Railway fire and explosions rock Cote Saint-Luc in Tabletop Exercise

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Emergency service leaders, city service directors, elected officials and community partners ‘raced’ to Cote Saint-Luc City Hall’s Emergency Operations Centre Thursday morning for a mock rail disaster. The exercise was coordinated by Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson in conjunction with Montreal Agglomeration’s Public Safety Centre.

The live action exercise included Montreal agglomeration police and fire services, Urgences Santé ambulance services, CP Police, West-Central Montreal Health, Federation CJA’s community security branch along with all services in the city of CSL.

CSL Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson oversees the Emergency Operations Centre

The scenario involved an overnight train derailment that resulted in a fire and explosion, just east of the Westminster underpass, affecting 250 residents requiring immediate evacuation. Water and electricity was cut off. City personnel established an evacuation centre at the aquatic and community centre on Parkhaven at Mackle. Reichson gave orders to all service directors to huddle and coordinate with their first responders and personnel.

As city councillor responsible for emergency preparedness I can attest that it is evident why CSL is renowned for its level of readiness. The ongoing training, testing and preparing are well worth the investment in time and resources.

Police Commander Jean O’Malley confers with Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson. Executive Assistant Tammy McEwan keeps tabs on all decisions.

In this mock scenario I served as official spokesperson for the city in partnership with Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, and neighboring municipalities and boroughs. A mock press conference was set up to inform our residents.

Several issues arose for the members of the Emergency Operations Centre to deal with on an urgent basis including diminished air quality, wind direction, sheltering of animals, providing kosher and non-kosher food, evacuation of mobility reduced residents and babies, registering residents willing to take in evacuees, distribution of drinking water and more.

Director Jordy Reichson consults with Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen

Participants dealt with a spreading power outage affecting the whole city. Traffic lights were out. Expectations were two days to restore all to normal.

The three hour scenario demonstrated the participant’s ease in dealing with unraveling urgent situations and in collaborating around the table to ensure the safety of our residents. Discussions, swinging back and forth effortlessly in French and English, flowed smoothly and in a spirit if great cooperation.

Montreal Fire Department Division Chief Martin Ferland and Police Commander Jean O’Malley update the leaders in the Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Operations Centre

Cote Saint-Luc residents can take pride in knowing that their emergency, city and community services along with mayor and councillors hold these exercises from time to time and place such a high priority in testing their skills and readiness. Through these exercises improvements and adjustments can be made, professional skills developed and relationships enhanced to be well prepared for the real deal.

On behalf of our residents, thank you to our dedicated leaders around the tabletop mock disaster. Your commitment to emergency services and to our residents and community is exemplary and greatly appreciated. Thank you to Sid-Ali Talbi of Centre de sécurité civile de Montréal and CSL Public Safety Chief Philippe Chateauvert and kudos to Jordy Reichson for his leadership in orchestrating a successful demonstration and return to normalcy for our city.

Councillor Ruth Kovac and I have been involved in emergency preparedness in Cote Saint-Luc for 36 years. I was involved in EMO in the 1987 floods and we both participated in leading city services in the 1998 Ice Storm and in preparation for Y2K. We’ve taken part in many exercises over the years and we were very impressed in how these leaders came together to deal with a sudden, life-threatening crisis in a calm and professional manner.

We’re in good hands in Cote Saint-Luc!

For more information on emergency preparedness in Cote Saint-Luc and to learn what you can do to better prepare your own family please visit the CSL Emergency Preparedness page here or GetPrepared.ca.

Urgences Santé website to be bilingual

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Jan. 21, 2015 | Suburban News | Click to enlarge

Jan. 21, 2015 | Suburban News | Click to enlarge

Thank you to D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum for his interest in advancing this dossier. Each time I contact him concerning local and language issues he and his skilled staff are quick to respond and to make representation to the relevant ministers. In this particular case, David’s assistance was significant in getting a quick and positive response from Urgences Santé.

