City News Blog

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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, FL
(November 21, 2016) – Animal and firefighter lovers everywhere can rejoice this holiday season because SPCA Florida and the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) are presenting the ultimate stocking stuffer – The Rescued Pets 2017 Calendar! The calendar features actual SPCA Florida rescued pets and buff Lakeland firefighters beautifully photographed at famous landmarks throughout Lakeland. Each month of the year also features helpful safety tips and information from both organizations.

The high quality calendars can be purchased for a $10.00 donation and make the perfect gift for the upcoming holidays. 

Calendars may be purchased:

Online at SPCA Florida

In person at:

  • SPCA Florida Campus | 5850 Brannen Road, S Lakeland, FL 33813
  • Lakeland Fire Department Administration Building | 701 E Main Street, Lakeland, FL 33801
  • Wellness Wagon weekly route stops| Locations 

Cash and checks are accepted at all sites. Credit cards are only accepted online at www.spcaflorida.org and at SPCA Florida’s Medical Center, Adoption Center, and Administration buildings.

Partnership for Pets

A major highlight of the partnership between both organizations has been the Rescued Pets Calendar. Proceeds go directly to helping rescued animals in Lakeland.

Last year’s calendar was a great success, generating nearly $10,000 to pay for the medical care of animals encountered on human emergency scenes by the Lakeland Fire Department and treated at SPCA Florida’s McClurg Medical Center. Additionally, the funds raised allowed for the purchase of new animal oxygen masks to replace existing masks for Lakeland Fire Department apparatus.

The annual calendar is a fun and philanthropic cornerstone of the partnership. It is a great way for SPCA Florida to expand on its mission of helping animals while the Lakeland Fire Department can show its compassion and care for all of the living creatures in its community.

Firefighters featured in the calendar and SPCA Florida representatives are available for interviews. Please contact each respective organization’s communication contact for more information. 

View more photos at www.facebook.com/LakelandFD.



CONTACTS:

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

Paula Creamer, Director of Marketing, SPCA Florida | 863/577-4608 | pcreamer@spcaflorida.org



Lakeland, FL (October 28, 2016) | The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) responded to a structure fire overnight at 1510 Ariana Street in the Woodbrook Mobile Home Park at approximately 4:15 AM. Neighbors called reporting a fire at the home as well as screams coming from inside the home from a possible victim.

Upon arrival LFD firefighters encountered the homeowner in the front yard of the home with injuries sustained from the event. Firefighters were able to control the fire quickly and provided protection to surrounding structures.

The homeowner sustained injuries due to the event that caused the fire and was the only person in the home at the time of the fire. Fire Investigators determined that the fire was caused due to smoking in bed. The homeowner fell asleep while smoking and using medical oxygen.

The homeowner’s injuries were determined to be serious enough to require helicopter transport to Tampa General Hospital for injuries to the airway. Lakeland Fire Department provided both the landing zone as well as medical care, along with Polk County Fire Rescue EMS.

This unfortunate event is a sobering reminder of the dangers of smoking while using medical oxygen. The Lakeland Fire Department recommends that individuals using medical oxygen never smoke. Additionally, for anyone that does smoke, they should never do so when groggy, tired, or sleepy as it can lead to a fire upon falling asleep; even if only for a moment. More information about Medical Oxygen and Smoking Safety can be found at the LFD website at www.lakelandgov.net/LFD.

Apparatus that responded included: Engine 21, Engine 71, Engine 41, Truck 73, Rescue 22, Battalion Chief 1; landing zone established Battalion Chief 2 and Engine 12.

 

Contact:

Janel Vasallo, Public Relations & Information Manager
Office: 863/834-8219 | Cell: (863) 860-9011 | janel.vasallo@lakelandgov.net



Lakeland, FL (September 7, 2016)- The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) and the Lakeland Police Department (LPD) are excited to present a new “Keep 911 for Emergencies” public safety campaign. The campaign features four public service announcements and related print materials aimed at reminding the community that 911 is for emergencies only and that it should be used responsibly. 

Both LFD and LPD receive a high number of calls for service (22,515 and 108,657, respectively, in 2015). These calls are managed by the Lakeland Public Safety 911 Communications Center, which dispatched 131,172 calls for service last year.

The Lakeland Fire Department and the Lakeland Police Department joined forces to address these issues of mutual concern in hopes of improving response with their current resources while in the process helping make Lakeland a safer community; a priority for both agencies. 

The Lakeland Public Safety 911 Communications Center was consulted when developing this campaign to identify the most common examples of 911 misuse. In Lakeland’s case the leading issues in 911 misuse were: accidental dialing from cell phones by both unknowing adults or children on mobile devices; non-emergency medical calls; and parents calling 911 to threaten disobedient children. Individual public service announcements were created for each of these issues.


The public service announcements are available at:

Lakeland Fire Department | YouTube | Facebook

Lakeland Police Department | YouTube | Facebook

The PSAs may also be downloaded for redistribution at https://vimeo.com/cityoflakeland . They will also be shown on the City of Lakeland’s Public Access Channel, LGN.


Everyone is encouraged to share these messages to promote responsible 911 use. 

For interviews, filming, and more information please contact:

Janel Vasallo

Office: (863) 834-8219 | janel.vasallo@lakelandgov.net | Lakeland Fire Department


Robin Tillett

Office: (863) 834-2963 | Robin.tillett@lakelandgov.net | Lakeland Police Department