An average of forty-two calls an hour; as many as 1,000 calls a night. No matter how you say it, New Orleans gets a helluva lot of police, fire and EMS calls in a 24-hour period. A&E has a new show on Thursday, following one of my favorites (The First 48) that comes on at 9pm CST entitled Nightwatch. It’s a Wolf Films (yes, follow along here, a Dick Wolf Production: Law & Orders) that follows the police, fire and EMS squads of New Orleans as they go about their nightly … business.
Let me be perfectly clear, it’s not Cops; it’s not even anything like Cops. It is a reality show but it will certainly keep your ass in your chair so I suggest you set your DVR so you don’t miss a single moment.
It’s no secret that New Orleans is one of the cities that The First 48 added to it’s roster in 2013. I was in New Orleans in December 2013 and was pleasantly surprised when I settled in my hotel room to watch my favorite show (The First 48) and that particular episode took place in New Orleans.
But I’m not writing this to tell you about my last vacation. This is a show you should definitely check out because you will be rewarded with an insight into modern police work, dedicated and knowledgeable EMS workers who you hope (or not) you meet one day, and firefighters who save a cat from an arson started burning house and actually have oxygen masks on board their truck that are meant for animals. (Yes, the cat makes it.)
EMSers Gavin and Holly and Titus and Dan start work at 8pm. Gavin is an iceberg. I have never seen anyone so cool; even when he’s dealing with a lying doper and delivers a dose of Narcan to a man in the back of his ambulance while his partner Holly drives.
Titus and Dan, the other well matched pair of EMSers, assist with some calls, but also answer their own. A man has congestive heart failure and can’t breathe. Of all the calls they’re sent to, one particular address gives Dan a deja vu and as they go in, he recalls the patient and talks to him like an old friend.
Victor and Cedric of the NOPD in the meantime are “wolfpackin'” in an attempt to find the shooters who gunned down Anthony, the first case the EMSers responded to in this episode.
Over at Firehouse SQURT 27, dinner is being made and Chief Terence is impatient. An alarm goes off and everything is dropped for a residential fire call. An arson job.
Just as Gavin and Holly get ready to leave Tulane University Emergency they’re called back to the neighborhood where Anthony, their first call, was shot. Retaliation shots have been fired and members of the neighborhood have suffered. They bring an elderly lady in with three gunshot wounds.
NOPD continues their wolfpackin’ strategy in an attempt to catch the shooters. Driving in a pack, patrolling the streets in the area where the shooting took place, checking out foot traffic, hoping the shooters get nervous and make a mistake. Around 12:30pm that’s exactly what happens and they recover two guns, the magazines and some pills.
“Cousins” Titus and Dan stop off at SQURT 27 just in time for dinner. It’s way after 1am and Chef/Capt Kevin has finally put dinner on the table. As they laugh and eat and compliment the cook, Titus makes a joke about them being the kind of cousins “you let ’em on the porch but not in the house.” (I use to have a boyfriend like that.)
Yes, there is some humor, yes there is plenty of drama. At the end of this particular episode, there is a great deal of sadness, and a good deal of truth. Even when Gavin and Holly’s shift is finally over and they stop for a coffee, they still cannot let it go. A citizen tells them there’s someone over at Jackson Square having a seizure.
Turns out it’s just someone who’s overpartied. That happens a lot in New Orleans. I wonder if Nightwatch is going to have a Mardi Gras episode (or two).