Media Relations

A picture of department welcomes coverage

The department welcomes coverage of all its events, from emergency situations to training classes.

A picture of Kyle Davis, Firefighter EMT

The department has many front-line personnel willing to share their experiences on camera to better inform the public.

The Lakeland Fire Department’s (LFD) Communications and Outreach division manages all media and public relations on behalf of the department. Its purpose is the prompt and efficient exchange of information for the benefit of Lakeland’s citizens and visitors. The Public Information function is structured to support the Lakeland Fire Department and to promote the department in a positive manner.

The Lakeland Fire Department strives to foster a positive working relationship with all media outlets, including but not limited to TV news, print and online media organizations. The Lakeland Fire Department is proud of the relationships it has built with the local, state, and national news media; and most importantly with the community.

The department's Public Relations and Information Manager serves as Public Information Officer (PIO) and is responsible for responding to media requests, issuing media releases, incident alerts, and providing the media with information about and at emergency scenes. In addition, the PIO monitors news stories to ensure accuracy in reporting events that occur in Lakeland. Routine media inquiries and records requests are handled as expeditiously as possible. Additionally, the department provides information about breaking news events, safety tips, and other departmental activity through all of its social media sites.

A primary objective of the department is to provide superior emergency service and positive interactions with the public. This is achieved through continued outreach and communications efforts at the department with citizens and the media.



News and Events

  • Fire Prevention Division Now Offering Extended Hours for Better Customer Service

    The Lakeland Fire Department’s (LFD) Fire Prevention Division, responsible for fire inspections, permitting, fire investigations, and plans review, will now have Fire Inspectors available from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday. These extended hours will benefit Lakeland’s contractors and business owners by offering additional hours of customer service, at no additional expense.

  • Novogrodsky and Allison Awarded Presidents' Roundtable Firefighter of the Year

    The Lakeland Fire Department is proud to announce that two if its Firefighter / EMTs, Douglas Novogrodsky and Joseph Allison, were recognized by the Polk County Presidents’ Roundtable on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 as Firefighters of the Year, respectively. 

  • Photo of Michael Williams

    Michael Williams Selected as Assistant Chief of Operations

    Michael Williams, former Battalion Chief at the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD), was selected as the department’s new Assistant Chief of Operations. Assistant Chief Williams will begin his new role effective immediately. The vacancy Williams is filling was created when Douglas E. Riley promoted to the position of Fire Chief, upon former Fire Chief Gary Ballard’s retirement.

  • Lakeland Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Doug Riley Photo with American Flag

    Douglas E. Riley Selected as New Fire Chief of the Lakeland Fire Department

    City of Lakeland City Manager, Tony Delgado, has appointed Douglas E. Riley as the Lakeland Fire Department’s (LFD) new Fire Chief. Fire Chief Riley will begin his new role as the leader of the department on December 16, 2017. The appointment follows the retirement of Gary W. Ballard, who served as Fire Chief since 2010.

All News

A photo of Janel Vasallo

Media Inquires? Please Contact: 

Janel Vasallo
Public Relations and Information Manager
Office: (863) 834-8219
Cell: (863) 860-9011