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Lakeland Fire Department News


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Fire Chief Gary Ballard and Assistant Chief Doug Riley participated in a county wide event held at the Polk County Sheriff’s Compound in Winter Haven early Wednesday, September 11th, 2013. The event was to commemorate the tragic loss of life twelve years ago this day. The event featured the symbolic release of 50 white doves by representatives from fire-rescue and police departments throughout Polk County. “We were glad to be a part of this event” said Chief Gary Ballard. 

“It is important to remember that today is not only a day to reflect on the thousands that lost their lives on the day of the attacks but also the scores of others that fell victim to these acts of terrorism, like the soldiers who died in conflicts that resulted from the 9/11 attacks, first responders who have since fallen ill as a result of their exposure during rescue efforts, and scores of others whose lives were disrupted by the events.” added Chief Ballard.

Bells Will Ring in Lakeland for 3rd Annual Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters

Lakeland – For the third year, the entire country is invited to come together as one community to honor the memory of those firefighters who died in the line of duty and reassure their loved ones that their firefighter will not be forgotten by participating in the Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters remembrance.

The Lakeland Fire Department will join the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), other fire departments, and community groups from coast to coast in this poignant tribute as part of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend. The moment of remembrance will occur on Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 10:00 AM at all Lakeland fire stations and at participating locations throughout the Lakeland area. This day also marks the beginning of Fire Prevention Week.

“It is with great sadness that we ring these bells for fellow firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty. It allows us to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice they have made for their communities. It is my hope and desire to never have to ring a bell again because of a firefighter perishing while serving.” said Lakeland Fire Chief Gary Ballard.

“The ringing of bells has a powerful meaning to firefighters. Not only do bells signal the beginning or end of a call, they also were used to notify department members that one of their own had died while serving the community.” explained Chief Ronald Siarnicki, executive director of the NFFF.

Hundreds of fire departments, places of worship and other groups participated in Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters over the past two years.

For more information about the national remembrance visit .

The Lakeland Fire Department would also like to invite area community group and churches to participate in their own way. Please read more about the invitation from Fire Chief Gary Ballard here