VISITORS to Sunderland International Airshow are being asked to stop off on the way to sign the Echo petition against fire station closures.
The Save Our Station campaign has gathered about 15,000 signatures since its launch in April, and supporters are hoping to collect more as people make their way to the 26th annual airshow on Sunday.
Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliot – who opposes the cuts –will join firefighters at the city’s Fulwell fire station.
The campaign began after Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority announced the base in Railway Row is to close as part of multimillion-pound cuts.
Services will move from the city centre to Farringdon and Fulwell, and the new Marley Park Station, which is due to replace Sunderland Central.
However, Fire Brigade Union representatives say the plans will leave the 30,000 city centre residents in danger, due to the extra time it will take to get to fires in the area.
Closure-threatened Sunderland Central Fire Station won a stay of execution in March – for at least three years.
Fire brigade bosses say the city centre station, earmarked for closure due to multimillion-pound cuts, will remain operational until at least June 2017.
Ms Elliot said: “The Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said earlier this year that Sunderland Central Fire Station will remain operational until at least June 2017. This was a welcome announcement, but in my eyes, represented little more than a stay of execution.
“I believe that unless we continue to fight for our station, by collecting signatures for the Echo’s petition, the station will close in 2017.
“It is unimaginable that Sunderland might not have a city centre fire station and we must do all we can to secure its future.”
Supporters of the campaign will be at Station Road, Fulwell, from 10.30am on Sunday.