New Orleans Emergency Medical Services

New Orleans Emergency Medical Services (New Orleans EMS) is the primary provider of advanced life support (ALS) emergency medical services (EMS) to the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

New Orleans
Emergency Medical Services
New Orleans EMS Patch.jpg
Map of Louisiana and USA highlighting Orleans Parish.png
HeadquartersNew Orleans, LA
Dept. typeFull-time Paid
BLS or ALSBoth
Medical directorEmily Nichols, M.D.
WebsiteNew Orleans EMS

Mission Statement: To provide the highest quality pre-hospital emergency care to individuals living in and visiting New Orleans. As public servants, our sense of purpose will be reflected solely in our time sensitive, medically sound and respectful, compassionate delivery of professional emergency medical services.[2]


Emergency medical transportation began in the city of New Orleans with hospital-based horse-drawn ambulances in the early 1900s.[3] Charity Hospital was one of the first hospitals in the nation to provide emergency medical transportation.[3] The current EMS agency began in 1947 as the EMS division within the New Orleans Police Department.[3] The ambulances were staffed with emergency medical technicians beginning in the 1960s, and the first paramedics started in 1979.[3] The EMS division was transferred from the police department to the New Orleans Health Department on July 1, 1985.[3] After Hurricane Katrina, the management of New Orleans EMS was changed to the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.[3] The department still resides within the health department financially, but the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness provides administrative oversight.[3]

Administrative StaffEdit


The Directors of New Orleans EMS are listed as follows:[4]

Position Personnel
Medical Director/EMS Director Emily Nichols, M.D.
Deputy Director/Chief of EMS Carl Flores
Deputy Chief of Operations Kenneth Bouvier
Deputy Chief of Special Operations and Logistics Cedric Palmisano
Deputy Chief of Education and Training Lynn Ramagos, Jr.
Deputy Chief of Planning, Human Resources, and Finance Yolanda Wilson

Shift SupervisorsEdit

New Orleans EMS operates on a four shift rotation schedule (A, B, C, D) and also schedules swing units as necessary. On each shift there is a shift supervisor, responsible for the operations of that shift.[4]


Within the administrative staff, several positions are utilized to offer administrative support and assistance, and guidance to the field personnel.[4]

EMS FellowsEdit

New Orleans EMS sponsors a fellowship in prehospital emergency medical services that is recognized by the American College of Emergency Physicians.[5]

Special Event CoverageEdit

New Orleans EMS, as the sole provider of 911 emergency medical services in the City of New Orleans, is responsible for the provision of medical care at several major events every year. To adequately cover these special events and provide medical coverage to all areas of the city, New Orleans EMS relies on several types of highly specialized response vehicles (SRVs) and highly trained emergency medical technicians and paramedics.[6]

Bike TeamsEdit

The New Orleans EMS Bike Team consists of pairs of emergency medical technicians and paramedics who have taken the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) course for Emergency Medical Services. The bike teams are utilized at outdoor festivals, music events, and extensively throughout the French Quarter. The bike teams carry an automated external defibrillator, cardiac monitoring equipment, and all the medications and supplies necessary for any medical or traumatic complaint.

Special Response VehiclesEdit

New Orleans EMS operates three special response vehicles (SRVs) at various times. These vehicles consist of one modified John Deere Gator and two Alternative Support Apparatus (ASAP) Off-Road specialty vehicles. Both the Gator and the ASAP are used to extract sick or injured patients from areas with limited accessibility or large crowds. The Gator and ASAP are often used in parks, along parade routes, in the area around the Louisiana Superdome, and especially in the French Quarter where narrow streets and large crowds can make it difficult for full sized ambulances to maneuver. The SRVs are equipped with all the equipment found on a full-size ambulance and can transport a patient from the confined area to an aid station or transfer care to a waiting ambulance for transport to a hospital.

Emergency Medical Surge UnitEdit

In February, 2010, New Orleans EMS acquired a medical ambulance bus (MAB) from Sartin Services, Inc. The MAB was named Emergency Medical Surge Unit (EMSU)-1 and has the capacity to transport 18 patients on stretchers and litters and 2 wheelchair patients, as well as six emergency medical technicians or paramedics. EMSU-1 was introduced to the public during the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl XLIV Championship Parade on Tuesday, February 9, 2010.[7][8]

EMSU-1 saw extensive use as an on site treatment unit in support of the Rock 'n' Roll Mardi Gras Marathon, serving to greatly expand the ability and capacity of New Orleans EMS, and allowing on site delivery of acute medical care by emergency physicians and personnel.

Community OutreachEdit

Led by Elizabeth Belcher, the Community Outreach Program of New Orleans EMS is focused on "preventative health and safety education for the citizens of Orleans parish. The overall goal is to develop and implement interactive programs to aid in the mission of saving lives. New Orleans EMS believes that prevention is key in this mission, and strives to supply the public with the knowledge and tools necessary to stay safe and healthy."[9]

The Community Outreach Program teaches children safety and awareness through the T.A.S.K (Teaching Awareness and Safety to Kids)in child care centers, schools, and community centers. The Community Outreach Program is developing a program to target senior citizens and those with limited mobility and provide education and resources regarding environmental modification and fall prevention. Emergency medical technicians and paramedics with New Orleans EMS also mentor local students, teach public cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid classes.

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "March 5, 2009 press release". New Orleans EMS. Retrieved 2010-01-26.
  2. ^ "New Orleans EMS Official Website". New Orleans EMS. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "New Orleans EMS history". New Orleans EMS. Retrieved 2010-01-26.
  4. ^ a b c "New Orleans EMS Administrative Staff". New Orleans EMS. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  5. ^ "ACEP Prehospital EMS Fellowships". American College of Emergency Physicians. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  6. ^ "New Orleans EMS Special Event Coverage". New Orleans EMS. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  7. ^ "There's a "big thang" happening in New Orleans- New Orleans Saints Super Bowl Parade". Fox 8 New Orleans. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  8. ^ "Saints Parade Lineup, Route And More". WWL New Orleans. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  9. ^ "New Orleans EMS Community Outreach". New Orleans EMS. Retrieved 2010-03-17.