The ongoing heat wave has taken the lives of 17 people in Quebec since the end of last week when temperatures began to rise.
In a phone call with Daily Hive, a spokesperson for Santé Montréal confirmed that 12 deaths have occurred in Montreal since Saturday as a result of the heat with 5 more deaths being reported in the Eastern Townships.
Urgences-Santé have noticed the same trends in ambulance transport that were recorded during the 2010 heat wave that claimed the lives of more than 100 people from Montreal.
With that said, Urgences-Santé is pleading with the public to only call 911 in case of a genuine emergency. Ambulances and paramedics have been stretched too thin since the weekend and are answering too many calls that don’t merit emergency attention.
People dealing with minor heat-related symptoms are urged to call the 811 health information line rather than the 911 emergency line where every second counts.
Officials are advising people in Quebec to drink plenty of water and to check in on neighbours or relatives and get them to an air conditioned place, especially elders with existing medical conditions.
In Montreal, police and firefighters are going door-to-door in areas identified as having people considered at high risk: those with chronic illness, mental-health problems, citizens who live alone and people without air conditioning.
The heat wave is expected to last through Thursday.