1. Announcements
  2. /
  3. Urgences-santé and the Ministry...

Urgences-santé and the Ministry of Health asks to suspend all first responder services on the island of Montreal

The Côte Saint-Luc Emergency Medical Services and Montreal Fire Department (SIM) first responders will temporarily pause their operations, starting on March 30, 2020, at 6pm, following a decision by Urgences-santé and the Quebec Ministry of Health.

The City of Côte Saint-Luc, in collaboration with Urgences-santé, has agreed to cease EMS operations temporarily. This measure, like all others, will be reassessed daily to ensure that it remains relevant based on the situation and the needs. The Montreal Fire Department (SIM) first responders will also stop their operations.

The well-being of our patients are our primary concern. At this point, a panel of experts, regionally and at the Ministry of Health has judged it better to remove first responders in certain regions in an attempt to limit the spread of the pandemic and in the best interests of the entire population. The clinical benefit of first responder presence is simply not worth the risk involved in affecting them.

Urgences-santé paramedics will continue to respond to medical calls in Côte Saint-Luc and across the island. These paramedics have the equipment and advanced training to respond to calls from patients with COVID-19.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and Urgences-santé gives us the green light, our first responders will be back on the road,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “Until then, we need to follow the directives of the government and do what is best to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

Councillor Oren Sebag, who is the council member responsible for public safety, says this decision will have an impact on response times.

“This is the first time in our city’s history that our EMS first responders service has been interrupted,” Councillor Sebag said. “They have been such a great asset to our residents, especially recently, by providing much care and compassion every time they respond to a call. Not having them on the road will be a noticeable loss, but it will be a temporary loss.”