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Lakeland Fire Department News


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

The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) is very proud to announce that two if its Firefighters, Damian Motsinger and Brandon Polk will be recognized by Polk County’s President’s Roundtable on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 as Firefighters of the Year, respectively. The organization is made up of leaders from several community organizations like Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions and more. The Firefighters were each recognized for separate acts of heroism outside of their work at the department as emergency responders.  

Firefighter / Paramedic Damian Motsinger was recognized for providing lifesaving aid to a teenage boy who suffered a horrific skateboarding accident, that rendered him unconscious followed by repeated seizures. The boy was found by Firefighter Motsinger, and his wife who is a nurse, on the side of a road on a late Saturday evening. Damian’s quick thinking and medical aid prior to emergency responders arriving is directly credited with saving the boy’s life.  The following award nomination details the event: 

" On a Saturday evening in September 2016, after leaving the home of his in-laws, Damian and his wife Chelsea were driving home on Crews Lake Road when they encountered a car flashing their headlights. Damian pulled over to see what the issue was and if he could help. Upon coming up to the where the vehicle was stopped, he noticed a teenage boy (about 14-15 years old) lying unresponsive in the middle of the road.

A friend of the teenage boy, that was at the scene stated that they were skate boarding down the hill when the patient wrecked, causing him to hit his head hard. The patient’s friend then explained to Firefighter Motsinger that the teenage boy then started to have repeated seizures.

Damian indistinctly jumped into action, using his extensive emergency medical experience to help the boy. Firefighter Motsinger took charge at the scene by holding C-spine on the boy and noticed that cars were coming extremely close to them. Damian instructed the bystanders that they needed to move the child out of the road while maintaining spinal immobilization. Once out of the road Damian had another person hold C-spine, so that he could perform a medical assessment on the boy for further injuries. The boy was unresponsive the entire time prior to the arrival of a Polk County EMS unit arriving on scene. Once Polk County Fire was on scene Damian gave the injury report to Lieutenant /Paramedic Jason Villeneuve, and stressed the urgency to them that this child was a pediatric trauma alert. Damian assisted them with setting up the IV and with preparing to intubate the child.

The child began to vomit and Damian quickly recognized the need to roll the patient to keep him from aspirating. Once the boy’s airway was cleared of vomit, Damian assisted Polk County EMS with securing the unresponsive child’s airway by intubating him. Damian held cricoid pressure while the Polk County EMS Paramedics placed the tube down the child’s airway.

Damian’s quick thinking, leadership, and ultimately heroic actions in a very stressful situation that night helped save the life of that boy. He was at the right place and time to help that young patient by applying his knowledge and abilities as a first responder.

Damian is a true professional that helps others whenever possible. "

Firefighter / EMT Brandon Polk was recognized for providing medical aid and emergency guidance at the scene of a fatal car accident while off-duty. He noticed the accident and arrived just as responders from LFD’s partners in public safety, Polk County EMS, did. He worked closely with EMS crews to assess patients and provide Basic Life Support. Upon the arrival of LFD’s Tower 15, he assisted in the extrication of patients entrapped in one of the involved vehicles.  The following award nomination details the event: 

On the afternoon of August 7, 2016, Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) Firefighter and EMT, Brandon Polk, was off-duty while driving on Memorial Boulevard when he noticed traffic was at a stop shortly ahead of where he was driving.  He then realized that a vehicle accident had just occurred. Brandon drove his vehicle around the stopped traffic and pulled off the side of the road to begin to assess the accident scene and see how he could lend his skills and help.

A Polk County Fire Rescue (PCFR) Medic Unit heading to Lakeland Regional Medical Center with a patient also stopped. Brandon noticed a female laying in the middle of the road and began walking towards her. As he approached her the PCFR Medic advised Brandon she was deceased. The PCFR Paramedic was on the radio with dispatch and advised Brandon that as a result he (PCFR Paramedic) had not yet assessed the other occupants in the vehicles. Brandon walked over to a heavily damaged Jeep Cherokee and began to assess the passenger who was alert, complaining of chest pain, and showing signs of shock.

