Search

City News Blog

rss

The latest happenings in your city government.


Lakeland Firefighters Welcome Veteran Firefighter

 

The bond forged between the men and women in fire service is universal, regardless of when or where they’ve served. Proof of that was on a recent visit made by the Lakeland Fire Department’s Assistant Chief Doug Riley, along with Station # 5 ‘s Lt. Jim Hewitt, Engineer-Driver Steve Herndon, and Firefighter Jason Vickers who visited retired Massachusetts Firefighter George Coughlin at Clairbridge Place in Lakeland on August 6, 2013. They reached out to Mr. Coughlin to welcome him to the community and for the opportunity to bond over tales of service as firefighters.  

 

Mr. Coughlin served as a firefighter for over 25 years and upon retiring in Polk County became very involved with fire service related issues in his community. He led the charge and was instrumental in the building of an additional fire station in nearby Winter Haven, and now as a new resident of Lakeland plans to become equally as involved. Firefighters from Station 5 plan to visit regularly to continue to grow the relationship and learn a lesson or two from a this valuable veteran of fire service.

 

Regardless of disparity in age or location of service, its examples like these that make it clear that firefighting is not a career choice but rather a lifestyle.

 


LAKELAND FIRE INSPECTOR DAVID BIVENS RESIGNS IN LIEU OF TERMINATION

LAKELAND FIRE INSPECTOR DAVID BIVENS RESIGNS IN LIEU OF TERMINATION

 

LAKELAND, FL (August 1, 2013) – Fire Inspector, David Bivens resigned today prior to his scheduled Pre-Disciplinary Hearing.  He was recommended for termination based on the Internal Investigation that involves sexual misconduct and a number of policy violations.  The 23 year employee is no longer employed by the City of Lakeland effective today, August 1, 2013.

 

LPD’s Office of Professional Standards (OPS) completed their review of all the relevant facts and evidence presented in the administrative investigation because Bivens possesses Police Standards which requires his investigation to be undertaken pursuant to the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights.  The OPS investigation included statements Bivens made under oath in conjunction with the State Attorney’s related investigation.

 

Based upon the conclusions of the investigation, Bivens Chain of Command and Fire Chief Gary Ballard recommended that he be terminated for the following policy violations:

·         Unethical conduct

·         Conduct off duty that impacts the workplace

·         Willful neglect of performance duties

·         Falsification of employee work records

·         Making false claims of sick leave 

 

Bivens was scheduled for his Pre-Disciplinary Hearing this morning and he submitted his resignation prior to the scheduled time of that hearing.

 

Lakeland Fire Chief Gary Ballard said, “I am very sad and disappointed that any member of our Fire Department would conduct themselves in this manner.  His (Bivens) individual actions should not be viewed in any way, shape or form as representative of the dedicated men and women of Lakeland Fire Department.”  Ballard added, “Conduct such as his will not be tolerated.”

 

Bivens is 48 years old and made $70,937 per year as a Fire Inspector for the Lakeland Fire Department. For more information regarding current investigations and for updates, please visit www.lakelandgov.net.

 

 

City Manager Doug Thomas and Fire Chief Gary Ballard will address the media today at 2:00 p.m. regarding this issue at City Hall in the City Commission Chambers. Lakeland City Hall is located at 228 South Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33801.  Attached is the signed resignation.

 

-END-

 

 

 


REYNOLDS NAMED RESCUE CHIEF AT LAKELAND FIRE DEPARTMENT

 


 





















LAKELAND, FL (January 9, 2013) -- The City of Lakeland is pleased to announce that Shane Reynolds has been named Rescue Chief at the Lakeland Fire Department.  Reynolds first started in fire service in 1994 when he served as a volunteer for Polk County Fire Rescue.  He has been with the Lakeland Fire Department since 1995 and he was promoted to Lieutenant in 2004.  Reynolds continued his medical training and became a paramedic in 2005.  Since then, he developed a leadership training program for the Fire Department and has instructed in various locations around the state of Florida. 

 

As Rescue Chief, he will be responsible for administrative work that ensures the readiness of medical personnel assigned to the Fire Department’s emergency medical units. His duties will include the coordination of Fire Fighter physicals and infection control; the management of quality assurance and improvement standards; and he will oversee the Department’s Advanced Life Saving program and all associated supervisory activities.

 

Reynolds said, “This is very exciting and I’m truly honored to be entrusted with this great opportunity.  I have been working toward this goal for a long time and I’m looking forward to advancing the Department’s rescue services.”  Fire Chief Gary Ballard said, “Reynolds is our obvious choice for this position.  He has a great passion for Fire Rescue Services and his continued leadership around the Department is evident.”

 

Reynolds is currently completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration at Polk State College.  He holds Associate Degrees in Fire Science Technologies and Emergency Medical Services.  He is also certified as a Life Safety Inspector I, Instructor II and Fire Officer I.  He is married to his wife Rachel and they have a three-year-old daughter.  He is 38 years-old and he volunteers at Jerry’s Kid Camp for children with muscular dystrophy.