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Funeral services for fireman killed in the line of duty held Monday

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ST. FRANCISVILLE – A funeral is being held today for a firefighter that died while working a crash Wednesday morning.

State Fire Marshal Butch Browning said firefighter Russell Achord died in the line of duty after being hit by a vehicle. Achord was working a wreck on US 61 north of St. Francisville around 10:45 Wednesday.

The 48-year-old man was a fireman for the West Feliciana Parish Fire Department.

Off camera, Achord’s fellow firefighters described him as being a mentor and even father figure to many of the young firefighters, saying he made many excited to go into work. One of his co-workers is already sporting a tattoo in his honor.

"Your heart goes out to the family,” said St. Francisville resident Fred Wilcox. “He has two children and his wife."

Achord first joined the West Feliciana fire team 24 years ago. Before that, he was a paramedic and a law enforcement officer, making him a well known first responder.

"I watched him grow up in the EMS world involved in the volunteer fire department and now made a career in the department, so it's very, very sad,” said Louisiana State Fire Marshal Chief Butch Browning.

Chief Browning says when he got the call about Achord's death, it stopped him in his tracks.

"He was willing to help, always willing to be there and learn, and in this case was willing to die so other people can live,” said Browning.

Achord is the 120th firefighter who died in the line of duty in Louisiana. His name will be honored at the Louisiana Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial in Baton Rouge in April 2019.

"Where the Louisiana fire service will never forget, where the Louisiana citizens will never forget,” said Browning.

But even before that, Congressman Ralph Abraham paid tribute to the fallen firefighter on the US House floor Friday.

"It is because of the sacrifices of first responders like Chief Achord that we enjoy the lives we're able to lead, and for that we can never say thank you enough,” said Abraham.

Back home, a man many looked up to, respected with flags flown at half staff.

The arrangements are as follows: 

Funeral Service:

Monday, January 22

10:00am-12:00pm Visitation

12:00pm-1:00pm Funeral Service

1:00pm-1:30pm Funeral Procession  

1:30pm-2:00 Graveside Service

Located at:First Baptist Church

12404 Highway 10

St. Francisville, LA 70775

Procession and Graveside Service (immediately following funeral service):

Starhill Cemetery

Hwy 966 (Just off of US Hwy 61)

Star Hill, LA 

Honor guard members are needed to assist in casket guard and other ceremonial duties. All public safety personnel and first responders are welcome to participate in the service.  

All apparatus coming to the service will be lined up on the shoulder of US Hwy 61 near the church.  Personnel will be directing parking for the apparatus.  

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Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz 

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