Montreal Gazette
Letters to the editor (published Apr. 4, 2009)

Re: MDs call for air ambulance, Gazette, April 2, 2009

Why is it that Quebecers continue to be short changed when it comes to pre-hospital emergency medical care? Calls for air ambulance helicopters for major trauma and medical emergencies in rural areas has been going on for 20 years or more but we still have none in Quebec. The life-saving skills of advanced care paramedics is undeniable, unless you live in Quebec.

And why aren’t helmets mandatory for cyclists, or for skiers, when they are proven to reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury by 80%. The prevention of injury and reduction in visits to already crowded emergency departments and hospitalization would result in huge savings to taxpayers and would ease the burden on our over-stretched health care system.

Quebec prides itself in leadership and innovation yet trails far behind in pre-hospital emergency medical care and preparedness. Time to play catch up right now. Air ambulances, advanced care paramedics, helmets and wide-spread education in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation all save lives. Time to invest where it really counts.  Our lives depend on it.

Glenn J. Nashen
City Councillor (Public Safety)
Cote Saint-Luc

Postscript:  I have been advocating for legalization of paramedics in Quebec for 30 years.  Despite the widespread use of the word “paramedic” in Quebec over the last few years the province still does not permit ambulance technicians to perform advanced life support as in nearly all other jurisdictions across North America.

In the mid-90s I worked with then MNA Robert Libman to introduce helicopter air ambulances.  We asked the government to implement such a critical service but 15 years later the same questions are being asked.

Cotes Saint-Luc became the first municipality in Canada to legislate the wearing of bike helmets when I introduced this life-saving proposition.  This law has since spread widely across Canada but is still not mandatory here in Quebec.

Search this blog for more on paramedics, bike helmets and emergency medical services.

If you want to make a difference please call or write to your Member of the Quebec National Assembly and ask for support in legalizing advanced care paramedics, launching an air ambulance helicopter service and requiring all cyclists and skiers to wear a helmet.

On helmets and safety

1 Comment

The recent tragic death of actress Natasha Richardson after a fall on the beginner run at Mont-Tremblant underscores the critical need for helmet legislation across Quebec.

Cote Saint-Luc became the first municipality in Canada to enact a bylaw making bike helmets mandatory 18 years ago and we called upon Quebec to take action province-wide.  Yet no Quebec helmet law exists to date and preventable injuries and even deaths occur each year.    It is a shame that Quebec has yet to take action.

More than 80% of traumatic brain injuries can be prevented by wearing a helmet.

As an avid cyclist and having served five years on the Canadian Ski Patrol I cannot emphasize how important it is to wear a proper helmet for biking, in-line skating, skiing, ice skating and tobogganing.

You can search this blog for more on helmets or click the links below.

And if you feel as I do, please call your Member of the National Assembly.

Trauma and injury prevention, Montreal Children’s Hospital

CBC Living Montreal: Injury prevention – helmets

Cote Saint-Luc launches new bike helmet law – first such by-law in Canada: CTV News

Leave a comment

1991 CTV News report about Cote Saint-Luc’s new bike helmet law – the first municipal bike helmet legislation in Canada.