Fire Department History

A little lift

August 18, 2018

Station 94 C-shift, with Lieutenant Dib, FF/EMT Ibanez and FF/Medic Stott, where dispatched to a medical call for a fall. Upon arriving on scene, the crews were directed to the backyard where the patient was located. The crews found an elderly male lying on the ground at the bottom of the hill in his backyard. The man had fallen of his lawn tractor and rolled down the hill and could not get back up.

Now came the challenge of how to get the patient back up the hill. Do we use a stair chair, put him on the stretcher and everyone pull? You could, but why when we got firefighters like FF Stott.

Good job guys!

Man in Fire and Rescue Shirt Carrying an Elderly Person

Dog Rescue

August 17, 2018

Station 95 received a call from a local resident 3 p.m. The lady on the phone said here puppy got out and ran out into the swamp behind their home and got stuck. They were unable to see or get to her, but could hear her splashing around.

Engine 95 B-shift crew, (Lieutenant Quintus, FF/Medic J. Ridge and FF/Medic Garvin) along with Captain Smith went en-route to the area to investigate. Crews meet up with the caller who showed us where the dog went into the swamp and about where they thought she was. Crews made access to the edge of the swamp where the owner was calling for her dog to come, but had no luck. Without hesitation, FF J. Ridge started wadding his way out in the swamp to try and locate the dog. After wadding out about 20 yards in swampy water up to his chest, with no luck finding the dog, Captain Smith went to get a drone so we could fly above and locate the dog and come up with a plan on how to get her.

While waiting for the Drone to arrive, FF J. Ridge made a call to off duty FF M. Ridge, who lives close by and has a kayak, was asked if he could bring it over to assist if needed. FF M. Ridge and FF T. Cofield -both off duty- arrived with the kayak. Captain Smith arrived back with the drone and made contact with the crew, who advised that FF J. Ridge was about five feet away from the dog at that time.

The kayak was tied to the safety line attached to FF J. Ridge, and FF M. Ridge made his way out to FF J. Ridge with the kayak. FF J. Ridge was able to get the dog and put her on the kayak while FF M. Ridge held on to her. E95 crew, Lieutenant Quintus and FF Garvin, along with off duty FF Cofield pulled all three back to dry ground where the puppy was reunited with her happy owners.

Once again, GOOD JOB guys!

Marshy Water and Plant Life

Swamp and Brush

Men Pulling Dog on Rescue Flotation Device
Men Pull Flotation Device Through Marsh Holding Man and Dog
Dog Getting Pulled Out of Rescue Flotation Device
Rescued Dog Gets Reunited with Owners

E94 Dedication Ceremony

May 19, 2018

We would like to thank all of those that came out today and took part in our dedication ceremony. We are very excited to have this new engine in our fleet to help us protect our citizens and visitors of our city!

Below are a few pics from today. In the first pic, Captain Smith is giving everyone a explanation of why we, the fire service, do this traditional ceremony. In the second and third pictures, Lieutenant Lyon, Captain Walsh, Firefighters Tylor Cofield, Jeff McMahon, and Patti Ibanez are transferring water from the old engine to the new one. The fourth pic Mayor Dina Sweat is wiping down the new engine with a few of the neighborhood kid’s that came out with their mother. The last pic is of the "push-back" in to the station.

Captain Smith Standing Behind Podium Speaking to Crowd

Two Firefighters Transferring Water From Fire Engine

Firefighters on Top of Fire Truck

Children Wipe Down Fire Truck

Families Push Back Fire Truck

Fire Safety Fun

April 19, 2018

Girl Scout Troop 9797 passed by Station 94 to learn about Fire Safety. The girls watched a 15 minute video on fire safety and then asked questions they had about topics in the video.  

94 B-shift crew, Lieutenant Franklin, FF Stott and FF Elder then gave the girls a tour of the station and then the Fire Engine. The FFs went over all the equipment that is carried on the engine and explained what it was used for. They got to sit inside it, put the headsets on and listen and talk to each other as if they were going on a call.

They also showed them what we would look and sound like with all of our gear on. This could be a very frightening sight to kids if they are ever in a house fire and we have to come in and search for them. Seeing a big figure looking and sounding like Darth Vader coming out through the smoke would scare anyone, so we show them that it is ok and not to be scared.

