City News Blog


This is the official blog of the City of Lakeland, Florida. Check back frequently to stay up to date with all that going on in our beautiful city!

Lakeland, FL - 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.

More about the Lakeland Fire Department:

Established in 1916, the Lakeland Fire Department has a rich history and celebrated its centennial as a career fire department in August 2016. The department has seven stations serving approximately 100,000 people in the City of Lakeland. The department has 170 employees, of which 150 are emergency response personnel. In 2015, the department responded to over 22,000 service calls in its 84 square-mile response area, which includes the city limits as well as portions of unincorporated Lakeland.

The department offers a wide range of services which includes heavy rescue, technical rescue, fire prevention, fire code enforcement, fire investigation, aircraft rescue and firefighting, and in-house fleet maintenance; all in addition to fire suppression and emergency medical response. The Lakeland Fire Department is also passionate about being an active participant in its community and consistently giving back through philanthropic efforts and through non-emergency services such as community outreach and preventative public education.


Janel Vasallo, MPH | Public Relations / Information Manager | Lakeland Fire Department | 863/834-8219

Lakeland, FL (September 7, 2016)- 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:

Lakeland Fire Department | YouTube | Facebook

Lakeland Police Department | YouTube | Facebook

The PSAs may also be downloaded for redistribution at . They will also be shown on the City of Lakeland’s Public Access Channel, LGN.

Everyone is encouraged to share these messages to promote responsible 911 use. 

For interviews, filming, and more information please contact:

Janel Vasallo

Office: (863) 834-8219 | | Lakeland Fire Department

Robin Tillett

Office: (863) 834-2963 | | Lakeland Police Department



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



Janel Vasallo, Public Relations/Information Manager | (863) 834-8219

Lakeland, FL (August 10, 2016) | The Lakeland Fire Department is approaching a major milestone as it prepares to celebrate its centennial anniversary!  

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
  • Refreshments
  • Giveaways 
  • and more!

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

You are encouraged to share this information with the community and join LFD on Saturday, August 13, 2016. For more information, interview requests with department representatives, filming, etc. please contact Janel Vasallo.


Janel Vasallo, Public Relations/Information Manager | (863) 834-8219 |