Urgences Santé promotes safety for all on French only website, Twitter

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For quite some time I have been pushing the issue of language on signs, websites and social media within the public safety departments and agencies in the Quebec government as well as in the City of Montreal.
Recently, I noticed that Urgences Santé (the provincially mandated Montreal and Laval ambulance service, where I worked as an ambulance technician for 18 years) launched a new website and has taken to Tweeting. This is terrific and to be commended.
A major problem that I’ve discovered though, is that their new site doesn’t have a word of English. Rien de tout. Quite incredible for a major emergency operation serving over a million people, many of whom are English-speaking.
Furthermore, Urgences Santé policy, similar to the Quebec Police Force (SQ), is to tweet in French only, unless they consider the situation to be an emergency. There is a fundamental problem with this misguided policy when they consider an emergency situation message as being appropriate to be conveyed in both languages however messages promoting public safety (and not an immediate emergency) cannot be in English. This is plain wrong. It is dangerous.
In responding to my request for them to tweet in English Urgences Santé cites Bill 101. However, the Charter of the French Language, Section 22, allows for use of another language when it comes to “health and public safety”.
Therefore, once again, this public body, whose mandate is indeed health and public safety, refuses to communicate in a language other than French, for the purpose of educating the public in matters of health and safety. This makes no sense. It is a dangerous practice and a narrow view of the language law.
Of course, the reach of the Charter into social and digital media is in and of itself questionable as to jurisdiction but we’ll leave that argument aside for now.
Emergency medical services and public safety matters are very important to me. So too is the notion of the Quebec Government showing respect to the English-speaking population.
In the last months I have communicated with the communication policy at Urgences Santé, Transports Quebec, Hydro Quebec and the Quebec Police Force. All these agencies hide behind a very narrow interpretation of the French language charter. This must change. I have called upon D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum to help in these matters and appreciate whatever assistance he will bring to these issues with the goal of attaining more effective safety-related communications for Quebecers of both language groups.

Letter: Hand over responsibility for ambulances to the municipal level

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Re: “A critical need for better ambulance service” (Editorial, July 16)

This is an excellent editorial about the substandard level of the pre-hospital emergency medical care across Quebec. Sadly, there have been many excellent editorials over the decades just like this one.

Many of us have been advocating for the recognition of Advanced Care (Advanced Life Support) Paramedics for 30 years as Quebec lags woefully behind its neighbours. While “Paramedic” is now emblazoned across our ambulances, the term gives a false expectation to the public.

We continue to lose our most skilled ambulance technicians to other jurisdictions. Quebecers need not suffer, or die, before getting to the hospital when there are so many eager ambulance technicians available and willing to be trained to perform at a much higher level.

The lack of transparency, lengthy response times and fleet availability in the regional ambulance service cited by the editorial is fixable. Hand over the service to the municipal level. Fire and police services for the Montreal Island are not run by the province, nor should they be. The same stands true for ambulance services. The level closest to the citizen will result in better care and a higher quality of services.

Glenn J. Nashen

City Councillor


© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

Editorial: A crucial need for better ambulance service

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Gazette Editorial, July 16, 2014

Not that long ago, calling an ambulance in Montreal often meant summoning a vehicle from a funeral home. True, the optics weren’t good, but emergency response in those days was a private business — and a competitive one. Funeral home station wagons could carry stretchers, so they took calls.

Emergency services have come a long way since then. They are now highly professionalized and centrally coordinated. Montreal police took over ambulance service starting in 1958, and Urgences-Santé was established in 1989 to cover Montreal Island and Laval, although Côte-St-Luc maintains its own supplementary first-responder service. But the reality is the greater Montreal region today lags behind almost every other jurisdiction in Canada and the U.S. in pre-hospital emergency care. And now our shortcomings have been highlighted once again as the union representing almost 1,000 Urgences-Santé employees threatens pressure tactics as they negotiate a new contract.

Quebec may call those first responders ambulance paramedics, but the vast majority are not trained — and not permitted — to provide the same level of emergency care that is allowed in other jurisdictions. For years, the Collège des Médecins, and the professional order of nurses, have jealously guarded the right to perform “medical acts.”

When Premier Philippe Couillard was health minister a decade ago, a pilot project created 18 new “advanced care paramedics” — trained in Ontario for work in Quebec. But until two years ago, they still couldn’t use their new skills unless a physician was on board. Today, only 12 of those original 18 are still left; the others have left to work in cities where they have more freedom to practise independently at advanced levels.

