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City News Blog: Lakeland Fire Department Appoints Fire Marshal David Sutherland

Lakeland, FL – The Lakeland Fire Department is pleased to announce David Sutherland has been appointed as the department's newest Fire Marshal.

Fire Chief Doug Riley expressed his enthusiasm for David's appointment as head of the Prevention Division. He stated, "We are thrilled to announce that David Sutherland will lead the division. With his extensive background and strong dedication to fire safety and prevention, he will be an incredible asset in spearheading efforts throughout our community."

David Sutherland is a seasoned professional with over ten years of experience in fire service and fire safety management. Currently serving as the Fire Marshal for the Lakeland Fire Department, David is dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of the community through effective fire prevention and education.

David began his career in fire service by completing Fire Standards and an Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) certificate from Hillsborough Community College (HCC) in 2013. His academic pursuits continued with the completion of his Paramedic certificate in 2016, followed by an Associate of Science in Emergency Medical Services at HCC in 2018 and a Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Services at the University of Florida in 2023. These educational milestones have equipped David with a strong foundation and a comprehensive understanding of fire safety and emergency management.

A series of progressive roles have marked David's career in the fire department. He started as a Firefighter/EMT (2014-16), then advanced to Firefighter/Paramedic (2016-18). He further honed his skills as a Fire Inspector I (2018-22) and Fire Inspector II (2022-24) before assuming the role of Fire Marshal. In this leadership position, he oversees fire inspections, investigations, and construction plans review, ensuring the safety of the Lakeland community by preventing injuries, deaths, and property damage while improving citizens' quality of life.

According to Cheryl Edwards, Lakeland's most recent serving Fire Marshal, who is set to retire in June this year, "David's experience and fresh perspective align with the City's core values and vision for the future. His proven leadership and commitment to excellence make him the ideal choice to lead the Prevention Division into a new era of innovation and success."

David's commitment to continuous improvement is evident in his involvement with professional organizations such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI). He regularly participates in workshops and conferences to stay updated on the latest trends and technologies in fire prevention and investigation.

David holds several certifications, including State of Florida: Fire Inspector I & II, Fire Investigator,NFPA: Certified Fire Plans Examiner, and University of Florida: Certificate in Emergency Management. He is a member of the Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association (FFMIA) and the Florida Fire Sprinkler Association (FFSA).

David plans to pursue his NFPA Certified Fire Protection Specialist certification while concurrently working on his Master's in Disaster Management at the University of Florida. He will also continue to strive for career advancement within his department.

David is honored and thrilled to take on this new role as Fire Marshal. "As someone who has dedicated their career to the Lakeland Fire Department, I look forward to the opportunity to further serve and protect our community," says David. "I hope to use my experience and knowledge to help our department continue to grow and thrive in the years to come."


Stephanie Lewis
Public Relations and Information Manager
Lakeland Fire Department

About Lakeland

The City of Lakeland was incorporated in January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida.  With a current population of over 100,000 Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years.  With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor.  The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 115 years ago. 

For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net.  Citizens are also invited to follow the City on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat and Nextdoor.  Citizens can find the City of Lakeland on these social media platforms by searching lakelandgov. 



For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please explore LakelandGov.net.
Citizens are also invited to follow the City on social media.