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Lakeland Fire Department News

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


On August 5, 2014 Chief Ballard was nominated and elected by his peers to become the First Vice President for the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association (FFCA). Having served as the West Central Regional Director and the Second Vice President for the FFCA over the past two years, Chief Ballard has the skills and knowledge to continue to lead within the organization. This new role will allow him to share his 37+ years of experience in an expanded capacity with fire service leaders from all over Florida as First Vice President.

This professional platform will allow Chief Ballard to showcase the excellent emergency services that the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) offers the people of Lakeland, as well as create additional networking opportunities that will add to the quality and scope of LFD’s services. It is also a wonderful opportunity to lend his leadership skills to help the fire service as a whole in Florida.

The FFCA is made up of fire and emergency professionals from all ranks representing all regions of Florida. The association’s mission is to promote and support excellence in fire & emergency services. The association does so by recognizing the fields best and brightest, offering scholarships, fundraising for charity, and providing professional development. With Chief Ballard in this new leadership position, he will undoubtedly continue to expand those efforts.

Congratulations and sincere thanks to Chief Ballard for increasing the City of Lakeland’s profile and presence throughout the state.



LFD is Proud to Announce its Fire-Service Opportunity and Career for Underprivileged Students Scholarship Program (F.O.C.U.S.)

 The department is excited to announce that it has developed and implemented a scholarship program to assist homeless Polk County seniors in high school and recent graduates. The program is intended to and designed to provide the opportunity at a successful adult life through a career in the fire service. The fire service has provided many firefighters with a successful career and enriching experiences. It is the hope that through this program the same can be afforded to a deserving young person.

The scholarship program was born from the department’s desire to help those in need in its community while at the same time addressing desires to develop a workforce that is more representative of its community. In its inaugural year, several compelling applicants came to the selection committee’s attention, and two candidates were selected: Ariel Brant (18, Female) and Owen Forbes Nieves (19, Male), both Polk County School’s graduates who begin classes on August 21, 2014 thanks to the scholarship.

LFD became affiliated with Polk County Public Schools’ Homeless Education Advocates Restoring the Hope (HEARTH) project approximately two years ago. The HEARTH project is a special division within the school system to provide support for students that meet the school boards’ definition of homelessness.

The program is not a guarantee for employment. Although they are encouraged to apply with LFD upon their successful completion of fire standards and meeting all necessary requirements, they are in no way guaranteed employment and must be hired on their own merit. No guarantees are made in regards to their passing or failing of the course. Mentorships will be provided to the students by LFD firefighters to help contribute to their success, although responsibility of succeeding is entirely on the selected candidates.

This opportunity is possible through partnerships with other public service and educational organizations in Polk County. The opportunity was offered to all Polk County students that meet the school boards’ definition of homelessness. For detailed information on the application process, the scholarship, and expectations please visit http://goo.gl/LUm3uT.

 


The interesting work the department's SWAT Medic team does was featured in Lakeland's The Ledger newspaper. The story focused on training the department's paramedics undergo not only to protect humans but their furry friends too. In this case, the SWAT medics are learning techniques to help K-9 units in the event the dog of an officer is injured. 

Read the entire article and enjoy photos here. 


Lakeland Firefighters Will Remind Motorist School is Back in Session

 Lakeland --- Summer fun is done and school is back in session starting Monday, August 18th for Polk County students. The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) will be promoting safety in school zones as part of its Back to School Safety Campaign, for the fifth year in a row.

On Monday, August 18th, Tuesday, August 19th, and Wednesday, August 20th, 2014, LFD personnel will be in Lakeland school zones holding signs urging drivers to:

SLOW DOWN | BUCKLE UP | NOT TEXT and DRIVE

LFD will have a fire engine and/or rescue truck and its crew posted at high visibility roadways and intersections near thirteen elementary schools in the department’s service area. 

