Health and Safety

Health and Safety
Many visitors come to the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic to witness the night sky’s wonders, including phenomena like the aurora borealis. The observatory has implemented several security measures to ensure the safety of all visitors, observers, and staff during their time here. Credit: Rémi Boucher

Health and Safety Measures

This page contains useful information in the event of an emergency at the Mont-Mégantic Observatory (OMM) telescope. You’ll find important telephone numbers, a list of contacts, and other helpful information. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the content presented below before your trip to the summit of the Mont-Mégantic.

General information

The OMM telescope and residence are located at an altitude of 1100 metres, in the heart of Parc national du Mont-Mégantic. Despite the bucolic nature of the environment, isolation, extreme weather conditions, and the presence of visitors can create potentially dangerous situations. In order to minimise the risks, it is important that all users of the scientific infrastructure keep the following instructions in mind.

Report your presence at all times
  • Two days before your arrival at the summit, the person in charge of the observation mission (according to the quadrennial schedule) must contact the support astronomer (Sylvie Beaulieu) and the cook (Christine Blais) by e-mail to confirm the number and names of people who will be present during the observation mission.
  • During the mission, any change of personnel must also be reported by the mission manager.
If you are traveling by car to the Observatory
  • Drive carefully and respect the speed limit on the road leading to the summit (30 km/hour); several hiking trails cross the road between the park entrance and the Observatory, and hikers often cross the road.
  • Weather conditions can change between the park entrance and the summit. On average, the temperature difference from base to summit is about 5 degrees Celsius; rainfall at the base can become freezing rain or snow at the summit.
  • During the winter season, on the day of your arrival, contact the groundskeeper (Bernard Breault), the cook (Christine Blais) or the observing technician on duty (Fidèle Robichaud or Ted Rudyk) to find out about road conditions to the summit.

At the summit, when moving between the residence and the Observatory, make sure you have your key and you lock the door behind you. At night, carry a flashlight.

Emergency situations

If you or someone else is faced with an emergency situation, here are a few guidelines to follow, depending on the situation. When the situation subsides, be sure to inform the OMM Support Astronomer (Sylvie Beaulieu), Deputy Director (Nathalie Ouellette) or Director (René Doyon).

Medical emergencies
  • Stay calm!
  • If someone’s life is in danger, dial 911 and then call the Sûreté de l’UdeM at (514) 343-7771.
  • For all other emergencies, contact the Sûreté de l’UdeM at (514) 343-7771.
  • Contact Bernard Breault, who has first-aid training, and find a first-aid kit; there is one at the residence and another in the control room.
  • Comfort the person and wait for a first-aider to take charge of the situation.
  • If you are alone with the injured person (or the victim of a malaise), take a document from the kit entitled “Aide à l’intervention du secouriste“. This document will help you ask certain questions so that you can inform the first-aiders when they arrive.
  • Stay calm!
  • Evacuate the fire area and make sure you are safe.
  • Dial 911 and then call the Sûreté de l’UdeM at (514) 343-7771.
  • Contact the Park’s emergency number (819-888-2941 p.999) as well as Bernard Breault.
  • Contact the Sûreté du Québec (310-4141) and then the Sûreté de l’Université de Montréal at 514-343-7771.
  • Provide the following information: your name, the location of the incident, the nature of the problem and a description of the perpetrator so that we can identify him or her.
  • Do not intervene by putting your life in danger.
  • Contact Bernard Breault.
  • Stay where you are and wait for the Sûreté officers.

Violence and Physical Assault

In the event of aggression or assault:
  • Shout, make noise to try to destabilise the aggressor and alert other people.
  • Trust your instincts and protect yourself as best you can.
  • If possible, flee and turn to others for help.
  • Memorise all the details that could help you establish the identity of your attacker: their physical features, clothing, the direction in which they fled and their means of escape (e.g., on foot, by car, etc).
  • Call 911 immediately and then contact the Sûreté de l’UdeM at (514) 343-7771.
  • Follow the Sûreté’s instructions and wait for help.

After an assault or traumatic event, it is strongly recommended that you seek professional help. There are a number of resources available to members of the university community:

  • If you are physically injured as a result of an assault, don’t hesitate to go to the nearest hospital.
  • To meet with a psychologist, UdeM students can consult the Centre de santé et de consultation psychologique (CSCP), while UdeM employees can call on the staff of the Programme d’aide aux employés et à la famille (PAEF).
  • If you are faced with a student who is aggressive, suicidal or showing signs of psychological distress, you can get advice from a CSCP psychologist at (514) 343-6111 p. 1779.
  • In case of emergency, contact the Sûreté de l’UdeM at (514) 343-7771.
Harassment or Verbal Abuse
  • If you witness harassment or violence, you must report it to a person in a position of authority (manager, immediate superior, etc.) or to the Bureau du respect de la personne.

At the Université de Montréal, a number of regulations and policies affirm the institution’s commitment to ensuring a study and work environment free from harassing conduct. These include the Disciplinary Regulations concerning teaching staff and students, and the anti-harassment policy. Do not hesitate to contact the BIHM. The services of the BIHM are available to Université de Montréal staff, students and third parties. Its role is one of prevention and intervention. You can call on BIHM in complete confidence and confidentiality.

Contact Number: (514) 343-7020

List of Emergency Contacts

Phone number
Fire Emergency 911
Ambulance Emergency 911
Sûreté du Québec Emergency 911
Complaint, theft 310-4141
Lac-Mégantic (819) 583-1710
Haut St-François (819) 875-3331
Sûreté UdeM Emergency (514) 343-7771
Mont-Mégantic National Park Emergency (819) 888-2941 p.999
Hospitals CHUS (819) 346-1110
Hôpital Lac-Mégantic (819) 583-0330
CLSC Lac-Mégantic 1-800-827-2572
CLSC La Patrie (819) 888-2811
Forest Fire SOPFEU 1-800-463-3389
Wildlife Protection SOS Braconnage 1-800-463-2191
Bureau Lac-Mégantic (819) 583-3784
Environmental Emergency MDDELCC 1-866-694-5454
Civil Defence Emergency (418) 643-3256
Power Outages Hydro-Québec 1-800-790-2424
Tow Truck Companies Notre-Dame-des-Bois (819) 888-2522
La Patrie (819) 888-2495
(819) 888-2462