‘Mini tornado’ causes injuries at fair

One person required hospital treatment and several more were injured after a freak ‘mini tornado’ struck an event in Wallsend.

The drama unfolded at the Friends of Wallsend Park’s community spring fair at Richardson Dees Park on Saturday, May 10.

Thankfully volunteers and young cadets from St John Ambulance at the fair were able to treat the injured.

And those young people have this week been praised by their bosses for staying calm and providing the correct treatment.

The organisation had been invited to the event to demonstrate first aid techniques and to fundraise, but they had to act quickly when a freak gust of wind caused havoc.

Gazebos were lifted into the air, injuring members of public.

Michael Hart, Dave Cheeseman and young cadets Louise Davies and Elena Jones – all volunteers with the Wallsend unit – put their first aid training to good use, treating a number of cuts caused by flying debris.

One lady was taken to hospital after being struck on the back of the leg by a gazebo.

Holly Black, unit leader, said: “The event was going well, despite rainy weather, and we had eight cadets demonstrating how they can make be the difference between life and death by showcasing their first aid skills.

“Suddenly, what felt like a mini tornado swept through the park and it was utter chaos for about 30 minutes with members of the public being hurt by flying debris and being blown over by the strength of the adverse weather.

“Our community training teams acted immediately and took control of the situation to treat members of the public with a variety of injuries.

“It really highlighted the importance of getting first aid trained and were particularly proud of how our young cadets responded with absolute professionalism and care for the public.”

Friends of Wallsend Park chair Sharon Cook said: “We cannot thank the St John Ambulance team enough for their fast action in caring for and treating visitors at our Spring fair during this unexpected weather storm.

“The first aid charity does an amazing job in training people to save lives in the community, in the workplace and in our schools.”

Friends of Wallsend Park is a charity set up by a small group of local residents who are passionate about supporting local parks to keep them beautiful, safe and well looked after.