Deputy Chief Russell Achord was born November 25, 1969, and died January 17, 2018, due to injuries sustained while on duty responding to a car accident on an icy roadway. He was a dedicated public servant who was always there to help people. On Russell’s last day, he was doing what he loved to do, helping others. Being on that icy road is exactly where he would have chosen to be, doing what he was called to do.
Russell figured out his purpose in life very early on. He knew that God would use him as a public servant to help people. Russell lived his life fulfilling his purpose. He started as a volunteer firefighter with the West Feliciana Fire Protection District more than 24 years ago. He had a long and accomplished career in public service as a paramedic, law enforcement officer, and firefighter. He began as a basic EMT with Acadian Ambulance, then as a paramedic for East Baton Rouge EMS. He later served as the Director of EMS for West Feliciana Parish Hospital. He also worked as a law enforcement officer for the St. Francisville Police Department, the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office, and as a firefighter/police officer at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport. For the last three and a half years he served as the deputy fire chief of West Feliciana Parish. He received numerous awards throughout his career, including the James M. Robinson Medal of Valor for bravery above and beyond the call of duty in 1999.
Russell was an assistant scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America Troop 61. He was always there to lend a hand to help a scout, go on campouts and summer camps, and cook for the scout fundraisers. He truly enjoyed all the adventures he shared with the scouts.
Russell always had a smile and a contagious laugh that never failed to bring a smile to others. He was always the loudest person in the room and loved to tell a good story. His family meant the world to him. He could not have been prouder of his two children, Lindsey and Chandler, as everyone he talked to knew.
He considered all his brothers and sisters in the fire/EMS/law enforcement community his extended family. He loved them and was a great mentor to those who were entering the field. He wasn’t a perfect man, but there was no one else you would have wanted beside you in an emergency. The number of people still alive today because of him may never be measured. He will always be remembered as a man who was a servant of all, to all.