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The Lakeland Fire Department

Issue 2, Fall 2013 n

In This Issue Cover Story


1 3

Ceremonies 4 Rescue




Community 10 Upcoming


Around the St. 14 Awards Outreach

This & That Celebrate

17 18 19 20

Your comments, suggestions, and questions are always welcome. Please contact Janel Vasallo with any story ideas or information worth sharing.

Meet Primos

The New Rescue Pooch With Some Big Paws To Fill Lt. Vince Hazelbaker and his four legged sidekick, Cabella, a staple of Station 4’s B Shift and an allaround celebrity at the Lakeland Fire Department, recently welcomed a new addition to their Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) operation – Primos. The young black Labrador retriever is in the process of learning the ropes to eventually replace Cabella in her search and rescue duties

upon her retirement. Lt. Hazelbaker and Cabella as a team are valuable assets to the people of Polk County and its surrounding communities, being the only Type I FEMA certified Live Search and Rescue Canine unit to serve the area. This prestigious certification offers lifesaving services to the citizens of Lakeland in the event of a disaster where people may become trapped or lost. Cont. on Page 7


Fall 2013 Our Mission

Ensure the health, safety, and well being of our community through servant leadership in a positive organizational culture.

Our Vision

To be the best public safety organization focused on providing superior customer service.

Our Values

Leadership, Commitment to Excellence, Diversity, Integrity, Social Responsibility, An Empowered Workforce.

Our Motto

Everyone goes home.

Fire Wire Editorial Staff

Janel Vasallo, Public Education and Information Officer All content is written by Janel Vasallo unless otherwise noted.

Editor’s Note

Your comments, suggestions, and questions are always welcome. Phone: (863) 834-8219 Email: Mail: 701 E Main Street, Lakeland, FL 33801 Website:

A Message from the Chief Season’s Greetings! The holiday season is upon us. It’s that time of year again when we can reflect upon how blessed we are and to be thankful for what we have. This time of year allows us to give special gifts as well as many opportunities to give our time and talents to those that are less fortunate. It also can be a very stressful time of the year for many people and that is where we can make a difference in someone’s life. As true professionals in providing help to others in their time of need, it is a time we can truly show that we do care. Put on your best face, smile, be friendly and go the extra mile for those you come in contact with. Your connection to the citizens shapes what they see and think about the Lakeland Fire Department. We never get a second chance at a first impression. Our attitude and demeanor sets the tone, so focus on the solution and not the problem in every situation we face. Thank you for your faithful service to the citizens of Lakeland and the part you play in making the Lakeland Fire Department the best. Remember, as we live out our creed to do our Duty with Honor, Trust, and Integrity take pride in being part of a great fire department. It is because of you and your actions that we are successful. I wish every Lakeland Fire Department employee a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Sincerely,

Gary Ballard

Copyright © 2013 Lakeland Department. All Rights Reserved.


Fire Chief

Lakeland Fire Dept.


Practice and Preparation: From the Training Division Structural Collapse Training at Florida State Fire College In late September of 2013, Lakeland Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team members attended a Structural Collapse Technician Course in Ocala, Florida. This specialized training opportunity gave LFD’s USAR members an opportunity to learn new life saving rescue techniques and the ability to train with fellow firefighters from throughout the state. The course offered by the state fire college was a unique experience for those involved. The course was 80 hours of rigorous training. It involved various methods of breaching and breaking concrete, usage of various cutting torches, lifting, and moving significantly large objects Firefighters that attended were: Lt. Scott Gilbreath, Lt. Heath Seeber, D/E Dan Varner, D/E Kuikahi Kawailani, FF Jason utilizing a crane as well as some basic rigging and hand signals for crane operations, and shoring up of unstable buildings. These skills are particularly useful in the event that access to a victim or multiple victims is needed for rescue as a result of a collapsed or significantly compromised building. “I enjoyed the class, it was challenging and informative. I would encourage more firefighters to take and obtain this level of training. The learning environment that the state fire college created was excellent. It was great for team building and morale among team members.” said Firefighter Jason Diaz. Firefighter Diaz also added that takeaways from the experience were: “A Hilti tool or similar replacement should be added to our equipment it could vastly improve our results in breaching concrete. Hydraulic tools while useful are very slow and methodical in breaching. The cutting torches made quick work of most steel and rebar and are my personal favorite. The split shore is a more practical method of shoring and should be utilized as opposed to the solid shore Raker system, it allows more versatility then the solid shore system” - Story Contributed by FF Jason Diaz Ongoing Hydrant Surveys Annual Hydrant Surveys are under way and will continue through December. Approximately 3,000 fire hydrants in Lakeland will be checked, which count towards the departments ISO rating. The information gathered about hydrants is communicated to the City of Lakeland Utilities Division. Hydrant data needs to be entered by the end of December. Right: Firefighter Kyle Alford hacks his way through brush to reach a well hidden fire hydrant.


