Administration and Leadership, News

Ken Bouvier Stars at ImageTrend Connect Conference

Ken Bouvier, NREMT-P, Deputy Chief for New Orleans EMS, a true icon in the EMS industry, “knocked it out of the park” according to JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman, in attendance at Ken’s keynote address at the ImageTrend Connect Conference in St. Paul, Minn.

Ken Bouvier, during his Keynote at the ImageTrend Connect Conference in St. Paul, Minn.

A.J. and Ryan Kelley, EMT, JEMS Managing Editor, were in attendance to cover the conference as part of JEMS/PennWell’s Gold Sponsorship.  A.J. also lectured and participated as a judge for the Image Trend Hooley Awards for special achievement in the EMS industry.

The ImageTrend Connect Conference takes place this week in St. Paul, Minn.

Ken Bouvier, a true Louisiana “Cajun” from New Orleans, has been actively involved in EMS since 1975 and recognized nationally and internationally for his EMS knowledge and unique speaking style.  Ken spoke about New Orleans EMS’ (NOEMS) planning and operations at the world-famous Mardis Gras parade and associated celebrations.

Mardi Gras is celebrated in Southern Louisiana over a week period preceding “Shrove Tuesday,” the day before Ash Wednesday (the start of Lent in the Catholic tradition). There’s at least one parade each day, all of which require planning, staffing and service by NOEMS.

The largest and most elaborate parades take place the last five days of the Mardi Gras season and really put New Orleans EMS to the test. 

EMS Unit & Supervisor deployment during the largest Mardis Gras celebration in New Orleans.

Hundreds of events occur throughout New Orleans and surrounding communities, including parades and masquerade balls.

Bouvier reviewed the many events and challenges for his personnel and, noting that they all work 24/7 during that time, praised them for their devotion to duty and love of their delivery of EMS. He showed how crew deploy for the event, how police assist, including use of the famous NOPD horse to open crowds.


He shared behind-the-scenes details of the training, planning and operations with the audience and had them in stitches laughing at some of the many antics and incidents that NOEMS and parade-goers witness. This included special table-top MCI training and process/protocol reviews that occur leading up to the event.


MCI Triage Table-top Training conducted by NOEMS

He pointed out how helpful all of the NOEMS planning and preparation was at the 2017 event when a man with a blood-alcohol level almost three times the legal limit (.232%) drove his truck through the crowd at a more remote area of the parade, injuring 28 people.1

25-year-old Neilson Rizzuto was charged with two counts of first-degree vehicular negligence resulting in injury, and one count each of reckless operation and hit-and-run driving.1 Bouvier chuckled as he showed a photo of Rizzuto being carted off to jail with a triage tag dangling from him.

Bouvier credited the entire NOEMS staff and Medical Director Jeff Elder for their for their rapid action, control and care at the incident. He also showed how ImageTrend software was used effectively to keep track of patitients, their injuries and hospital dispositions at the incident.

Printout from ImageTrend Software utilized during the Mardis Gras MCI

JEMS will profile this incident, Mardi Gras and the ImageTrend software utilized in a future issue.

More About About Ken Bouvier

Bouvier is a Nationally Registered EMT-Paramedic and serves as the deputy chief of logistics and special operations for New Orleans EMS.  Chief Bouvier serves as the EMS commander for most major events including Mardi Gras and served as the EMS commander for Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.  Chief Bouvier was also responsible for commanding both New Orleans EMS and Mutual Aid Ambulances following Hurricane Katrina.

Bouvier retired as the fire chief after serving 37 years.  Chief Bouvier was the president of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) from 2004 – 2006.  In 1989, he received the Robert E. Motley National EMT of the Year Award and in 2008 he received the prestigious Rocco V. Morando EMS Lifetime Achievement Award.  In 2012, Chief Bouvier and New Orleans EMS received the Dick Ferneau EMS Paid Service of the Year Award.

Bouvier is an active member of the Louisiana Association of Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technicians and a past president of the New Orleans EMT Association.

Bouvier has an extensive educational background in emergency response that spans over three decades.  He holds certifications from Louisiana State University, Texas A&M University, Florida State Fire College, Louisiana State Police Academy and the National Fire Academy. Chief Bouvier is a Certified Law Enforcement Active Shooter Instructor.


1. Mardi Gras truck crash: Driver had .232 blood-alcohol level, police say. (February 27, 2017). CNN.  Retrieved July 20, 2017, from