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Lakeland Fire Department News

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


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.



The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) is pleased to announce the hiring of nine new firefighters that began duty on Monday, January 27, 2014. The new hires are filling vacancies from recent retirements of longtime LFD veterans and openings left as a result of internal promotions. 

The hiring process was highly selective because of the large pool of applicants. Nearly 200 firefighters applied during the weeklong period that applications were being accepted. Another opportunity for firefighter hopefuls will be available later this year when the department will hire nine additional firefighters in anticipation of the department’s new Fire Station # 7, currently under construction. The new station, near the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, is expected to be completed by December 2014 and will provide both Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) services to the airport as well as provide emergency services to residents and businesses in southwest Lakeland. 

“The selection process was difficult because there were many qualified candidates to choose from. Our hiring committee is confident that it selected the best available candidates and it’s comforting to know that the new rookies joining our ranks are highly skilled and qualified to continue providing the high quality emergency services our department is known for.” said Training Chief John Almskog, coordinator of the hiring effort.

Of the nine new hires one is already a certified paramedic while the other eight are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s), although the eight will have the opportunity to pursue paramedic training once on the job. 

The group of new hires is a young and diverse one, serving as a good representation of the community they will be serving in Lakeland. The new additions include a female firefighter, an African-American firefighter, and a Hispanic firefighter. Additionally, a majority of the new hires hail from central Florida and are graduates of area fire academies like the Ridge Career Center Fire Academy and Hillsborough Community College Fire Academy. 

The nine new firefighters will help significantly reduce current overtime costs to maintain minimum staffing at all stations. The new hires now bring the department to a total of 161 personnel whom, last year alone, responded to nearly 20,000 calls and serve nearly 100,000 residents within the department’s service area. 

See photos of the new recruits in action here