Practice and Preparation: From the Training Division Continued ... During the first week of October, members of the LFD Urban Search and Rescue team took part in trench rescue training held in conjunction with cooperation from other city departments. The training was held in specially dug out trenches behind the Lakeland Center. Additional photos are also available online at

Up and Coming Training • The Lieutenant’s assessment written exam is scheduled for December 2, 2013. The written exam, in addition to 180 degree surveys will be used to determine who will move on in the process. • A Basic Nutrition and Fitness class will be offered by Healthstat to all LFD personnel December 9-11, 2013 in Station 1 Classroom. The class will feature certified nutritionist and health professionals. 4

Moving Up and Moving Out The past few months have seen the retirement of longtime LFD veterans and the up jump of newer members of the team. Pictures from all of the respective promotion and retirement photos can be found on the City of Lakeland Y Drive at Fire Rec>Special Events. Here is a quick recap of who has recently moved through the ranks and others who are off to enjoy some rest and relaxation. Left: On Thursday, October 17, 2013 in a wellattended retirement ceremony, the Lakeland Fire Department gave a fond farewell to Driver Engineer Joel Brown. D/E Brown was joined by his lovely wife and daughter as well as by many LFD personnel old and new. D/E Brown enjoyed a noteworthy 30 year career with LFD which included a close call in a 1987 fire that led to a structural collapse. He was trapped with a fellow firefighter while fighting the blaze and fortunately made it through, making him a highly respected and experienced member of the department. He plans to enjoy his well-earned retirement hunting, fishing, and spending more time with is family.

Right: On Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Firefighter Steven Connors was promoted to Driver Engineer. Speakers at his promotion ceremony noted that his work ethic and talents will likely lead him to further promotions during his career with LFD. Steve noted in regards to his promotion that he will deeply miss his brothers and sisters on B shift due the move from this new opportunity but looks forward to the day he can work closely with them again.


Moving Up and Moving Out Cont... Right: In a well attended ceremony held December 4, 2013, Shannon Turbeville was promoted to Fire Inspector. Shannon served as a firefighter and Driver Engineer prior to his promotion. It was noted by several speakers at the ceremony that he will undoubtedly do an excellent job as a result of his keen eye for details and organization skills. Congratulations! Above: Opting for a low key exit, Lt. Blake Monroe retired after 32 years of service with LFD. Chief Ballard presented Lt. Monroe with a plaque on December 2, 2013 commemorating his many years of dedicated and invaluable service to the people of Lakeland.

Copies of all photos from ceremonies are available on the Fire Rec Common Drive in the Special Events Folder

Rescue Side of Things Congratulations go out to the department’s six newly certified paramedics (Stephanie Parente , Anthony Woods, Derek McBreyer, Chris Walker, Jonathan Smith, Andrew Vinzant) made possible as a result of the recently held paramedic orientation provided on site at LFD stations. Instructors for the orientation were existing LFD paramedics serving as Field Training Officers in addition to Rescue Chief Shane Reynolds. Coming Soon The rescue division is currently in the process of certifying LFD personnel Jason Busby and Chris Whitney to become American Heart Association faculty members. This is an exciting achievement for the rescue division because it will be the first time LFD will have on site / on staff trainers capable of offering CPR, ACLS, and PALS certification and recertification. January marks the beginning of the recertification cycle. CPR, ACLS, and PALS training will be offered starting then. Specific schedules for each shift have been provided by Rescue Chief Reynolds. Everyone needs to be re-certified by December 1, 2014.