The girls, and their parents had a great time and thanked the guys for all they do for everybody.

If you have a group -Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or whatever- that would like to come by and do the same, please email Captain Smith to schedule.Girl Scouts in Front of Fire Truck

New Engine 94 Dedication Ceremony

April 18, 2018

Groveland Fire Department cordially invites the community to join them in dedicating the newest City of Groveland fire engine, Engine 94 with a special dedication ceremony at Fire Station 94 located at 193 Cherry Valley Trail, off of Wilson Lake Parkway in Groveland. The ceremony will give residents an opportunity to participate with the firefighters in preparing the new Fire Engine for service, by washing it down and pushing it into the station.

This past week, the firefighters received in-service training from the manufacture on their new engine, and it was put in service on Friday April 13th. You may see the firefighters out training and learning their new engine to protect those that they serve in our city.

Below, Chuck Chapman from Lake EMS applying the "ALS" sticker to the engine. This sticker is issued from the state allowing us to provide "Advance Life Support". This means we can administer the same level of care as the Ambulance, like starting IV’s, administering narcotics, and other advanced life saving technics, except we can not transport the patient to the hospital.

E94 ALS Sticker

Station 94 C-shift out doing some pump training

Station 94 pump training

Paramedic Testing

January 18, 2018

On January 11th, 2018, Firefighter/ S Erick Stott was given one of the last test outs for him to be able to function as a Paramedic for our department under our Medical Director. This test consisted of the crew being dispatched to a medical call somewhere in the city. The crew would not know it was not a real call until they arrived at the patient. This is done to make it as realistic as possible. LEMS brought down their testing manikin Apollo, which is a highly sophisticated training simulator controlled by a tablet and can be programmed to simulate numerous ailments. As treatment is given, the proctor can adjust the symptoms of Apollo to reflect the treatment given, either right or wrong.

Even though there is only one person being tested, he could not have done it all by himself without the assistance from his other crew members doing their part. In the pictures below, you will see one doing CPR and the other giving ventilation’s. Our crews train on all types of scenarios to keep their skills top notch, so when they are called to assist any of our citizens or visitors of our city, they will be getting the best care possible.

Firefighter Stott passed this test and is now functioning as a Paramedic for our department. Good Job Erick!

We would like to give a big THANKS to Donnie Hunt, from Hunt Industrial Park for allowing us to use one of his offices for this testing.Fire and Rescue CPR Training

New SCBA In-service training

December 02, 2016

On August 26, 2016, FEMA awarded our department with an AFG Grant in the amount of $140,381.00 to purchase new Self Contained Breathing Apparatuses (SCBA’s). These are what firefighters use when fighting fires, search and rescue for victims in house fires, and any other dangerous environment that may require the use of an SCBA. They allow the firefighters to breath clean air while engaged in these dangerous activities. These new SCBA’s will be replacing our old SCBA’s, which are 16 years old. The new ones come with updated technology and safety features like "heads up display" and "voice amplifiers" built in to the new masks. These features, along with others, will help increase the safety of our firefighters when they are using them.

All department personnel were given "In-service" training over a three-day period from November 30 to December 2nd. On December 2nd following the last training, the new units were put in to service on all apparatuses.

The primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations. Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

Since 2002, FEMA has awarded $6.8 billion in fire grants to more than 62,300 recipients. Historically, 84 percent of awards go towards purchasing personal protective equipment, vehicles, and other operational equipment.

MSA In-service TrainingTrainees With Gas Masks On

Pet Rescue

September 15, 2016

Engine 95 C-shift was dispatched to a "Public Assist" call. This type of call is normally to assist residents in a non-emergency type capacity, i.e. helping someone up who fell and can’t get back up on their own, to changing out smoke detector batteries. On this day, it was different. While en route, dispatched advised that the caller stated they were bathing their dog (Oreo) in the bathtub and his paw got stuck in the drain and they were unable to get it out.

