Last month we told you that five million pounds worth of cuts were approved that would see the closure of Sunderland Central, Wallsend and Gosforth fire stations.
Today, though, the Tyne and Wear Fire Authority says it now may be able to avoid the closures - at least in the short term.
But, the Fire Brigades Union have not greeted the news with enthusiasm.
They say that all the Fire Authority has done is create confusion and uncertainty.
Julie Harrison reports.
Fire crews from across our region are helping those affected by flooding in the South of England.
Water pumps, Rescue Boats and a number of firefighters and welfare officers are all assisting the clean up operation.
The North East's only hydro-carbon detection dog has been put through his paces against the latest technology.
Scrappy has been helping gather evidence at suspicion fires for five months by sniffing out flammable liquids.
He wears a harness and special boots, donated by a North East company, to protect his paws.
Teesside University are comparing the cocker spaniel's skills to devices used by the fire service to detect hydro-carbons like petrol which may have been used to start fires.
So far, they have found that the machine can't trace chemicals after 8-10 days whereas Scrappy has no trouble at all finding the scent.
Cleveland Fire Brigade has issued Chinese Lantern safety advice ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations. Since 2009 there have been 11 Chinese lantern incidents throughout Cleveland.
SAFETY TIPS FROM CLEVELAND FIRE BRIGADE
-Lanterns must be used by responsible adults only
-Water should always be on hand in case the lanterns catch fire
-The launch area needs to be kept clear of combustible materialsDamaged lanterns must not be used
-Ensure sufficient clearance to avoid obstacles such as trees, powerlines or buildings
-Do not launch near roads, especially major roads or motorways
-Do not launch within five miles of an airport
-Do not launch in wind speeds in excess of five miles per hour (mph)Do not smoke whilst handling lanterns
The Fire Brigades Union has branded the decision to approve cuts to Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue service as 'criminal' and says it will ballot members on possible strike action. The green light was given at a Fire Authority meeting this lunchtime after a number of options were explored.
The latest strike action by fire service crews, in a dispute about pensions, has passed largely without incident.
It began at 7pm on Christmas Eve and ended at midnight.
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service has reported attending three incidents during this five hour period.
These were a small fire in Darlington, a burst water pipe at a family home, and a false alarm.
County Durham & Darlington Fire Service is urging people to take extra care ahead of a Fire Brigade Union strike this evening. Resources will be reduced for five hours between 7pm to midnight on Christmas Eve.
It's part of the latest round of national strikes by the union in an ongoing dispute with the government about changes to pensions. The next strike is on New Year's Eve.
Campaigners fighting the closure of Sunderland fire station will hold a demonstration tonight, outside a public meeting about the plans.
The station is the third busiest in Tyne and Wear but the force says it could be covered by surrounding stations.
The fire authority plans to cut a fifth of its firefighters and fire engines to meet 8 million pounds of Government cuts. A consultation about the plans runs till the end of the year.
Unions say they are disappointed the public seem unaware of the proposals.
Bonfire Night is always one of the busiest times of the year for fire crews and yesterday was no different.
Tyne and Wear Fire & Rescue Service received more than 400 calls, most of them to put out illegal, unsupervised bonfires.
Jonny Blair joined one crew on the night shift.
Police are appealing for information after a firework was posted through the letterbox of a flat in North Shields on Bonfire Night.
It happened at a property in Chirton West View about 6:20pm. Nobody was injured but the fire caused damage to the door and broke a window inside the property.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101, extension 69191.