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Lakeland Fire Department News

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


All LFD Engines and Rescue Trucks Now Offer Advanced Life Support

The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) is pleased to announce that as of May 22, 2014 every frontline fire engine and rescue truck in its service area is now a fully equipped Advanced Life Support (ALS) unit. This effort spearheaded and accomplished by the department’s Rescue Division means the people of Lakeland will receive the highest level of available emergency medical care. 

The journey to convert the Lakeland Fire Department from Basic Life Support (BLS) to ALS services began in 2003 with select units in the department’s busiest areas becoming ALS units. As of 2:00 PM May 22, 2014, the transition to a completely ALS non-transport medical-rescue service was complete. 

The difference between BLS and ALS care is significant. ALS care administered by LFD’s highly trained paramedics will allow advanced emergency and trauma care in the field, including but certainly not limited to treatment like advanced cardiac life support, treatment with pharmaceuticals, and advanced airway therapy. This advanced care is the highest quality pre-hospital treatment available for patients, whereas with Basic Life Support care only minimal care such as CPR, defibrillation, bandaging, and oxygen administration can be provided.  

“The heart of the fire service is to serve people in their most vulnerable moments. Throughout the years the fire service has evolved to meet the needs of society which included emergency medical care.  Our recent accomplishment has provided the citizens and visitors of Lakeland with the highest level of pre-hospital emergency medical care available to date.” said Rescue Chief Shane Reynolds who was instrumental in coordinating and completing the ALS transition. 

Another item of distinction in LFD’s record of exceptional emergency medical care is the fact that of its 141 emergency response personnel, 63 are paramedics with more anticipated to be certified in the coming year. 


LFD Participated in Grand Opening; Raised $1,000 For Charity

Lakeland Firefighters joined in some fun competition to raise money for a great cause. A new Wawa convenience store opened in North Lakeland and along with the Grand Opening festivities came a Heroes Hoagie Building Contest. Teams from LFD, Lakeland PD, and the Polk County Sherrif's Office competed to see who could assemble 25 hoagies the quickest. In exchange for their participation each team received $1,000 donated in their name to the charity of their choice. 

LFD chose to donate the $1,000 to The Hearth Project. The group helps homeless students in Polk County Schools. The money will be used to help students meet their basic needs like the purchase of clothing and personal sundries, testing fees for college acceptance and jobs, transportation, and much more. To learn more about The Hearth Project visit http://www.polk-fl.net/districtinfo/departments/learning/title1/hearth.htm .

The well attended event was a great way for LFD to give back and show support for new jobs and industry in Lakeland. Thanks to all of the supportive community members, Wawa for their donation, and to city officials who helped make it happen.

 

Additional photos can be found on LFD's Facebook page

 


LFD Saves Injured Bald Eagle in South Lakeland

Update, June 4, 2014:

The Eagle is Ready to Fly to Coop! The eagle rescued on May 13, 2014 in a joint effort by LFD, Parks and Recreation, Polk County Animal Control, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, and others has garnered quite the following. Wildlife lovers are eager to know how the rescued eagle has come along and we have some exciting news to share…

On Friday, June 6, 2014 the American Bald Eagle, pictured below, will be released into the wild. The little fellow has healed up nicely according to his caretakers at animal rescue organization Woodland Wonders (www.woodlandwonders.org), an organization that works closely with FWC to rehabilitate injured wildlife.
The 7.6 lbs eagle had no fractures but did have some abrasions on its left wing. He was medicated for soreness and bruising. Over the past few weeks he has resumed eating well and regular activities like flying, so caretakers feel confident that he is ready to return to the wild.

The release event will take place at Lakeland’s Holloway Park at 2402 Linden Ave at 9:00 AM.
Lakeland Fire Department crews played a big role in saving the eagle and will be in attendance to commemorate the special moment.

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Lakeland --- At approximately 7:00 AM, the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) responded to a unique call for help to rescue an American Bald Eagle that had become entangled in wire and trapped in a pine tree behind 3902 Cheverly Drive West, Lakeland FL.

The bald eagle, who homeowners say is a resident, is often seen perching on trees near and around the lake at the center of the community. The eagle tangled its left wing in a wire-like material that was attached to the tree. The tree hangs over the water of the lake bank it sits on. The specific material of the wire the eagle was caught in is unconfirmed; however it was not fishing line.

The eagle, exhausted from its attempts to flee had grown exhausted and in the process caused damage to its left wing. The homeowners at the property called for assistance and in the process a cooperative rescue effort was formed with city and state agencies. In addition to the Lakeland Fire Department’s Battalion Chief and crew from Engine 21 others lending a hand included City of Lakeland Parks and Recreation crew members, biologists with the Fish and Wildlife Commission, Polk County Animal Control, several volunteers from local birding and wildlife groups, and residents from the community.

Parks and Recreation crew members securely climbed the pine tree and were able to successfully cut the eagle loose while Battalion Chief Mike Williams navigated a kayak directly underneath the tree on the lake to retrieve the eagle using a fishing net to retrieve the fallen bird. This was well planned prior to execution and rescue personnel were in place prior to any attempt at cutting the wire free. Additionally the Fish and Wildlife Commission’s biologist and PC Animal Control representative were waiting ashore to provide immediate assistance. The rescue was a success.

Once ashore rescuers were able to secure the eagle that will be rehabilitated by Fish and Wildlife Commission officials before being released back into the wild.

In unique situations like these, LFD is often called to assist due to the specialized equipment and training the emergency response personnel is prepared with.

Additional photos of the rescue can be found on LFD’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lakelandfd.



14 Young Firefighters Celebrate Their Successful First Year

The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) recently marked an important moment in the career of 14 of its newer members. Ceremonies were held for firefighters hired in May 2013 to mark a successful first year with the department and their transition from “Rookie” Firefighters to “Regular” Firefighters.

These 14 firefighters successfully made it through LFD's rigorous hiring process, new hire orientation, and a yearlong probation period that includes multiple skills, physical abilities, and knowledge assessments. Firefighters Ritenour, Parente, Polk, Knoll, Vinzant, Murphy, Helms, Hayes, Kiddey, McBrayer, Baldwin, Dougherty, Woods, and Hendley celebrated their transition from probationary to regular firefighters in the company of family, friends, and colleagues. 

The ceremonies held May 5-7, 2014, mark the completion of the Personal Qualification Standards that the department uses to vet only the finest candidates. This probationary period is designed to ensure that new additions live up to the department's standards and are cut out for a difficult line of work in the fire service

LFD is experiencing rejuvenation in its workforce with these 14 young firefighters coming onboard last year, 7 additional new firefighters hired in January of 2014, and the anticipated hiring of 12 more by the end of the year. The new hires to come will fill vacancies left by retirements and meet staffing needs for the department's much anticipated new Fire Station 7, which will be operational by December. 

More photos from the event can be seen at the department's Facebook page here.