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Lakeland Fire Department News


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After successfully making it through LFD's rigorous hiring process, new hire orientation, and a year long probation period that includes multiple skills, physical abilities, and knowledge assessments, Firefighters Daniel Ivancevich and Alex Sanchez celebrated their transition from probationary to regular firefighters in the company of fellow firefighters and family in a ceremony held February 11, 2014.

The ceremony marked the Firefighter's successful completion of the Personal Qualification Standards that the department uses to vet candidates. This probationary period is designed to ensure that new additions live up to the department's standards and are cut out for this difficult line of work. 

Assistant Chief Rick Hartzog presented both Firefighters with black helmets to replace the yellow ones all new rookie firefighters receive for their first year. The yellow helmets are used to easily identify new firefighters on a fire scene to the other more experienced firefighters and officers. 

Both Daniel and Alex were joined by their families and crew mates to mark this important moment in their careers with LFD.

Congratulations to both and continued success!

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On Saturday, February 1, 2014, Firefighter Steven Murphy represented the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) in selecting the artwork that will serve as a centerpiece for the city’s proposed Heroes ParkHeroes Park, which will be located in the vicinity of the current Veteran’s Park behind the Lakeland Center, is intended to serve as a memorial for military, fire-rescue, and law enforcement personnel.

FF Murphy served as a judge along with representatives from the Lakeland Police Department, Veteran’s Affairs, and the artist who will bring the rendering to life. The submissions were created by Polk County School’s students and the judging of the submission was arranged by City Commissioner Don Selvage, who is chairing the effort to have the park dedicated in honor of Lakeland’s heroes.


“As a collective group, we analyzed each miniature sculpture the young artist composed. Each of us had different mindsets on what we liked, but a common theme throughout was us wanting to select a piece that would embody police, fire, and military in the sculpture and not just one group. We narrowed the field down to six and chose a winner from there. The winning sculpture is going to be three individual sheets of steel standing vertical in line with one another. One piece of steel has a child, the next a couple embracing, and lastly an adult service person. The pieces of steel will be cut and positioned so you can see the child and couple through the silhouette of the service person. It is a very interesting three dimensional piece that shows respect for all facets of honorable service.” explained Firefighter Murphy in reference to how the selection was made.


Lakeland Fire Department representatives plan to be involved throughout the entire planning process to provide input from a firefighter’s perspective.





Lakeland Police Department (LPD) Officers Jaime Smith and Kevin Parker received the City of Lakeland’s Heroism Award after being nominated for their actions by Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) Fire Inspector Shannon Turbeville, who at the time of the incident was serving as Fire Lieutenant on a responding engine. 

Mayor Howard Wiggs and Sgt. Harper presented the two officers the Heroism Award at the Monday, February 03, 2014 City Commission Meeting. The officers were recognized for their efforts involving a fire that occurred on November 23, 2013 in a room at the Hyatt Place located near the Lakeland Center. These two officers were the first to arrive on the scene. Parker and Smith unselfishly went to the fire floor and announced an evacuation of all the guests. They then went to the room where the fire originated and made sure the occupants were evacuated and cleared the floor of guests. They met firefighters in the lobby and informed them of the situation and assisted in a room by room evacuation of the fire floor.

Inspector Turbeville was impressed by their dedication to ensuring everyone’s safety and their selfless act of rushing into a fire affected area, even in the absence of formal fire training, in the critical early moments of the incident. So much so, that he immediately thought to recognize the two officers for their efforts through the City’s recognition program.

A big congratulations goes out to Officers Smith and Parker. Thank you from the Lakeland Fire Department. 

Officers Parker and Smith with Inspector Turbeville after the award presentation.