A bystander then advised Brandon that the backseat passenger was slumped over and not responding. Brandon could not open the passenger door but was able to make access to the backseat from the driver side. He began to assess the backseat passenger and determined that she too was deceased. Brandon then began to assess the driver who was alert but showing signs of shock. After triaging the occupants in the Jeep Cherokee he made contact with the PCFR Paramedic and advised him to notify dispatch that Lakeland Fire Tower 15 would need to be dispatched because the driver was entrapped. Brandon observed that another PCFR Medic Unit had arrived on scene and was assessing the second vehicle involved in the collision.

The Lakeland Fire Department response units arrived soon after Brandon’s initial contact with the patients / victims. Once they arrived, Brandon made contact with the Lieutenant from Engine 41 and Battalion Chief 1 and advised them of the situation and the patient’s status. Tower 15 arrived on scene and Brandon assisted in gathering extrication equipment from Tower 15 and began to assist in patient care of the passenger in the Jeep Cherokee.

If it were not for Brandon’s willingness to stop off-duty and the leadership he demonstrated on scene by directing responding units based on his initial medical assessments, the appropriate patient care to the most critical patients may have not occurred. "


The department is extremely proud of both Damian and Brandon. They are a shining example of the department’s firefighters and are greatly appreciated for their dedication and passion to serve, on and off duty. 



FF/Paramedic Damian Motsinger


FF/EMT Brandon Polk



Lakeland Fire Department Welcomes Thirteen New Firefighters

The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) is pleased to announce the hiring of thirteen new firefighters that will begin duty on Monday, February 6, 2017. The new hires are filling vacancies from recent retirements of longtime LFD veterans and openings left as a result of internal promotions.

The new firefighters will begin with the department’s month-long orientation program at the Lakeland Fire Department’s Training Center located at 901 Granada Street. Although all the new hires are certified firefighters, this training course is designed to teach the new firefighters how to do things the “Lakeland” way. They review a full spectrum of practical skills they need to perform on the job as well as emergency medical training before being released into the field.

“Our hiring committee is confident that it selected the best available candidates and it’s comforting to know that the new firefighters 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 and leader of the department’s four-week orientation program.

LFD strives to have a fire department that is representative of the community it serves. The department is proud that of the thirteen new hires, five are U.S. Military veterans. Additionally, the group of new firefighters includes a female, Hispanic, and African American firefighter, respectively. The group of new firefighters even includes a former NFL football player.

Of the new hires, one is already certified as a paramedic while the others are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). 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 new hires bring the department to a total of 171 personnel whom, last year alone, responded to nearly 24,500 call for service. 

Hot Holiday Gift for a Good Cause: 2017 Lakeland Firefighter Calendar to Benefit SPCA Florida


Lakeland, FL – Animal and firefighter lovers everywhere can rejoice this holiday season because SPCA Florida and the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) are presenting the ultimate stocking stuffer – The Rescued Pets 2017 Calendar! The calendar features actual SPCA Florida rescued pets and buff Lakeland firefighters beautifully photographed at famous landmarks throughout Lakeland.  Each month of the year also features helpful safety tips and information from both organizations.

The high quality calendars can be purchased for a $10.00 donation and make the perfect gift for the upcoming holidays. 

Calendars can be purchased:

Online at or in person at

  • SPCA Florida campus at 5850 Brannen Road S. Lakeland, FL 3381
  •  Lakeland Fire Department Administration Building at 701 E Main Street Lakeland, FL 33801
  • Wellness Wagon weekly route stops

Cash and checks are accepted at all sites. Credit cards are only accepted online at and at SPCA Florida’s Medical Center, Adoption Center, and Administration buildings.

