Help save EMS

Help save EMS
by Glenn J. Nashen, City Councillor (Public Safety)

When we were first elected, the Côte Saint-Luc City Council worked closely with MNA Lawrence Bergman to get an exemption for our unique first-responder service, Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

During the merger years, the City of Montreal planned to transfer the most serious medical calls—called Priority One—to the fire department and signed a collective agreement with the fire department setting out those terms. Priority One calls constitute half of the calls EMS responds to on an annual basis.

Against all odds, we were able to secure a three-year exemption until December 31, 2008 but that date is fast approaching. In order to ensure that our ability to maintain our unique EMS service as we know it, we need the Quebec legislature to intervene and provide us with a permanent exemption to remain fully in control of our life-saving service that has operated successfully and at low cost for more than 25 years.

Côte Saint-Luc EMS is the only such volunteer service on the Island of Montreal and has saved many lives.

Having the fire department serve as first responders throughout the rest of the island is big bonus to those residents who do not already enjoy such a service. But while the fire department hopes to respond in six minutes, Côte Saint-Luc EMS already has a response time of less than three minutes. When seconds count most, why would we accept a slower response? Fire department responders will have about 50 hours of training while our volunteers have three times more training. Our EMS volunteers know Côte Saint-Luc better, speak more languages and have been connected the community for more than 40 years!

These are just some of the more important reasons why we must speak out now, before the next provincial election, and demand that our provincial government grant Côte Saint-Luc EMS continued authority over all medical emergencies, including Priority One calls, on a permanent basis. Please do not delay. Côte Saint-Luc EMS is a matter of life and death!

Please contact your Quebec MNA, Lawrence Bergman, to ask him for his help to save Côte Saint-Luc EMS.

Lawrence Bergman
Minister of Revenue
Member for D'Arcy McGee
5800 Cavendish Blvd., Suite 403
Côte Saint-Luc, QC  H4W 2T5
Tel.: 514-488-7028
E-mail: cabinet@revenu.gouv.qc.ca
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