TODAY the Echo calls on its readers to help save Sunderland Central community fire station.
The Millfield station was earmarked for closure last month as part of plans by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to implement millions of pounds of cuts over the next three years.
Figures show the station has been the busiest for call-outs on Wearside over the past four years.
Despite this, fire bosses argue that the Railway Row site has seen a year-on-year decrease in the number of incidents its officers have had to attend.
As part of the Echo’s Hold Fire campaign, we want the authority to reconsider its decision.
With Gill Bridge police station also set to be shut down in the coming years, there are fears that our city centre will be underprotected with a lack of available public services.
Echo editor John Szymanski urged readers to back our campaign.
He said: “The closure of this fire station could have a potentially devastating effect on our city centre.
“It is a vital service to so many people that needs to be maintained and our aim is to get chiefs at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority to reconsider their decision, which we feel could cost lives.
“But we cannot do this alone.
“Please sign our petition and get your friends and family to do the same.”
A petition to reverse the closure proposals, which has almost 50 signatures, has been submitted by Sunderland City Council, with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service set to respond at a fire authority meeting today.