Sun shining, faith, friendships, freedoms, food on the table, water supply or even one’s own health … most things in our lives are taken for granted by us.

At least we do until they are no longer there! I can’t imagine the impact of losing the services of our Beauregard Volunteer Fire Department. Over the years, they have responded to my home within a matter of minutes of placing a 9-1-1 call. Not only have these heroes literally saved the lives of my children at a time of critical need, the dedicated work of volunteers has saved me thousands of dollars in home insurance premiums.

They are our first responders in times of a disaster following a storm. Well on May 29, we have a choice to vote on the continuation of this valuable protection that we take for granted. As an unincorporated, decentralized, relatively rural community, it is difficult to get the word out to the citizenry on matters of this importance. Everyone in the community is being called upon for assistance in communicating the importance of this upcoming, special referendum. This is a critical safety, protection and even financial issue for our community with multiple implications.

For example, the current $25 assessment is about to run out. Without continuance and increase (bundled together on the vote), we would lose protection and this would escalate our home insurance rates in the Beauregard community by hundreds of dollars annually. In fact, many people in our community enjoy low insurance rates because of the dedication of the BVFD to reduce the ISO ratings.

Just as my family has benefited from them in a time of crisis, nearly 60 percent of the 50-plus calls the BVFD responds to a month are medical/rescue related. All of this would be lost as well.

Residents in the local cities enjoy the paid services of a city fire department and a emergency medical service. The rural areas rely totally on the response of dedicated, highly-trained volunteers. I hope my fellow citizens in the community can come alongside our local first responders and 1) help to get the message out about how critical this vote is for our community, and 2) vote in favor of the referendum.

People cannot be apathetic about this item. It is far too critical for our homes and families. So I encourage all my fellow citizens to come out and vote in favor of sustaining the efforts of the BVFD to protect our community. Let’s speak loudly and decidely with a supportive vote for these unsung heroes in our community.

I never want to take them for granted.

-Don Mulvaney

Opelika, AL