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Photos: New Orleans first responders work – and enjoy – first full Mardi Gras since 2019

The shifts are long for police; EMS crews have responded to parade accidents and injuries; firefighters are on-site for flambeau safety


Photo/New Orleans Fire Department

By Leila Merrill

NEW ORLEANS — Firefighters, EMS providers and police officers have been participating in this year’s Mardi Gras parades while working to keep the public safe. The parades were canceled last year because of the pandemic.

Parade routes are shorter this year because the city doesn’t have enough police officers for the typical ones. Officers are working 12-hour shifts because of the festivities, the Associated Press reported.

New Orleans EMS has treated a woman who fell off a float, a police officer who was hit by a float, and a man whose foot was run over by a parade tractor, WGNO reported. Those incidents happened Saturday afternoon and night.

All the people were transported to medical centers. The woman was in stable condition. The officer was transported for care only as a precaution. And there is no word on the condition of the man with the foot injury.

Public safety agencies have issued public advisories so people can safely have fun. Below is an EMS video, and here are fire department tips.

Firefighters have been standing by on-site for krewes that use flambeaux. Each flambeau is a flaming torch.

The flambeaux have been a tradition since 1857. They have changed over the years from being wooden torches to “oil-burning lanterns mounted on metal trays and long poles to prevent the flames from burning the carriers, according to Mardis Gras New Orleans.

Fire vehicles are back in the parades. In 2020, fire trucks did not roll at the end of each parade as per tradition because of a labor fight and short staffing.

The NOLA fire department has been posting awesome photos.

The festivities are scheduled to run past Fat Tuesday, March 1, through March 6.