Partnership for Pets:

A major highlight of the partnership between both organizations has been the Rescued Pets Calendar. Proceeds go directly to helping rescued animals in Lakeland. 

Last year’s calendar was a great success, generating nearly $10,000 to pay for the medical care of animals encountered on human emergency scenes by the Lakeland Fire Department and treated at SPCA Florida’s McClurg Medical Center. Additionally, the funds raised allowed for the purchase of new animal oxygen masks to replace existing masks for Lakeland Fire Department apparatus.

The annual calendar is a fun and philanthropic cornerstone of the partnership. It is a great way for SPCA Florida to expand on its mission of helping animals while the Lakeland Fire Department can show its compassion and care for all of the living creatures in its community.


The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) is excited to announce that the department’s annual holiday toy drive kicks off Monday, November 07, 2016 and runs through Thursday, December 15, 2016.

Community members are welcome to drop off a new, unwrapped toy at any of LFD's 7 fire stations, Fire Administration Building, and Lakeland City Hall. The toy drive will benefit the Children's Home Society of Greater Lakeland  and the Dream Center of Lakeland, who will distribute the collected gifts to Lakeland's children in need. 

This is the fourth year in a row that the Lakeland Fire Department sponsors a toy drive and the event has been very successful in years past thanks to the donations of the community and firefighters that generously provide toys. In 2015, over $7,000 in toys were donated to children in Lakeland! 

“Out of the many events our department sponsors and participates, this is one we all look forward to every year” says Fire Chief Gary Ballard. “The holidays are a time to reflect on our blessings and to give back to those in need. This annual toy drive helps hundreds of children in Lakeland by allowing them to enjoy the holidays by knowing that they are cared for by their community.

Click here for station locations. 


Hiring Soon: The Lakeland Fire Department is Looking for the Best

The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) is excited to announce that it will be accepting applications to fill vacant firefighter positions starting September 30, 2016 through October 15, 2016. The firefighters to be hired will fill positions created by recent promotions and retirements. At minimum, ten firefighters will be hired.

The Lakeland Fire Department offers competitive pay and benefits, extensive professional development, and is an established public safety leader in the region. As a result, it is a highly desirable fire department to work for, often receiving hundreds of applications in a short window of time when vacancies are opened.

More information about necessary qualifications, how to apply, and pay and benefits is available at An employment brochure and a 25-minute video production “Fully Involved: What it means to be a Lakeland Firefighter” is also available at the Lakeland Fire Department website to provide prospective applicants more information about why they should apply.

Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply at .

Applications are only accepted online.  Diverse applicants representative of Lakeland’s community, that meet the firefighter employment requirements, are strongly encouraged to apply.

LFD utilizes the National Testing Network (NTN) and requires a Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT) of all applicants. The City of Lakeland is a drug-free work place and an equal opportunity employer. 

The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) and the Lakeland Police Department (LPD) are excited to present a new “Keep 911 for Emergencies” public safety campaign. The campaign features four public service announcements and related print materials aimed at reminding the community that 911 is for emergencies only and that it should be used responsibly.  


Both LFD and LPD receive a high number of calls for service (22,515 and 108,657, respectively, in 2015). These calls are managed by the Lakeland Public Safety 911 Communications Center, which dispatched 131,172 calls for service last year. 

The Lakeland Fire Department and the Lakeland Police Department joined forces to address these issues of mutual concern in hopes of improving response with their current resources while in the process helping make Lakeland a safer community; a priority for both agencies.

The Lakeland Public Safety 911 Communications Center was consulted when developing this campaign to identify the most common examples of 911 misuse. In Lakeland’s case the leading issues in 911 misuse were: accidental dialing from cell phones by both unknowing adults or children on mobile devices; non-emergency medical calls; and parents calling 911 to threaten disobedient children. Individual public service announcements were created for each of these issues. 

The public service announcements are available at the department's Facebook and You Tube pages. 