Children will be crowding sidewalks and crossing many streets on their commute to and from school. Often in their excitement, children neglect to follow basic safety rules so it is up to motorist to be extra vigilant and to drive safely. The Lakeland Fire Department’s goal is to ensure that no child is injured this school year by a negligent driver. Since the beginning of this safety campaign in 2009, incidents involving motorist striking school bound pedestrians have steadily declined in Lakeland.

All emergency response units will remain in service while participating in the campaign and will continue to respond to emergencies with no interruptions in service.  


Lakeland Area Elementary School

Targeted Roadway / Intersection

Campaign Hours During Student Drop Off

Campaign Hours During Student Pick Up

Blake Academy

Hartsell Ave. / Sikes Blvd.

7:00 - 7:45 AM

2:15 - 3:00 PM

Carlton Palmore Elementary

Cleveland Heights Blvd. / Westover St.

7:00 - 7:45 AM

2:30 - 3:15 PM

Cleveland Court Elementary

Edgewood Dr. /Carolina Ave.

7:00 - 7:45 AM

2:15 - 3:00 PM

Dixieland Elementary

Ariana Rd. in front of school

7:15 - 7:45 AM

2:15- 3:00 PM

Jesse Keen Elementary

Wabash Ave. in front of school

7:00 - 7:45 AM

2:15- 3:00 PM

Lincoln Avenue Academy

Lincoln Ave. / 10th St.

7:00 - 7:45 AM

2:15- 3:00 PM

North Lakeland Elementary

Robson St. / Baird Ave.

7:00 - 7:45 AM

2:30 - 3:15 PM

Philip O'Brien Elementary

Lime St. / Lake Parker Ave.

7:00 - 7:45 AM

2:30 - 3:15 PM

Rochelle School of the Arts

MLK Jr. Ave. / 10th St.

7:00 - 7:45 AM

2:00- 2:45 PM

Sleepy Hill Elementary

Griffin Rd. / Kathleen Rd.

7:00 - 7:45 AM

2:15 - 3:00 PM

Southwest Elementary

South Florida Ave. / Oak St.

7:00 - 7:45 AM

2:00- 2:45 PM

McKeel Academy Central *

North Florida Ave. / Oak St.

8:00 – 8:45 AM

3:00 – 3:45 PM

South McKeel Elementary Academy *

South Edgewood Dr. in front of school

8:00 – 8:45 AM

2:45 – 3:30 PM


* McKeel Academy Central and South McKeel Academy begin school on Thursday, August 14 and Friday, August 15 and will be visited then.

All emergency response units will remain in service while participating in the campaign and will continue to respond to emergencies with no interruptions in service.  

Media Release available here





The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) is pleased to announce that as of July 31, 2014 every one of its 141 emergency response personnel is certified in Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS).

 So what does that mean for the community the department serves? PHTLS, designed by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), improves the quality of trauma care provided by emergency responders and significantly decreases mortality in patients. PHTLS promotes critical thinking as the foundation of quality care by equipping practitioners with knowledge that allows them to make crucial decisions in the field regarding patient care; particularly useful when every second counts. The high level of skills developed by PHTLS training will also allow EMT’s to recognize traumatic injuries and illness in the field so that patients can be better prioritized based on their needs.

What makes this accomplishment so significant is that for most fire departments that offer emergency medical services, PHTLS is typically reserved for Paramedics because of their ability to offer Advanced Life Support (ALS) services.  To better bridge the gap in the level of service provided between Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) in the field, the Lakeland Fire Department resolved to train every one of its emergency responders in PHTLS. This accomplishment makes LFD one of the few fire departments in the region to have every emergency responder trained in Prehospital Trauma Life Support, further contributing to the exceptional level of emergency medical care it provides to the residents and visitors of Lakeland.

The Lakeland Fire Department became an approved NAEMT training site in early 2014, allowing the PHTLS training effort to take place in July 2014, provided by a team of the department’s paramedics who are certified NAEMT instructors. The PHTLS program is recognized internationally as the premier prehospital education program. It was developed and provided by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, which is the national professional association that represents all EMT’s and Paramedics.