Cover Story: Meet Primos Continued... Cabella, a seven year old Labrador retriever, is nearing the end of her working dog career and is looking at retiring in the next year or so. As a result a new pooch has been added to the Hazelbaker brood to fill in for Cabella and become a certified rescue dog in his own right. Primos, a year old pup from the same kennels that produce Cabella has some pretty big paws to fill. Early On Lt. Hazelbaker, a longtime member of the Lakeland Fire Department has served since 1982. He is well known to colleagues for being tireless and always up for a good challenge and it was that very same drive that led him to seek out becoming a USAR canine handler. Lt. Hazelbaker, an avid hunter and all around sportsman, named both Cabella and Primos after two of his preferred hunting outfitters. Upon becoming an empty nester, Lt. Hazelbaker became interested in becoming a handler to help his community while providing an outlet for his free time. The long and arduous road to “disaster dog handling” as it’s informally known in the canine handling community began in 2006. While the concept of having a lifesaving four legged friend is pretty appealing to most people the reality is it is a very difficult process requiring hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of training, extensive resources, and endless amounts of patience when rearing a dog. In turn although many may try to start the process of becoming a certified USAR canine handler very few make it through to the end. A challenge like that was

appealing to Lt. Hazelbaker and he immersed himself in the disaster dog community. Through relationships he built with handlers in Tampa’s emergency response team (there are three throughout the state, Miami being home to the two others) Vince began attending training sessions, working with the team member’s trained canines and learning the ins and outs of the process. In 2007, when it became apparent that this was no passing whim, Vince acquired Cabella from the Maranatha Kennels of West Buxton, Maine. The kennel, which had provided some of the dogs that Tampa Task Force team members used, was at the beginning of its development as a provider of premium search dogs when Cabella was acquired. Through the hard work of trainers like Lt. Hazelbaker and the impressive skills of dogs like Cabella the Maranatha Kennel is now the top provider of search dogs in the nation and produces a majority of the working dogs in the field today. Labrador retrievers are ideal for the kind of work Cabella and Primos perform considering the breed was bred as fishing and hunting companions in Newfoundland, Canada. They are known for their good behavior, even temperedness, and hard work ethic making them one of the most popular breeds in the developed world. Certification There are two significant levels of certification in the canine search and rescue world and Cabella has achieved both levels, something Primos will be Cont. on Page 8


Cover Story: Meet Primos Continued... expected to also do when his time arrives. Cabella’s career began in 2007 when she successfully completed the Foundational Skills Assessment (FSA) and received her first Type II certification. The certification, which required hundreds of hours of training that Lt. Hazelbaker undertook during his free time, is good for two years and requires that the search animal perform specific standards under the handlers direct supervision including assessment competencies ranging from obedience, aggression testing, heeling, bark testing and much more. More details about the long list of competencies on a Foundational Skills Assessment (FSA) are available at http:// As a result of Cabella’s growing abilities and once again leading back to Hazelbaker’ s love of a good challenge , the team went on to receive Type I certification in 2009, awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the most difficult level of certification for a live search and rescue dog. The FEMA certification requires the search animal to perform search and rescue standards outside the direct supervision and guidance of its handler. The grueling assessment process looks to see if the dog can avoid distractions, think for itself, and repeatedly find its target with a minimal margin for error. As a result of the difficult standards, it takes dedicated handlers and bright dogs like Cabella to achieve this level of certification. The Type I certification, good for three years, is something Cabella and Hazelbaker recently renewed in 2012 at national trials offered in Memphis, Tennessee. This level of certification allows the team to deploy anywhere in the nation during a time of disaster and internationally through FEMA sponsored relief efforts. In 2009, when the earthquakes struck Haiti,

FEMA sponsored Task Force (TF) teams, of which TF 1 and TF 2 based out of Miami, were deployed to find survivors buried under rubble. In the event a disaster like that strikes again, Lt. Hazelbaker and Cabella are certified and ready to help as a result of their Type I certification. Primos

Primed Ready


Slightly over a year old, Primos has a reputation for being one rambunctious puppy. Described as an energetic handful, Primos was selected by breeders at the Maranatha Kennels for possessing particular characteristics ideal for search and rescue that others in his litter didn’t. Breeders at the kennels provided nearly 3 / 4 of Primos’ basic obedience training before Lt. Hazelbaker made the long journey up to Maine to claim him. Now the true work begins with Lt. Hazelbaker dedicating

much of his free time to completing Primos’ training. Vince will need Above: Picture of a typical search assessment given to to accustom Primos to USAR dogs like Cabella. working conditions and introduce him to new environments, large amounts of people so that he will be comfortable around strangers, and reinforce search and rescue concepts through regular training sessions. This includes bringing Primos by the fire station, Cont. on Page 9


Cover Story: Meet Primos Continued... of resentment to the new kid in town but she is reported to have slowly taken a liking to her new mentee and will likely appreciate the much deserved rest she will gain in retirement.