Heroism Awards Presented to Crew of Truck 73 at City of Lakeland Commission Meeting

Lt. Jim Thompson, D/E Troy Deines, and Firefighter Chad Jackson were recognized Monday, August 15, 2016 at the City if Lakeland Commission meeting for their heroic and life saving actions earlier this year; and well deserved it was.

 Thanks to their high level of skill and fast actions they were able to bring a person back from the brink. They saved Steve Ward's life, who coincidentally is the father in law of a current LFD firefighter, and received the department's "Life Saving" award in addition to the City of Lakeland's Heroism Award. 


The award narrative for their award shares more details about the incident:

On June 3, 2016 at 6:09 p.m. Truck 73 was dispatched from Fire Station 7 to Parkway Frontage Road at Waring Road for a patient suffering a medical emergency in a vehicle. Upon arrival in the area, Truck 73 personnel were initially unable to locate and our dispatch center was able to ping the location of the victim using an open cell phone line via Verizon.

Engine 71’s personnel arrived on the scene soon after at 6:15 p.m. and Driver/Engineer Paramedic Troy Deines made contact with the patient. The patient was unresponsive and not breathing.  Lieutenant James Thompson and Firefighter Chad Jackson assisted with removing the patient from the vehicle and placing him on a spine board. Lieutenant Thompson assessed the patient for a pulse and found none. He immediately began delivering chest compressions while a Paramedic student (Auburndale firefighter J.T. Anderson) established an airway utilizing an Oral Pharyngeal Airway and began rescue breathing with a bag valve mask and supplemental oxygen. D/E/Paramedic Deines and Firefighter/EMT Jackson began initiating ACLS guidelines, initiating an intravenous line, placing the patient on the monitor, assessing blood glucose levels, and so forth. Polk County Fire Rescue (PCFR) ambulance MD48 arrived and assisted LFD personnel with continuing with Advance Life Support procedures while loading the patient onto a stretcher and into the ambulance. Personnel from LFD Truck 73 and PCFR MD48 continued to treat and attempt to stabilize the patient in the ambulance while preparing to transport.  Both D/E Deines and Paramedic Student Anderson assisted PCFR personnel with ALS procedures including drug assisted intubation and intravenous, cold fluid therapy in the ambulance during transport to Lakeland Regional Health Center (LRH). Lieutenant Thompson and Firefighter Jackson remained on scene to meet with and brief family members that arrived soon after. Truck 73 personnel then proceeded to LRH to further consult family members and to pick up Deines and Anderson. Lieutenant Thompson notified the appropriate leadership personnel from LFD and briefed them on the situation.

Upon being turned over to medical staff at LRH and the patient’s condition somewhat stabilized, efforts became focused on determining what, if any brain function may have been lost.  Concerns were that the patient had been without oxygen long enough to cause damage.  Once the intensivist arrived and looked over the case the decision was made to discontinue sedation in hopes to assess his level of consciousness.  Approximately two minutes after sedation was stopped on the patient, he sat up in the bed and tried to pull his breathing tube.  At this point is when it was obvious that the quick action of the T73 crew had made a significant difference on the outcome of the patient.  Steve was transferred from the LRH emergency room to the intensive care unit where he spent approximately a week recovering.  He is now at home, back to living his life as normal.  

The Lakeland Fire Department is very proud of Lt. Jim Thompson, D/E Troy Deines, and Firefighter Chad Jackson and thanks them for a job well done. 

See more photos of the award presentation here.


Update: See the full album of this year's campaign here. 

Lakeland, FL (August 11, 2016) - Summer fun is done and school is back in session for most Polk County students starting Monday, August 15, 2016. The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) will be promoting safety in school zones as part of its Back to School Safety Campaign, for the seventh year in a row! 

On Monday, August 15, 2016 (and August 18, 2016 at McKeel Central and South McKeel Academy), Lakeland Fire Department personnel will be in school zones holding signs urging drivers to:


LFD will have a fire engine and/or rescue truck and its crew posted at high visibility roadways and intersections near thirteen Lakeland 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. 

