NEW ORLEANS – Today, Mayor Cantrell honored residents with the inaugural Mayor Cantrell Hero Award, given to those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to making this city a better place.

This monthly award will recognize 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,” Mayor 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.”


Here are this month’s honorees:

Shelia French

Ms. French has been an emergency tele-communicator serving the City of New Orleans since 2015, first with New Orleans Emergency Medical Services (NOEMS) and then with the Orleans Parish Communication District (OPCD) in May 2016, when the agencies consolidated. Ms. French is an experienced call taker and EMS dispatcher and works tirelessly to execute the mission of OPCD, which is the get the right people to the right place at the right time. She is known for her positive attitude and her unwavering commitment to constant learning and continuing education.


Jared Roussell

Dr. Ryan Bird

Mr. 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.



Laura Mellem, New Orleans Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP)

Greg Reece, NOHSEP

JB Raasch, ITI

Eric Ogburn, ITI

Sgt. Andrew Palumbo

Sgt. Richard Blackman

SPO William Johnson

F/F Mark Salvadore

New this year, the City launched, a mobile-optimized website tracking the beginning and end of each parade in real time. The site 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 the City’s Department of Information Technology and Innovation in conjunction with a tracking partnership between NOHSEP and the New Orleans Police Department that had been developed primarily for internal use. In its continuing evolution, Routewise will be used to track special events throughout the year, including marathons and seasonal parades. It was used this past weekend for a road race and is being designed for St. Patrick’s Day parades now.

This was a true 24/7 collaboration between multiple departments. It took the dedication of the below listed staff members, all of whom worked collectively to develop Routewise and to deploy it successfully to the public during Mardi Gras 2019

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