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New Orleans EMS preps for Mardi Gras with 11 new ambulances

NOEMS is working on long-term staff recruitment, but for this carnival season, it has mutual aid and other measures in place to ensure public safety


Photo/New Orleans Emergency Medical Services

By Leila Merrill

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans EMS has already taken delivery of several new ambulances this month, and a total of 11 will be ready by Mardi Gras Day on Feb. 21, WDSU reported.

NOEMS also has taken delivery of four sprint units and two logistics support vans. More ambulances are due to arrive by year’s end, thanks to funds distributed by the American Rescue Plan Act.

The agency has been posting photos of its shiny, new rigs on social media, which officials hope will help entice new job applicants.

“We do have more people looking to inquire into opportunities with us, which is good. We want to see that,” Chief Bill Salmeron told Fox8.

The department has a 33% staff shortage, which is an improvement from 40% a year ago.

The chief hopes that recent pay raises and retention bonuses will help attract and retain employees, and he wants to offer in-house training for uncertified applicants in the future.

But in the immediate future, Salmeron said his team is ready for Mardi Gras.

“Everybody we have on staff has to come to work during that time, just like police and fire and other public safety (personnel),” he said. “We also have mutual aid coming in from other services, as well. I know East Baton Rouge EMS, Tulane University EMS.”

Acadian Ambulance will also boost its number of available ambulances by five to a total of 10.