Above and Right: Cabella showing off her skills at the 2013 LFD Open House.

his new home away from home. Cabella escorts Hazelbaker on all of his shifts to the fire station and due to Primos’ wild nature Hazelbaker jokes that it’s easy to see in Cabella’s expression that she looks forward to some alone time away from Primos when she goes on shift at Station 4. Most USAR canines are trained using play time as a form of reward rather than food. Dogs like Cabella and Primos, which are both play/toy reward driven dogs, perform the work they do in exchange for some time to romp with a favorite toy. This toy drive is important in USAR dogs because food driven reward could pose some major problems in a real search and rescue setting where food scents can create unwanted distractions to other working dogs at the scene, or food commonly found in a collapsed building may override a dog’s priority to find a live victim. The USAR canine community is a tight knit one where many handlers train collectively in groups and help train each other’s dogs. Lt. Hazelbaker, Cabella, and now Primos, frequently travel to Tampa and Miami to train with fellow handlers in their Task Force. Primos, although having a wild side due to his young age, is already showing much promise and Lt. Hazelbaker believes he may be just as good and maybe even better than Cabella in some competencies - but don’t tell Cabella that. Naturally, Cabella had a hard time adjusting to the new addition maybe feeling a bit

The Lakeland Fire Department is grateful to have committed members like Lt. Hazelbaker that are driven by the need to help their communities by any means necessary. The long journey that Lt. Hazelbaker began several years ago and is still on is providing a tremendous service to the people of Polk County, the State of Florida, and throughout the nation by providing the means necessary to find the lost. Humble and reserved Lt. Hazelbaker is likely to be embarrassed by the attention deserves a huge thanks for all of the work, time, and resources he’s invested to achieve this level of skill done entirely “so that others may live”, the USAR team slogan. - End -

Did You Know? Fun Facts from FEMA About Canine USAR •

FEMA US&R canine handlers are comprised of civilians, firefighters, and police department members. Most of the certified canines are Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, Belgian Malinois, Border Collies and Golden Retrievers. Canines with high "toy drive" are used for urban search and rescue. It is a game of "hide and seek" for the dog. In training, people run from the dog and hide with the toy, playing with the dog when found. By the time the dog is on a real search, he is looking willingly for trapped survivors. Few search dogs wear "booties" when working on a rubble pile. Despite the hazards of sharp metal and broken glass, the dogs often need to perform what is called a "soft walk" where they splay their paws for maximum traction. Collars and booties can actually add to the canine's risk of injury when searching in tight or obstructed spaces.


Doing Good in the Neighborhood Kiwanis Terrific Kids Luncheon For the second year, the Lakeland Fire Department has recognized high achieving students of Blake Academy at the Kiwanis of Lakeland Annual “A” Terrific Kids Luncheon for the school’s straight A students. To reward these high achieving students while teaching them a thing or two about the fire service the department participates by putting on a fire “fashion show”. Chief Ballard, a member of the Kiwanis for nearly four years, thought up the idea in 2012 and in its second year the event continues to be a big hit. With the help of Station 1’s C Shift, Chief Ballard presented six different “looks” that fire fighters don in different emergency situations. Looks included: Bunker Gear, Confined Space Dress, Paramedic Dress, High Angle Dress, Extrication Dress, and ARFF Dress modeled by on duty firefighters. Chief Ballard explained the different gear and equipment the firefighters were wearing and the specialized uses the equipment provides. In addition to the firefighters strutting their stuff , each table at the luncheon had a specialized fire tool at its center as a centerpiece. Firefighters sat at the tables with the students during the lunch to interact and share more information about the unique tools. The experience was rather eyeopening to many of the students and even adults in attendance who may not have realized how diverse the emergency situations firefighters respond to might be or may not have known about the tremendous amount of different tools used by firefighters to save the day. The department plans to sponsor a presentation next year for the next batch of scholastic overachievers. Doing good... Continued on Next Page


Doing Good in the Neighborhood Cont. Fire Safety Education in Surrounding Communities Driver Engineer Troy Deines, a long time member of the department knows a thing or two about fire safety. As a way of giving back to the community D/E Deines visited school children in our department’s neighboring community of Winter Haven on his days off to share fire safety tips and emphasize the importance of recognizing firefighters in gear to young children at Winter Haven Christian Academy. The kids said it best, “Thanks Mr. Deines!”

