NEW ORLEANS, LA: The New Orleans Emergency Medical Services Foundation (The Foundation) donated six active shooter kits to New Orleans Emergency Medical Services (NOEMS) after receiving a grant from Hermes Beyond the Parade (Hermes BTP). The grant, which was awarded in January, combines donations from Krewe of Hermes members, as well as an anonymous donor.
The value of the grant was just over $24,000.
This donation will triple the number of sprint trucks within the NOEMS fleet that carry an active shooter kit at all times, better preparing employees to respond when needed.
The decision by NOEMS to respond to the “warm zone” of an active shooter scene mirrors a paradigm shift happening within EMS organizations across the country.
“We need to be putting the lives of the public ahead of our own lives. It’s a new way of thinking for EMS, but that’s the way it has to be,” explains Deputy Chief of Special Operations and Logistics Cedric Palmisano.
Although NOEMS has specially trained tactical paramedics that respond to the “hot zones” with New Orleans Police Department’s SWAT team, this donation will allow street-level employees access to the ballistic protection needed to treat and remove patients from a dangerous scene.
Each kit contains the following:
- Two level-IV ballistic vests;
- Two ballistic helmets;
- Two active shooter bags containing medical and triage supplies: Combat Application Tourniquets; HyFin vent compact chest seals; Quik Clot combat gauze; Smart triage and black tags; Chem Lights (green, red, or white); bandages and airway equipment;
- One Cordura litter.
The active shooter bags were specially designed by Palmisano in conjunction with 5.11 Tactical. Palmisano’s experience as an Army medic provided him with the knowledge necessary to recognize what equipment and supplies NOEMS employees will need during an active shooter response.
NOEMS aims to eventually have one kit per ambulance so that every employee will have prompt access to ballistic protection, but more immediately, they plan on upgrading the ballistic protections used by their tactical paramedics. A fundraiser scheduled for late September, Krewes for Karnival, aims to raise enough to assist in purchasing the latter.
The Foundation is grateful to Hermes BTP for recognizing the increasing dangers faced by prehospital responders.
Hermes BTP distributed similar grants to The New Orleans Police Department and the Police and Justice Foundation, allowing for the purchase of a new bomb detection and apprehension canine, as well as 50 new crime cameras, respectively.
About the associated organizations
New Orleans EMS Foundation
Established following Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans EMS Foundation serves to strengthen the preparedness and responsiveness of New Orleans EMS. With a focus on empowerment, we support the employees of New Orleans EMS by investing in equipment, community outreach, and professional development.
Hermes Beyond the Parade
The recent formation of Hermes BTP was inspired by the civic efforts in response to Hurricane Katrina. It is the charitable arm of the Krewe of Hermes, the longest running night parading Mardi Gras krewe, and is primarily made up of the 700+ members within Hermes. The group also plans to support causes in early childhood education, workforce development, and mentorship opportunities.
New Orleans EMS
The 140 employees (90 FT, 50 PT) respond to approximately 61,000 calls per year. In addition to providing the highest quality of advanced life support prehospital emergency medical care, employees are trained for a number of other special circumstances including: tactical responses, urban search and rescue, water rescue and dive scenarios, vehicle extrication, hazardous materials responses, and technical rescue and confined space calls.