City Home  > LFD >Lakeland Fire Department News

Lakeland Fire Department News

rss

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


The Lakeland Fire Department is very proud to announce and congratulate Driver Engineer Stuart Curk on becoming the first certified Aircraft Master Firefighter at LFD! D/E Curk is a highly knowledgeable veteran of the department, with over 34 years of service. D/E Curk is far too humble to ever bring attention to himself, but the department is proud to share the good news with the community! 


The Airport Master Firefighter (A.M.F.) certification is a significant one to have because it serves to show that the firefighter has mastered the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting body of knowledge essential to manage an airport emergency, an airport fire department, and its administration and management.

The certification program requires several years of experience as an airport firefighter in addition to several years of regular firefighting experience, the completion of a 40+ hour training program, the completion of three National Incident Management System (NIMS) courses, and successfully passing a grueling 150 question exam that can only be taken once. Phew! No easy task. 

This certification is beneficial to the people of Lakeland and those served by the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, in having a highly knowledgeable firefighter in the event of an emergency situation.

The American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and the Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Working Group (ARFFWG), collectively known as the ARFF Training Alliance, designed this certification to enhance the knowledge and career ambitions of Aircraft Rescue Fighters regardless of rank. It is a self-study program structured to provide ARFF personnel with an enhanced knowledge of ARFF Operations. If you would like to learn more visit http://goo.gl/pMvAqW .

 


On Friday, July 25, 2014, the Lakeland Fire Department promoted four Firefighters to Driver Engineers in a joint ceremony held at Station 1. The ceremony marks a major career transition for the selected firefighters.

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

Promoted were James Stovall, Luis Hernandez, Matt Burns, and Zac Duncan.

James Stovall has been with the Lakeland Fire Department as a firefighter since 2002, but has served with the City of Lakeland since 1995 having worked with Lakeland Electric prior to his transition to the fire service. The Lakeland native, born and raised, is a graduate of Lake Gibson High School. An avid athlete, James went on to attend and play baseball for Polk State College where he received his associate’s degree. Prior to the fire service he served in several different capacities but always in a role where he could help the public and serve others. He has served with the Polk County School Board where he coached high school baseball.  He went on to perform field services for Lakeland Electric and attended fire standards and pursued his EMT certification while working with the City of Lakeland. He achieved his lifelong goal of becoming a firefighter in 2002 when he joined the Lakeland Fire Department.  He has served as firefighter since, prior to his promotion to Driver Engineer. He is also a valued member of the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) team.

Luis Hernandez began his career as a firefighter with the Lakeland Fire Department in 2004 having only served with LFD since. The Chicago, Illinois native moved to Lakeland in 1990 and is a graduate of Kathleen High School. After graduation he attended Hillsborough Community College (HCC) where he obtained his EMT certification and completed Fire Standards. In an interesting connection, LFD’s Lt. Jim Thompson was one of Luis’ instructors at HCC and helped influence Luis in joining the department.  Since having joined LFD, Luis has gone on to obtain his paramedic certification at Florida Medical Training Institute and is currently pursuing his associate’s degree in nursing to become a registered nurse.  A well trained and seasoned medical professional with the department, Luis has also been awarded repeated Firefighter of the Year awards for his heroism in the field. 

Matt Burns has been part of the Lakeland Fire Department as a firefighter since October 2004. A Lakeland native, Matt graduated from George Jenkins High School in 1999. After graduation he attended Ridge Career Center where he completed Fire Standards and received his EMT certification in 2004. Since having joined LFD, Matt pursued and obtained his Paramedic Certification in 2005.

Zac Duncan has been part of the Lakeland Fire Department as a firefighter since October 2004. He has served in that capacity since then, prior to his current promotion to Driver Engineer.  Zac, a driven professional who values professional advancement, is a graduate of Polk State College from which he received his paramedic certification in 2008. He is also a member of the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team at the department. 

Being a Driver Engineer comes with immense responsibility and four promoted will most definitely be able to live up to that responsibility based on their career thus far with LFD.

Big congratulations to all four new Driver Engineers! 

Check out photos from the ceremony here. 

 

 


The department was featured in a front page profile piece about how firefighters in the Polk County community provide animal rescue in unique situations. 