LFD personnel will be stationed at the following locations:

Participating School Name


Neighborhood Fire Station

Safety Promotion Hours

Philip O'Brien Elementary

1225 E. Lime Street

Station 1

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:30- 3:30 PM

Carlton Palmore Elementary

3725 Cleveland Heights Blvd. 33813

Station 2

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:30- 3:30 PM

Cleveland Court Elementary

328 E. Edgewood Drive 33813

Station 2

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:30 - 3:30 PM

Dixieland Elementary

416 W.Ariana

Station 2

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:30- 3:30 PM

Southwest Elementary

2650 Southwest Ave.

Station 2

7:15 - 7:45 AM 2:30- 3:30 PM

Lincoln Avenue Academy

1330 N. Lincoln Ave.

Station 3

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:30- 3:30 PM

North Lakeland Elementary

410 W. Robson St.

Station 3

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:15 - 3:15 PM

Rochelle School of the Arts

1501 MLK, Jr. Ave.

Station 3

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:30- 3:30 PM

Sleepy Hill Elementary

2285 Sleepy Hill Road

Station 3

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:30- 3:30 PM

Blake Academy

510 Hartsell Ave. 33815

Station 4

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:15 - 3:15 PM

Jesse Keen Elementary

815 Plateau Ave. 33815

Station 4

7:00 - 7:45 AM 2:15 - 3:15 PM

**August 18 **

McKeel Academy Central

411 N Florida Ave, Lakeland, FL 33801

Station 1

8:15 - 8:45 AM 2:15 - 3:10PM

**August 18**

South McKeel Elementary Academy

2222 Edgewood Drive South

Station 5

8:00 - 8:45 AM 2:45 - 3:30 PM


Restart the Heart Before You Depart

In December the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) adopted and trained on how to use a new pediatric emergency response system in the field for better results when treating children, the Handtevy System. The Handtevy is a pediatric resuscitation system that combines customization, consultation, education and organization to empower healthcare providers to rapidly and accurately respond to any pediatric call with ease. The Handtevy is a customized and age-based system that results in fewer medical errors, increased patient safety and renewed provider confidence.

This week the department launched an internal campaign on the Handtevy system in order to better communicate to its first responders how it is designed to work in the field.  

This effort is most appropriate now that we have entered the summer months in Florida which have proven to be a particularly vulnerable time for children, with an increased amount of drownings. 

Although the video is targeted towards EMTs and Paramedics at the department, and not the public, LFD shares this to show how the department goes the extra mile to better serve you. The campaign was an idea of the firefighter paramedics featured in the video and the Rescue Chief. It’s also a great example of an empowered workforce constantly seeking to do things better.

Better systems, lead to better outcomes. This is just another example of how the Lakeland Fire Department is always seeking ways to improve, and the high level of dedication LFD has to helping those in need.

LFD hopes the video can also serve as a resource to other first responders using the Handtevy System. 

The Lakeland Fire Department is approaching a major milestone as it prepares to celebrate its centennial anniversary!  
This is a historic event for the department and the City of Lakeland. The department was officially made a career fire department through an ordinance passed on August 16, 1916.  This was done for the benefit of the community in light of several catastrophic fires that had occurred in previous years.  

To mark the significance of this achievement and as a way of sharing the department’s pride in having 100 years of service, the department will be celebrating with a Centennial Celebration for the entire community! It will take place at Fire Station 1, located at 701 E Main Street in Lakeland on August 13, 2016, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. 

The event will celebrate the department’s past and present. The community celebration will feature:

Leaping Lena, the Department’s Restored 1938 Pirsch Fire Engine
Historic Artifacts and Displays
Live Demonstrations
Station Tours
Apparatus and Equipment Displays
Photo Booth

and more! 

The event is free and open to the public and everyone in the community is encouraged to attend.