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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!


LAKELAND, FL (January 30, 2016) - The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) is pleased to announce the hiring of thirteen new firefighters that will begin duty on Monday, February 6, 2017. The new hires are filling vacancies from recent retirements of longtime LFD veterans and openings left as a result of internal promotions.

The new firefighters will begin with the department’s month-long orientation program at the Lakeland Fire Department’s Training Center located at 901 Granada Street. Although all the new hires are certified firefighters, this training course is designed to teach the new firefighters how to do things the “Lakeland” way. They review a full spectrum of practical skills they need to perform on the job as well as emergency medical training before being released into the field.

“Our hiring committee is confident that it selected the best available candidates and it’s comforting to know that the new firefighters joining our ranks are highly skilled and qualified to continue providing the high quality emergency services our department is known for.” said Training Chief John Almskog, coordinator of the hiring effort and leader of the department’s four-week orientation program.

LFD strives to have a fire department that is representative of the community it serves. The department is proud that of the thirteen new hires, five are U.S. Military veterans. Additionally, the group of new firefighters includes a female, Hispanic, and African American firefighter, respectively. The group of new firefighters even includes a former NFL football player.

Of the new hires, one is already certified as a paramedic while the others are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). A majority of the new hires hail from central Florida and are graduates of area fire academies like the Ridge Career Center Fire Academy and Hillsborough Community College Fire Academy.

The new hires bring the department to a total of 171 personnel whom, last year alone, responded to nearly 24,500 call for service. 




Lakeland’s Fire Chief Gary Ballard is New First Vice President
for the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association


On August 5, 2014 Chief Ballard was nominated and elected by his peers to become the First Vice President for the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association (FFCA). Having served as the West Central Regional Director and the Second Vice President for the FFCA over the past two years, Chief Ballard has the skills and knowledge to continue to lead within the organization. This new role will allow him to share his 37+ years of experience in an expanded capacity with fire service leaders from all over Florida as First Vice President.

This professional platform will allow Chief Ballard to showcase the excellent emergency services that the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) offers the people of Lakeland, as well as create additional networking opportunities that will add to the quality and scope of LFD’s services. It is also a wonderful opportunity to lend his leadership skills to help the fire service as a whole in Florida.

The FFCA is made up of fire and emergency professionals from all ranks representing all regions of Florida. The association’s mission is to promote and support excellence in fire & emergency services. The association does so by recognizing the fields best and brightest, offering scholarships, fundraising for charity, and providing professional development. With Chief Ballard in this new leadership position, he will undoubtedly continue to expand those efforts.

Congratulations and sincere thanks to Chief Ballard for increasing the City of Lakeland’s profile and presence throughout the state.


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.

 



Lakeland Fire Chief Gary Ballard has given the City of Lakeland one more reason to be proud. On July 24 Chief Ballard was selected as the Second Vice President for the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association (FFCA). Having served as the West Central Regional Director for the FFCA in years past, Chief Ballard will now be able to share his 36+ years of experience in an expanded capacity with fire service leaders from all over Florida as Vice President.

This professional platform will allow Chief Ballard to showcase the excellent emergency services that the Lakeland Fire Department offers the people of Lakeland, as well as create additional networking opportunities that will add to the quality of the fire department’s services. 

The FFCA is made up of fire and emergency professionals from all ranks representing all regions of Florida. The association’s mission is to promote and support excellence in fire & emergency services. The association does so by recognizing the fields best and brightest, offering scholarships, fundraising for charity, and providing professional development. With Chief Ballard in this new leadership position, he will undoubtedly continue to expand those efforts.

Congratulations to Chief Ballard and sincere thanks for increasing the City of Lakeland’s presence throughout the state.