Now the union for first responders wants to see 150 or more advanced-care paramedics in their ranks. This is a long-overdue reform. Empowered paramedics have proven to be a valuable asset outside of Quebec, not a public-health liability.

A broader challenge for Urgences-Santé, however, lies in improving its basic response times. The ambulance operator claims its average response time, for the highest priority calls in Montreal and Laval, is 7.04 minutes. But anecdotal evidence, from both patients and first responders, casts doubt on this. There are times when there are no ambulances in Laval, and vehicles are directed there from as far away as LaSalle. Urgences-Santé has denied a Gazette access-to-information request to open its books, so there is no way to tell how response time is being calculated.

The lack of transparency is troubling, but there’s reason to suspect that there simply aren’t enough ambulances and paramedics. In fact, the union is asking for 20 more ambulances and 40 more paramedics as part of its contract talks. The government, as overseer of health care in Quebec, should take this bargaining period as an opportunity to review the entire structure of Urgences-Santé. In Toronto and Ottawa, ambulance services are run by a body accountable to the cities, rather than the provincial government. At the same time, user fees should be reviewed, and brought into line to support higher standards of service, especially as the population ages.

Ambulance services aren’t entirely unwritten by the public purse. People pay out of their own pocket; a ride to the hospital costs a basic $125 and $1.75 per kilometre. There are exceptions — those on welfare, those over 65, anyone involved in a car crash or a workplace accident. But the rates haven’t changed since 1997; meanwhile, services still trail other jurisdictions.

None of these issues are new — but they are still issues of life and death, and they deserve closer public attention than they are getting.

A healthy ambulance service needs advanced care paramedics

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The decision last month by paramedics in Montreal and Laval to invoke pressure tactics against Urgences Santé to protest against the lack of ambulance resources is just one part of a larger problem with ambulance services in this province.

I have worked as a primary care paramedic with Urgences Santé for the past six years, and every year seems to be worse than the last.

Our response times have been unacceptable for quite some time now, and no one seems to be noticing.

However, there is a bigger problem here in Quebec, and it’s what we are doing once we arrive on the scene of an emergency.

Quebec is the only place in North America (aside from New Brunswick) where advanced care paramedics are not part of the operational routine. The rest of Canada has three levels of paramedics: primary, advanced and critical. Advanced care paramedics have more training than primary care paramedics and are able to bring the hospital emergency room, so to speak, out onto the road with them.

I completed my advanced care course in Ontario, a program that is accredited in all of Canada but not in Quebec, where it has been stuck at the pilot-project stage since 2001. Urgences Santé and the Quebec government fail to recognize my training, and keep me at the level of primary care paramedic.

For the last year, I have had to sit on my hands and watch as patients had seizures while being transported to the hospital, because I am not allowed to administer medication.

If you fall and fracture your hip in another province, the treatment you will get includes use of a scoop (a device that goes underneath you to lift you off of the floor), an IV, morphine for the pain and anti-nausea medication if you need it.

In Quebec, by contrast, you will be put in a vacuum mattress (a device that becomes rigid and acts as a full body cast), which requires a paramedic to turn you on your side, which is extremely painful if you have a hip fracture.

Why is it that we are the highest taxed citizens in North America, yet we are the only ones that don’t have access to advanced pre-hospital care?

It’s time we stand up and start demanding that we get treated just as well as our neighbours in the rest of Canada. As for me, I’ve been forced to move, to work in a province that recognizes my training and that will allow me to properly treat my patients.

Phil McHugh is moving July 7 from Montreal to Calgary, to take a job as an advanced care paramedic. He has worked the last six years with Urgences Santé.

CSL recognizes long serving veterans of EMS


It was a great honour for me to be included among those recognized last night for their many years of service in building the Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Medical Services. CSL EMS turns 50 years old this year.  The recognition event and graduation of the current class of new medics took place amid pomp and ceremony Monday night at Cote Saint-Luc City Hall.medal-003s

The Governor General’s EMS Exemplary Service Medal was presented by Mayor Anthony Housefather, Public Safety Councillor Sam Goldbloom and Director (and long time volunteer himself) Jordy Reichson to eight veterans following more than 20 years of dedicated service.

The Exemplary Service Medal, which was established in 1994 as part of the Canadian Honours System, recognizes individuals with at least 20 years of service in Emergency Medical Services and a strong commitment to exceptional performance.

