Congratulations to our 2018 LEPA Award Winners!

Leadership Award

Captain Mark Richards

Captain Mark Richards has been extremely instrumental in the coordination of hundreds of request for Security Support for multiple parishes for everything ranging from contra flow, VIP escorts, shelter security and D-SNAP security missions. During the Baton Rouge Police Shootings, Captain Richards hosted and made available his LSP EOC for use by BRPD when their Police HQ was difficult to access. He coordinated closely with GOHSEP and was able to provide a reception station for incoming law enforcement assistance for BRPD and EBRSO.

Captain Richards has recently been chosen amongst his peers to serve as the Commandant of the Louisiana State Police Academy where his experience, dedication and leadership capabilities will be passed onto new recruits of the La State Police. His dedication to the citizens of Louisiana is unwavering and he has proved to be a great asset his organization, Louisiana Emergency Preparedness and to the Great State of Louisiana. Through several large event activations, Captain Richards was instrumental in the coordination of hundreds of request for Security Support for multiple parishes for everything ranging from contra flow, VIP escorts, shelter security and D-SNAP security missions.

Captain Richards has recently been chosen amongst his peers to serve as the Commandant of the Louisiana State Police Academy where his experience, dedication and leadership capabilities will be embedded onto new recruits of the La State Police. His dedication to the citizens of Louisiana is a great asset to his agency and the State of Louisiana.

Dedication Awards

Cheri Scott

Cheri Scott is the GOHSEP representative that not only understands what parishes and local communities are trying to accomplish - NIMS Compliance, but through her excellent organizational skills and dedication she makes the effort for field trainers easy and effective. In the years she has supported our jurisdiction, she has helped to facilitate the proper scheduling of NIMS courses, accomplishment of proper impressing of data, and produce documentation leading to certification. Her efforts has directly assisted this office in not only certifying at the ICS 300 and 400 level, local senior response officials/coordinators/commanders, but state and regional officers, federal agencies officers and military personnel from enlisted personnel to general officers. Cheri Scott is a training officer that truly gets the “spirit of emergency management education” and promotion of our first responder leadership development. Our community feels that Cheri Scotts superior efforts as a State Training Officer” is in keeping of the highest standards of emergency management at the local, state national level.


Ed and Pat Mason

LEPA seeks to honor Mr. Ed and Mrs Pat Mason, for consistently providing behind the scenes support for Tangipahoa Parish emergency response as Amateur Radio Operators; and Mr. Ed Mason serves as the Assistant District Emergency Coordinator for Region 9, and Ms. Pat Mason serves as the Emergency Coordinator for Tangipahoa Parish for the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) group ; and LEPA recognizes that, Ed and Pat were involved from the beginning of the planning phase of the Communications Center in the new Emergency Operations Center; and Ed and Pat took initiative to design the layout of the Communications Console to ensure that the Emergency Operations Center is able to communicate with all agencies during a major event; and Ed and Pat worked tirelessly, even through illnesses to ensure that the Communications Center was completed on time; and Ed and Pat coordinated with other Amateur Radio Emergency Service members and installed and programmed all radio equipment in the Communications Center to include antennas on the building saving Tangipahoa Parish Government an estimated twenty- five thousand dollars ($25,000); and Ed and Pat Mason are true public servants. Tangipahoa Parish is blessed to have such dedicated and skilled partners as Ed and Pat Mason.

LEPA commends Ed and Pat Mason and express my warm appreciation and sincere gratitude for your valuable contributions made to our State and Tangipahoa Parish Government.

Valor Awards

George McGovern

At the September 8th Destrehan High School(DHS) football game at St. Charles Catholic High School, a fan suffered a massive heart attack in the stadium before kickoff. DHS Athletic Trainer, George McGovern acted quickly and provided medical assistance to the fan using a portable defibrillator prior to the EMTs arrival. The fan is recovering thanks to the quick response of Mr. McGovern. This significant event and act of heroism saved a man's life. He now has a second chance at life to enjoy his grandchildren and his family. If not for George McGovern's swift action there would have been a completely different outcome as stated by the doctors. This is just one act of Mr. McGovern's that is attributed to his commitment to the safety of all during an event. We would like to recognize him at this time for his efforts.


Paramedics Jeff Weems and Angela Champagne

On the evening of Monday February 12, 2018, EMS, Angela Champagne and Jeff Weems, were dispatched to an 8 year old male not breathing. They arrived on scene to find an 8 year old boy pulseless and apneic, CPR in progress by SCSO and an off-duty nurse. The Mother stated the boy was eating a meatball sandwich when he choked on a meatball and was unable to clear his own airway. The Mother tried to clear it with back blows and finger sweeps, but was unsuccessful. The boy went unconscious, then into cardiac arrest. They took over CPR and rescue operations. They were able to clear the airway. EM300 arrived on scene and assisted. Total EMS CPR time was about 5 minutes when he regained a pulse and began breathing on his own. They continued to assist his breathing with a bag valve mask. Before transport, the boy was opening his eyes but not responding. They transported to the hospital. On the way to the hospital, the boys condition gradually got better and better. He started looking at the person talking to him, then started following commands to blink. Upon arrival at the hospital, his jaws unclenched and he spit out another piece of meatball and started crying and calling for his mother. That very loud cry was one of the best sounds the paramedics ever heard! Everyone did an awesome job on this call. SCSO, EMS, Fire, Dispatch and an off-duty nurse combined to form the best of the best, and together, they saved this kid's life. without their response and actions, the child would have not survived. Today he is healthy and active with no resulting health issues.


Deputy Terry Dabney, Deputy Erin Flynn, Deputy Isaac Genova

On Thursday January 18, 2018 Deputy Terry Dabney observed smoke billowing from the roof of a residence on Paul Maillard Road. Dy. Dabney notified dispatch of the incident and began attempting to make contact with the residents. Deputy Isaac Genova and Deputy Erin Flynn arrived on the scene and were notified by a bystander that a woman and her three children were possibly in the residence. Fearing for the safety of the residents, Deputy Genova kicked open the front door. Deputy Flynn followed by Deputy Genova and Deputy Dabney made entry into the smoked filled residence. Deputy Genova observed the tenant of the residence slumped over an object near the front entry. Deputy Genova immediately began to remove the resident from the residence assisted by Deputy Dabney and Flynn. Once outside, St. Charles hospital EMS took over medical care the resident who suffered from severe burns to her face and was having trouble breathing. The resident's survival is without a doubt a direct result of the immediate actions of the above deputies who put their own lives at risk to save her life.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Chief Russell Achord

Deputy Chief Russell Achord, of St. Francisville, was responding to an 18-wheeler that had run off the side of U.S. 61 due to icy conditions when the driver of a Dodge Ram pulling a trailer, crashed into the first scene, striking Achord, Chief Achord died of his injuries. The pickup crashed into the 18-wheeler and another emergency vehicle, hitting Achord and other first responders. The impact trapped Achord under a vehicle, requiring him to be extracted from the scene. Chief Russell Achord began as a volunteer with the Fire Protection District more than 24 years ago, and for the last three served in the full-time position of deputy fire chief. He had an accomplished career as a paramedic, a law enforcement officer and firefighter. Chief Achord has numerous awards, including a LEPA award for valor in the line of duty. Russell had a passion for serving and helping everyone he met, and he never met a stranger. We would like to present Chief Russell Achords family with a plaque and a donation to West Feliciana Fire Fighter's Association Operating Account in Russell's name.


Duval Arthur

2018 LEPA President's Award

Kenneth Graham, Director of NOAA National Hurricane Center

Chief John Thomas, Hammond Fire Department