New Orleans Mayor Presents Inaugural Hero Awards

New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell recently presented the inaugural Mayor Cantrell Hero Award to three individuals and a team whose members developed Routewise, a mobile-optimized website that tracks the beginning and end of each parade in real time.

New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell recently presented the inaugural Mayor Cantrell Hero Award to three individuals and a team whose members developed Routewise, a mobile-optimized website that tracks the beginning and end of each parade in real time. The city launched it this year.

The monthly awards will be given to people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, recognizing a range of residents and their good deeds, from stooping down to pick up trash to saving lives. "You have been consistent in being with the city of New Orleans and her people every step in the way. Not questioning, but always ready to run towards providing our people that you've touched with love, compassion, and real empathy," Cantrell told the recipients. "And empathy to me is that spirit of the ability to meet people where they are, wherever they might be. This is the first step in the direction of our administration of acknowledging our people on the ground, in the trenches, for your civic leadership – whether you're employed by the city of New Orleans or simply a resident like all of us. We matter."

The honorees are:

  • Shelia French, am EMS dispatcher who has worked for the city since 2015, first with New Orleans Emergency Medical Services (NOEMS) and then with the Orleans Parish Communication District in May 2016, when the agencies consolidated.
  • Jared Roussell and Dr. Ryan Bird. Roussell is a resident who helped to pull an NOPD officer from a flipped patrol car and extinguished the ensuing fire on Feb. 17. Dr. Bird is an ER doctor who used his medical training to keep the officer's body aligned until NOEMS arrived.
  • The Routewise team: Laura Mellem, New Orleans Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP); Greg Reece, NOHSEP; JB Raasch, New Orleans Department of Information Technology and Innovation (ITI); Eric Ogburn, ITI; Sgt. Andrew Palumbo; Sgt. Richard Blackman; SPO William Johnson; and F/F Mark Salvadore.

The Routewise website also displayed locations of first aid stations, lost-children stations, public restrooms, and permitted food vendors. After its launch, Routewise received more than 40,000 page views. Routewise was developed by ITI in conjunction with a tracking partnership between NOHSEP and the New Orleans Police Department.

According to the news release from the mayor's office, Routewise was deployed successfully to the public during Mardi Gras 2019 and will be used to track special events throughout the year, including marathons and seasonal parades.

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