The Lakeland Fire Department makes great efforts to be an active part its community through non-emergency interactions giving citizens the opportunity to learn more about the department, what it does, and the men and women that do it.
The department is more visible than ever with increased community interactions, greater ease of access to information about the department, and greater use of technology to communicate with its service base. This is all in addition to the public education programs on the subjects of fire and life safety that the department has offered for decades. Communications efforts are overseen by Public Relations and Information Manager, Janel Vasallo. The communication activities for the department include:
1) Marketing of the department to communicate its services and values
2) Media releases and media contact
3) Maintenance of electronic content and platforms used to communicate electronically (website, social media, etc.)
4) All public education programs provided in the department’s service area
5) Internal department communications for staff and with other agencies
6) Special projects and events that encourage community engagement
The department understands the importance and value of communication and through this division it is able to reach larger audiences every year. Social media has become a very efficient tool for the department in sharing what the firefighters do to benefit Lakeland day in and day out. The department is present on several social media outlets. The department’s social media outlets are updated daily to communicate the diverse work that keeps the department so busy. It also shows how well prepared the department is for emergencies of all kinds, and allows the public to forge a deeper connection with their fire department in a positive way outside of stressful emergency situations.
Other activities the division manages for the Lakeland Fire Department is developing and maintaining symbiotic relationships with community partners. Examples of this are the department’s calendar to fundraise for Lakeland’s animals in need and its FOCUS Scholarship program.