THOUSANDS of people have signed the Echo’s Hold Fire petition and made their feelings clear: “Keep Sunderland Fire Station open”.
In just under a week, more than 3,500 people have put their name to the campaign, demanding fire brigade bosses reverse their decision to close the city centre station.
Petitioners, including Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott, have been out on the streets urging more people to sign up against the closure.
The Echo launched its campaign after bosses at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority said they had no choice but to close the Railway Row station, due to multimillion pound Government cuts.
Dave Turner, Fire Brigade Union North East regional secretary, is among those who have been out in the city centre collecting signatures.
He said: “The public are making it clear they don’t want Sunderland Central to close. They are proud of their station and realise the hard work that goes on there.
“The FBU share these sentiments and believe it would be dangerous to close the station.
“We will continue to fight against these plans and urge the people of Sunderland to support us by signing the petition.”
Under the new plans, the city centre will be covered by outlying fire stations in Fulwell, Farringdon and Washington.
Union bosses say the move would put lives at risk, while bosses at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWF&RS) argue the station has been attending fewer incidents in recent years.
The Fire Authority has said it will only close the station as a last resort and is searching for additional funding in an effort to keep the facility open.
Sign the online petition here
OR download a petition here to collect signatures yourself
You can also request a petition by calling 0191 501 7146