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Keeping you informed of what's new with the LFD.


Three New Lieutenants Promoted in Well Attended Ceremony

On Wednesday, March 26, 2014 The Lakeland Fire Department promoted three new lieutenants in a joint ceremony held at Station 1. 
 

The well-attended ceremony was standing room only as family, friends, colleagues, and well-wishers filled the room. Guests included Mayor Howard Wiggs, several City of Lakeland Commissioners, City management members, and representatives from other city departments like Lakeland Police and Facilities. 

Promoted were Chris Farina, Dan Varner, and Jason Diaz. 

Chris Farina joined the Lakeland Fire Department on October 18, 2004 as a firefighter and was promoted to Driver Engineer January 17, 2010 prior to his most recent promotion to Lieutenant. Prior to becoming a firefighter with LFD, Chris worked with the Plant City Fire Department. Chris is a graduate of the Fire Academy at Ridge Career Center where he completed fire standards. He then pursued EMT training at Hillsborough Community College and continues to purse professional development having since received certifications as both a Fire Officer I and Fire Instructor. 

Dan Varner has been part of the Lakeland Fire Department as a firefighter since August 2004. Dan began his career in firefighting early with Bartow Fire Department as a volunteer while as an electrician in the area. He later decided to pursue Fire Standards training from Lake County Technical Center and went on to receive EMT certification from Polk State College. Dan, a driven professional who values professional advancement has since gone on to pursue and receive certifications as a Fire Officer I, Fire Inspector, Fire Instructor, Fire Fighter II. He also an avid USAR member and instructor. 

Jason Diaz began his career as a firefighter with the Lakeland Fire Department in 2005 having only served with LFD since. Prior to pursuing a career in the fire service, highly athletic Jason attended Warner Southern College where he played both college football and baseball and went on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. After deciding to become a firefighter, Jason enrolled at the Central Florida Fire Academy where he obtained his EMT certification and completed Fire Standards. Since having joined LFD, Jason has also gone on to obtain his paramedic certification as well an Associate in Nursing Degree from Polk State College.  Highly involved at the department, he serves as a member of the USAR team, and is actively involved in training new firefighters, USAR members, and paramedics.  Additionally, he holds Fire Officer 1 and Instructor III certifications. 

Congratulations to all three new lieutenants!  

Photos from the event are available here and on LFD's Facebook Page.

Check out video from the ceremony here


Chiefs Present Update on ISO Rating and Station 7 at City Commission Meeting

Fire Chief Gary Ballard and Training Chief John Almskog presented an update on the department's newly improved ISO rating, as well as the progress of Station 7 earlier today at a regularly schedule City of Lakeland Commission meeting. 

The presentation, which kicked off the commission meeting held March 17, 2014 was designed to present a concise yet informative update on these two exciting developments happening at LFD. Several commissioners asked questions in regards to how the ISO rating is calculated, cost savings associated with the improved score, and provided favorable feedback about LFD.

Training Chief Almskog paraphrased the success these accomplishments bring the department during the presentation by saying "Lakeland Fire is not a good fire department, but rather a great fire department, that provides excellent service." The presentation made that abundantly clear.

To view the presentation and/or download a copy click here


Firefighters Respond to Residential Fire Early Friday Morning Near S. Florida and Memorial

Lakeland --- At approximately 7:45 AM, the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) responded to a structure fire at a residence located at 614 6th Street W, Lakeland, FL. 

 

The home was occupied by owner and sole resident Beverly McChester. The resident was asleep at the time the fire broke out and was fortunately awaken by the smell of smoke, a rare occurrence. The home quickly became consumed by flames but the homeowner was able to escape unharmed through a back door. McChester was then assisted by neighbors in clearing the scene while LFD firefighters quickly arrived and put out the flames.

 

The fire is believed to have started in an unused bedroom of the two bedroom home. LFD’s fire investigators are still investigating the cause of the fire; however there is some indication that it may have been accidental in nature.  The fire caused extensive damage to the home and has been deemed a complete loss by investigators. Red Cross has provided assistance to the homeowner.

 

It was also determined the home did not have a working smoke alarm. This unfortunate incident is a good opportunity to remind residents that a working smoke alarm saves lives by providing ample notice to residents to escape in the rare event of a fire.

 

9 apparatuses and 22 LFD personnel responded to the incident. The scene was cleared by 9:10 AM.

For photos click here. 


LFD Responds to Man Injured After Smoking While Using Medical Oxygen

Lakeland Man Injured After Smoking While Using Medical Oxygen

Lakeland --- At 1:32 PM, Sunday, March 2, 2014, the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) responded to a medical call for a 57 year old male that sustained possibly life threatening burns to his face and hands.

The event took place at the Lakeland Presbyterian Apartments located at 530 S. Florida Ave, an independent living facility for senior residents. Investigation of the incident found that the male subject was utilizing home medical oxygen while smoking which created a flash fire near the patients face, leading to the sustained injuries.

The victim was transported by ground ambulance by Polk County Fire Rescue (PCFR) to a landing zone established by LFD at a field near the Lakeland Center off of Lime Street. The victim was flown by medical helicopter to Tampa General for treatment (photo of landing area attached).
No fire damage was sustained to the patient’s apartment and the incident did not require evacuation of any other residents.

This unfortunate incident, although quite tragic is a good opportunity to educate the public on the dangers of smoking or exposing any kind of flame or incendiary near highly explosive gases like oxygen. LFD would like to remind people to keep open flames away from medical gases, like medical oxygen, and any other flammable gases.

For more safety tips on how to prevent an incident like this, click here