In the midst of a heat wave that has claimed the lives of six people, the city of Montreal activated an emergency action plan on Tuesday to keep people safe during the extreme temperatures.

Part of its strategy is to have firefighters visiting neighbourhoods that are more vulnerable.

This includes areas where there's less vegetation and temperatures can be five degrees higher than the forecast high.

"They will be visiting up to five thousand people today and in the next coming days to make sure everyone has a safe place to go," said Mayor Valerie Plante. "We're trying to do everything we can do to make sure everyone's safe."

Louise Desrosiers of the Montreal Fire Department is one of the firefighters on the ground.

"We're looking at them, asking them if they know about the symptoms, and what they can do to cool themselves off," she said.

However, Urgences Sante has received 300 more calls than normal.

Paramedics and ambulance drivers are stretched thin. 

"The workers don't have many breaks during the day, Benoit Garneau of Urgences Sante said. "They don't have time to eat."

It's the third time in eight years the city has had to implement the plan because of scorching temperatures.

The six deaths are actually below the norm for such weather.

"Usually in a normal situation we have 10 deaths per day, so we're not in an excess of mortality," said Dr. Mylene Drouin, the Montreal Regional Director of Public Health.

The heat wave is expected to last through Thursday.