In this section, you'll find answers to frequently asked questions about firefighter-first responders.

How should I report an emergency?

To report an emergency, whether it's a health problem, fire, accident or other emergency, always call 9-1-1.

What is a firefighter-first responder?

A firefighter-first responder is a firefighter who is trained to respond in a Priority 1 medical emergency.  911 calls are classified as Priority 1 when the situation requires an immediate response to assist the victim. Priority 1 emergencies are vital emergencies such as cardiac and respiratory failure, loss of consciousness, falls, diabetic disorders, food allergy reactions and any other health issue requiring immediate attention.

How do they get to the scene?

Firefighter-first responders travel in the department's fire vehicles. Once they have responded to the emergency situation, they are once again avaiable for other types of emergencies.

Why, when I call an ambulance, do firefighters arrive on the scene? 

Montréal firefighters are trained to give first aid to persons with vital emergencies and are dispatched at the same time as paramedics. Because they are in the 66 fire stations across the island, they can reach people in distress in a matter of minutes. Their role is to provide basic medical care and stabilize the victim. When paramedics arrive, they will provide more complex care and transport the person to the hospital. 

How are firefighter-first responders trained?

First responder training is given by certified Urgences-santé instructors. The initial training is 62 hours long and meets the requirements of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec. Afterwards, firefighter-first responders pursue continuing education - 24 hours every two years. 

What equipment do firefighter-first responders use?

Firefighter-first responders have six types of kits aboard their vehicle:

  1. Defibrillator
  2. Oxygenation
  3. Trauma
  4. Immobilization
  5. Protection against contagious diseases
  6. Childbirth and neonatal care

Does the fire department offer first aid classes to the public?

No. However, many organizations offer first-aid training, such as the Canadian Red Cross, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Ambulance Saint-Jean.

Who are firefighter-first responders' primary partners?

Partners that make it possible for the SIM to offer firefighter-first responder service are Urgences-santé, Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal and the Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux.