Cote Saint-Luc applauds island-wide first responder services and demands ongoing protection for its volunteer emergency medical

COTE SAINT-LUC, Friday, July 14, 2006 - Mayor Anthony Housefather is responding with guarded optimism about today's announcement about Island-wide First Responder Services by the Montreal Agglomeration's Fire Department. 

Cote Saint-Luc has demanded that its all-volunteer Emergency Medical Services (“EMS”) department be authorized to continue responding to life-threatening emergencies in Cote Saint-Luc.   Previously Cote Saint-Luc had successfully negotiated to have its EMS designated as a local service under the control of Cote Saint-Luc in the agglomeration decree and that exemption continues until December 31, 2008.   Cote Saint-Luc has now requested that the Quebec Government take action to legislate the perpetual protection of this unique service.
“Cote Saint-Luc EMS is manned by highly trained, dedicated personnel who volunteer their time and efforts to serve the community,” said Mayor Housefather.   Their training is provided by the EMS Training Academy and follows U.S. guidelines for First Responders and E.M.T.'s, all of which is overseen by an emergency department physician serving as Medical Director, and an oversight committee of elected, lay and professional leaders in the Emergency Services Committee. 
Mayor Housefather commented that we strongly approve of the entire Island of Montreal being covered by First Responder Services but would vigorously oppose any attempt by the Fire Department to take over the EMS role in Cote Saint-Luc.   We have our own service, which is of higher quality than what the rest of the island will receive and will not accept it being sacrificed here.   We have met with our own MNA, Minister of Revenue Lawrence Bergman on many occasions on this issue and will work closely with him to get the legislation amended to ensure our service remains intact as a local service for generations to come.
“The extremely strong community support for the preservation of EMS needs to be recognized by the Quebec Government, the City of Montreal and the Agglomeration Fire Department”, said Public Safety Councillor Glenn J. Nashen. “In the event the Government fails to amend the decree prior to a provincial election, this may well turn into a hot button election issue in D'Arcy McGee.   The Fire Department also needs to be aware of massive opposition if they would ever try to come into our City and take over the service.”
EMS was created in 1965 and has been providing high quality First Responder services to the territory of Cote Saint-Luc since 1980.   EMS is equipped with a fleet of three modern emergency vehicles, state-of-the-art emergency medical equipment, devices, tools and supplies which have been purchased by the City of Cote Saint-Luc, all housed in EMS headquarters at 8100 Cote Saint-Luc Road.
“EMS responds to more than 3000 medical assistance calls each year and assists at community events, crises and other major emergencies in the community and throughout south-western Quebec,” said Councillor Nashen.   “EMS has a response time averaging 3 minutes, which is the fastest average response time for First Responder medical calls on the Island of Montreal.   The significant time differential in response between EMS and those Montreal fire stations providing emergency first response can mean the difference between life and death.”
The EMS system and volunteers have earned the praise and admiration of the community they serve and those whom they have aided through the years.   They have provided an important educational, community and volunteer opportunity to hundreds and perhaps thousands of young adults from the entire Montreal region, many of whom have entered the medical professions as a result of their rewarding experiences in this impressive organization said Mayor Housefather.   “On behalf of the Council of the City of Cote Saint-Luc, I assure our EMS volunteers and our residents that we will vigorously fight to ensure that our service remains intact and protected for future generations and will do everything we can to convince the Quebec Government and the agglomeration to support us in this matter.”

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