I started at what used to be called EMO (Emergency Measures Organization) immediately after high school back in 1979. These were the years prior to First Responders and a coordinated ambulance service in Montreal. Residents would telephone directly to EMO and we would respond in our small fire-rescue truck, known as RMF-11 (Rescue, Medical, Fire).

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

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

Our first responder service was launched a few years later and I spent the next 20 years in active duty as a volunteer.

Shortly after being first elected in 1990, Councillor Ruth Kovac and I set off to form the EMO Review Committee and proposed upgrading the service to a full city service with a paid director, round the clock coverage, in-house training of our volunteer medics and widespread training of our residents, staff and visitors in CPR.

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.

In total I have been involved in our Emergency Medical services and every aspect of Public Safety for 35 years, well over half of my life!

Receiving the Governor General's medal from Cllr. Sam Goldbloom, Mayor Anthony Housefather and Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson

Receiving the Governor General’s medal from Cllr. Sam Goldbloom, Mayor Anthony Housefather and Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson

Additionally I served 18 years as an Emergency Medical Technician with Urgences Santé, five years on the Canadian Ski Patrol, and founded and spent countless hours with the CSL volunteer Citizens on Patrol group. My involvement doesn’t stop there having overseen Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness on City Council since 1990.

I am very proud to have championed the first municipal bylaw requiring bike helmets in Canada and spending the last three decades advocating for mandatory helmet requirements for cyclists. It is with passion for caring for the injured, sick and needy that I  have promoted the legal recognition of Paramedics in pre-hospital emergency medical care in Quebec.

Proud to be among many deserving veterans of EMS including Patti-Bath Lietman, Hal Newman, Rick Liebmann

Proud to be among many deserving veterans of EMS including Patti-Bath Leitman, Hal Newman and Rick Liebmann

There are so many highlights in my years in EMS. I have performed CPR more than 125 times and successfully revived one in four patients. One of my most memorable occasions serving on Montreal ambulances was my first and only delivery of a baby boy in his mother’s house, which permitted me to proudly wear a tiny blue stork pin on my uniform.

Riding aboard Cote Saint-Luc's first Rescue Medical Fire vehicle RMF-11, 1981

Riding aboard Cote Saint-Luc’s first Rescue Medical Fire vehicle RMF-11 in 1981

I remember with pride serving CSL EMO in a historical torrential downpour in 1987 that closed our underpasses stranding thousands of residents and spending fifteen straight days overseeing emergency services and communications during the 1998 Ice Storm.

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, 1981

Of major importance was my involvement, seven years ago, alongside Mayor Housefather, Councillor Kovac and MNA Lawrence Bergman in solidifying community support for EMS and the adoption of a special law in the National Assembly to allow our city to keep EMS as the First Responder service when the Montreal Fire Department took over this mandate everywhere else on the island.

Saving EMS at the Quebec National Assembly

Saving EMS at the Quebec National Assembly in 2007

Thank you to Mayor Housefather for his confidence in appointing me to my public safety and emergency preparedness positions for the last ten years and to Jordy Reichson for his collaboration and dedication to serving our community.

Councillor Glenn J. Nashen on duty with vCOP

Councillor Glenn J. Nashen on duty with vCOP

This has been a most rewarding, inspiring and epic journey for me, and for the thousands of volunteers who have crossed through the doors at Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Medical Services. Thank you to all those who have been involved in EMS for this great honour and immense privilege to serve.


Motor vehicle crash snarls traffic on Kildare

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Car crash on Kildare and Kellert (Photo: CSL EMS)

Car crash on Kildare and Kellert (Photo: CSL EMS)

Cote Saint-Luc EMS and Public Security responded to two car crashes today.  This one closed Kildare west at Kellert, snarling afternoon traffic in the area.

EMS volunteers are first responders and as their name indicates are often first on the scene of a medical emergency, including car crashes. Many of CSL’s Public Safety agents are also trained EMS medics.

EMS crews rush to the scene of 9-1-1 calls for medical emergencies and take charge of stabilizing the patient until the arrival of the Urgences Santé ambulance.

As councillor responsible for public safety I am very proud of the great efforts of these talented young volunteers. Together with our Public Security agents, vCOPs and local Police officers our community is a safer, better place.  Many thanks to all of them.

