City News Blog


This is the official blog of the City of Lakeland, Florida. Check back frequently to stay up to date with all that going on in our beautiful city!

Emergency Training Exercise Happening At Lakeland Air Port

A full-scale emergency exercise, designed to test the capabilities of airport and community emergency response staff in the event of an aviation incident, is being held here on Thursday, Feb. 18 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

More than 150 individuals from 15 agencies will gather to participate in the exercise. The scenario involves a commercial aircraft unable to make an emergency landing on runway 9 but instead lands in the Airport’s solar farm, a mile west of the approach end of runway 9. Emergency agencies in and around Polk County will respond to the simulated scenario. There will be signage along Drane Field Rd. indicating that a training exercise is in progress. There will be numerous vehicles and large apparatus entering and exiting Drane Field Rd. and Hamilton Rd. along the airport’s property, where the exercise will be taking place.

The community should be advised there is no need for concern.

Public Meeting Notice: Robson Street Sidewalk,
Drainage and Roadway Resurfacing Project

The City of Lakeland will conduct a Public Meeting on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm for the Robson Street Sidewalk Project. This project includes the construction of a 6 foot sidewalk along the north side of Robson Street between Pyramid Parkway and N Florida Avenue. The improvements also include adding pipes and drainage structures. The meeting will be held at the North Lakeland Elementary School of Choice cafeteria located at 410 Robson Street, Lakeland, Florida 33805.

The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. as an open-house. City staff and representatives from the project team will be available to discuss the project, receive input, and answer questions. Display boards depicting project concepts will be available throughout the meeting.

The public meeting is being conducted to present the 60% design plans for the Robson Street Sidewalk and to obtain input from elected and appointed officials, property owners/tenants, business owners/operators, and other interested parties. 
Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, handicap, or family status. Anyone requiring special accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or persons that require translation services (free of charge) at the meeting should contact Mrs. Frances Halbert at at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting. 

Project related information may also be obtained by contacting Mr. Josue Diaz, P.E., City of Lakeland Project Manager at (863) 834-6031, or by email to, or follow the City of Lakeland Public Works Facebook page at .

Free Junior Rules of Golf Symposium
With PGA Champions Tour Rules Official Joe Terry

Saturday, March 12 / 8AM -4PM/ Cleveland Heights Golf Course

This is a unique opportunity to learn about the Rules of the Game with practical on- course, ”hands on” situations with some of the leading experts on the Rules. This is a unique concept to get in touch with the Rules of Golf. This will be a day long exercise at no cost to Junior Golfers and Students. We will learn how to use the Rule Book and then go to the course for multiple stations and thoroughly work through the most common situations and mistakes in dealing with the Rules of Golf.

This event is free to all juniors but they must register in advance to reserve a spot to attend. This event is also open to adults that want to sharpen their Rules of Golf knowledge for a minimal charge of $20.00.

REGISTER for this event through the 
YMCA Par 3, Home of The First Tee of Lakeland 
Call: 863-577-0236
Or stop in to our facility: 1740 George Jenkins Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33815


Brandon Flynn with The Lakeland Center Receives
Florida Professional Emergency Manager Designation

The Florida Emergency Preparedness Association has certified Brandon Flynn, The Lakeland Center’s Guest Services, Security, and Parking Manager and Emergency preparedness Coordinator, as a Florida Professional Emergency Manager (FPEM) this past Thursday at their Annual Conference and workshop held in Daytona Beach, Fl. Brandon has worked for the City of Lakeland at The Lakeland Center for over 16 years. Brandon was responsible for ensuring The Lakeland Center was the first venue in the U.S. to receive both emergency preparedness designations (Lightning Ready Facility, Storm Ready Facility) from the National Weather Service in November of 2014. Brandon not only plays a vital role in the planning and execution of every event at The Lakeland Center, but he also is a key part of our city’s Special Event Management Team. The Special Events Team handles several major events throughout the year in the City of Lakeland, such as the Annual Christmas Parade, Red Ribbon Run Half Marathon, and the Sun-n-Fun Fly In. Brandon is a member of the State of Florida Region 4 Incident/Event Management Team, of which several members of the team deployed after Superstorm Sandy to the North East to assist.

This certification recognizes devoted individuals who possess advanced knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform effectively within a comprehensive emergency management program. These programs can reside within the public or private sector. A FPEM has experience and knowledge of interagency and community wide participation in planning, coordination, and management functions designed to improve emergency management capabilities. A FPEM can effectively accomplish the goals and objectives of any emergency management program in all environments.

The FEPA Certification Program is designed to recognize individuals who possess the experience, knowledge, and skills to effectively manage a comprehensive emergency management program. The certification is not only recognizing emergency managers, but also emergency management partners in the public, private, and volunteer sectors who dedicate their time and efforts to the field of emergency management. The term “Comprehensive Emergency Management” means integrating all stakeholders by strengthening preparedness in all mission areas of emergency activity, for all types of disasters. The “comprehensive” aspect of Comprehensive Emergency Management includes all five mission areas to establish a capabilities-based approach to Preparedness. A capability provides the means to accomplish the mission of: Mitigation, Prevention, Protection, Response, and Recovery for all-hazards in a federal, state, local operating partnership. The certified individual has shown that they are capable of effectively accomplishing the goals and objectives of disaster/emergency/incident/event management in all the environments listed above.

The FEPA Certification Program has been in existence since 1999 and is managed by the FEPA Certification Commission with guidance from the Association’s Board of Directors. Commissioners include representatives of the seven (7) geographic regions, multiple emergency management disciplines and diverse professional affiliations. The Commission is devoted to ensuring a fair, equitable and conscientious review of each certification application. This program is the only one of its kind in the State of Florida and one of very few in the country.
Florida Professional Emergency Manager FPEM Criteria:
• Four (4) years direct comprehensive Emergency Management experience of which two (2) were attained in Florida
• Two (2) Florida exercises within the past five (5) years or two (2) actual disaster experiences within the past 10 years
• High School Diploma or GED
• 50 hours of approved general management training
• 150 hours of approved Emergency Management training of which 50 hours must have been attained in Florida in a classroom setting in the 5 mission areas which are Protection, prevention, Mitigation, Response, Recovery
• Emergency Management Institute Professional Development Series Certificate of Completion
• At least Seven (7) Contributions to Emergency Management attained in Florida within the past 10 years. Teaching classes, speaking at conferences, technical specialist in the implementation of programs, special awards and recognition, leadership and participation in a legislative group or committee, evaluating and participating in tabletop and full scale exercises, disaster deployments, special events management, special incident management, incident management team participation, coordination and cooperation with local, state and federal partners.