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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 - The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) is excited to announce that it will be accepting applications to fill vacant firefighter positions starting September 30, 2016 through October 15, 2016. The firefighters to be hired will fill positions created by recent promotions and retirements. At minimum, ten firefighters will be hired.

The Lakeland Fire Department offers competitive pay and benefits, extensive professional development, and is an established public safety leader in the region. As a result, it is a highly desirable fire department to work for, often receiving hundreds of applications in a short window of time when vacancies are opened.

More information about necessary qualifications, how to apply, and pay and benefits is available at lakelandgov.net/lfd. An employment brochure and a 25-minute video production “Fully Involved: What it means to be a Lakeland Firefighter” is also available at the Lakeland Fire Department website to provide prospective applicants more information about why they should apply.

Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply at lakelandgov.net/employmentservices.

Applications are only accepted online.  Diverse applicants representative of Lakeland’s community, that meet the firefighter employment requirements, are strongly encouraged to apply.

LFD utilizes the National Testing Network (NTN) and requires a Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT) of all applicants. The City of Lakeland is a drug-free work place and an equal opportunity employer.

More about the Lakeland Fire Department:

Established in 1916, the Lakeland Fire Department has a rich history and celebrated its centennial as a career fire department in August 2016. The department has seven stations serving approximately 100,000 people in the City of Lakeland. The department has 170 employees, of which 150 are emergency response personnel. In 2015, the department responded to over 22,000 service calls in its 84 square-mile response area, which includes the city limits as well as portions of unincorporated Lakeland.

The department offers a wide range of services which includes heavy rescue, technical rescue, fire prevention, fire code enforcement, fire investigation, aircraft rescue and firefighting, and in-house fleet maintenance; all in addition to fire suppression and emergency medical response. The Lakeland Fire Department is also passionate about being an active participant in its community and consistently giving back through philanthropic efforts and through non-emergency services such as community outreach and preventative public education.

CONTACT:

Janel Vasallo, MPH | Public Relations / Information Manager | Lakeland Fire Department | 863/834-8219


Lakeland, FL (August 25, 2016) – The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) is proud to announce that one of its long serving firefighters, Lieutenant Matt Allan Brown, will be recognized on August 31, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio as The American Legion’s National Firefighter of the Year.

This distinguished award will be presented at The American Legion’s 98th Annual Convention held at Cincinnati’s Duke Energy Convention Center. 

The award is highly prestigious and is only given to one firefighter in the nation per year. The American Legion explains that “The award recognizes those firefighters who have selflessly distinguished themselves over and above their normal duties predominantly though service activities, professional achievements, and heroic acts”. 

Lieutenant Brown was selected because of his high level of involvement and service in the Lakeland community outside of his duties as a firefighter, his dedication in service while at the department, and for several heroic actions while off duty. Matt serves the department as a Lieutenant as well as the department’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team coordinator and SWAT Paramedic team coordinator. He is also highly involved in the community through his work as part of the Lakeland Rotary Club and is a graduate of Leadership Lakeland, Class XXXIII. 

One of the heroic incidents that led to this award was when Lieutenant Brown stepped in to provide medical aid while off duty in an incident which involved an officer being shot by a suspect while in pursuit. The second event took place in a local supermarket parking lot, where an elderly patient had a medical episode in a moving vehicle that proceeded to crash into parked vehicles. Lieutenant Brown, once again while off duty, sprang into action to assist the patient and contain the incident.

These heroic actions led to local and state level awards in 2015 for Lieutenant Brown prior to the national award he will accept August 31.

For interview requests and more information please contact Janel Vasallo.

CONTACT:

Janel Vasallo, Public Relations & Information Manager | 863/834-8219 janel.vasallo@lakelandgov.net

 


Lakeland Fire Department - Celebrating 100 Years of Service: 1916 - 2016

Lakeland, FL – 2016 is turning out to be a remarkable year for the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD). The new year not only marks the first time in the department’s history that it can tout an Insurance Services Office Classification of a 1 (the highest achievable rating in emergency response that a community can receive) but it is also the year in which the Lakeland Fire Department will celebrate 100 years as a career fire department. 

This is a historic event not only for the department but for the City of Lakeland. The department was officially made a career fire department by then city commissioners who had the foresight to professionalize emergency response services through an ordinance passed on August 16, 1916.  This was done for the benefit of the community in light of several catastrophic fires that had occurred in previous years.  

To mark the significance of this achievement and as a way of sharing that pride with the Lakeland community that makes it all possible, the department will be celebrating in several cost effective ways throughout 2016 in honor of its centennial. Centennial Celebration items include:

  • Commemorative centennial badges for emergency response personnel (paid for entirely out of pocket by the individual firefighters). The badges capture the department’s rich history with patriotic flair (photo attached);
  • Custom decals for all apparatus to highlight that LFD is proud to be “Celebrating 100 years of Service”. These will be on apparatus through August of 2017;
  • Commemorative flags at all stations to highlight the centennial; 
  • The restoration of Leaping Lena, the department’s original 1938 Pirsch Fire Truck to be used at public events like the Lakeland Christmas Parade. Restoration has been ongoing for a year;
  • A centennial celebration for the entire community at Fire Station 1 on August 13, 2016. It will be a free and public event to educate the community on the department’s past and present as well as fire safety. More information about the event will be provided closer to the event date. 

For more information about the department, its history, and the ways the Lakeland Fire Department is celebrating its 100 years as a career emergency response organization, visit http://www.lakelandgov.net/lfd .

 

You are encouraged to share this information with the community. For more information, interview requests with department representatives, filming, etc. please contact PIO Janel Vasallo.

 

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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.