Units arrived on scene to assess the situation, and determine how to best extricate Oreo from the drain. It was determined that they would have to somehow cut the drain from around Oreo’s paw without causing any harm to him. About halfway through this process, Oreo started to exhibit discomfort in the procedure. The crew stopped to allow him time to calm down before trying again. After trying again, Oreo once again exhibited discomfort and it was determined that we could not continue with our efforts to free him without causing him pain.

The only way to get him out safely, was to have a veterinarian come and sedate him. One of our firefighters was able to contact a veterinarian who could come out and assist us. Dr. Lou Lucero - Sumter Mobile Veterinary Services - arrived and confirmed that we would need to sedate Oreo. Oreo was given some medication to sedate him. After he was sedated, E95 got back to work and had Oreo out in about ten minutes. Oreo was checked out by Dr. Lucero, and said he would be fine. The family was very thankful for all our efforts to get Oreo unstuck from the drain.

We train all the time on how to fight fires, vehicle accidents, and medical type calls, but this call was one of those out of the norm. One could go their whole career as a firefighter and never get a call like this.

View an article in the South Lake Press.

New Engine 95 Dedication Ceremony

April 1, 2016

Groveland Fire Department recently invited the community to join them in dedicating the newest City of Groveland fire engine, with a special dedication ceremony at Fire Station 95 located in downtown Groveland. The ceremony gave residents an opportunity to participate with the firefighters in preparing the new Fire Engine for service, by washing it down and pushing it into the station.

The dedication ceremony is a traditional event in the fire service known as a "Wash down", that dates back to the era when fire pumpers were horse-driven and powered by hand. Following a fire, the horses would be separated from the pumper and both the horses and pumper would be washed by the firefighters. The pumper would then be pushed back into the station ready for the next call. The horses could not properly back into the station with the pumper attached, so the firefighters disconnected the horses and pushed the pumper back inside the station.

We will be recreating this event signifying placing our new apparatus into service. First, we will transfer the water from the old Engine 95 to the New Engine 95. This is the act of transferring the old to the new. It is important not to forget the past, the water from old Engine 95 was ready to protect the life and property of the citizens and visitors of the City of Groveland, and now we are moving it to the new Engine 95. Secondly. We will "wash down" and dry the new Engine 95. Then we will "push" it back into the station, ready to serve and protect the citizens and visitors of Groveland.

The new Engine 95 is a 2015 Rosenbauer Commander custom built for our department. This new engine will enhance our capabilities with a more efficient and technology advanced Engine for our firefighters. One of the new features on this new engine is the capability of "pump and roll". Unlike on our other engines, when the engine was in the pump mode, pumping water, you could not move the engine without disengaging the pump and rolling up the hose. With our new engine, we have the capability of pumping and moving the engine if needed, without disengaging the pump, or rolling up the hose.

Old Engine 95 is a 2003 American La France Metropolitan Pumper. She was put into service on February 26, 2004 just a little over 12 years ago. During that time, she has traveled over 102,000 miles and responded to over 12,000 calls. Old Engine 95 has served us well, and will continue to do so as a reserve engine.

The South Lake Tablet wrote a nice article on this.

Lieutenant Promotions

June 12th, 2015

I would like to take a minute and introduce you to our three newly promoted Lieutenants.

Firefighter Michael Franklin has been with us since 2005. He started out as a volunteer in June of 2005 until he was hired full-time in August of 2006, as a Firefighter/EMT. Over the years, FF Franklin has been involved with our Fire Explorers, and in 2008 was given an award for his dedication and support to the Explorers as an adviser. FF Franklin continued his education and obtained his Fire Officer I certification in April of 2010. FF Franklin joined our Dive Team, and went through training and became a Rescue Diver in 2011, and he is still part of the team to this day.

Firefighter Walsh has been with us since 2011. He also started out as a volunteer FF/EMT in January of 2011. He was hired full-time in April of 2012. During his time as a volunteer, FF Walsh attended the Paramedic program at Valencia College, which he completed and passed. He then sat for the state exam and passed it as well in January of 2013. By late summer, FF Walsh successfully passed his provisional testing with our Medical Director, allowing him to operate as a medic for us. FF Walsh went on to his A.S. Degree in Emergency Medical Services from Valencia College in December of 2014. FF Walsh also obtained state certification for Fire Officer I in March of 2015. Prior to joining our department, FF Walsh graduated high school early, and proudly served in the United States Marine Corps. Thanks for your service.

