Students, health center advocate for a safe Mardi Gras

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With the warmer temperatures predicted this year for Mardi Gras, the American Red Cross expects more tourists than usual, accompanied by an increased need for caution. Last year, over a ten day period that included Mardi Gras, New Orleans EMS responded to 2,250 emergency service calls.

In an attempt to mitigate danger, Tulane provides students with health-related resources, including a web page that details the best ways to handle various situations during Mardi Gras.

“Don’t wander down dark alleys or dead streets,” the page stated. “Don’t make bets or wagers with people you don’t know.”

The Student Health Center recommends using the Tulane Medical Center whenever possible if there is a need for emergency medical attention.

If students need non-emergency medical advice, they can call a 24-hour nurse advice and health information hotline at 1-855-487-0290.

As always, in an off-campus medical emergency during hours of SHC closure, it is recommended that a student call 911.

“In cases of emergency, we assure that appropriate services are available and accessible for students during these periods,” Scott Tims, assistant vice president for campus health, said.

“The important message about Emergency Medical Service is that it is always available, student decisions on accessing those services should be based on their need for assistance, not who is providing it,” Tims said.

The SHC operates on special hours during Mardi Gras.

“The Health Center Uptown is open regular hours now through Saturday, Feb. 25,” the website stated. “We will be open Monday, Feb. 27, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. for Lundi Gras and closed on Tuesday, Feb. 28, for Mardi Gras. We will reopen with regular hours on Wednesday, March 1.”

Tulane Emergency Medical Services, recently running ambulances once again, will be operating from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Mardi Gras. Students must remember that TEMS operates only for on-campus emergencies, and will not be servicing parade routes or the French Quarter.

Unaffiliated with Tulane, the American Red Cross will be operating first aid stations along parade routes the Friday-Tuesday of Mardi Gras.

“Trained Red Cross volunteers, at stations positioned along Uptown and Mid-City parade routes, will treat parade-goers’ minor illnesses and injuries,” the website stated.

New Orleans residents and Tulane students also have their own advice to share about Mardi Gras safety.

Senior Arielle Emma advises that students make basic choices to ensure that they have a safe and fun Mardi Gras.

“Remember to eat food, everyone gets way too drunk and forgets to eat,” Emma said. “Also, do not wear open-toed shoes, there is glass all over the place.”

Caroline Hayes, New Orleans resident and former Loyola student, has been to many years of Mardi Gras. She says that students will always feel safe if they are making decisions that promote safety as a priority.

“There is safety in numbers, law enforcement looking out for revelers and the streets are well lit,” Hayes said. “That being said, stay aware of your surroundings. Be cognizant of who is around you. If you get that funny feeling, trust it and move on. There are plenty of other spots from which to enjoy the party.”