Media Relations

A picture of department welcomes coverage

The department welcomes coverage of all its events, from emergency situations to training classes.

A picture of Kyle Davis, Firefighter EMT

The department has many front-line personnel willing to share their experiences on camera to better inform the public.

The Lakeland Fire Department’s (LFD) Communications and Outreach division manages all media and public relations on behalf of the department. Its purpose is the prompt and efficient exchange of information for the benefit of Lakeland’s citizens and visitors. The Public Information function is structured to support the Lakeland Fire Department and to promote the department in a positive manner.

The Lakeland Fire Department strives to foster a positive working relationship with all media outlets, including but not limited to TV news, print and online media organizations. The Lakeland Fire Department is proud of the relationships it has built with the local, state, and national news media; and most importantly with the community.

The department's Public Relations and Information Manager serves as Public Information Officer (PIO) and is responsible for responding to media requests, issuing media releases, incident alerts, and providing the media with information about and at emergency scenes. In addition, the PIO monitors news stories to ensure accuracy in reporting events that occur in Lakeland. Routine media inquiries and records requests are handled as expeditiously as possible. Additionally, the department provides information about breaking news events, safety tips, and other departmental activity through all of its social media sites.

A primary objective of the department is to provide superior emergency service and positive interactions with the public. This is achieved through continued outreach and communications efforts at the department with citizens and the media.



News and Events

  • Photo of Michael Williams

    Michael Williams Selected as Assistant Chief of Operations

    Michael Williams, former Battalion Chief at the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD), was selected as the department’s new Assistant Chief of Operations. Assistant Chief Williams will begin his new role effective immediately. The vacancy Williams is filling was created when Douglas E. Riley promoted to the position of Fire Chief, upon former Fire Chief Gary Ballard’s retirement.

  • Lakeland Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Doug Riley Photo with American Flag

    Douglas E. Riley Selected as New Fire Chief of the Lakeland Fire Department

    City of Lakeland City Manager, Tony Delgado, has appointed Douglas E. Riley as the Lakeland Fire Department’s (LFD) new Fire Chief. Fire Chief Riley will begin his new role as the leader of the department on December 16, 2017. The appointment follows the retirement of Gary W. Ballard, who served as Fire Chief since 2010.

  • A photo of Lakeland PD officers and Lakeland Firemen in conversation

    Two Suspicious Packages Being Investigated

    The Lakeland Police Department is currently investigating two suspicious homemade bottle devices found at separate locations this morning. Both were plastic bottles containing an unknown liquid substance and aluminum foil inside. Neither device was activated.

  • Lakeland Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Doug Riley Photo with American Flag

    Assistant Chief Doug Riley Selected for International Association of Fire Chiefs 2018 Fire Service Executive Development Institute

    The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) announced that Doug Riley, Assistant Chief of Operations at the Lakeland Fire Department, has been accepted into the Fire Service Executive Development Institute (FSEDI).  Chief Riley competed with hundreds of new fire chiefs and chief officers from across the country to become a member of the highly competitive and prestigious 2018 cohort program. Along with being accepted into the program Chief Riley has been awarded a scholarship which covers the expenses for attending the program.

All News

A photo of Janel Vasallo

Media Inquires? Please Contact: 

Janel Vasallo
Public Relations and Information Manager
Office: (863) 834-8219
Cell: (863) 860-9011