Firefighter Quintus has been with us since February of 2009 as a FF/Medic. FF Quintus was hired to fill one of the six open paramedic positions we had when we transitioned from providing BLS (Basic Life Support) to ALS (Advanced Life Support) back in August of 2009. FF Quintus attended and completed the Broward Fire Academy in 2007. After that, he went to Broward Community College and attended and completed their Paramedic program in 2008. He did not stop there, in 2010 he got his A.S. Degree in Emergency Medical Services from BCC, and in 2014 he got his A.S. Degree in Fire Science from Valencia College. FF Quintus also has a Masters and Bachelors Degrees in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University. FF Quintus also holds State certifications for Fire Officer I & II, and Instructor III. He is in the process of preparing to take his Fire Inspector I certification this month. We wish him good luck, but I don’t think he will need it.

A special thank you to our guest speaker, Chief Joseph Silvestris from Clermont Fire Department, and their Honor Guard for presenting the colors.

We would like to also thank Council woman Dina Sweatt, Evelyn Wilson, and Groveland City Manager Redmond Jones, and all the family and friends for attending.

Firefighters participate in Mock DUI at South Lake High School

April 9th, 2015

The Lake County Community Traffic Safety Team hosted an educational event for South Lake High School juniors and seniors in preparation for their upcoming prom. The educational event is designed to demonstrate a realistic vehicle crash involving alcohol.

Two cars were positioned in front of the bleachers to simulate a head-on collision. This demonstration is to provide a realistic look at the seriousness and horrifying results of drinking and driving. In one vehicle, you had the drunk driver and his date. The other vehicle had two girls returning home from the prom. The drama class provided the actors portraying the students.

The cars were covered with a tarp until all students were in the bleachers. A prerecorded recording was played of a vehicle crash over the PA system. The tarp was removed to reveal the accident. Another recording was played of the 911 call reporting the accident.

Within minutes, the Police arrive, followed by the Fire Department, then EMS. The drunk driver is arrested and taken away while the other occupants are being assessed by the Fire crews. The drunk drivers date did not make it, and the other two girls are severely injured. One is transported by ground, and the other by air (helicopter). The girl who did not survive was removed from the vehicle, placed in a body bag, loaded into the hearse and driven away from the scene. The mother of the deceased girl was notified by Police of her daughters passing.

We hope that this will hit home with these students, not only just for their prom this weekend, but for the future as well.

Multiple agencies participated in this event, including Lake County Fire Rescue, Lake County Sheriffs Office, Lake Emergency Medical Services, Air Care II, FHP, FDOT, Office of the State Attorney - Fifth Judicial Circuit of Florida, and Brewer & Sons Funeral Home.

Firefighters tame an alligator

March 2nd, 2015

There comes a time when we may need to go above and beyond our regular firefighting duties, on Monday, that happened. A nice lady passing by Station 94 stopped and alerted the firefighters that an alligator was crossing the road and heading into the backyard of the homes across the street from the station.

Knowing that children are always out playing in these backyards, they notified the Groveland Police Department who normally handles alligator calls since the police have training on how to handle these situations. Unfortunately, they were told all units were on calls and would respond when one became available.

With that information in hand, FF Walsh, FF Franklin, and FF Leist jumped into action. After several attempts, they were able to subdue the gator and secure it from biting any of them. The gator was then transported down to the lake and released unharmed.

Good job guys!

Groveland Firefighters Recent Training

This past November through December, the Groveland Firefighters participated in numerous training scenarios. This training was setup after the signing of the local ISBA agreement.

They started off with training on Firefighter Survival Tactics. This training is designed to help the firefighters learn how to use different tactics to help themselves in case they are in trapped or need to get out of a building quickly. During this training they crawled through a 2 foot wide by 3 foot tall by 8 foot long wooden box tunnel. It had wires going from side-to-side and up and down to simulate entanglement hazards. When they reached the opposite end from where they started, they had to breach through a piece of drywall to get out. This scenario was teaching them how to stay calm and figure a way out of a room that had a ceiling collapse.