Margaret Orozco Brings Attention to An Important Cause

In October, Firefighter Orozco was featured in the City of Lakeland’s Access newsletter to highlight her work with both the state and national burn camp for burned children. As a result of the attention garnered in that story, FF Orozco has gone on to be featured in The Ledger’s Monday Profile series, published on Monday, November 18. Like most firefighters at the department, Margaret’s humbleness make the attention a bit uncomfortable but it was all for a good cause. The profile focused on Margaret’s work with the camp as a long time volunteer and her recent trip with her mentee to the national camp in Washington D.C. . The story has brought a new found awareness to the non profit’s powerful work in empowering young victims of fire and has already received numerous offers from the community to also serve as volunteers. The full story is available on The Ledger’s website. ( 11

A Glimpse at Firefighting History

Every edition, a brief look will be taken at the history of the fire service by highlighting a few fun facts or an interesting story.

How the Horse Flu Caused a Major City to Burn In October 1872, the year after the great Chicago fire, an epidemic of epizootic spread from Montreal and Toronto in Canada to the United States. Within a day's time, 300 horses were dead in Buffalo. The disease spread on to Philadelphia, to New York, and then to Boston. By November fourth all 93 Boston fire horses were down with it. The heavy steamers, weighing at least three tons each, had to be pulled by hand. On November 9th at 7:24 pm. box 52 at Sumner and Lincoln streets in downtown Boston was pulled. One fire company's horses had recovered, and a single steamer was pulled to the fire by its own horses. Four other companies borrowed horses, but they weren't strong enough to pull the heavy engines without resting on the way. The remaining 6 Boston Above: Boston fire horse collapses from flu on way to steamers, as well as hose carts and ladder trucks fire. were all pulled by hand - a tremendous test of endurance for the firemen, who finally arrived at the fire exhausted. So much time was lost that the fire soon spread out of control. Boston Fire Chief Damrell called for help from every city and town within 50 miles. The response was tremendous, with 45 engines, 52 hose wagons, 3 ladder trucks, and 1,689 firemen arriving, most of them on railroad flatcars. However, it was too late to save Boston. The delay in Boston’s fire engines getting into action doomed the city. The fire raged for 16 hours, destroying 776 buildings, leaving 20,000 persons jobless, 1,000 homeless, $76 million in damage, and thirteen firemen dead, nine of them from other communities who had come in response to Chief Damrell's call for assistance. Boston was destroyed because the fire horses were sick. No wonder a Boston district fire chief renamed the great Boston fire the epizootic fire. - From Fred Conway’s Book Firefighting Lore. A Lakeland Connection Luckily for Lakeland, The Great Epizootic wasn’t something to worry about considering the city wasn’t founded until 1885, 13 years after the horse flu devastated horse stocks in the Americas. Prior to the Lakeland Fire Department’s official transition to a career fire department in 1916, a volunteer fire service served the people of Lakeland. Although the LFD was always quick to adapt, having motorized engines as early as its official inception in 1916 onwards, the volunteer force used horse pulled wagons. The rare photo (left) shows Lakeland’s early volunteer firefighters including the LFD’s trusty, Epizootic-free stead, “Morgan”.

Above: Lakeland’s early firefighters pictured with “Morgan” in front of City Hall.


Up and Coming

Lakeland Christmas Parade The LFD will participate in this year’s Christmas Parade, scheduled for Thursday, December 5th at 7 PM starting in Downtown Lakeland. Tower Truck 15 will be featured and all LFD personnel are invited to participate and walk the parade route in uniform.

