MORE than 11,000 Wearsiders have now signed a petition demanding Sunderland Central Fire Station remains open.
Community groups, residential care homes, shops, businesses, football fans and church congregations are among those who have put their names to our Hold Fire campaign.
Age UK Sunderland have now collected more than 250 signatures in their city centre building from residents concerned about the potential closure.
The Railway Row station is facing the axe in 2017 due to Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service having to make multimillion-pound cuts.
Concerns were expressed by Age UK Sunderland over what the cuts would mean to older people living in the city centre.
A large number of people living in high-rise buildings, including Astral House, Planet House and Solar House, are pensioners.
Alan Patchett, director of the charity, said: “We were pleased with the response that we got from older people who were only too happy to support the campaign.
“The fire station is an important resource for the city as a whole and the reality is that by losing it, we would leave an important area with less coverage.”
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority has set out, and approved, a four-year plan that would see the station close as the brigade fights to make savings of £5,449,689 in the face of £8.8million cuts.
Brigade bosses argue the city centre will still be adequately covered should the station close, with stations in Fulwell, Washington and Farringdon able to provide cover. They also say the axe will not fall on the facility until 2017 in the hope that extra funding might be secured.