NEW ORLEANS, February 4, 2014 ― The Krewe of Bacchus has made a generous donation to the American Red Cross to enable first-aid stations along Mardi Gras paraderoutes this year. Donations by Bacchus and local physician Keith Van Meter and his wife Mary Van Meter will support the costs associated with this free Red Cross service, including equipment, supplies and training for emergency medical volunteers.
“We are deeply grateful for the generosity and support of the Krewe of Bacchus and its members,” said Kay W. Wilkins, CEO of the American Red Cross South Louisiana Region. “Even our free services entail costs, and these generous gifts by Bacchus and by the Van Meter family ensure that we can continue to provide basic first-aid care to parade-goersalong the most highly populated areas along the parade routes. This is an investment in public safety.”
The Red Cross, with support from New Orleans Emergency Medical Services, again thisyear will operate stations along parade routes in New Orleans beginning Saturday, Feb. 22, through Fat Tuesday, March 4. Trained Red Cross first responders and volunteers treat minor illnesses and injuries of parade-goers at first-aid stations positioned along the Uptown and Mid-Cityparade routes.
Prompt action last year by Red Cross volunteers and New Orleans EMS helped saved the life of a parade-goer who suffered a life-threatening medical emergency just before a parade near St. Charles and Napoleon avenues. Red Cross volunteers from a nearby first-aid station resuscitated the gentleman using an AED device, shortly before paramedics from New Orleans EMS arrived and continued advanced life support while transporting the victim to a nearby hospital.
The Red Cross is often asked to support large public gatherings such as parades, conventions and sporting events with public first aid stations. In 2013, 116 Red Cross volunteers logged more than 2,600 volunteer hours, treating more than 91 parade-goers. These services are provided free of charge by the Red Cross, which is funded entirely through public donations.
People who want to pitch in at first-aid stations are invited to join the American Red Cross. A valid CPR and first-aid certification is required. Those without certification may receive free training through the Red Cross chapter. Anyone interested in becoming part of the Red Cross first-aid station team may contact Carolanne.Fernandez@redcross.org or (504) 620-3182.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotionalsupport to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.