LFD Annual Holiday Toy Drive The LFD will collect new, unwrapped toys from November 27 through December 11 at all seven of its stations to benefit children in need. The toys will be donated to The Lakeland Dreamcenter and the Children’s Home Society. All personnel are encouraged to donate and community members will also be invited to drop off toys at collection boxes located at stations.

Get Ready for Picture Day Say “Cheese”! In an effort to have formal pictures for personnel records, a bulked up online presence, and the possible return of a firefighter yearbook, formal picture of LFD personnel in A Class uniforms are planned for late January 2014. More details to follow soon.


Around the Station

A place to take a look back at recent happenings around the department. Bells Across America Ceremony Station 1 sponsored a remembrance ceremony on October 6, 2013 to honor fallen firefighters. The ceremony featured touching speeches by Chief Gary Ballard, Lt. Jim Craw, and Lt. Matt Brown, reflecting on the sacrifices made by fellow firefighters. Mayor Gow Fields, Commissioner Howard Wiggs, and other community representatives attended. Full video of the ceremony is available on the department’s website.

Veteran’s Day Parade The Lakeland Veteran’s Parade was held on Saturday, November 9, 2013 and leading the parade line was Engine 41. The parade, which ran from Heroes Park to Munn Park featured area veterans, local JROTC groups, bands, and fellow emergency responders.


Around the Station Cont.

A place to take a look back at recent happenings around the department.

Honor Flight An honor flight transporting Lakeland area World War II veteran’s left Lakeland Linder Regional Airport on November 12, 2013 to visit the National World War II memorial in Washington D.C. Particularly exciting is that two of LFD's very own and military veterans in their own right, Lieutenant Harley Wilson and Driver-Engineer Kelvin Jones served as guardians on the honor flight. Both who are involved with veteran related events and organizations, participated as a way of giving back. Lt. Wilson served in the United States Navy. D/E Jones served in the United Stated Air Force and served multiple tours in the Gulf War. Upon the flights arrival, the plane was greeted by approximately 4,000 excited and thankful wellwishers as well as LFD’s Tower Truck which honored the veteran’s by hanging the American flag for their arrival on the tarmac.

Lakeland Leadership In mid October 2013 Station 1 hosted the City of Lakeland’s annual “Lakeland Leadership” group made up of community movers and shakers. The purpose of the visit was to show the quality of service provided by the LFD as well as provide a glimpse at how the fire department protects and serves the citizens of Lakeland. A sampling of exercises were laid out for participants to join in on so they could get an idea of what the job of a firefighter entails. Needless to say the group left both exhausted but impressed at the caliber of the LFD’s firefighters.


Around the Station Cont. Station 7 Groundbreaking Ceremony Lakeland Fire Department conducted the official groundbreaking ceremony for Fire Station 7 on Monday, November 18th at 1:30 p.m. (3150 Drane Field Road). Fire Station 7 is estimated to be completed in late 2014. Once the facility is built it will house the recently purchased Fire Engine 71, the two ARFF units, a heavy rescue vehicle and nine personnel on a 24-hour rotation. The construction costs for Station 7 are $3.5 million. The station once built will be 15,900 sq.ft. and it will house five bays and four fire fighting vehicles. The station is estimated to be completed in late 2014 and it is being funded through City of Lakeland Public Improvement Funds and FDOT Grant funds. The groundbreaking ceremony also provided a venue for Fire Chief Gary Ballard to announce that the Lakeland Fire Department has improved its ISO Mitigation Rating (Fire Suppression Rating Score). More information in regards to the announcement will become available once the executive summary is provided to the LFD.

Holiday Public Service Announcements Firefighters know full and well that the holiday season comes was an increased risk of fire. To bring awareness to common holiday fire hazards and how to stay safe during the happiest time of year the LFD produced a holiday PSA with the assistance of City of Lakeland communication team staring Rookie Firefighters Cortlind Hendley and Jesse Baldwin. The PSA will air on Polk County Public Access channels, Lakeland TV, television, and will be posted to multiple websites. It will run through early 2014. 16

Good On You

A quick look at who has recently been recognized for something great!

For the most part, firefighters are universally loved, but the Lakeland Fire Department is particularly appreciated by the community it serves. The department’s Public Education division receives numerous thank you’s from Lakeland citizen’s who are both grateful and impressed with the caliber of service

provided by LFD’s firefighters, especially when they are able to interact with firefighters in non emergency situations, learning more about the many services the department offers Lakeland through tours and community outreach events. The pictures below are just some of the many that have come in over the past few months.

