PUBLIC meetings are to be held about the future of firefighting on Wearside.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service announced last month it has to save £5million for its frontline budget. Scores of jobs are set to go, and Sunderland Central Fire Station in Millfield could also be axed under the plans.
It also proposes to reduce five firefighters to four at stations with one fire appliance, which includes Fulwell and Rainton Bridge.
Meetings will take place at the Quayside Exchange in High Street West, on Tuesday, November 19, at 6pm, and at The Place in Athenaeum Street, on Monday, November 25, from 10am, so that the public can have their say.
Chief Fire Officer Tom Capeling said: “We really want to hear people’s views and their suggestions.
“Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is one of the best and fastest fire and rescue services in the country and we want to continue to be. In developing these options, our objective has been to maintain our quick response to incidents where lives are at risk and where there is significant risk to property.
“However, to do this we need to change the way we operate and will be slower in attending other incidents such as deliberate rubbish fires and false alarms.”
More information about the proposals is available by going to www.twfire.gov.uk.
People unable to attend one of the meetings can let the service know their views either by taking part in an online survey, emailing their comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 444 1529 or by writing to: Freepost RLZH-ZZYU-LJUJ, Development and Review, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Barmston Mere, Nissan Way, Sunderland, SR5 3QY.