Posted: Jul 26, 2010 6:22 PM by Kate Mundy
Updated: Jul 26, 2010 6:41 PM
Vidrine's Fire Chief will be laid to rest Wednesday. Damien Aguillard drowned over the weekend during a family vacation on Lake Ouachita in Arkansas.
30-year old Aguillard loved hunting and fishing. His family says he left this world having the time of his life on the water. Sadly, while fishing, his family's party barge started floating away, so he jumped in the water to save the day. "He tried to swim and there was so many waves that he just tired out," said Renee Aguillard, his sister. He went under and never resurfaced. Dive crews from Monroe helped locate the body on Saturday afternoon.
Being a hero was an everyday job for the father of four daughters under the age of six. For the past few years, he put his life on the line fighting fires. "He took his job very seriously he wore his beeper day and night because it meant a lot to him," said his mother Pam Aguillard.
The Vidrine volunteer was quickly voted chief of the department. He served in that capacity for two years. Aguillard also helped modernize the Mamou-area departments, by using text messaging to spread word of a fire.
With his passing, Aguillard's firefighting brothers from across Acadiana are making plans to send him out as he deserves. Firefighters will create a water archway for Wednesday's funeral procession from St. Ann's Catholic Church to the cemetery. Aguillard will be carried in the back of a 1920's fire truck. "It's a great honor we did one two weeks ago and he told his wife he loved it and if he passed away he'd want the same thing done for him," said Aguillard's friend Chester Granger who serves as the Mamou Fire Chief.
Wednesday, when his casket is closed one last time, a picture of his four angels will be placed with him forever. His wife Heather says his memories will forever be with them. "I'm gonna remind them everyday how wonderful their dad was I'll never let them forget that," said Heather Aguillard.