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

Life-saving defibrillators should be in every public gathering spot

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Last week PM Stephen Harper announced the Government of Canada will be investing $10 Million to outfit as many as 3000 arenas with life-saving defibrillators.

“We have the technology and we know that it works,” Harper said. “We know that with minimal training, defibrillators are easy to use. We know that by making these devices more readily available, fast treatment will save lives.”

Automated defibrillator

Automated defibrillator

This is an idea whose time has come.  Cote Saint-Luc has had defibrillators in place in its arena and City Hall / Library complex for more than 10 years and has since added additional units at the outdoor pool, ACC and tennis club.  At a relatively low-cost these easy-to-use defibrillators save lives.  They should be required in every major gathering spot, just as fire extinguishers or first aid kits are.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, which is working with the government on the program, 40,000 Canadians experience a sudden cardiac arrest each year, and only about five per cent of them survive.

It’s not uncommon for people to suffer heart attacks and strokes in rinks and arenas, many which already have defibrillators installed.

I have personally performed CPR about 125 times during my EMS and Urgences Santé career.  I have personally witnessed that early bystander CPR followed by rapid defibrillation and advanced life support is critical in those precious minutes that invariably mean whether a patient will be revived or not.

With automated defibrillators now sold at the retail level there is no reason they can’t be made more widely available.  Federal funding is a good jumpstart.


CSL EMS crews save two lives in January

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CSL EMS crews save two lives in January

Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban. February 20th, 2013

Members of Côte St. Luc’s volunteer Emergency Medical Services crew helped save the lives of two people who had gone into cardiac arrest this past January.

According to a city statement, the first incident took place Jan. 17, when the crew encountered a woman in her 30s who had gone into convulsions and was in cardiac arrest. According to a description of what happened next, the crew “delivered one electrical shock with their defibrillator and administered CPR before Urgences Santé arrived on scene. The Urgences Santé crew delivered more shocks while en route to hospital. The patient was conscious in hospital and it is believed the patient will suffer no long term effects from the incident. She was released from the hospital and is recovering at home.”


The second incident took place Jan. 23, when a man in his 70s “collapsed outside a food shop on Westminster. The primary Côte St. Luc EMS crew was busy on a pediatric trauma call, so another first responder was dispatched. When he arrived, the patient had no pulse. He delivered one electrical shock with a defibrillator and Urgences Santé arrived shortly thereafter. The patient regained a pulse and was breathing on his own. He was transported to hospital and has since been released to convalesce at home,” says a description of what transpired.

Councillor Glenn Nashen, in charge of the public safety portfolio on council, said the success of the crews in these two instances demonstrated “the skills and professionalism of the volunteer service” and thanked the more than 95-person crew in general for providing “exceptional services,” to both Côte St. Luc residents and visitors in the more than 3,000 calls they respond to each year.

“Their quick action and sharp skills mean the difference between life and death,” Nashen said.

CSL EMS volunteers: Your hero next door

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I regularly report on the incredible, life-saving efforts of our Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Medical Services volunteers.  We cannot thank these fine young women and men enough for their countless acts of bravery and dedication to our residents and visitors.

At this week’s EMS membership meeting I was pleased to join Mayor Anthony Housefather and City Manager Tanya Abramovitch in passing on the appreciation of all Cote Saint-Lucers.

A few members were singled out for saving lives including Anthony G, and Robert R, as mentioned on this blog a few weeks ago.  Also recognized were Sergey A, Audrey M, Cassandre D for assisting in a birth at home.

EMS volunteers are trained in basic life support however some have climbed the ranks within the medical profession and continue to apply their skills.  Even those working as Urgences Santé paramedics or those in medical school continue on as volunteer first responders.

For more information on CSL EMS or to join, please visit their site.  And, when you see the EMS white trucks and crews passing by please give a friendly wave and let them know how much you appreciate them always being at the ready to respond to the next emergency.


CSL crews save lives

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Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Medical Services volunteers have had more excitement over the last few days than any volunteer could expect.  While on some shifts our volunteers watch the clock tick by, others keep them hopping, sometimes involving simultaneous emergency medical calls in different corners of our city.  In the past few days our volunteer First Responders successfully resuscitated two patients.

