Lakeland Fire Chief Gary Ballard

Chief Gary Ballard

“I am a graduate of Polk State’s Fire Science Program, having attended when the institution was still known as Polk Community College. I received my associate’s degree in Fire Science in 1984, and as a result, my career path benefited exponentially. My degree, in part, led me to other achievements, which eventually led to my role today as chief of Lake Fire Department and president of the Florida Fire Chief’s Association. I encourage our current firefighters to attend their local state college, like Polk State.  The degree programs at Polk State can provide opportunities for up-and-coming firefighters to advance in their careers, much like it did for me.”