Saturday, December 19, 2009

Save Brighton fire station

An update e-mail from Claire, who is helping with the fire-station campaign, info on some action to support it and an appeal to those of a more shallow nature of a chance to hang out with firefighters (for those who like uniforms :-) ) . Of course I'm sure the readers of this blog would not be swayed by anything other than politics :

By now, I hope you've all signed the petition to save Brighton's Preston Circus Fire Station which is under real threat of closure. If not, please read my first email below and use the links it provides to do just that. The campaign website: also provides examples of emails that you can send to local councillors in Brighton & Hove or East Sussex - as this is a decision to be taken by East Sussex Fire Authority. Please also remember to forward this email to everyone you know, as fire, flood, etc affects us all.


Our local firefighters will be holding their annual collection for the Firefighters Benevolent Fund outside Preston Circus Fire Station on Monday 21 & Tuesday 22 December, from 10am to about 3 or 4pm on each day. During this time, any working firefighters can't be seen themselves to be campaigning against their management's proposal to close our local fire station; however, they'd welcome members of the public turning-up to do just that. So how about it? Are you up for it, maybe even for half an hour during your lunch break?

The plan is that as people stop to make donations to a firefighter, one of the campaign suporters will give each member of the public either the campaign postcard and/or a campaign sticker. The firefighters get most of their donations from passing vehicles, so it'll probably be mostly just passing postcards and stickers quickly into cars, but the more people we have there to do this, the more effective we can be and the more this message gets passed on. NB: Just as the firefighters in uniform can't help with the campaign, we can't get involved with any collecting of money, so donations must always be immediately referred to the official collectors.

Depending on how much time they have, we will aim to speak to those stopping to donate who are especially interested in the campaign. It's planned to have a banner and a stall outside the Circus Circus pub opposite the station itself and the idea is to encourage as many people as possible to sign & return the petition postcard and/or sign the internet petition. If considered feasible, we may even organise 1 or 2 laptops connected to the petition there and then; however, there are issues with wi-fi security, the weather, etc.


Not only will you be helping to save Preston Circus Fire Station but, during the firefighters' collections, the lower level of the fire station is open to the public. So, provided they aren't called out on duty, you can admire the vehicles, sit in a fire engine and look-up a firefighters' pole - Brighton has some of the longest firefighters' poles in the country, so that's really an offer not to be missed! And if that's not enough - haven't you ever wanted to get up close to a real firefighter?! Free advice and the fitting of smoke alarms can also be arranged.

This is actually a pre-Christmas treat for all the family which you definitely shouldn't miss! Please let me know if you can come down to help out on either day and what time(s) you can make. Please also pass this email onto anyone else who might be interested. After all, Brighton & Hove is a tourist resort so, arguably, the provision of our fire service is of legitimate interest to people all around the country.

Cheers, Claire

UPDATE from Claire

We have cancelled Monday and Tuesday's actions in support of the campaign to save Brighton Fire Station. So please pass this message onto anyone you may have encouraged to come along.

Whilst we are sad to lose such a major opportunity to raise the profile of the campaign, we are also quite pleased not to be freezing our butts off in sub-zero temperatures for up to 6 or 7 hours! Makes you appreciate what the firefighters do, methinks...

The firefighters decided that they did not want to jeopardise the future of their annual collection (which is only allowed with the permission of East Sussex Fire Service management) by simultaneously campaigning against the decision to close the Preston Circus Fire Station (a decision taken by East Sussex Fire Service management). I'm sure that you understand why!

Picture of Firefighters at Brighton Pride.