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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.




  • Dignitaries and design committee members cutting ribbon for new fire engine 51

    Lakeland Welcomes New Engine 51

    On August 5, 2019, the Lakeland Fire Department welcomed its newest fire engine, Engine 51, into service. This is an exciting addition to the department because Engine 51 is the Lakeland Fire Department’s first clean-cab concept apparatus. E 51, and all other fire engines to come, are specially designed to protect the department’s firefighters from unnecessary exposure to carcinogens. 

  • Driver Engineer Harvey Ries photographed with his award, flanked by Fire Chief Douglas E. Riley and Assistant Chief Michael Williams.

    Driver/Engineer Harvey Ries is LFD's 2019 Firefighter of the Year

    Congratulations to Driver/Engineer Harvey Ries! He is the Lakeland Fire Department's Firefighter of the Year (2019), as recognized by the Lakeland Knights of Columbus.This is the first of several community awards presented in the first quarter of the year to First Responders in Fire, EMS, and Law Enforcement for performing heroic acts of service, on and off-duty. Harvey was nominated and subsequently won the award for his heroic efforts during a car accident with multiple patients, while off-duty.

  • Exhausted Firefighter, kneeling, after Structure Fire

    Lakeland Fire Department Providing Training to Address Rising Mental Health and Suicide Concerns in the Fire Service

    The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) will be hosting mental health and wellness Peer Support training for firefighters on Monday, January 14 and Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at Fire Station 7. Depression, increased rates of suicide, and other symptoms of mental health trauma, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), are leading health issues for firefighters in today’s fire service. 

  • 2018 LFD SPCA Calendar

    2019 Lakeland Firefighter Calendar to Benefit SPCA Florida Now on Sale

    Lakeland, FL (October 18, 2018) | For the fourth year in a row, the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) and SPCA Florida proudly present its Rescued Pets Calendar! 

All News

A photo of Janel Vasallo

Public Relations and Information Manager Janel Vasallo

Media Inquires? Please Contact: 

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

Stay up to date and see what the department is up to daily by following the department on social media.