To the editor:

As many citizens now know your local fire department (the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District) has two very important issues on Tuesday’s ballot. CJCFPD protects Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Lake Tapawingo and parts of unincorporated Jackson County. In the past you may have called upon us for help, and we showed up and did what was needed to be done. Over the past 10 years those calls for help have increased 150 percent.

Now it is our turn to ask you for help. On Tuesday, you will see two questions on your ballot. Question 1 is a no-tax-increase bond to purchase two fire trucks, replacing an aging ladder truck and engine. These monies will also allow us to purchase safety clothing and equipment, communications equipment and complete our training center. Question 2 is a half-cent sales tax with 50 percent of monies brought in being rolled back off property taxes. These monies will allow us to hire more firefighters. More firefighters on the fire trucks allow us to meet national safety standards for staffing that we are unable to meet right now. It will make our jobs safer. It will allow us to do our jobs more quickly, more easily and more efficiently, which will save lives and protect more property.

So we ask you, our neighbors, our friends, please come out Tuesday and vote yes on Questions 1 and 2 and help the Central Jackson County Fire Protection district continue the service you deserve, the service you want, and a higher service we want to give.

Derrick Llewellyn is a Grain Valley resident and a firefighter, paramedic.