NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – The discussion on how the City of New Orleans plans on getting a handle on what they are calling a wave of violence continued Thursday during the city council meeting.

The council passed an ordinance that will speed up the process of obtaining equipment and vehicles needed by first responders.

“Because of this [violence] wave, we want to make sure that every public safety agency has all the equipment that they need,” New Orleans City Councilman Joe Giarrusso said. “From my perspective, the city has money right now. We need to unlock those dollars to help them get all the equipment, tools, other things that they need. I just don’t want the government bureaucracy to slow that down.”

Among the agencies that will benefit from this ordinance is New Orleans EMS. The typical process in purchasing their vehicles takes up to 14 months.

“The city acquired, between 2021 and 2022, 20 new ambulances that are currently in production, but we won’t see those until later this year or early next year,” New Orleans EMS Chief Bill Salmeron said.

New Orleans EMS does not have that time, though.

Thirty ambulances are needed per day to handle Mardi Gras, along with 911 services, and they currently have 20 working vehicles.

But thanks to the council’s ordinance, New Orleans EMS plans on ordering an additional 12 trucks and hopes to have at least 10 by Mardi Gras.

“We are very thankful for the council to allow for us to do that, and we hope that we’ll be able to move forward and get some more trucks before Mardi Gras,” Salmeron said.

Councilman Giarrusso says they will review the ordinance within the next few months, but there is no cut-off as of now.

“My view is it’s as long as it needs to be, and we’re going to do this to make sure that everything is on the right track.”