Standing at the entrance of the emergency department of the damaged Feather River Hospital, state lawmakers and community leaders praised the Governor’s signing of Senator Jim Nielsen’s legislation to bring back emergency care to Paradise. Senate Bill 156 was co-authored by Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) and Assemblymember Cecilia M. Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) and supported by local leaders.
SB 156 becoming law is a critical first step in bringing the emergency room back to Paradise.
“Camp Fire survivors once again proved our resilience,” said Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama). “With the support of Sheriff Kory Honea, the Paradise Town Council, Supervisor Doug Teeter, Superintendent Michelle John and many citizens, our community continues to rise, showing our determination to rebuild the region we love.”
Senator Nielsen went on to thank members of the Legislature for their steadfast support of Camp Fire Survivors and the rebuilding efforts.
Assemblyman Gallagher said, “This piece of legislation is a shining example of just how resilient the people of Butte County really are. We will overcome obstacles. We will rebuild. And we will come back better than before. That’s just what we do.”
On November 8, 2018, the Camp Fire killed 85 people, destroyed 13,000 homes and charred 150,000 acres, devastating the Town of Paradise and nearby communities. The local hospital was severely damaged, but the emergency room stayed intact.
Senate Bill 156 will allow Adventist Health and Rideout, a sister hospital to Adventist Health Feather River, to operate an emergency department in Paradise to care for local residents. The standalone emergency room is a temporary but essential solution to provide immediate medical care. The hospital, along with the emergency room, in Paradise burned during the state’s most devastating wildfire, making it inoperable.
Local leaders present at the celebration included Butte County Supervisor Doug Teeter, Steve Crowder and Mike Zuccolillo of the Paradise Town Council, Charles Brooks of Rebuild Paradise, Shari McCracken of the Butte County Executive Office, Laurie McBride and Dave Willoughby of the Upper Ridge Community Council, Monica Nolan of the Chamber, and a representative of Congressman Doug LaMalfa.
Paradise Unified School Superintendent Michelle John said, “This is fantastic news to students and parents in the Paradise Unified School District. Injuries happen, and we want the kids to be examined by medical professionals as quickly as possible.”
Sheriff Kory Honea echoed the sentiments, “Time is of the essence in an emergency. Lengthy travel time is a dangerous scenario for a person who may be experiencing cardiac arrest or other urgent needs.”
“Today, we start the next step in the road to restoration of emergency care in Paradise. Thanks to Senator Jim Nielsen’s and Assemblyman Gallagher’s leadership, and Governor Gavin Newsom’s approval of SB 156, this is a critical first step in this process and is a testament to our elected officials and the entire Paradise community. Adventist Health will continue to be here for the people of Paradise and the Ridge as we make progress like we have over the last 11 months and are committed to inspiring health, wholeness and hope as we have for the more than 50 years we have served this community,” concluded Richard Rawson, Adventist Health – President of Adventist Health and Rideout.