The second tactic in this training was how to safely bail out a second floor window. For this scenario, they were taught how to climb out the window and use the ladder to slide down to the ground. There are different ways to do it. One can slide down head first to the ground, or slide about half-way and spin around to land feet first. Either way will work when you have to get out quickly.

The weeks that followed the above training were filled with multi-agency training at a building donated by local business owner Donnie Hunt, from Hunt Industrial Park. The building was going to be demolished so they could expand and add more warehouse units. There was nothing off-limits on what we could do to the building.

A training curriculum was set for the training scenarios, dates were set, and info was passed on to the other agencies training department. What followed was 5 weeks of intense and grueling training. A big thanks goes out to LCFR training division for all of their assistance with putting together the curriculum and instructors.

Station 94 to start providing Advanced Life Support

On Monday January 5th 2015, around 11:30 am, Engine 94 stationed in the Cherry Lake area, transitioned from providing Basic Life Support (BLS) to Advanced Life Support (ALS). This has been a goal of the Fire Department since Engine 95, stationed near the downtown area, went ALS back in August of 2009.

It was our goal to go ALS at Station 94 within 1 to 2 years after Engine 95 as the housing developments added homes. Unfortunately, the economic downturn that hit our country for the next few years that followed, slowed the growth of our city, thus putting a hold on us achieving this goal.

Recently, with the upturn in the economy and the continued growth of our city the last couple of years, it was now time to start the transitioning process again. Within the last year, we were able to fill a few vacant Firefighter/EMT positions with Firefighter/Paramedics. Doing this, allowed us to staff enough Paramedics to achieve our goal.

This is just another milestone in the growth of our department as our city continues to grow, and now allows us to provide all of our citizens, and visitors to Groveland the same level of enhanced and life-saving medical care.

We are looking forward to seeing what the future holds for our city and department as we continue to grow.

Question: What’s the difference between ALS (Advanced Life Support) and BLS (Basic Life Support)?

Basic Life Support (BLS)

  • Firefighter certified at Emergency Medical Technician level of training (250 hours of training)
  • Typically performs external procedures on patients
  • Cannot establish IV’s, administer drugs and medications, (with the exception of very limited specific items)
  • Primarily serves in a support role to the Paramedic

Advanced Life Support (ALS)

  • Firefighter certified at Paramedic level of training (1100 hours of training) which includes pediatric advanced life support, advanced cardiac life support, pre hospital trauma life support and neo-natal life support
  • Specially trained in advanced medical and trauma procedures, such as tracheal intubations, chest decompression, and surgical cricothyrotomy
  • Allowed to establish IV’s and administer specialized medications
  • Specially trained in 12-lead ECG interpretations

FF/EMT Stott applying the ALS sticker to Engine 94

FF/EMT Stott applying the ALS sticker to Engine 94

ISBA Signing Ceremony

ISBA Signing Ceremony

A New Beginning

GROVELAND— The Lake County Board of County Commissioners, Lake County Public Safety Department, city of Groveland officials and members of the Groveland Fire Department ceremoniously signed an automatic aid agreement to combine emergency resources on February 24 at Groveland’s Fire Station 94 on Cherry Valley Trail. The goal of the agreement is to speed up emergency response times for residents living in unincorporated Lake County and within the city.

"Groveland being the first city to sign on sends a signal to other municipalities in this county," said Lake County Chairman Jimmy Conner. "It shows a lot of leadership to be first."

The agreement states that the closest emergency unit, whether Lake County Fire or Groveland Fire, will respond to emergency incidents within the Inter-local Service Boundary Agreement, or ISBA area. The county and city will share a centralized dispatch and the costs of responding to emergencies in the Groveland area. The county has also recently installed Automatic Vehicle Location or AVL systems, which are similar to GPS monitoring systems that dispatch the closest unit to any emergency, regardless if it occurs in the county or city.

"This particular arrangement allows the city of Groveland and Lake County to work in cooperation by sharing taxpayer resources in regard to fire and medical services," said Groveland Mayor Tim Loucks.

The agreement with Groveland goes into effect March 1, 2014.