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GROUNDBREAKING FOR STATION 7 IN SOUTHWEST LAKELAND

 

WHO: Lakeland Fire Department

WHAT: Groundbreaking for Lakeland Fire Station 7 located at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport

WHY: To provide fire and rescue service to Southwest Lakeland residents and businesses

WHEN: Monday, November 18, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.

WHERE:  Lakeland Linder Regional Airport at Airfield Court off Drane Field Road

 

LAKELAND, FL (November 14, 2013) – The Lakeland Fire Department will conduct the official groundbreaking ceremony for Fire Station 7 on Monday, November 18th at 1:30 p.m.  The physical location of Station 7 is 3150 Drane Field Road.

 

Fire Station 7 is estimated to be completed November 2014.  Once the facility is built it will house the recently purchased Fire Engine 71, the two ARFF units, a heavy rescue vehicle and nine personnel on a 24-hour rotation. 

 

Lakeland Fire Chief Gary Ballard said, “Our design team has developed a station that will meet the safety needs of the airport, the needs of our residents and the commercial development around the airport.” He added, “We are very eager to start providing much needed service to the citizens in Southwest Lakeland with the new permanent facility.”

 

The construction costs for Station 7 are $3.5 million.  The station once built will be 15,900 sq.ft. and it will house five bays and four fire fighting vehicles.  The station is estimated to be completed November 2014 and it is being funded through City of Lakeland Public Improvement Funds and FDOT Grant funds.

 


Firefighter Steven Connors Promoted to Driver Engineer




On Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Firefighter Steven Connors was promoted to Driver Engineer, the youngest firefighter to do so in LFD's history. 

 

Steven was joined by his wife and LFD colleagues to celebrate his professional advancement with the Lakeland Fire Department. Steve Connors has been an integral part of the LFD since March 29, 2010. Steve understands the importance of duty and service to country very well, having joined the United States Army at the young age of 17 where he went on to serve with the 1st Ranger Battalion and 82nd Airborne Division prior to joining the LFD.

 

Connors, a Ruskin, Florida native is an avid outdoorsman having spent his childhood fishing and hunting along this great state’s creeks and rivers. He proudly uses that experience and skill to his advantage at the annual Fire Olympics with repeated attempts to dethrone Gilman, Herndon and Brannen.

 

He is an East Bay High School graduate and has since gone on to receive his Associate of Arts degree from Hillsborough Community College and holds certification in law enforcement, fire standards, and is a paramedic.

 

Steve credits his ability to have become a Driver Engineer to the training and support of his crew and all of his family at the LFD. Steve notes that he will deeply miss his brothers and sisters on B shift due the move from this new opportunity but looks forward to the day he can work closely with them again.

 

Congratulations to Steven Connors and sincere thanks for his dedicated service. 

 


Lakeland Firefighters Respond to Lake Bentley Shores Condominium Fire
Four Injured, Including One Firefighter

Lakeland --- At approximately 1:10 AM, on Friday, November 8, 2013, the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) responded to a structure fire at Lake Bentley Shores Condominiums located at 1920 E. Edgewood Drive, Lakeland, FL. The fire effected building L, a two story building that housed eight apartment units.

Upon arrival, Lakeland Firefighters found heavy black smoke showing on both the lower and upper level of building L. Firefighters entered building L, quickly extinguishing the fire and evacuating residents. The fire originated in a back bedroom of unit 7 in building L. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation but investigators believe that it was not intentionally set.

Resident Lamarcus Carter, 58, resident of unit L7 where the fire originated sustained smoke inhalation and was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center (LRMC). A relative of Lamarcus and additional resident of Unit L7, Ross Carter, 23, was transported by helicopter to Tampa General Hospital for burns and smoke inhalation. Their current medical conditions are unknown to LFD. Fred Cottonjim, 77, a neighbor of the Carters sustained unknown non-fire related injuries while trying to evacuate and was also transported to LRMC for treatment.

In addition to the three residents injured and transported, Firefighter Alex Sanchez, 32, displayed signs of heat exhaustion as a result of fighting the blaze. He was transported to and treated at LRMC where he was released soon after at approximately 5:00 AM. Sanchez was one of several firefighters that entered the structure to both extinguish the fire and evacuate residents.

The Lakeland Fire Department responded with eight apparatuses and 18 personnel. The scene was cleared by 6:30 AM.


Lakeland – For the third year, the entire country is invited to come together as one community to honor the memory of those firefighters who died in the line of duty and reassure their loved ones that their firefighter will not be forgotten by participating in the Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters remembrance. 

The Lakeland Fire Department will join the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), other fire departments, and community groups from coast to coast in this poignant tribute as part of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend. The moment of remembrance will occur on Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 10:00 AM at all Lakeland fire stations and at participating locations throughout the Lakeland area. This day also marks the beginning of Fire Prevention Week. 

“It is with great sadness that we ring these bells for fellow firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty. It allows us to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice they have made for their communities. It is my hope and desire to never have to ring a bell again because of a firefighter perishing while serving.” said Lakeland Fire Chief Gary Ballard. 

“The ringing of bells has a powerful meaning to firefighters. Not only do bells signal the beginning or end of a call, they also were used to notify department members that one of their own had died while serving the community.” explained Chief Ronald Siarnicki, executive director of the NFFF. 

Hundreds of fire departments, places of worship and other groups participated in Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters over the past two years.