Battalions I and II


The Lakeland Fire Department has six Battalion Chiefs. The six are divided among the two battalions within the department. Two Battalion Chiefs serve during each shift, overseeing their respective battalions and serving as Incident Commanders on major incidents.

 

A picture of Battalion Chief John Maddox

Battalion Chief John Maddox, Battalion 1, A-Shift 

John Maddox has served as Battalion Chief since 2010. Bat. Chief Maddox began his career with the department in 1995 as a firefighter. He served a Lieutenant prior to his promotion to Battalion Chief.  He also serves as program coordinator for the department’s Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) operations. 

Bat. Chief Maddox holds many certifications including Fire Officer I, Fire Inspector I, Fire Instructor, Emergency Medical Technician, State Pump Operator, and Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting. prior to his promotion to Battalion Chief.  He also serves as program coordinator for the department’s Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) operations. 

Bat. Chief Maddox is a member of the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Working Group, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and serves on the NFPA’s Technical Committee for ARFF.  He is also a member of the Region 4/6 All Hazards Incident Management Team for the State of Florida.

He has also completed multiple fire science courses at area colleges and is a graduate of Florida State University’s Certified Public Manager program.

 

A picture of Battalion Chief  James Niblack

Battalion Chief James Niblack, Battalion 1, B-Shift 

James Niblack has served as Battalion Chief since 2010. Bat. Chief Niblack began his career with the department in February 1987 as a firefighter. He has served a Driver Engineer and Lieutenant prior to his promotion to Battalion Chief. 

Bat. Chief Niblack holds several certifications including Emergency Medical Technician, Fire Inspector 1, and Fire Officer 1. Bat. Chief Niblack earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Art from Delaware University and is a graduate of Florida State University’s Certified Public Manager program.

Originally from Ohio, Bat. Chief Niblack came to Lakeland at an early age and has been highly involved in his community since. He serves as a Deacon at Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, and has devoted many years coaching and mentoring young student-athletes in football.

 

 

 

A picture of Battalion Chief Michael Williams

Battalion Chief Michael Williams, Battalion 1, C-Shift 

Michael Williams has served as Battalion Chief since January of 2010. Bat. Chief Williams began his career with the department in 1998 as a firefighter, having served with another area fire department prior to that. He served as a Lieutenant prior to his promotion to Battalion Chief. 

Bat. Chief Williams holds many certifications including State Fire Officer, Fire Instructor II, Fire Safety Inspector, Pump Operator, Florida Urban Search and Rescue Operations, and Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting to name a few. He is also a certified paramedic.

Bat. Chief Williams is a member of the Florida Fire Chiefs' Association. He earned his Associates Degree in Emergency Medical Services from Polk State College and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Safety from Polk State College, where he serves as an instructor for paramedic courses. Bat. Chief Williams is a graduate of Florida State University’s Certified Public Manager program. Most recently, Bat. Chief Williams graduated from the the Florida Fire Chiefs' Association (FFCA) Emergency Services Leadership Institute (ESLI).  

 

 

A picture of Battalion Chief  James Thompson

Battalion Chief James "Jim" Thompson, Battalion 2, A-Shift 

Jim Thompson has been with the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) since January 1997, when he joined as Firefighter. During his extensive career with the department, he has served in several different capacities, including Lieutenant, prior to his promotion to Battalion Chief in May 2017.  

Bat. Chief Thompson served in the United States Air Force prior to his service with LFD, and served in the USAF Reserves for most of his firefighting career, until his recent retirement from the reserves in December of 2016. He is passionate about his duty to serve and was highly involved as a USAF reservist, having retired after 28 years of military service as a Senior Master Sergeant, Deputy Fire Chief at MacDill Air Force Base.

Bat. Chief Thompson is involved with specialty teams at the department and participates as well as instructs with the Urban Search and Rescue Team and Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Team, respectively. He is a certified instructor in both specialties.  He is certified as a Fire Officer I, II, and III and as Emergency Medical Technician. He holds an Associate’s degree in Fire Science from the Community College of the Air Force.

Bat. Chief Thompson is active in his community and currently serves as the Commander of the Legion of Honor for the Tampa Shriners, which he has long been a member of. He is also a member of the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association.

 

Battalion Chief Steve Lindsey, Battalion 2, B-Shift

Steve Lindsey has been with the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) since January of 1997, when he joined the department as a Firefighter. In his twenty years of service, Steve has served as a firefighter, as a Driver Engineer, which he promoted to in March of 2005, and Lieutenant from April 2006 until his promotion to Battalion Chief in August 2017.

Bat. Chief Lindsey is a Lakeland native. He attended and graduated from Lake Gibson High School. He dabbled in other profession outside of the fire service prior to completing fire standards in 1994 at Hillsborough Community College. In addition to his certifications in fire standards and as an EMT, Bat. Chief Lindsey is a certified Paramedic. Bat. Chief Lindsey has an Associate’s Degree in Emergency Medical Services and holds certificates as a Fire Officer I, II, and III, Instructor I, and Fire Safety Inspector I. Steve is also a part-time instructor at the Ridge Fire Academy.

Bat. Chief Lindsey is currently working towards Bachelor of Science degree. He is also a member of the Florida Fire Chiefs' Association. 

 

 

A picture of Battalion Chief  Harley J. Wilson

Battalion Chief Harley J. Wilson, Battalion 2, C-Shift

Harley James Wilson III has been with the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) since July 2001, when he joined the department as a Firefighter. During his long career with the department, Bat.Chief Wilson has served in several different capacities, including Lieutenant, prior to his promotion to Battalion Chief. His love of firefighting runs deep and it is something he has done his entire adult life. Battalion Chief Wilson is a veteran of the United States Navy, where he served as a shipboard firefighter for over four years. He also served as an Auxiliary Firefighter with the Plant City Fire Department prior to starting his career at the Lakeland Fire Department.

Bat. Chief Wilson is a Plant City native and he graduated from Plant City High School. He came to Lakeland after his time in the Navy to be near family. Bat. Chief Wilson is a graduate of Hillsborough Community College, from which he holds an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts and completed Fire Standards and EMT school at. Harley is also involved at the department as an instructor for new firefighters. He is certified in Fire Officer I and II, Instructor I and II, and Fire Inspections.