SUNDERLAND MP Julie Elliott and union chiefs have thanked the thousands of Echo readers who helped to keep Sunderland Central fire station open.
Tyne and Wear Fire Authority has today passed a motion deciding not to close the Millfield site, as well as stations in Gosforth and Wallsend in Newcastle.
When plans were first unveiled that the stations could go, the Echo’s Hold Fire campaign was launched to stop the move.
It has gained more than 34,000 signatures.
Mrs Elliott, whose constituency is Sunderland Central, said: “I’m so pleased for the people of our city who have pulled together to point out the error of judgement from last year.
“We are a bit safer with this decision and it’s great, great news.
“People were worried and very shocked that this could even be considered.
“We’re a big city with an industrial port and high-rise buildings.
“There’s no way that a fire engine could get across the bridge from Fulwell into the city in six minutes. “I love the people of Sunderland and they have come through on this.
“To anybody who signed a petition or joined a demonstration, thank you very much.”
Secretary of Tyne and Wear Fire Brigades’ Union Russ King said: “This decision is extremely welcome.
“We’re over the moon and want to thank the members of the authority for making the decision.
“The cuts are still there in terms of the 131 posts and the loss of six appliances.
“But I would like to personally thank the Echo and Julie Elliott.
“In Sunderland last week people were queueing up to put their names on the petition and for that we can’t thank them enough.”