A few days ago the EMS overnight crew responded to a 911 call for a patient in convulsions and surprisingly found a 37 year old female in cardiac arrest. Out came the defibrillator and the EMS crew of Anthony and Robert delivered one shock and began CPR maneuvers before Urgences-santé ambulance technicians arrived on scene.

The ambulance crew delivered several more shocks while en route to the hospital. The patient regained consciousness in hospital and we learned that the patient will suffer no long term effects from the incident.

Earlier this week a man in his 70s collapsed outside of Qualitifruits on Westminster Avenue. The EMS crew was already at an emergency pediatric trauma call, so Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson responded, lights flashing and siren wailing. When he arrived, the patient had no pulse.  Notwithstanding frigid outside temperatures below -20C, Reichson hooked the man up to the defibrillator and delivered one shock.  Urgences-santé ambulance techs arrived shortly thereafter and felt a spontaneous pulse.  The collapsed man began breathing on his own and was rushed to hospital.

These very real examples show just how invaluable our EMS is to our city and our residents.  Thanks to Cote Saint-Luc EMS crews for saving two lives in the last week and for countless other amazing interventions to assist our residents and visitors every day.


CSL EMS volunteers – At the ready

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While Urgences Santé emergency medical technicians are set to go on strike tonight, Christmas Eve , Cote Saint-Luc volunteers will be manning our local Emergency Medical Services station round the clock.  CSL’s first responders will ensure there is no disruption when a 911 medical emergency happens in our town.

Ambulance is an essential service and therefore the strike is largely symbolic. Medics will likely wear army fatigues or jeans rather than their proper uniform and will plaster stickers across their ambulances.  Unprofessional to be sure and largely disrespectful of property paid for by the public. True, the vast majority of “paramedics” are wonderfully dedicated and very talented, but the union has a way of getting their way.

Nonetheless, Cote Saint-Luc volunteers are always ready and able, and look mighty fine at all times.  We’ve asked our volunteers to put in some extra time over the holidays and even to double up so multiple calls will be answered without delay.

You can help too.  If you’re baking or cooking why not prepare a couple more helpings and drop it off at the station with a bottle of coke – 8100 Cote Saint-Luc Road?  Our crews will be thrilled with the attention and the grub as they man the fort during Christmas and right through New Year’s Eve and Day.  Your thoughtfulness and generosity will be warmly appreciated.  Just ring the bell at the front door, and as long as they’re not out on a call you’ll see some pretty big smiles. (If they’re out you can leave it at the door.  It’ll stay cold!)

CSL EMS volunteers are highly skilled life savers.  Fully trained in-house, they are multilingual, young and energetic and  very happy to assist those in need.  So, thank a medic from CSL EMS when you see them next.  They’re on duty for you.

Early bystander CPR helps save a life in CSL

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The stars were clearly aligned on June 28th for a 46 year old man who went into sudden cardiac arrest at his home in Cote Saint-Luc.

Bystander CPR was started by someone on scene. The CSL EMS crew of Samantha and Adam arrived alongside two police officers from Station 9. The two police officers ran upstairs to take over compressions while the EMS crew established an airway and provided ventilations, as no shock was advised on the monitor.

Urgences-santé showed up shortly thereafter and by the time the patient was loaded into the ambulance, he had regained a spontaneous pulse and respirations.

Great teamwork between the emergency services and a focus on the patient clearly made the difference.

Thanks and congratulations to Cote Saint-Luc’s finest police officers, EMS volunteers and the ambulance technicians.  Everyone involved in this intervention performed to the best of their abilities resulting in a life saved.  You are all to be congratulated for excellent work.


Ready to learn in a Cote Saint-Luc CPR Heartsaver AED class?  They are offered to the public each month.  The dates of the next few CPR courses being offered are:

Monday July 9th 2012

Thursday August 9th 2012

Monday September 17th 2012

Thursday October 11th 2012

Monday November 12th 2012

Thursday December 6th 2012

Monday January 14th 2013

The Heartsaver CPR/AED classes can have up to 12 participants per class.

For more information on CPR courses please contact the Cote Saint-Luc Parks and Recreation Department at www.cotesaintluc.org or by phone at 514-485-6806.

CPR saves lives. Learn it.

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