Originally posted on NOEMSF. An earlier version was also published on EMS1.
On Wednesday (May 24), the lights of New Orleans’ famed Mercedes-Benz Superdome brilliantly shined in blue and gold in support of EMS Week, a national observance celebrating the work and dedication of EMTs and paramedics.
“The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is delighted to honor lighting requests for worthwhile causes, both local and national, when our facility schedule permits,” said Alan Freeman, SMG General Manager of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. “We were pleased to light the Superdome in gold and blue colors in recognition of National EMS Week to bring tribute to those who dedicate their own lives to saving the lives of others.”
While the mid-week shining of the blue and gold lights atop the Superdome has, so far, been the most visible display of public recognition of EMS personnel across the city, it hardly stands alone.
Support has poured out in New Orleans in recognition of New Orleans EMS, one of the highest volume EMS services in the nation, which responding to over 64,000 calls for service in 2016 alone, according to city agency.
The week began with the New Orleans City Council proclaiming “the first Monday in the third week of May” as NOLA Star of Life Day on May 22. That very same evening, the House of Blues hosted a free concert for NOEMS employees and their loved ones.
That event was followed by a two-day BBQ cookout on and ice cream social on Tuesday (May 23) and Wednesday (May 24), with the BBQ sponsored by Tulane Hospital and the ice cream sponsored Touro Infirmary.
“The members of our EMS community work tirelessly day in and day out caring for patients in their greatest time of need. Touro Infirmary is honored to work with these professionals and grateful that we could give back to them this week,” said Amy Waldrup, Touro Infirmary’s EMS Liaison.
The week is set to end as impressively as it began, with a crawfish boil sponsored by IberiaBank and New Orleans EMS Foundation, as well as a free comedy show at The Howlin’ Wolf on Thursday, May 25 starting at 8:30 p.m. following a 5 p.m. happy hour.
Cherie Guggenheim, an executive assistant with NOEMS, coordinated with most of the more than 40 organizations in the area who contributed to EMS Week, some of those includes Audubon Institute, Besh Restaurant Group, Coca Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc., Costco, Louisiana Children’s Museum, The Melting Pot, NOLA Motor Sports Park, Smoothie King, and Spa Aria.
Each of NOEMS 148 employees will receive a swag bag with over $130 worth of gifts, including custom-made NCIS New Orleans hats, passes for popular tourist attractions such as the Steamboat Natchez, and gift cards to local restaurants such as Raising Canes.
“In times of medical crisis, there is nothing more vital to saving a life than making sure those in need receive the critical care needed as soon as possible. EMTs and paramedics have long been crucial partners in making that happen,” said New Orleans EMS Foundation’s Board Chair, Dr. Christopher Voight. “The NOEMS Foundation is proud to be able to serve and support the city’s dedicated and hardworking EMS professionals.”
Full list of donors to NOEMS EMS Week:
Adventure Quest Laser Tag
Basin Street Records
Besh Restaurant Group
Chimes Bed and Breakfast
Coca Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc.
Creative Artists Agency
Embassy Suites New Orleans Convention Center
House of Blues New Orleans
Laser Tag of Metairie
Louisiana Children’s Museum
NCIS New Orleans
New Orleans EMS Foundation
New Orleans Pharmacy Museum
NOLA Float Tanks
NOLA Motor Sports Park
Oak Alley Plantation
Posh Paint Pub
Residence Inn Marriott
SMG New Orleans
Take 5 Oil Change
The Esplanade Mall
The Melting Pot