Saturday, June 6, 2015


Letter: Emergency services should be bilingual
But all this reader can think of is, The Eaton myth.
One more of the supposedly isolated cases . 
This week, my wife, who is eight months pregnant, and I were involved in a car accident on Highway 20 West. My wife was fine. While I was trying to assess the severity of my head injury, she called 911 and the dispatcher was very helpful.
It was upon our transfer to the Sûreté du Québec that the situation took a turn. My wife, who is American, can't speak French. Emergency services wouldn't come until the SQ officer with whom she was speaking confirmed our location, but he refused to speak to my wife in English. It's quite possible that he doesn't speak English, but that begs the question why he is patrolling the island of Montreal in the first place, specifically the West Island next to an international airport.
It wasn't until I heard my wife pleading with the officer that I managed to take the phone and tell him where we were. When a pregnant woman is stranded in the middle of a highway begging for help and emergency services can't get to her, there is a problem.
If I wasn't there, or if the accident was worse, who knows how this story would have turned out. The citizens of this province will probably debate language issues until the end of time, but there is no room for debate when it comes to emergency situations.
Frank Gaudio, Lachine
Full story here :

No comments: