On Aug. 8, voters in the Redings Mill Fire Protection District will be asked to vote on a 35-cent tax levy increase.

Today, approximately 80 percent of the firefighters in this district are volunteers. There are only five full-time firefighters. Increased assistance calls (approximately 1,400) this year, which often result in overlapping calls, along with maintaining hydrants and equipment and station duties at six stations, have required firefighters to do more and more.

This causes increased response time, increased injuries and results in firefighter burnout. These people are volunteers and have other jobs to support their families.

A day does not go by that we don’t see that the Redings Mill firefighters have been called to another fire. Seventy-five percent of all calls for assistance occur between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. when volunteers are at their work place.

As our population increases, so do the number of fires and emergencies. We all depend on our Fire Department to respond quickly to every call, and in fact our lives depend on their timeliness.

Let’s vote “yes” on this levy increase, put more full-time firefighters in our district, give our volunteers some deserved assistance and show our appreciation for their sacrifice and dedication.

Lee Van Otterloo

Joplin

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