Above: St. 1, A shift graciously posing with a hand made thank you card from St. Paul’s school children who enjoyed a tour of the station.

Above: A thank you card for LFD firefighters after a visit to a local preschool class to remind children to not fear firefighters in gear.

Above: City employee Christine Camp sent in a photo of her son Chase after St 2. C shift made his day by showing him Engine 21 after responding to a call in her neighborhood.

100% Participation in the National Fire Incident Reporting (NIFRS) and Florida Fire Incident Reporting (FFIRS) Systems Kudos to Allison (Ali) Halstead and all firefighters that produce reports for the department. For the second year in a row, LFD has been 100% compliant in submitting report data crucial to the State Fire Marshal’s office. The data collected from fire department’s throughout the state of Florida provide helpful data trend information used for fire science and education. 17

Good On You Cont. Fire Maintenance Division Recognized at City of Lakeland Commission Meeting Every year the Lakeland Fire Department provides a formal presentation to the City of Lakeland Commission to provide the group of elected officials more insight about the department and to keep them abreast of any new developments with in the LFD. On Monday, October 7, 2013 during Fire Safety Week , Fire Chief Gary Ballard spoke to the Commissioners about the significant and vital role the Fire Maintenance Division plays for the entire department. The three personnel that make up FSM (pictured right) were praised for their hard work, skill, and efficiency. The department headed by Alan Jarvis, is one lean and mean operation. That outstanding effort was recognized by the city commission. Good job and thank you fire safety maintenance!

Above: Chief Ballard presenting about the FM Division to the City Commission. Left: Sample Slides from the presentation.

Outreach and Public Education Updates and Highlights on all things “Outreach” related

The Importance of Meet and Greets The Lakeland Fire Department has a very strong and positive presence in the Lakeland community. Meet and Greets at community functions play a vital role in bolstering the department’s perception while reminding citizens that its city’s firefighters are truly there when they need them most. Meet and greets play an important role in fostering positive relationships because in their absence the only time a community member may ever see a firefighter is during an emergency and usually tragic time in their lives. This is a great way to provide opportunities where citizens can interact with LFD in non emergency settings. Overtime: December Public Education Opportunity For Interested Firefighters

Above: Firefighter Steve Brown Providing a Friendly Firefighter Program at Resurrection Catholic School.

In the interim, while a new Fire and Life Safety Educator is vetted and hired, likely in early January 2014, there will be special overtime opportunities for off duty firefighters who may be interested in providing Friendly Firefighter programs at area elementary schools. Dates are still being scheduled, but once specific days are available the information will be sent to scheduling lieutenants to schedule interested firefighters. 18

This and That

Highlights from Miscellaneous Events Items Worth Mentioning

Left: Lakeland’s first Half Marathon took place November 9th. LFD joined forces with LPD, PCFR, and PCSO to set up a unified command center. The race hosted 900 runners and next years runners are expected to be double that. Right: Mayor Fields presents a Proclamation of Fire Safety Week with help from Sparky the Fire Dog at the October 7 City Commission Meeting.

Left: Photo sent in by Station 1 B Shift of Helicopter Landing Zone they set up in a local area supermarket parking lot to transport patients in need after a vehicle accident.

Below: Lollipops featuring fire safety messaging were sent to stations in anticipation of possible trick or treaters this Halloween. Here are Station 4 firefighters waiting for candy loving ghouls October 31.

Above: The LFD website is updated regularly featuring new stories of events happening around the department as well as showcasing pictures, videos, media releases, and more. You’re encouraged to check it regularly at www.


Fall Through Early Winter Birthdays and Anniversaries



12/12/1977 11/23/1982 12/8/1986 12/21/1986 12/5/1988 12/10/1990 11/30/1993 12/1/1998 10/4/1999 12/26/2001 11/16/2003 10/18/2004 10/18/2004 10/18/2004 10/18/2004 10/18/2004 10/18/2004 10/18/2004 12/27/2004 12/27/2004 10/28/2007 12/3/2007 11/6/2011


Lakeland Fire Department Employee Newsletter - Fall 2013  
Lakeland Fire Department Employee Newsletter - Fall 2013