Read more about at Helping Man or Beast: For Polk Firefighters, Rescuing Animals Is Just Part of the Job

 


Commercial Structure Fire at Rubber Roller Manufacturer Finzer Roller

Lakeland --- At approximately 3:00 PM, the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) responded to a structure fire at Finzer Roller located at 733 Kraft Road. A fire began in a rubber by-product filtration mechanism located outside of the company’s manufacturing building.

The filtration mechanism is located directly outside and adjacent to the main building where manufacturing takes place and is connected to the manufacturing building through a duct system. Although the exact cause of the fire is yet to be determined by state investigators, the fire is known to have begun in the filtration mechanism (pictures attached), likely as a result of some friction created in the normal manufacturing process. The fire did spread to the main manufacturing building as a result of the connection through the duct system but did remain contained to the ductwork.

Firefighters quickly contained the structure fire and by 3:22 PM it was out. 11 employees were working at the commercial operation at the time of the fire. All employees were safely evacuated and no injuries were reported. The incident did occur in unincorporated Lakeland in the Lakeland Fire Department’s Outside Protection Area and any further investigation will be handled by the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Finzer Roller is a rubber roller and specialty coating manufacturer.

Engines 71, 41, 21, Heavy Rescue 14, Rescue 42, Battalion 1, and county emergency medical services responded. The scene was cleared by approximately 4:45 PM. 

Photos available at facebook.com/lakelandFD

 


This 4th of July, the Lakeland Fire Department encourages you to stay safe. Each July Fourth, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks - devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death.

 

NFPA's Dan Doofus urges people not to use consumer fireworks because they are too dangerous. Fireworks are responsible for thousands of fires and injuries each year.
Fireworks by the numbers
  • In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.
  • In 2012, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,700 people for fireworks related injuries; 55% of 2012 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 31% were to the head.
  • The risk of fireworks injury was highest for young people ages 15-24, followed by children under 10.
  • On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

Source: NFPA’s Fireworks report, by John R. Hall, Jr., June 2013
Source: NFPA’s Fireworks Fact Sheet, Fire Analysis and Research Division, June 2014



The MOVE OVER law requires motorist to move aside or slow down to less than 20 miles per hour of posted speed limit if moving isn't possible. This law helps protect the lives of public safety workers on roads. 

The Lakeland Fire Department has had several close calls. There have been incidents where motorist have hit LFD fire apparatus set up to help victims during car accidents, and it could have seriously injured or killed a LFD firefighter on scene. 

Effective today, July 1st, the amended MOVE OVER ACT adds utility service vehicles and sanitation vehicles to the list of public safety vehicles motorists must already slow down or move over for to protect personnel. 

Under the new law, motorists are required to:

Approach law enforcement patrol cars, emergency vehicles, utility service vehicles, sanitation vehicles, and tow trucks/wreckers with caution.

Change lanes away from these vehicles if traveling on a multi-lane roadway and able to move over safely; or
Slow down to a speed that is 20 mph less than the posted speed limit, when a clearly identified emergency or work-crew vehicle is parked and crews are working.

Violating the Move Over Act can result in a fine and points on your license.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles offers more information on the law online at http://www.flhsmv.gov/safetytips/moveovertips.htm

The city of Lakeland's Communications team developed an advertisement campaign to help spread the word about the changes. Featured in the print media is LFD's very own Lt. Heath Seeber, representing the fire service's interest in the life saving law. 


On June 30, 2014 the Lakeland Fire Department bid a fond retirement-farewell to a 27 year veteran of the force, Anthony Parrish. Tony, as he is known to everyone at LFD, began his career in 1987 as a firefighter and served in that capacity through 2006, when he went on to serve as a Fire Inspector until his retirement Monday, June 30. A valued member of the fire safety management division, Tony performed fire safety inspections, fire investigations, and reviewed building plans in the northern Lakeland zone he served.

He was joined by well-wishers made up of family, friends, and colleagues at his retirement ceremony held at Fire Station 1. He is looking forward to enjoying his retirement and says he plans on spending time enjoying his hobbies which include fishing, scalloping, swimming, boating, and even a little bit of yard work.

Congratulations Tony Parrish and thank you for your many years of dedicated service to the people of Lakeland.